Emerging and frontier markets law - an option?

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Mountain King

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Emerging and frontier markets law - an option?

Postby Mountain King » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:18 am

Hello Everyone -

I am looking to expand my knowledge of opportunities in emerging and frontier markets prior to my decision to go to law school. I currently work for a real estate firm that does a good amount of cross-border business into Mexico, and finding a way to focus on the field (whether in LatAm, Africa, Asia, eastern Europe, etc) in the future would be a definite goal for me.

Let me preface this by saying I am aware of all the doe-eyed "I want to be an international lawyer" threads on here. I am specifically interested in looking into a career advising in cross-border transactions, or helping companies from the USA/elsewhere do business in emerging and frontier markets; navigating the risks of corruption, graft, crime, instability, political uncertainty, trade and taxation issues, etc. I am aware that a lot of the big firms do international work which is just the same as "domestic" transactional/lit but in a different place, so I hope my questions won't cause anyone to repeat themselves on these boards!

I see that a handful of major east coast law firms list cross-border transactions on their practice pages, and a bunch of random smaller shops do appear to lend at least some attention to emerging and frontier markets. First of all, I know very little about actual cross-border law and can't find much on careers in the field, here or elsewhere. Any info there would be very appreciated! Beyond that, I am curious if this is the sort of thing that a law degree could lead to, or if the people who do it are one-off partner-level experts with well-established networks, doing work in emerging/frontier markets as it comes up. Not that that isn't an impossible goal, but maybe not realistic for the medium term.

Thanks a lot in advance. I appreciate any input and conversation.

SFSpartan

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Re: Emerging and frontier markets law - an option?

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:26 am

navigating the risks of corruption, graft, crime, instability, political uncertainty, trade and taxation issues, etc.


I don't think emerging markets law really exists in the form you've set up above. Most big firms that do cross-border transactional work are really just doing deals where some material portion of the deal is taking place abroad (i.e. LatAm O&G deals, cross border M&A, etc.). Obviously, tax and litigation are going to be a little bit different, as there are a small number of lawyers that specialize in international tax (though you generally have to be barred in the county(ies) you are practicing in for that), or FCPA work.

For transactional law, I'd bet that if you drill down into the profiles of those emerging markets partners you mentioned, most are really just M&A, O&G, or cap markets lawyers that do some cross border deals in a specific region as part of their practice.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Emerging and frontier markets law - an option?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:32 am

SFSpartan wrote:
navigating the risks of corruption, graft, crime, instability, political uncertainty, trade and taxation issues, etc.


I don't think emerging markets law really exists in the form you've set up above. Most big firms that do cross-border transactional work are really just doing deals where some material portion of the deal is taking place abroad (i.e. LatAm O&G deals, cross border M&A, etc.). Obviously, tax and litigation are going to be a little bit different, as there are a small number of lawyers that specialize in international tax (though you generally have to be barred in the county(ies) you are practicing in for that), or FCPA work.

For transactional law, I'd bet that if you drill down into the profiles of those emerging markets partners you mentioned, most are really just M&A, O&G, or cap markets lawyers that do some cross border deals in a specific region as part of their practice.


On top of this, deals will have local counsel because they’re actually familiar with those local issues and have their boots on the ground.

SFSpartan

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Re: Emerging and frontier markets law - an option?

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:42 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
SFSpartan wrote:
navigating the risks of corruption, graft, crime, instability, political uncertainty, trade and taxation issues, etc.


I don't think emerging markets law really exists in the form you've set up above. Most big firms that do cross-border transactional work are really just doing deals where some material portion of the deal is taking place abroad (i.e. LatAm O&G deals, cross border M&A, etc.). Obviously, tax and litigation are going to be a little bit different, as there are a small number of lawyers that specialize in international tax (though you generally have to be barred in the county(ies) you are practicing in for that), or FCPA work.

For transactional law, I'd bet that if you drill down into the profiles of those emerging markets partners you mentioned, most are really just M&A, O&G, or cap markets lawyers that do some cross border deals in a specific region as part of their practice.


On top of this, deals will have local counsel because they’re actually familiar with those local issues and have their boots on the ground.


Also true - bottom line is that this type of law doesn't exist as OP envisions it.



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