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International Services

Helping clients strengthen where and how they compete.

Our international services team helps foreign businesses expand into and succeed in the United States and helps U.S. businesses grow and operate abroad. By maintaining close relationships with more than 70 major law firms around the globe, we’re equipped to address global issues of trade compliance, corporate, tax, IP licensing, labor and immigration and other matters. We spend a lot of time getting to know and working with our partner firms to ensure that we provide seamless and prompt global service for our clients at home and abroad.

Service Area Contact

  • Bitter_Kai_web.jpg
    Kai Bitter


    Cincinnati, OH

Foreign Desks

While our attorneys speak more than 27 languages and have dealt with problems in virtually every country on earth, we offer highly specialized services in particular countries through the international desks below.

Core Capabilities

We offer focused legal services in every area of the law integral to a successful multinational operation. No matter where in the world you are, when an issue arises or an opportunity presents itself, we stand ready to assist.

Cross-border M&A

From small, privately-negotiated sales to hostile takeovers, our M&A team has the national and cross-border experience to assist clients with inbound, outbound and – of course – purely domestic M&A transactions. We counsel clients and assist with strategic planning and regulatory compliance for buyers, sellers, strategic investors and venture capitalists, management groups, independent committees of directors and investment banking firms.

Our experience runs the full gamut of structuring, tax, antitrust, intellectual property, workforce, global trade, customs, ERISA and environmental law. On a routine basis, we establish foreign subsidiaries and tax-effective holding structures for U.S. businesses as they cross borders. We also structure and negotiate product distribution and licensing agreements, inbound and outbound international business transactions, as well as joint ventures and direct investments.

Cross-border Commercial

Our international services team helps businesses market and sell their products, services, and inventions through global distribution, agent, franchise, direct sale, licensing, and joint venture agreements. We work collaboratively with clients to achieve global tax efficiency; international patent, trademark, and other intellectual property protection; the use of favorable commercial terms; and other objectives of importers and exporters.

Cross-border Labor & Employment

Our team helps clients secure visas and work permission for personnel, inside and outside of the U.S. We advise on expatriate tax and estate planning issues. We consult on international secondment and assignment agreements and other matters needed for an increasingly mobile, cross-border workforce.

Import & Export Trade Regulation


Our international services team provides expert counsel on international export issues. We navigate clients through the complex regulatory environment, so that our clients can grow their business globally. We help companies classify and obtain export licenses for their product lines. This includes working with numerous manufacturers (or exporters) of complex biological products, software, and defense articles subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

Our team is also skilled at working with our clients’ shipping and distribution departments to implement enterprise-wide export compliance programs. We respond quickly and decisively to OFAC, BIS, DOJ and U.S. Census inquiries and investigations to remedy any export-related risks, violations, or administrative penalties.

Import & Customs

Our team counsels clients on all aspects of Customs laws and import regulations, including ways to minimize import duties through classification and valuation. That includes guiding our clients through the complex regulatory process of contesting Customs actions, such as audits, shipment holds and penalty notices, to minimize the impact of any enforcement action on an importer’s operations.

Our team advises on the marking rules enforced by Customs and represents clients in challenging their competitors’ improper use of Country of Origin labels and other markings related to the modification or assembly of components into finished products. We also help clients identify and capitalize on opportunities for duty elimination, reduction or deferment through trade preference programs under NAFTA, CAFTA, and GSP.

Learn more about our International Trade Regulation services. 

International Dispute Resolution

Our attorneys advise our clients whenever cross-border disputes arise. We frequently advise on the structuring of transactions to ensure effective dispute resolution mechanisms if a dispute were to occur. And if a dispute does ensue, we can assist with conducting and defending cross-border discovery, litigation, arbitration and the enforcement of judgments in courts and international tribunals around the world.

To date, our team has helped resolve — on terms favorable to our clients — hundreds of international disputes related to antitrust, commercial disputes, restrictive covenants, anti-bribery laws, trade disputes, intellectual property, product liability, recalls, and other areas of the law critical to cross-border business.

Privacy & Data Security

Our data privacy team has been and remains at the forefront of evolving international privacy laws. We keep clients apprised of new developments and provide strategic guidance on how their compliance obligations vary based on jurisdiction, data type and data location. From risk factor intelligence and transactional due diligence to data breach prevention and response, we work closely with companies in the U.S. and abroad to strengthen the integrity of their compliance and security architecture.

Intellectual Property

Our full-service intellectual property team provides counseling, prosecution, licensing, litigation and global portfolio management services. We focus in the areas of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, licensing, interactive media, advertising, and first amendment and media. We excel at providing advice which focuses on the business needs of our clients.

White Paper

Joint Ventures 2021

Kai Bitter, Kristen Elia, and Emily Tanji of Frost Brown Todd’s International Services Group are serving as contributing editors of Joint Ventures 2021, a global publication on joint ventures. This is part of the Lexology “Getting the Deal Through (GTDT)” series. The publication provides a high-level view of forming and operating joint ventures in key jurisdictions, with a particular focus on tax, ownership, and contract considerations.

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