International Trade & Supply Chain Management

Benesch is nationally preeminent in bringing expertise, innovation, and pragmatism to domestic and global supply chains.  We are one of the few law firms in the country that represent and advise all industrial participants in global supply chains, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, warehouse operators, freight forwarders, customs brokers, and carriers of all modes and kinds of freight.  We understand that effective trade compliance and creative supply chain management strategies are a key market differentiator and a competitive advantage – for our clients as well as our practice.

Our team appreciates the high-profile and high-impact nature of international trade and supply chain management, both in terms of the potential for supply chain interruption as well as the potential for significant criminal fines, civil penalties, and negative publicity.  We “get it” because so many members of our team come from industry as former in-house counsel, operators, and senior executives from many transportation, logistics, warehousing, distribution, and supply chain management companies.  In fact, one of our attorneys represented industry during the initial NAFTA negotiations and another attorney is both a licensed U.S. Customs Broker and an appointee to a District Export Council from the U.S. Commerce Secretary.  We have also held leadership roles in various supply chain trade associations.  This breadth and depth of expertise means that there are very few trade and supply chain related questions that are new to us.

We work closely with in-house counsel, together with their compliance and operations management colleagues, to maximize the value of our seat at the table.  We see ourselves as solutions providers working with you on your challenges and opportunities.  We believe it is critical for legal counsel in the current economic environment to operate efficiently with leading-edge performance just as you expect from the supply chain you and your trading partners rely upon.

International Trade

We are experienced in all nature of international and cross-border issues that arise in modern global supply chains including import compliance, export controls, and economic sanctions.  We take the lead in clearly answering ad hoc compliance questions.  We develop tailored compliance programs and operational procedures that align business and risk management perspectives.  Of course, sometimes international opportunities do not proceed as planned.  We provide confident guidance and effective representation during enforcement actions, regulatory audits, voluntary disclosures, and in defense of seizures, fines, penalties, forfeitures, and liquidated damages actions.  We are well versed in regulatory matters involving U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Department of Commerce (BIS / EAR), the U.S. Department of State (DDTC / ITAR), and the U.S. Department of Treasury (OFAC). 

Supply Chain Management

We assist clients in developing and operating all manner of domestic and global supply chains across a wide range of industries.  We create and negotiate contractual relationships with suppliers, distributors, sales agents, service providers, technology providers, licensors and licensees, and customers.  We creatively structure those relationships as well as the financing, title shifts, inventory management strategies, information technology, insurance coverage requirements, commercial risks and legal liabilities that are part-and-parcel with top global supply chains.  We provide insightful counsel regarding global inbound freight flows, outbound traffic, warehousing and distribution networks, final mile delivery, and reverse logistics.  When interruptions or disputes occur, we leverage our deep knowledge of industry best practices and our savvy for pragmatic cost-effective litigation to efficiently resolve those impediments to continued success in achieving enterprise goals and objectives.