Bruce Thelen Covers Global Business at ICLE's First Annual Entrepreneurial Law Institute

June 24, 2015
At the Michigan Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s First Annual Entrepreneurial Law Institute on May 29, 2015, Dickinson Wright member Bruce Thelen offered his insights on how attorneys can help their entrepreneurial clients avoid pitfalls when seeking out opportunities abroad.

In a fast-paced session, Mr. Thelen and Stuart Deming of Deming PLLC covered a checklist of issues for entrepreneurs to keep in mind as they enter global markets. For sellers, the issues discussed included trademarks and intellectual property, sales representatives and distributors, getting paid, export contract terms, taxes, logistics, product standards, export controls and other government regulation. For purchasers, the discussion dealt with customs compliance, international trade agreements and supply chain requirements. Topic of interest to both sellers and purchasers included international contract considerations, dispute resolution, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act, economic sanctions and anti-boycott regulations. With examples from his practice, Mr. Thelen illustrated how these issues arise in course of a company’s international business activities.

Mr. Thelen represents clients throughout the world in a practice that includes cross border acquisitions and direct investments, joint ventures and strategic alliances, distribution, marketing and licensing arrangements, cross border debt financing and trade finance, export and import, supply chain management, customs and international trade, and international regulatory compliance.

Although his practice covers many industries, Mr. Thelen has extensive background in the automotive sector, including representation of global vehicle and parts manufacturers and suppliers in manufacturing and distribution in all regions of the world, as well as specialty automotive projects involving amphibious vehicles, Formula 1 racing programs, start-up electric vehicle manufacturers, and the manufacturer of the classic London taxi. For two years, while remaining a member of Dickinson Wright, he served as in-house international counsel for Chrysler Corporation.

He has held numerous positions in civic and professional organizations. He is currently a member of the governing council of the London-based International Bar Association and an officer of its North American Forum, and has served as chair of its International Sales Committee. He was one of the founders of the Michigan Bar's International Law Section and has served as its chair. Since 1995, he has served by appointment of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on the Michigan District Export Council, a private sector advisory body for the Commerce Department's export promotion programs. Mr. Thelen was the founder of the German American Chamber of Commerce of Michigan, and was awarded the Order of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz) by the President of Federal Republic of Germany in acknowledgement of his work.

The Institute for Continuing Legal Education offers a wide range of continuing legal education programs throughout the year. Its First Annual Entrepreneurial Institute was co-sponsored by the Business Law, Information Technology Law, and Intellectual Property Law Sections of the State Bar of Michigan.
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