The ideal hire for an overseas legal assignment has a deep understanding of both the local legal, regulatory and cultural environment and the demands U.S. law puts on corporations. He or she is not only a top-notch lawyer, but also works well with business people. At the same time, this lawyer recognizes that the client is the corporation, not the local executives. Fluent in both the local language and English, this person has the confidence to work independently and the teamwork skills to be part of a bigger network.
The complexities of communicating with staff members halfway around the globe hit home for Target Corp. Senior Counsel Jeffrey Proulx when he was conducting a performance review by phone with one of the company's seven India-based legal professionals. It was more difficult than an in-person review at headquarters.
Even with a carefully built structure and multiple communication channels, aligning attorneys dispersed throughout the world around common goals and objectives requires a special effort.