HCR Law Events

USA

The US practice, centred in Boston, is our most commercially active hub with significant clients. Our legal expertise across business and private client teams is fully utilised. The litigious approach adopted by American colleagues means that our advice must be a match to the combative nature of their market. With long standing clients in the region, Robert Rice and Natalie Minott lead this practice.

Our work with clients

We have worked with clients on US-related projects for two decades and in 2016 began to formalise our US network centering on Boston. Since then we have worked with many British companies who wanted to establish themselves in the United States or dealt with their US legal issues.

Robert Rice and Natalie Minott lead our US practice.

We have a substantial network in Boston, calling on lawyers from many different firms depending on the skill set our client needs, whether corporate law, media law, employment law or other specialisms. We take great care to find the right lawyer for the job, whether for high-end capital markets work worth billions, or lawyers in the suburbs of the city able to write your will.

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

  • The tax system is complex, with taxes imposed by both US federal government and individual states, counties and cities
  • There is no Value Added Tax (VAT) and sales tax varies from state to state, find out more HERE
  • Check that your product meets all US legal requirements and you have necessary licences
  • 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
  • Confirmation of whether you need an export licence for your products is available from the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU).

How can we help you?

Operating in the United States

  • Contracts – 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
  • Intellectual property – 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 existing trademark
  • Dispute – 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
  • Terms & conditions – when agreeing terms you should decide on an exchange rate and whether to use sterling or US dollars
  • Product liability – be ready to invest the time and money needed to understand product liability law so that you can implement measures to reduce your risk
  • Spending time in the US – A British citizen can spend up to 90 days in the States through the US Visa Waiver Program, which is usually valid for 2 years or until your passport expires.

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