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International Agreements / Contracts - how to draft to protect oneself

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  • International Agreements / Contracts - how to draft to protect oneself

    Hello, if anyone is knowledgeable on the subject of International Partnership Law, I would appreciate the input for this series of questions. The two nations involved are China and the USA.
    (1) To obtain a lawyer's assistance with reviewing or contributing to the creation of an International Partnership Agreement between a US and Chinese company a significant amount of money? Is this is a $1k, $5k, or $10k+ type of service, or depend? Do you pay a large service fee initially and then keep the lawyer on retainer for ongoing fees?
    (2) How strong are the agreements in terms of holding the other part liable for breach of partnership agreement, and violating international partnership law.

    One time, I really worked well with a Chinese company enough so that they trusted me with over $7k of their sales. It is a long story, but eventually they betrayed the partnership by opening another company and directly competing against our partnership. If I had a contract with them to begin with perhaps they would never have gone down that road. It is still a moral dilemma whether to give back to them some of the $7k.

    Any comments on the feasibility of these agreements and whether they are worth anything considering the difficulty of holding the partner liable for damages.

    Thanks for reading.

  • #2
    The best contract drafters are businessmen who are also attorneys. Most attorneys have no knowledge of business.

    The gist of what you are getting at here is what law will prevail in the event of a dispute. The best contract drafting lawyers think about ALL possible exigencies and follow them through to conclusion in their minds, and then implement language into the contract that protects their clients to the maximum point possible.

    Of course, if the other side has good lawyers, they too will "think everything through" and try to protect their client as much as possible.

    The end result is a meeting of the minds which, is what a contract is all about.

    When I draft a contract (an important one) for myself or a client, I never use boilerplate language. I custom tailor every bit of the contract to suit the situation and not leave anything unsaid (unless - and this is where the skill really comes in - it is in our best interests to leave some things unsaid). As a result, I charge a lot for my contract drafting and it takes more than a few days to create the document.

    In the end though, every contract with which I have been involved has protected my side completely. And don't think that high powered attorneys will always draft a good contract. I've seen many attorneys - again, attorneys who have little clue about REAL WORLD business, draft contracts that ended up BANKRUPTING their clients when unforeseen problems (that should have been foreseen) arose.

    So anyway - again - the right kind of contract for your situation will enforce the law of your locality, and require disputes to be decided in your venue. But, as I noted above, the other side will want everything interpreted and decided in their backyard. Who prevails? Well, that's why - again - you want someone who is a businessman first, and an attorney second, to draft your agreement, assuming you aren't skilled in international business already - in which case YOU'LL be telling your attorney what to write, and leave it to him to simply make certain that it all comes together well.
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