Managing Member William P. Cook Speaks at the 2015 AILA Global Immigration Forum

Panel on Ethics and Practice Management: How to Stay Safe, Sane, and Avoid Disaster

GMLG Managing Member William P. Cook spoke on global ethical issues facing immigration lawyers at the 2015 AILA Global Immigration Forum. Drawing on decades of experience working with international counsel, Cook outlined some best practices and important priorities immigration counsel need to consider when referring matters to or co-counseling with foreign immigration lawyers.

“In global representations, you must remember when bringing in local foreign counsel that attorney-client privilege and client confidentiality must always be protected as between you, your foreign colleague, and the U.S. client,” Cook observed.

“Successfully maintaining this ‘ménage à trois’ can be more than a little challenging,” Cook said to laughter from the audience. He added that “failing to bridge the cultural gap by bringing in a foreign lawyer unfamiliar with strict U.S. privilege obligations, can leave your client having confidential discussions with you and the foreign counsel being discovered at trial.”

In addition, Cook mentioned that attorneys on either side of the “foreign” counsel relationship must perform due diligence on their intended co-counsel to ensure their competence in representing the common client. Finally, he stressed that the U.S.-based immigration attorney must stay involved in the matter to apprise the client of any US-related immigration implications of which the foreign counsel may be unaware.

GMLG works effectively with global immigration co-counsel to provide our clients more options and less stress world-wide. To do this we work with experienced immigration co-counsel from around the world who have the same philosophy of always protecting our client’s best interests.