Practice Areas: China Practice

Overview

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CHINESE-AMERICAN BUSINESS COMMUNITY

Establishing, managing, and growing a business in the United States can be challenging, especially when the founders, officers or managers are not native English speakers and have immigrated from another country.  With a focus on tailored and responsive representation, the attorneys of Hall Booth Smith, P.C.offer unique knowledge of the legal landscape facing Chinese-American businesses in the Southeastern United States, as well as a keen understanding of the challenges facing the Chinese-American Business Community.  We partner with our clients to provide personalized and efficient legal solutions built around the client's business objectives and growth targets.

Hall Booth Smith, P.C. has Mandarin speakers on staff, as well as an attorney who practiced law in China for several years.  These team members allow Hall Booth Smith, P.C. to better assist Chinese-American business owners with understanding the complex Federal, State and Local statutory and regulatory schemes that impact their businesses.

With more than thirty practice groups serving over a dozen industries, Hall Booth Smithis a full-service law firm representing clients of all shapes and sizes throughout the Southeastern United States.  Our motto and promise: "Serving to Achieve Excellence".

Business Litigation

The attorneys at Hall Booth Smith, P.C. have the skill and experience to handle business disputes of all sizes and nature.  From complex contract litigation with another business entity to internal governance matters involving officer and director duties and shareholder disputes, we work with our clients to help them achieve their strategic objectives.  We recognize that our clients' time is best spent in board rooms and customers, rather than in the court room.  We are prepared to handle complex business and commercial disputes before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, as well as alternative dispute venues such as arbitration and mediation.

Corporate and Partnership

The Corporate and Partnership Group advises clients on the formation, operation, liquidation, merger, purchase, reorganization and sale of business entities, as well as day-to-day operational  issues.  This includes the selection of the best form of entity from a tax, liability, and operational standpoint and entity formation. We also offer continued representation on matters such as employment agreements, buy-sell agreements, contracts, leases, retirement plans and other matters related to the operation of a business. Particular emphasis is placed on choice of entity considerations as they relate to asset protection, liability planning, taxation and operational concerns. Members of this group also work closely with the Estate Planning and Taxation Groups on the formation and operation of nonprofit corporations and private foundations.

Employment

The Employment Practices Group helps clients avoid, resolve and prevail in employee disputes involving the full range of employment and labor issues and has extensive trial experience in state and federal courts nationwide litigating individual and large class actions involving the full range of employment claims including:

  • Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
  • Accommodation
  • Wage and Hour
  • FMLA
  • USERRA
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Equal Pay
  • WARN
  • HIPAA
  • Data and Confidential Information Protection
  • ERISA Benefits
  • Restrictive Covenants 
  • Trade Secrets
  • Employee Handbook and Company Policy
  • Breach of Contract
  • State Torts
  • Unemployment

Immigration

Hall Booth Smith has extensive experience handling a wide variety of business and family-based immigration concerns. We offer seamless, effective global immigration strategies, prepare and review all types of immigration-related documents, advise on immigration issues in the context of corporate transactional matters and assist with audits, investigations and hearings.

Our lawyers have represented clients before the U.S. Congress and federal regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of State and the Department of Labor. Fluent in several languages, including German, French and Bengali, we are able to assist many of our clients in their native language, and our staff who speak Mandarin are able to assist our Chinese clients.

Our attorneys work closely with businesses to determine the most appropriate visa category and strategy based on both long- and short-term goals. We have advised on immigration status for corporate executives, managers, professionals and other employees in virtually every visa category, including:

  • H-1B (professionals in specialty occupation)
  • H-2B (temporary or seasonal employees)
  • H-3 (trainee)
  • L-1 (intracompany transfers)
  • E-1, E-2 (treaty traders and investors)
  • J-1 (physicians, teachers, scholars, interns, au pairs)
  • F-1 (student) including Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • TN (professionals from Canada or Mexico under NAFTA)
  • B-1/B-2 (business visitors, tourists)
  • P (athletes, artists and entertainers)
  • O (individuals with extraordinary ability or achievements)
  • Q (cultural exchange visitors).
  • Permanent residency (green cards) based on employment, including labor certification(PERM).
  • EB-5 Investment Based Green Cards

Our lawyers also assist with due diligence investigations, resolving immigration-related issues in the context of corporate reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, and maintaining post-transaction work authorizations of foreign personnel.

