Business Law

International Trade and Supply Chain

For many companies that have a global supply chain, the delay in the delivery of a critical part or component can cause significant problems in the production process. In many cases, when the critical part is delayed, it seems like the whole operation grinds to a screeching halt. By contrast, having a supply chain that runs smoothly can significantly improve your company’s cost efficiency and mitigate risks.

Whether a company is establishing an important relationship with a new supplier, seizing a relevant business opportunity, or introducing new technology or policies into its corporate culture, the terms set with vendors, customers and subcontractors must be consistent with the mechanics of the entire chain. Achieving this result can be difficult in light of the fact that in many cases, the terms of these agreements are becoming increasingly more global, critical and complex.

World-class supply chain management mandates the ability to understand and comply with cross-border legal requirements and to properly document and record the allocation of responsibilities and risks of the parties. Quarles & Brady has adopted a team approach to advising our clients on supply chain matters to include lawyers who bring the depth of experience and the business acumen necessary for analyzing and understanding the details underlying these sophisticated commercial relationships. By adopting this team approach, we swiftly address the many difficult issues that supply chain teams confront, quickly reconcile these diverse interests and provide legal support to our clients in achieving their goals in such a challenging environment.

Our International Trade and Supply Chain Practice Team advises clients on each stage of the supply chain product life cycle and includes lawyers with significant experience in

  • Process planning;
  • Contract drafting and negotiation, including the development of standard terms and conditions;
  • Assisting with closing procedures;
  • Supplier relationship management (supplier due diligence, on-boarding, training and termination);
  • Sale and after sale management; and
  • Implementing and monitoring regulatory compliance (including supply chain transparency, anti-corruption, trade sanctions, bans and embargoes).

The International Trade and Supply Chain Team also helps clients manage the multifaceted regulations associated with a global marketplace. Members of our team have advised clients through many of the challenging issues related to anti-bribery (FCPA, U.K. Bribery Act, Brazilian Clean Companies Act and Mexican GLAR), economic sanctions (OFAC and EU Regulations), exports (ITAR; BIS and EAR) and anti-boycott regulations (OAC and Treasury).

One of the core issues of focus for the International Trade and Supply Chain Practice Team is to simplify the complex supply chain and trade requirements so our clients can focus on growing their businesses. We work closely with our clients’ in-house counsel and supply chain management teams across various industries, including commercial and industrial products, healthcare, retail, and food and beverage.

Our lawyers have been involved in dealing with the following matters:

  • Independent sales and international sales agents' relationships.
  • Technology, outsourcing and in-sourcing, intellectual property development and licensing agreements.
  • Procurement and supply chain contracts, including manufacturing, distribution and reseller arrangements, both domestic and cross-border.
  • Sophisticated exclusive arrangements, including requirements contracts (sole source); output contracts (sole user); and min/max arrangements.
  • Marketing, advertising, sponsorship, promotion and co-branding arrangements.
  • Development and implementation of vendor risk management programs, including the development of policies and procedures, prioritization strategies and conducting risk assessments.
  • Development and implementation of comprehensive compliance policies and related training (including anti-corruption advice and training under both the FCPA and the U.K. Bribery Act).
  • Development and implementation of Supplier Codes of Conduct and related training and assessments.
  • Development and implementation of trade compliance policies and related trainings and assessments including OFAC economic sanctions and export controls (ITAR and EAR) compliance policies.
  • Global risk management, including supply chain transparency advice and assessments.
  • Counseling clients on Country of Origin designations and certifications
  • Logistics, warehousing and fleet management arrangements.
  • Confidentiality (e.g. non-disclosure and non-use).
  • Management of third parties (customs clearance, consultants).
  • Counseling clients regarding acquisitions by foreign purchasers that may require disclosures with The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”) and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”).
  • Advising domestic and foreign targets, including conducting due diligence to assess the risk of successor liability for past violation.
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