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Challenges in International Communication II

Different Approach To Lawyers
 
 
Clients from different cultures may have different ways of working with lawyers. For example most people in Western country want their lawyers to be with them from the very beginning. I personally also believe that this is the way it should be but on the other hand we know that in some cultures, especially in the east, the attitude is “you do not need to contact a lawyer till everything is messed up.” or “call the lawyer at the very last minute just for formalities sake.”  It has happened to us.  We’ve come face-to-face with a 50-page contract that we have never seen before, emailed to us for revision and with just 30 minutes for us to share our detailed comments! And to be honest I do not know how to overcome this “inter-cultural problem”.
 
 
Foreign Investors’ Limited Initiative
 
 
The foreign direct investments of multinational companies very often appear to be separate affiliate companies registered in that foreign country. Although these companies have their own directors, managers and organization because they are “affiliates” the directors and managers may not have the initiative to take important decisions. It is for this reason that we have to be careful about timing. We have to notify the client as early as possible so that they would have the time to consult to the headquarters.
 
 
Foreigners Do Not Know What We Know About Our Law And Legal System
 
 
Law itself is a part of the culture and the client may think that the legal system is or should be more or less the same in a different country. This may not be only a client-centred mistake, it is possible for a lawyer to have a similar view. When dealing with a local client usually we do not bother emphasizing the widely known legal basis and instead we simply jump to the conclusion because we assume that the client is aware of the basics of the legal system. However, the situation with the foreign client may be (and often is), totally different. When assisting the client we have to make sure that he or she understands why we are doing things that way but not the other. We have to be patient in explaining the ABC of our legal system so that we can communicate better. For example, there are some routine but important things that we all do. Normally a local client would know when and what to do in such routine situations however a chief legal counsel sitting at the headquarters of a multinational corporation dealing with issues concerning their investments in China, Italy, Germany, and U.S.A. may not be aware of or recall some procedures that have to be carried out Turkey. We do experience instances where multinational Companies forget and or cannot understand why certain routine work is important. So what we do is even if for a routine and basic task we always start with a simple one paragraph explanation on local law, try to outline very briefly the highlights and then in the second paragraph we ask for the required documents.
 

18 Comments to Challenges in International Communication II:

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bicycle crash compensation on 06 February 2013 11:05
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the client as early as possible so that they would have the time to consult to the headquarters.
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Iran Sanctions on 09 July 2013 16:09
I like the way you shared the detailed information about international lawyering,Good work..
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Legislative Advocacy New York on 17 July 2013 14:47
absolutely right!!Different client deals with a different strategies with their lawyer,depending upon their comfort level.
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