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VWV International lawyers

International Law

How Can We Help You?

Our international lawyers can provide you with support on a wide range of topics, including:

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Business Law Advice for International Clients

As the fifth largest economy in the world, the UK is an important investment location for overseas investors. In spite of Brexit, the UK also remains an important gateway for doing business in Europe.

VWV has a long track record of advising overseas clients buying businesses and other commercial assets in the UK, across a wide range of sectors. The firm also has geographical reach across the UK through our offices, which gives us important local knowledge to help your decision making.

A key part of our role is helping you understand any legal and cultural differences in UK acquisitions and disposals, compared with your home market. In addition, many contracts between parties from different legal jurisdictions are negotiated under English law, we often advise on these, working with your advisers in other countries to help complete the deal.

Trade Marks and Branding

At VWV, we frequently advise clients on international trade mark matters, helping clients to protect, enforce and license their trade mark rights around the world. We also routinely provide international portfolio management services.

The team uses our extensive knowledge of trade mark law, and network of trusted international agents, to secure the most cost-effective route to obtaining international trade mark protection for you.

Trade Mark Rights

Trade mark rights are territorial. Trade mark registrations can only be enforced in the territory in which they are registered. Unregistered trade mark rights, which are built up through use, are only enforceable in the territory in which the unregistered trade mark has been used.

You may have used your business name in the UK for over 50 years, and have built up a strong reputation during that time, but these unregistered trade mark rights would be useless against a third party using an identical name in, say, China or the Middle East.

Our expertise in this area means that we are ideally placed to advise you on the legal nuances in different territories, and the pitfalls to avoid.

We act for many international brand owners such as World Sailing, Beyond The Bean Limited and Malvern College.


At VWV, we have an experienced and knowledgeable Immigration team who act for many corporate clients and high net worth individuals, so you can be sure you are in safe hands.

The team can assist and advise clients in all areas of immigration law.

Corporate Immigration work includes:

  • Compliance audits and training
  • Points Based System (PBS) applications for initial entry clearance and to extend leave under Tiers 2 and 5 including all of the sub categories - Tier 2, for instance, (General, Intra Company Transfers (ICT)) Tier 5 including (Youth Mobility; Charity workers;)
  • Overseas Representatives

Individual immigration work includes:

  • Applications under PBS in Tier1, Entrepreneurs and Investors
  • UK Ancestry
  • EEA family members
  • Dependent relatives
  • Spousal/civil partner applications
  • British citizenship applications

International Franchising

At VWV, we have advised on numerous international franchising projects in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar, Pakistan, Europe and others globally. Each project is unique. For example, each depends on the priorities of different UK schools, different regulatory regimes in different countries, different financial structures and different project structures.

We also have a network of lawyers overseas who can advise on local regulatory issues, and we have a dual qualified solicitor/registered trade mark attorney who can help protect school names and crests in jurisdictions throughout the world.

We have developed a BIS international supplement in partnership with TES Prime, a special guide to help UK independent schools prepare for setting up a British school overseas.

Competition Law

VWV has a specialist team advising on the procurement and state aid aspects of competition law. Our award-winning international team has a wealth of experience advising bidders, procuring authorities, universities and others on the application of procurement and state aid legislation. We advise on the terms of UK and European grant funding arrangements, and navigate through the state aid aspects of those arrangements.

Our lawyers have access to an international network of other expert advisers, where advice is needed on any wider aspects of competition law, including across Europe through our memberships of the Association of European Lawyers and Eurojuris. This means that we can ensure that you have access to genuine experts, with whom we have an established track record of working as a seamless integrated team.

