Introduction to International Business Transactions
By John Forry (Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek)
During the week of 21 - 25 February 2011, John Forry gave a 3-day mini course to the 3rd year YBC students on the basics of international business transactions. This course was be especially helpful for students who are planning a career in the law or in the financial services sector.
John is legal counsel to U.S. law firms and since 2004 as International Principal in a U.S. accounting and advisory firm, focusing on international finance, taxation and investment, advising international infrastructure and private equity funds.
John’s course focused on issues common to business transactions involving more than one nation. Like domestic business transactions, international transactions typically involve the exchange of goods, services, knowledge or capital between parties. They are, like domestic transactions, varied and diverse, ranging from a simple sale of goods to complex joint ventures, licensing of intellectual property, franchising, financing, and sale of services. By virtue of their international character, however, international business transactions raise a host of legal and practical issues not shared by purely domestic transactions. Some of the complications are primarily practical, caused by distance, international borders, currency exchange, language and culture.
Other complications arise because such transactions typically encounter regulatory limitations from multiple governments, which themselves may be the product of international cooperation and agreement. Rather than attempting a detailed study of the myriad business transactions that cross international boundaries, the course focused on issues typical to the most common forms of international trade. The course primarily relied on the "problem method" of learning.
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