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Best International Law Firms

International Services

From across North America, South America and Europe, to all over Asia and notably, Japan, our firm represents domestic and foreign-owned businesses and multinational corporations in the operation, sale, distribution, licensing and protection of their products, services and brands around the world.

Barnes & Thornburg helps American companies to do business internationally and foreign-owned companies to do business in the U.S. Our global reach means that we can provide comprehensive legal counsel, cultural acuity and honed problem solving skills needed to do business in practically any time zone our client needs.

Our team helps businesses of all sizes establish operations in the U.S. and abroad. We negotiate and close domestic and cross-border financing, real estate, merger, acquisition, strategic alliance and joint venture transactions, safeguard intellectual property on a global scale, and advise on U.S. and international tax laws.

We provide legal counsel pertaining to free trade agreements, the movement of goods, services, technology and funds, and dispute resolution and litigation counsel across the U.S. and abroad. We also guide employers through the labor, employment and human resource challenges and immigration issues inherent in managing today’s multinational workforce.

Trade issues are often at the heart of international business activities and our firm represents clients before the World Trade Organization (WTO). We advise on export controls and trade remedies, including anti-dumping and countervailing duty matters before government and diplomatic channels, the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and in post-order compliance. We assist with Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) matters, including prosecuting applications, overcoming oppositions, inventory control, and customs documentation.


Globalization has led many companies to sell their products and build operation centers in virtually all corners of the world. With this geographic expansion comes the need for businesses to have legal representation wherever they may be expanding.

Barnes & Thornburg offers its clients the advantage of connecting with the legal resources and solutions throughout the world through its affiliation with TerraLex. TerraLex is a highly selective, international network of nearly 150 leading independent law firms located in nearly 100 countries with more than 14,000 attorneys.

TerraLex offers Barnes & Thornburg a significant advantage over most U.S. law firms in that we can help clients achieve their goals in virtually every country, state, province, or location imaginable. So while many people may not know where Mauritius, Liechtenstein, or Latvia are, Barnes & Thornburg has access to attorneys there who are ready to spring into action for our clients whenever the needs arise.


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  • Represented the distribution subsidiary of a global Japanese machine manufacturer in its ongoing acquisitions of a material handling dealer/distributor and of a U.S. manufacturer of high-capacity tire and pneumatic forklifts, container handlers and reach stackers serving 13 separate and distinct industries
  • Represented a Japanese chemical company in the sale of its U.S. battery manufacturing operations and established a joint venture with an international German corporation
  • Represented a Japanese company in its acquisition of the assets of the world's leading manufacturer of military grade video cameras, monitors, and digital video recorder
  • Represented a subsidiary of a publicly traded (Tokyo Exchange) Japanese auto parts maker, in consolidating and merging certain operations in the Mexico, Panama and U.S.
  • Represented a Japanese supplier of metalworking fluids in a global strategic partnership with one of the fastest-growing metalworking fluids businesses in North America; partnership allows the two companies to leverage their respective product lines, R&D, manufacturing, and supply chain capabilities to expand each company’s technology, products and services to the global metalworking and water treatment markets
  • Advised a publicly traded Chinese medical diagnostics company in its $200 million acquisition of U.S. company, which subsequently led to restructuring of its new assets in China
  • Served as lead counsel for Guohua Technology Corporation, a company based in Beijing, China, in its acquisition of the stock of the Daniels Company, which performs all engineering and facilities construction on a turnkey basis for coal handling and processing customers; advised on the most tax efficient U.S. structure to complete the acquisition, negotiated all the transactions documents associated with the stock acquisition and performed related due diligence
  • Represent Corteva Agriscience (formerly Dow Agroscience) in managing a substantial intellectual property portfolio that includes international patent and trademark work. handling diverse antitrust and commercial counseling matters, and leading three international M&A projects
  • Represented Italian manufacturer of systems, machines and software for precast concrete plants in the establishment, development and operations of western hemisphere headquarters
  • Assisted a German manufacturer of electromagnetic systems in its search for strategic U.S. targets and subsequently led successful acquisition of a component manufacturer
  • Provided long-term representation of German manufacturer in negotiating and drafting multi-million dollar supply agreements in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, India, Germany, Brazil and Chile
  • Represented a Swedish aerospace and technology company in its decision to locate a new $37 million production facility in Indiana; provided advice on state and local incentives, as well as counsel for real estate, environmental and labor and employment matters
  • Assisted a German manufacturing and engineering company with acquisition of U.S. and Canadian services companies


