USA

Our US practice is commercially active, with significant, long-standing clients. Our legal expertise across our business and private client teams is fully utilised. The litigious approach adopted by American colleagues means that our advice needs to match to the combative nature of their market.

Meet the team

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Our work with USA clients

We have worked with clients on US-related projects for two decades. In 2016 we began to formalise our US network, centering on Boston. Since then we have worked with many British companies who want to establish themselves in the United States or have legal issues in the States which need resolving.

We have a substantial network in Boston, calling on lawyers from many different firms depending on the skillset our clients require – from corporate law to employment, media and other specialisms. We take great care to find the right lawyer for the job, whether for high-end capital markets work worth billions or simply to make sure your will is in place.

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Exporting to the USA

Things to know if you are exporting, or plan to export, to the USA include:

  • Being aware of the complex tax system. Taxes are imposed by both US federal government and individual states, counties and cities
  • There is no VAT; sales tax varies from state to state. You can find out more here
  • Checking that your product meets all US legal requirements and you have necessary licences in place
  • Consumer goods, such as food, drugs, cosmetics and medical equipment have very specific labelling requirements which are available at the local state business bureau
  • The import of some goods into the US is restricted or prohibited, a list of these is available from the US Customs & Border Protection
  • Confirming whether you need an export licence for your products – this information is available from the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU).

Operating in the United States

If you’re considering setting up in the US, there are a number of things you should take into consideration when it comes to relocating your business. These range from having your contracts reviewed to being ready to invest time and money into understanding product liability law.

America is an “extreme” rule of law country and its citizens are litigious. The British government advises that “contracts should be reviewed by lawyers who understand both US and UK law” and we agree.

Whether or not you think you need patent protection, get advice on intellectual property protection. If you intend to sell goods or services to the US, consider applying for US trademark protection and check that your trademark doesn’t infringe any already existing.

If you get into a dispute and need to go through the US legal system, this will generally be in the US state specified in your contract and follow state laws.

When agreeing terms you should decide on an exchange rate and whether to use sterling or US dollars.

Be ready to invest the time and money needed to understand product liability law so that you can implement measures to reduce your risk.

A British citizen can spend up to 90 days in the States through the US Visa Waiver Program, which is usually valid for two years or until your passport expires.

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Hear what our clients say about us

HCR has become our go-to law firm for TV and media work. We recently needed a production arrangement with a multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate. We had issues across the UK and EU; the arrangements are complicated but Nicolas Groffman and Raj Pahuja found ways to simplify the process and then isolate key issues for negotiation. Their technical knowledge and diligence enabled them to discuss practical issues with the television production teams on equal terms, which speeded up the project. They are brilliant.

 

Go-to law firm for TV and media work

The relationship with us goes back a long way, and the service HCR provides in the more ‘traditional’ areas such as employment and education remains first-rate. But what has been especially pleasing is the way that, as our ambitions and vision have broadened, so too has HCR’s ability to support us on our journey. Of course I’m thinking in particular about our international plans and discussions – it’s no exaggeration to say that we couldn’t have come as far as we have without your tremendous support, expertise and sage advice. Thanks.

 

Client An Independent School

Navigating the complexities of B2B relationships requires a lawyer who truly understands the intricacies involved. That’s exactly what I found in Nicolas Groffman. His exceptional skills in contract drafting, negotiation, and cross-border legal advice surpassed my expectations. With meticulous attention to detail and effective communication, he’s the go-to lawyer for any business seeking expert legal advice.

 

Jamie Kelly, Founder YTherapy

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