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International Seminar Success

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Warner Goodman Commercial recently presented a seminar under the banner “Doing Business Abroad” at the Chilworth Manor Hotel.  With over 40 guests in attendance from a variety of business sectors, the evening was a great success.  The audience, mainly comprised of SME business people, came to learn how to trade, expand and operate overseas and how to avoid pitfalls.

Steven Grant, Head of Warner Goodman Commercial, introduced the team which had doubled in size over Summer in response to growing demand for international commercial advice.  He noted that the majority of the Commercial Team’s work now contained an international element and that most businesses should be looking to international markets, regardless of their size.

Jonathan Strassberg gave the first presentation on “Minimising Commercial Litigation Risk in the USA” which examined how the audience could make their business an unattractive target for litigation in the US.   As a US Attorney at Law as well as a solicitor qualified in both England and Scotland this is Jonathan’s area of expertise.  His key message throughout focussed on the four areas where UK companies can be caught off-guard when trading with the US; correspondence, contracts, “at-will” employment and the relationship between a UK parent and US subsidiary, while also pointing out the ways that US litigation differs from the UK.

The latest member of the International Team, Aled Williams, then spoke about doing business in the Far East focussing on using Hong Kong as a gateway to China.  He explained to the audience how they can minimise commercial risk in this area by knowing key elements about the market itself such as the correct authorities, jurisdiction and the politics.  Aled then moved on to discuss the various business structures available to businesses in Hong Kong as well as the taxation regulations.

While the audience still had tax in their mind, the International Team were then joined by a guest speaker, Cathy Revis from Fiander Tovell, who delved further into the world of cross-border direct tax considerations and VAT.  When discussing cross-border direct tax considerations, Cathy advised that areas to study include the location of trading, business structure, withholding taxes and transfer pricing.  Cross-border VAT needs different deliberations, including place of supply and whether this is based for a service or goods, what you need to do if those services are intangible, electronically supplied services or related to intellectual property, and how you recover foreign VAT.

Geoffrey Sturgess concluded the seminar  by using a number of scenarios to deliver his message on international commercial contracting.  He spoke on the importance of four key factors that can keep a business out of trouble; clarity, compliance, choice of law and jurisdiction, and language.

Feedback from the event was positive and there was a clear appetite for more.  If you have suggestions on topics that you would like to see the International Team cover in a seminar, contact Karen Hill on  In the meantime, if you would like more information on how the International Commercial Team can help you, please contact them on 02380 717717 or email  Copies of the booklet given to delegates at the conclusion of the seminar are also available and can be sent to you by emailing Karen at the  above address.


This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.