  • Advised on Clean Water Act compliance and wastewater permitting issues, including negotiation and appeal of NPDES permits, for corn and starch processing facilities and meat packing facilities
  • Represented a large manufacturer in Iowa and Nebraska in relation to air permitting, water permitting, remediation and various environmental compliance and enforcement matters; as well as in relation to environmental due diligence for multimillion dollar sale of the company
  • Assisted redeveloper with the purchase, remediation and redevelopment of a former manufacturing facility; provided pre-purchase due diligence, helped obtain and qualify for applicable landowner liability protections, and following sale, led negotiations and secured a confidential settlement agreement with historical insurance carriers to fund the necessary remediation of the contamination which included PCE and TCE; also developed strategy and pursued upgradient sources for contribution and cost- recovery
  • Negotiated the first “bona fide prospective purchaser” status agreement ever entered by Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) on behalf of client purchasing property with known contamination

Government Services and Finance

  • Represented a Japanese automotive supplier in a $57 million investment in an incremental facility, which created over 100 new jobs and secured up to $1.1 million in conditional tax credits and training grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation
  • Represented the largest dialysis equipment manufacturer in the world, based in Japan, to obtain the largest EDGE tax credit available under Illinois law; that incentive was a strong factor in the client locating its North American headquarters in northwestern Illinois, over a competitive package from the state of Wisconsin
  • Represented local governments in structuring an incentive package for a new automotive manufacturing plant in Indiana, involving the investment of $550 million and the creation of 2,000 jobs; despite the lack of sufficient existing infrastructure, assisted with the successful financing of all required utility and road improvements and direct incentives to the company (a total value of over $80 million), without any increase in taxes or utility rates to existing citizens
  • Represented a Japanese manufacturer in establishing an operation in Kentucky, which created 50 new jobs and involved an investment of over $19 million; helped secure up to $500,000 in performance-based incentives through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, which permitted the company to keep a portion of its investment through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting agreement targets
  • Represented a Japanese cathode material manufacturer for automotive ion lithium batteries in acquiring a $35 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to establish a new manufacturing plant in Battle Creek, Michigan
  • Representing an auto supply company in a 9-figure deal with a Michigan-based company; which involves working with the state and local governments to secure tax incentives with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and through abatements of local real property taxes

Labor & Employment

  • Represented a large international manufacturer in the transportation business; involved in more than 30 cases with employees or former employees and assisted in adopting a litigation model that resulted in the company being awarded more than $400,000 in fees, costs and damages relating to motions for sanctions, countersuits and other claims
  • Act as national labor counsel for a global steelmaker that operates manufacturing steel mills in Michigan and Arkansas and related heat treating and annealing operations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, including renegotiation of an outdated collective bargaining agreement, substantially modernizing and improving management rights and administration language, updating fringe benefits, and increasing employee participation in and responsibility for costs of healthcare; facilitating mid-term negotiations securing union agreement to curtail certain overtime and pay practices to enhance the company's ability to resume and increase operations that had been affected by the recession; and successfully managing a reduction in force (RIF), combining temporary layoffs and permanent terminations of hundreds of manufacturing, clerical, and management personnel in connection with the recession, without EEOC claims or litigation
  • Assisted a Japanese subsidiary in reaching a favorable, court-approved settlement in a putative collective action filed by nationally renowned class action specialists from three different firms in a case involving violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, specifically donning & doffing violations; with more than 4000 potential class members, national implications and high-damage potential; after effectively staying discovery and establishing a tactical proactive communication plan with employees and potential class members
  • Represented a German multinational producer of building materials and construction systems in various foreign and domestic labor and employment matters
  • Represented a UK-based global engineering and manufacturing group in U.S. labor and employment matters, including collective bargaining, labor grievances and related arbitration matters before the National Labor Relations Board and in court


