Haynes and Boone Forms Iraq Transactions and Claims Practice to Guide Business in Post-War Iraq's Emerging Markets

May 22, 2003

Legal Task Force Leverages Expertise in International Law and Developing Business in Countries in Transition

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Ginger Starr
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DALLAS - Haynes and Boone, LLP, an international corporate law firm, recently announced the formation of its Iraq Transactions and Claims Practice Group, built to assist clients in securing business opportunities in the risky and uncertain markets emerging in Iraq. The firm will leverage its attorneys' expertise in working with countries in transition, its excellent governmental contacts, and the firm's extensive knowledge and experience of establishing a viable business presence in the international arena.

For the first time in twelve years, U.S. and U.N. sanctions may be lifted permitting foreign companies to enter and conduct business in Iraq. Haynes and Boone's Iraq Transactions and Claims Practice Group stands ready to assist clients in navigating their way through all legal and regulatory barriers involved in securing Iraqi commercial and governmental contracts and resolving conflicts over claims.

"As of today it has not been determined what laws will be applicable to the new Iraq," said Doug Stinemetz, Partner, Haynes and Boone, LLP. "That is why it is absolutely essential for companies wanting to secure business opportunities in Iraq to have legal counsel in place who can not only provide expertise on all aspects of international business, but can also expedite the process of negotiating governmental contracts and services. More importantly, companies should look for counsel with the ability to anticipate and plan for the new opportunities that will arise as the country continues to rebuild and define itself."

The firm has created a strategic team of attorneys that include transactional practitioners who are available not only to structure and document international projects in Iraq, but also to travel to the host country to negotiate and close deals. The team also consists of finance attorneys who are experienced in project finance and other forms of specialized international credit facilities required for the new Iraq, and international trade attorneys who currently are assisting clients overcome the continuing restrictions on trade and investment in Iraq, and are working closely with U.S. government agencies that are directing many of the initial projects in Iraq. The team also includes international claims lawyers who are well acquainted with litigating commercial, tort, and international law claims in arbitrations and courts world-wide, such as are likely to arise from the change in the Saddam Hussein regime. Attorneys participating in the group have over twenty-five years' experience working with U.S. and foreign companies on post-regime change disputes, including prosecuting claims before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in the 1980's, and others have extensive experience in business transactions in several near-east countries in transition.

"One of the key issues facing Iraq's new regime is whether it will honor the obligations and contracts of the Saddam Hussein government," said Ken Reisenfeld, Partner, Haynes and Boone, and Vice Chair, ABA Section of International Law & Practice. "Many foreign companies operating in Iraq under the Hussein regime are now facing an uncertain future which will likely cause a wave of international commercial disputes."

The attorneys on the Haynes and Boone Iraq Transactions and Claims Practice Group, by way of example, have worked on the following types of projects related to Iraq:

  • Advise on U.S. and U.N. sanctions issues and obtaining the necessary approvals for the commencement of business in Iraq.

  • Review and analysis of effectiveness of production sharing agreements and related oilfield service contracts predating the change in regime, and possible claims related thereto.

  • Advise on the positioning of U.S. and other companies for commencement of business in Iraq, including obtaining strategic intelligence on current conduct of business in Iraq.

  • Assistance in formation of investment groups and/or investment vehicles for conduct of offshore business in Iraq.

Haynes and Boone has a particular focus on the energy industry in Iraq and is fully conversant with all major forms of agreements for exploration and production of petroleum internationally, their financing and the resolution of claims arising within the petroleum industry worldwide. The firm is also active in the construction and telecommunications sectors in transitional economies, and provides related legal support for its Iraq practice in the following areas: international oil and gas, energy finance and project finance, oilfield services, international acquisition and securities, export controls and sanctions, international arbitration and claims, governmental service and contracts, international regulatory compliance programs and enforcement actions (FCPA and antiboycott), and environmental expertise.

Haynes and Boone, LLP is an international corporate law firm with nine offices throughout Texas, Washington, D.C. and Mexico City providing a full spectrum of legal services to clients around the world. With more than 425 attorneys, Haynes and Boone is ranked among the largest law firms in the nation by National Law Journal. AmLaw Tech Magazine Scoreboard ranked Haynes and Boone first in law firm technology in 2001. The firm has been recognized as one of the 25 "Best U.S. Law Firms at Which to Work" (Of Counsel 2000) as one of the "Best Corporate Law Firms in America" (Corporate Board Member Magazine, 2002), and for its commitment to diversity by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's 2002 Thomas L. Sager Award.

Media Contacts

Nathan Koppel
Director of Media Relations
+1 512.867.8431
nathan.koppel@haynesboone.com
Linda Campbell
Communications Manager
+1 214.651.5362
linda.campbell@haynesboone.com

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