In-House Legal Teams Should Consider This When Their Companies are About to Expand Globally

Nancy Cremins
by Nancy Cremins

In-house counsel has to deal with a lot when it comes to a company’s global ambitions. Don’t try to wing it, keep this tip in mind instead.

By Nancy Cremins, General Counsel, Globalization Partners

A company’s expansion comes with myriad challenges for in-house counsel. Just when you think you have mastered the relevant legal provisions, your company hires in a new state, or Massachusetts passes the Equal Pay Law, or Washington, D.C. enacts paid parental leave, or yet another state or city adopts new paid sick leave or minimum wage standards.

When your company embarks on global expansion those challenges are compounded.

Global employment comes with infinite questions and, if done incorrectly, with expensive penalties. To mitigate these challenges and avoid legal penalties, an organization’s general counsel/in-house legal team should keep this concept in mind so that managing the process becomes as simple and efficient as possible.

Do (all) the research

Once you are aware that your company intends to hire in a new country, your next step is to do the proper research to get baseline information about the employment laws in your anticipated country of hire.

Both lawyers and HR executives have access to resource materials that will provide guidance as you think about where and how you retain global talent. For example, many HR professionals and some employment lawyers belong to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which has a section of its site dedicated to global HR.

Also, for those in-house lawyers who are members of the Association of Corporate Counsel, the ACC offers a robust resource for international legal affairs.

Practical Law, Bloomberg Law, Mondaq and other online resources and newsletters will also provide some guidance on your legal requirements when hiring internationally.

Other online resources are also available, including Globalization Partners’ CountryPedia and numerous law firm blogs, which provide an overview of relevant issues to consider when hiring in a specific country.

Of course, once your company is an employer in a given country, you are obligated to keep up with changes in local employment laws. Make sure you sign up to receive alerts from these online resources (and from your local counsel) so you are contemporaneously informed of any relevant changes.

Read this blog post for another great global expansion tip for in-house counsel. If you know you’ll need help with an international expansion give us a call at 617-340-3023 or contact us here.

Nancy Cremins

Nancy Cremins

Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel,

Nancy Cremins joined Globalization Partners in April 2016. Nancy is known as one of Boston’s top lawyers for startups and entrepreneurial ventures, having been named as a Top 50 Women in Law, one of Boston’s “40 Under 40,” and “Fifty on Fire.” Prior to joining Globalization Partners, Nancy got extensive experience in the areas of employment law and conflict resolution over the past 10 years at notable firms such as Gesmer Updegrove LLP and Robinson & Cole LLP.