Our Immigration Practice Group also assists individuals and families, and handles a wide array of matters such as:

  • Spousal Immigrant Petitions
  • Immigrant Petitions for Relatives of U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents
  • Permanent Resident Applications based on Family Relationships
  • Adjustment of Status and Immigrant Visa Applications
  • Naturalization Applications
  • VAWA-Violence Against Women Act Petitions
  • K-1/K-3 (Fiancé/Fiancée) Visas
  • Conditional Residency Waivers
  • Waivers of Inadmissibility
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Intellectual Property

The Intellectual Property (IP) Practice Group of Hall Booth Smith, P.C. works with businesses to help preserve, protect and actualize their intellectual and technological property. The IP Practice Group is divided into a Transactional and a Litigation Section. What makes our practice group unique from other firms around the country is that our two sections and our lawyers within each section are constantly working together seamlessly to handle our clients’ intellectual property and technology matters. We provide a complete array of services to our clients for all their IP Law needs including: Copyright, Trademark, and Technology.

Real Estate

Real estate transactions can be complex, with land use, zoning and financing issues affecting even a simple property sale. At Hall Booth Smith P.C., we can guide you through these complexities to help you understand these transactions. Our real estate practice group closes commercial and residential transactions representing both buyers and sellers, individuals and institutional clients – handling contracts and purchases of all types and sizes.

Tax

The attorneys at Hall Booth Smith, P.C. can help you minimize your tax liabilities and avoid costly problems in the future. We can review your potential tax savings in various areas, including income tax, sales tax, and fuel taxes. Effective tax planning can involve dozens of techniques applied at once with the goal of structuring one's affairs in order to avoid the imposition of taxes. Comprehensive tax planning is not limited to one particular type of tax; it includes addressing all taxes that apply to a particular business.

Our attorneys have consulted with numerous companies and entrepreneurs during every stage of their business venture to ensure they are not only in compliance with current tax laws but that they are also minimizing their tax risk in every market where they do business. Our attorneys are knowledgeable about foreign tax laws and can provide advice for U.S. nationals doing business abroad as well as foreign nationals doing business in the U.S.

Transactional

Navigating ongoing business issues and addressing complex enterprise challenges are a critical part of any company’s daily concern. The attorneys of the Transactional Practice Group at Hall Booth Smith, P.C. have the experience you need, gained from years of representing companies in a broad range of transactional matters. Serving as a partner for our client’s needs and goals, we have represented large, international corporations and small startup companies with important business transactions for more than twenty years.

The firm has joined with international business consultants MWA Global Business Partners to assist small and medium sized businesses identify and develop opportunities in emerging and developing markets.  HBS and MWA Global Business Partners will create a unique combination of skills, expertise, and international reach to fill a current market need and provide an experience base to benefit domestic and international clients.  Our attorneys have exceptional skill and expertise in corporate law.  Representing a diverse range of clients, we are able to deliver effective and strategic representation.

Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, & Administration

Our Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning & Administration practice group offers counsel and advice in the full range of planning for and administration of death and disability events.

On the planning side, we help individuals craft estate plans that address their unique needs, with wills and trusts being only two of a broad range of tools that may be employed to that end.On the administration side, we represent beneficiaries, heirs, and fiduciaries (including corporate fiduciaries) in all the myriad issues that arise, including asset disposition and distribution, funding, tax issues and elections, joint and partial ownership issues, and disputes among and between beneficiaries and fiduciaries.

We have extensive litigation experience, and while resolution outside that arena is always preferable (especially where family relationships are involved), we are prepared to pursue judicial resolution in those cases where it is the best, or only, option. We firmly believe that legal representation in this arena must be focused on the specific persons involved and the issues that are important to them.