Proelium Law | The UK’s foremost legal authority on high-risk jurisdictions and specialist risk services
Please find below some commonly asked questions or persistent issues. As ever, if you cannot find the answer to the information you seek here do get in touch.
Law firms are too expensive
Proelium Law LLP is actually very reasonable for a law firm and this is for a number of reasons: you are buying niche expertise that does not exist elsewhere; we are small and lean and therefore do not have to charge huge overheads for office buildings and lots of staff; and as we speak the language you don’t waste time – and therefore money – with us.
We haven’t had a need for ‘legals’ in the past
Sadly the world is becoming increasingly litigious as it becomes more joined up but more noticeably, laws and regulations have increased exponentially. The penalty for getting it wrong now, through a poor contract or not being properly structured, can be severe. Taking legal advice is professional and provides you the best chance of success and protection.
It’s all a bit overwhelming/I find legal stuff complex and therefore I put off even dealing with it
We pride ourselves on being a law firm with a difference, and one of those differences is that we simplify complex matters and guide you through them. Us being good at what we do allows you to be good at what you do.
The legal industry has a reputation for being greedy/ The thing with solicitors is that you don’t often feel like you get value for money
It does indeed, and we do a lot to make sure that we are not typical as law firm and this is one of those things. We charge reasonable rates, but more than that we believe you get a huge amount of value from dealing with us (see the Adding Value page here).
You haven’t got the knowledge to cover everything we need
If it’s in a high-risk jurisdiction or complex environment or specialist skills we understand then we have a good chance of being able to help! Only the very large international law firms have everything in house but you pay for their size. Even then, we have some of them coming to us for advice in our areas. If there are issues we don’t understand, we use our legal network to get the advice that is needed.
I would like to set up a branch of my business in a country/region that has recently been affected by war/terrorism. Is it best to take local advice and if I do, how do I know the people I am dealing with are legitimate?
Always seek the advice of a specialist firm (such as Proelium Law LLP), who have experience of setting up businesses abroad. Going forwards connections with a locally based, trusted law firm, who can advise you further is important. Make sure your seek advice on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing issues (AML&CTF) as well as the UK Bribery Act and US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Some important matters to be aware of when thinking of setting up a business abroad:
Falling foul of sanctioned organisations or individuals or restrictions imposed on the staff who work for you as a result of sanctions;
Understand how to approach the issue of due diligence in a foreign country;
Failing to have the correct insurance in place;
Contributing inadvertently to money-laundering or the financing of terrorism;
Your assets being seized due to your business being an unlawful corporate structure;
Understanding what is the best corporate structure to have in place;
Local employment requirements;
Deciding if you should set up a branch, representative office or a head office.
Our firm has lost a shipment of goods from the Far East/Europe/US. Communications with the shipping firm are poor and my insurance company is understandably unhappy. What can you do to help?
Negotiating problems abroad can often be tricky. You need to contact a specialist law firm, such as Proelium Law LLP, who have experience of reconnaissance, asset tracking and asset recovery. They will use their international connections to trace the location of your goods before helping you to reclaim them.
One of our employees, working in our overseas office, has gone missing. We have reported it to the local police but his/her family are understandably very concerned and I’d like to do more to help. What can I do?
Contact us immediately. We will work to ensure you understand the UK Terrorism Act 2000 (for UK staff) or the Patriot Act (for US staff), both of which say that the payment of ransoms is forbidden. Ideally you should also try to establish relationships with a local, well-connected entity, who will activate their network to provide ground-truth on the situation and to facilitate the release of your employee. This is a very specialist area of the law and should be handled with extreme care and caution. Proelium Law LLP has this capability and is experienced in these matters. You should be aware of:
Extra-territorial reach of the UK Terrorism Act 2000 or the US Patriot Act;
Inadvertently funding terrorism;
Making sure you understand insurance policy requirements;
Conducting hostage release action unilaterally that compromises undeclared, official efforts.
I have some ‘low-light’ equipment for sale, I want to sell it to use for night-fishing and I’m looking for an overseas export partner. I’ve heard there could be problems with this? Can you explain?
Certain goods, that you may think are innocently used for night fishing can be used for military or intelligence applications. These could be classed as having ‘Dual Use’ and caution should be taken when selling or moving these goods abroad. You should contact a specialist law firm who can give you advice on the subject of ‘dual-use’ goods. You want to make sure you are not selling goods to sanctioned individuals or organisations; make sure you get bar-taut contracts and due diligence in place as well as robust insurance.
I am facing a ‘sensitive’ issue at home/work/abroad and need surveillance to gather more evidence. I’ve no idea where to start. Who should I approach?
Surveillance is a grey area which, while not illegal per se in most countries, has strict boundaries that need to be understood. Speak to us about this more arcane specialism within the defence and security fields. By using a law firm to manage such sensitive tasks you will ensure that you remain within the confines and spirit of the law at all times. Proelium Law LLP should be your law firm of choice for any surveillance related issues.
You should be aware of:
‘Cowboy’ investigators in the market place;
Carrying out surveillance in countries where it is strictly forbidden;
Unregulated activities that are illegal;
Poor professionalism that could prove costly and ultimately make the situation far worse.
Still have questions?
Contact us for further information
Proelium Law LLP
Proelium Law LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales No.OC411568.
Proelium Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No. 629608 (www.sra.org.uk)
VAT Registration No. 242 4002 59.