Real Estate and Construction

The Real Estate and Construction team can provide international clients with:

  • Investment residential purchases and sales. Particular expertise in new build multiple off plan purchases and high value prime Central London units.
  • Leasehold enfranchisement and advisory services. We have a team of specialists who have expertise in securing lease extensions for high end properties.
  • Advice in connection with disputes over rent arrears and service charge issues and disputes with freeholders.
  • Investment purchases and sales of various commercial properties including retail shops/units, offices, industrial estates, hotels/leisure facilities
  • Development planning and construction. We have expertise in transactions involving site acquisition, planning, development of the site and the eventual sale or letting of the scheme.
  • Financing and refinancing of all property investments.
  • Management of your property portfolio, including dealing with lettings, assignments, breaches and investment protection.
  • Property tax expertise to ensure a tax efficient structure to the property investment, with wider Wealth Management tax advice to suit individual circumstances.
  • Setting up and dealing with off-shore structures where properties are held on trust.
  • Assisting foreign based litigants in proceedings conducted in the High Court of Justice in London.
  • Conducting commercial arbitrations for foreign parties In London or abroad, dependent upon the seat of the arbitration reference.
  • Drafting and preparing international contracts by the use of the FIDIC or NEC3 standard forms.

Tax Advice for International Clients

The UK has always been an attractive country for international clients to acquire assets and to live. Across our offices, and in London and the South East especially given London's international status, we assist international clients; individuals, families and businesses, in understanding the UK tax implications of acquiring UK property and business assets.

We are used to working closely with your other advisers around the world to help you structure your personal and business affairs in the most efficient and appropriate way. There has been a lot of UK tax reform in recent years, both in personal taxation (now much less benign for non-domiciled and non-resident individuals) and corporate tax (corporation tax rates are now low by comparison with other European jurisdictions).

We can guide you through the new regime and other changes on the horizon.

Private Wealth

In the Private Wealth arena the VWV international offering centres mainly on cross border estate planning for UK domiciled clients who have assets located in other jurisdictions, or non UK domiciled nationals who want to purchase property or other assets in the UK, and who need to put in place the appropriate structures to protect the assets.

We can therefore advise you on inheritance and capital gains tax and trust structures.

VWV works closely with other wealth professionals located offshore, with a view to acquiring, managing or disposing of assets. These might be fund managers, professional trust companies, tax advisers or lawyers in other jurisdictions. So you can be sure that all of your legal needs will be taken care of and coordinated on your behalf.

The Private Wealth team deal with estate administration on death where the deceased has held assets in different locations overseas and where it is necessary to get grants of probate in other jurisdictions. Coming out of the estate, there may be issues for the beneficiaries if they are situated overseas and are subject to different tax regimes.

When a non-domiciled individual purchases property in the UK, they will require a Will and tax advice in the UK because the law of their own jurisdiction will not usually be relevant in disposing of real estate in this country.

VWV has experience in advising on matters of domicile - a complex issue which will determine which system of law would apply to your affairs. If you are thinking of leaving the UK to become permanently domiciled in a foreign jurisdiction, we would advise on the best way to sever interest with the UK in a tax efficient manner.

Our Matrimonial partner Samantha Hickman has acted in a number of divorces for high net worth individuals with international assets in Dubai, Australia, Singapore, China and the Sudan and can advise on pre nuptial agreements for those with offshore assets.

Our specialist Contentious Probate team also advise on cross border disputes involving Wills and estates.

For more information on how our international lawyers can help you, please contact David Emanuel on +44 20 7665 0848.

I really would like to highlight the great work done by Rowena. She has put a lot of energy on a deal that was supposed to be straight-forward but happened to be complicated and painful. She has protected our interests well, has shared clearly the progress on the deal and managed to explain clearly to me the hot topics (knowing that the fact I am French and not that familiar with UK law has increased the difficulty).

We used to work with another solicitor for our previous deals, and I could really feel the difference this time.

  • International client

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Meet the Team

Our international lawyers provide specialist legal advice and support with inward investment, international export and import.

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David Emanuel - International & Corporate Lawyer in London - VWV Law Firm
Richard Phillips - Partner & Corporate Lawyer in Watford - VWV Law Firm

Mergers & Acquisitions 

Corporate Finance

Banking Law

Doug Locke - Partner & Intellectual Property Lawyer - VWV Law Firm

Intellectual Property


Commercial Law