  • Represented a Japanese automobile parts manufacturer and its U.S. and Canadian subsidiaries in a global investigation of possible bid-rigging and price-fixing in the sale of auto parts to automobile manufacturers, ensuring avoidance of paying any fines; U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division, the Japan Fair Trade Commission, European Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau jointly conducted a thorough internal investigation of relevant employees in the United States and Japan, for more than two years, until the DOJ closed its investigation; the DOJ has obtained more than $2.4 billion in criminal fines as part of those investigations to date
  • Obtained not guilty verdicts for clients Tokai Kogyo Ltd., and its U.S. subsidiary, Green Tokai Co. Ltd., in a federal criminal jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, following indictment for allegedly conspiring to fix the prices of automotive body sealing products sold to Honda Motor Co. Ltd in the United States,facing potential fines in the hundreds of millions of dollars;. after a month-long jury trial featuring testimony from several Japanese witnesses from Nishikawa Rubber and Honda, jury returned its verdict after less than four hours of deliberation
  • Represented a Taiwanese manufacturer of graphic cards for video games in suit against a U.S. company for breach of contract and RICO claims for nonpayment for delivered product
  • Represented a Chinese OEM of after-market automobile amplifiers in a commercial dispute brought by a U.S. distributor alleging that the Chinese OEM supplied defective products resulting in breaches of multiple contracts, governed by the United Nations Convention for the International Sale of Goods (CISG); defended client in countersuit for failure to pay a significant amount of invoices
  • Represented A-Power Energy Generations Systems, Ltd., a Chinese company, that through a reverse merger with a company from the British Virgin Islands that became publicly traded onthe NASDAQ; after being unable to successfully file its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 20-F, A-Power, its directors and its officers were sued in shareholder derivative suits and securities fraud class actions in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • Successfully represented a German manufacturer in product liability litigation relating to fire and explosion

Immigration and Global Mobility

  • Assisted a major meat-packing employer with a self-audit and a top-to-bottom revision of their I-9 policies and procedures; worked with an outside vendor to provide on-going services and periodic in-house training
  • Represented a manufacturer in coming to resolution in an ICE enforcement action, resulting in significant civil and criminal charges, to the best possible outcome for the client
  • Advised a private university, as a designated institution of higher education approved to issue F-1 international student visas, and J-1 exchange visitor visas, on immigration compliance issues according to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requirements; specifically provided guidance on individual student issues related to visa status and allowable employment authorization situations
  • Represented medical institutions affiliated with institutions of higher education to obtain H-1B cap exempt status for foreign physicians and researchers
  • Advised German companies on temporary employment-based immigration, E company registration and visa petitions
  • Advised an Austrian company on permanent, immigrant visas

Intellectual Property

  • Represented a longstanding automotive industry client in a multi-patent, multi-jurisdictional dispute; proceedings featured three infringement cases in Dusseldorf and a corresponding validity cases in Munich. The client secured prompt victories in all three infringement cases. After the client won a seven-figure jury verdict in a companion U.S. case and the verdict was affirmed by the Federal Circuit, the German proceedings were settled favorably
  • Participated in a patent infringement trial in Montreal, Canada, on issues of invalidity and infringement by preparing cross-examinations and direct examinations of witnesses and working with experts; for the prior three years, worked closely with Canadian counsel on the case, as well as on companion cases in the U.S.
  • Represent an automotive, hardware and consumer products company that sells its products in virtually every country in the world; currently managing a portfolio of more than 1,400 trademark registrations and applications in 140 countries, of which, approximately 280 are in China; partner directly with the client and foreign counsel on anti-counterfeiting matters and trademark oppositions and cancellations
  • Represented an international automobile parts manufacturing company headquartered in France handling U.S. patent preparation and prosecution needs for the worldwide automotive seating group
  • Represented German manufacturer in acquisition of patent portfolio from international company

Real Estate

  • Represented an international manufacturer of oral hygiene products in land and easement acquisitions, parcel platting, tax increment financing, construction and architect contracts preparation and negotiation and 1031 exchange
  • Served as real estate counsel for a public company in the auto salvage and auto parts businesses, handling acquisitions, sales and leasing of property across the country, which required frequent contact with municipal and county officials in connection with zoning matters
  • Represented a national bank as counsel for construction and permanent real estate loans, as well as syndicated loan transactions, for multi-family, office and retail projects in jurisdictions throughout the United States
  • Represented a hotel management company, for more than 50 years, in its development, operation, acquisition, leasing, disposition, and financing (including CMBS financing) of all of its hotels worldwide



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