Representing German And Other Foreign Companies In Business Litigation/Arbitration
The American legal system has some important practice differences from European country systems that can significantly benefit foreign companies who may wish to pursue their legal rights under the U.S. legal system.
First, for example, fully contingent, percentage-of-the-recovery attorneys’ fee arrangements often are not permitted in Europe. The U.S. system, however, permits lawyers to represent clients on a fully contingent basis and be paid a percentage of their clients’ recoveries if their matters are successful. This means that clients do not pay any attorney fees unless they are successful in recovering their losses from the opposing party. Full or partial contingent fee arrangements help align a lawyer’s interests with those of their client by balancing the risks and potential rewards to each. Unlike lawyers paid strictly by the hour, contingent lawyers are not incentivized to drag out the process to earn more hourly fees.
This is important when litigating in the U.S. which can be far more costly than litigating in Europe. Unlike European legal systems, the U.S. civil legal system involves a process known as “discovery” whereby attorneys for each side of a dispute, instead of a judge, gather documentary evidence and witness testimony supporting their opposing positions. This process occurs over an extended time period and often results in discovery disputes, involving extensive motion practice, briefing and court appearances. This can be very expensive when paying attorneys by the hour.
Because of high operating overhead costs and internal ownership structures, most U.S. and international law firms do not take litigation cases on a fully contingent basis. Consequently, these types of arrangements are left to smaller, specialty, business litigation law firms like Evangelista Worley, LLC.
Second, unlike in the U.S., European legal systems often have a “loser pays” rule, such that the loser in a legal dispute also must pay the legal expenses of the winner. This makes business litigation in Europe potentially more risky for parties who have been wronged, and may discourage a plaintiff from asserting their legal rights given the risks. By contrast, in the U.S., each party in litigation typically pays its own attorney fees and expenses, regardless of whether that party wins. While there are a number of exceptions to this rule, a losing party often does not have to pay the winner’s legal fees.
Evangelista Worley, LLC specializes in complex business litigation, involving fraud, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract claims. When representing plaintiffs, we often take cases on a full or partial contingency basis and can represent foreign companies in U.S. litigation.
Third, language can always be a barrier to effective representation in the U.S. Our lawyers are proficient in German and understand the differences between the U.S. and German legal systems.
During her legal studies, Ms. McGregor interned with a German law firm in Cologne, Germany, attending proceedings in German courts and learning firsthand how the German judicial process functions. She has litigated large complex cases involving German companies, including gathering evidence in Germany for litigation pending in the U.S. James Evangelista also has knowledge of the German language and years of litigation experience representing clients in complex commercial cases. Our attorneys are able to represent German and other foreign clients in complex or commercial disputes, not just in the state of Georgia but throughout the U.S as well.