At Alston & Bird, we provide legal counsel and services on a global basis to domestic and foreign multinational clients across a broad range of industries. Our German Business Team offers remarkable experience—and efficiency—to European and other international clients. At the same time, not only does our fee structure compare favorably to that of large U.S. law firms, we are one of the few large U.S. firms actively engaged in representing the German Mittelstand (middle market) in all aspects of their business activities in the U.S.
Our clients include individuals and businesses of all sizes—from large multinational corporations to middle market companies to family enterprises—in virtually all manufacturing sectors and service industries. No other U.S. law firm represents as many clients from German-speaking Europe in such a broad collection of industries in connection with so many different areas of the law.
Our European and other international clients most frequently ask for our advice and support in these areas:
- Acquisitions, mergers and dispositions
- Business startups in the U.S.
- Employee contracts and employee benefits
- Immigration and visas
- International distribution and supply agreements
- International litigation and arbitration
- International tax planning and restructuring
- International trade and customs issues
- International wealth management
- IP licensing and protection
- Joint ventures and strategic alliances
- Product liability and warranty law
- Real estate and environmental issues
- Stock option plans
The origin of the current German Business Team at Alston & Bird traces back to Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Otto L. Walter, a licensed German lawyer who emigrated to the United States in 1938 and founded in 1955 the law firm that became known as Walter, Conston, Alexander & Green, PC. Dr. Walter’s first law partner was Henry S. Conston, a native of Dresden, who came to the United States as a youth. Dr. Walter’s firm originally specialized in giving international tax advice, and he represented the Federal Republic of Germany in the negotiation of the first postwar U.S.-German double taxation treaty. For many years Dr. Walter was co-editor of the leading German commentary on the treaty (Debatin-Walter, Handbuch zum deutsch-amerikanischen Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen). In the 1980s Walter Conston absorbed the Alexander & Green firm, founded in New York City in the 1840s, which also had an important German practice.
Over the years, Walter, Conston, Alexander & Green developed into a full-service law firm representing primarily clients from the German-speaking countries of Europe, but also English, French, Italian and other European clients, in their business affairs in the United States.
In 2001, Walter, Conston, Alexander & Green PC merged with Alston & Bird and became the firm’s New York office. The German Business Team has been continued after the merger by many of the very same lawyers who had conducted the practice within Walter Conston. Following the merger, we have been able to offer the longstanding clients of the German Business Team, as well as new clients, additional services through the capabilities of Alston & Bird in many specialty areas.