Elizabeth Gibbes leads Parker Poe’s International Business Practice, helping to coordinate how the firm serves clients around the world. She understands the needs of international companies like few attorneys in the Carolinas. As a dual-national of German descent, her clients benefit from legal counsel that considers their cultural perspectives and values along with their business and legal needs. Elizabeth counsels foreign-owned companies that include those in the manufacturing, distribution, and commercial sales industries on immigration and corporate matters, serving as outside “general counsel” or assisting with specific legal issues as they arise.
For many international companies interested in doing business in the U.S., the first question is often, “How do I start operating in the United States?” Elizabeth's broad knowledge of corporate law helps investors answer some of the initial –and most critical – legal questions, such as the type of entity that should be established and how it would interact with the parent company or affiliate. While Europe's civil code can provide a substantial amount of legal protection, this foundation often isn't the case in the U.S. Elizabeth helps her clients ensure that their organizational documents and commercial contracts address the issues particular to their industry and market. These documents include intercompany agreements, supply chain commercial documentation, terms and conditions, and commercial transaction contracts. She also handles corporate transactions, including leases and asset/stock acquisitions or dispositions.
A secondary question that impacts inbound foreign-based companies is: “How do I get my executive and management team there?” Elizabeth also helps companies throughout the world secure temporary or permanent employment authorization for their workforce in the United States. As she guides clients through the immigration process, Elizabeth stays alert to related issues that could lead to audits or penalties, including compliance with applicable state and federal Employment Eligibility Verification documentation and requirements.
Elizabeth approaches her client relationships with a desire to be a part of their team. When talking with clients about their legal concerns, it's “we” and “ours,” never “yours.” In this way, Elizabeth becomes part of the solution by providing efficient counsel and mitigating clients’ potential risks.