International Practice Group (IPG) is an international non-profit association of independent Lawyers, Accountants, Tax Advisors and other professionals and other professionals. Our members include quality and proactive law firms, accounting firms and tax advisors all of which are dedicated to serving their international clients’ needs. A complete list of our members can be found here. You can download our brochure about our group here.
IPG members know how to join forces to best serve the needs of their clients. Here are some examples of how clients benefit from IPG:
Example 1: International expansion The provision by Turnstone of an Isle of Man trust for commercial privacy purposes, whereby the trust held shares in a UK Intellectual Property holding company, on behalf of some Italian IT entrepreneurs and in respect of which Italian, UK and US legal and tax advice was required. Other examples include the use of an Isle of Man company to hold UK commercial & residential property on behalf of UK residents, whereby the Capital Taxes Treaty between the UK and India was used to mitigate against UK Inheritance tax; and the use of an Isle of Man company to facilitate trading in heavy-equipment vehicles between the EU and the United Arab Emirates.
Example 2: Starting a business A medium size German company wishes to expand its market abroad, let’s say in France. It would probably first look for a local French based sales person to assess the targeted country, if only to make sure that there is a market. At this very early stage, the client would probably need either a work contract or a service contract to be drafted in accordance with French law and if possible, with German law too (in case of a service contract). As the laws of France offer a strong indemnity in case of termination of a trade agent contract compared to their usual experience a proper contract is essential. In addition, the complexity of such an international contract requires the assistance of a local lawyer. But what if the German company in question remains unaware in this respect? Thanks to the IPG connections of our legal members, our clients benefit highly from quick and solid advice to help them in these types of decision making processes. Moreover, when it comes to local tax compliance (such as salary slips and other formalities, declarations to local authorities) the client will obviously need a knowledgeable accountant to serve him locally. Luckily, IPG members are always able to draw from a vast network of reliable fellow members.
Further on in the process, when business at this preliminary stage has shown to be satisfactory, the German company may decide to invest more and aim for a permanent place of business in France. It will then need to decide whether to simply register a branch or set up a local company. This requires knowledge of local requirements as well as legal and tax expertise on an on-going basis. The benefits for the lawyer and/ or accountants and tax experts in Germany to be able to confer with and refer to reliable IPG professionals elsewhere are numerous. Not only will it simplify and speed up the decision making process, any unintended consequences caused by misinformation are kept to a minimum. With IPG, your clients will be able to concentrate on their business and make informed decisions on which structure will suit them best.
Example 3: Doing business in "harmonised" Europe A Dutch company wishes to contract distributors in different countries, whether in the European Union or in places such as India, Mexico or the USA. Most of the time, companies with similar plans simply use the contract drafted by their own lawyer. These provide that in any circumstances the place of the distributor will be the relevant jurisdiction and that the applicable law will be Dutch thereby ignoring the differences of laws and regulations between these countries. But just because the law has been, to a certain extent, harmonized in the States of the European Union this doesn’t necessarily mean that situations are the same in all member States. And in non-EU countries, laws and regulations vary even more. Certainly when it comes to for instance, terminating a distribution contract: many states have adopted protective measures for the distributor. Any company ignoring these differences could very well make a terrible mistake in providing Dutch law as the only applicable law. With over 83 members in Europe alone IPG offers their clients the unique possibility to assess any such situation with reliable local experts in any given country.
Example 4: International transactions Acquisition of a business abroad will of course require the technical expertise and the experience of lawyers, accountants and tax advisors. IPG members can provide all three services to help and accompany decision makers from start to finish. These services are not limited to big acquisitions. Experience shows that even acquiring a small business can be a source of problems if not undertaken with the correct professional guidance.
Example 4: Debt collections Any company providing goods or services in another country may at some point face a situation where its invoices remain unpaid. Instead of wasting time and money on useless reminders of specialized "debt recovering agencies" an IPG fellow member situated in the country where the debtor resides will provide him with the most appropriate way to recover the debt – taking into account the amount due and the budget of the client.