Cooperation of business ventures and law firms – a decisive factor of success for expansion

Prof. Dr. Michael Essig

– Professor, University in Munich –

The migration of western European business ventures and trusts, particularly those of the industry, to the eastern European and to the Asian foreign countries is being discussed in the public consistently.

Thus the quota of those business ventures which want to get engaged outside of Germany in 2007 for example rises according to the data of the DIHK from 30% in the year 1990 up to 47% by now (2007).

Parallel to this development the percentage of the value creation of German products adduced abroad has gone up from 27% in 1990 to 42% in the year of 2007, according to the German federal office of statistics. Motive forces for the western European business ventures next to the reduction of costs are mainly the opening up of new markets on location, the vicinity to the most important key customers and the opening up of innovative inventory of expertise in the sector of research & progression.

This persistent positive trend superposes a multiple of the backsourcing which has been going up since the end of the 1990s.

Studies show that the frequency of collaboration with foreign business partners depends very much on the size of enterprise: in business ventures with less than 100 employees the percentage of cooperating undertakings lies at about 37%, in such with up to 500 employees about 58% are denoted.

Also in the industrial sector comparison the allotment of cooperations differs a lot: while particularly in sectors affected by technology cooperations can be increasingly observed, the service sector and the law firms belonging to this sector could capitalize on a larger potential.

According to the data of the European committee currently only about 20% of the services within the EU are adduced transnationally. This is the case particularly for law offices as well.

Commensurate to a general rule law firms and corporations begin their internationalization process with marketing and the adjunctive services, in order to subsequently enlarge these in companies by means of acquisition and production to the point of product development.

For larger law firms and major enterprises particularly cooperations and joint-ventures as sales- and service systems are very promising, in order to overcome diseconomies of scale and to maintain the ability to compete. Numerous examples (EUCOPET, among others) from practical experience of businesses show that international cooperations for medium-sized businesses as well as larger law firms are a very profitably instrument on this path.

Even in the seemingly “boundless single European market” many medium-sized businesses find themselves in front of barriers here, which can only be resolved with external help, with information and consultancy.

Central challenges for cooperations lie in the sectors of cooperation initiation, elaboration supranational contracts, cooperation implementation, controlling of the cooperation success as well as post-contractual judicial guidance attainments.

This is exactly where the international law firms network ProJustitia supports it`s clients.