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NEGOTIATING IN AN INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

NEGOTIATING IN AN INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT : « USING LAW AS A TOOL TO REACH THE AGREEMENT »

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On the June 16th 2016, Mrs Dekeuwer Esq spoke at a conference on « contrat negotiation skills » organized by the CCI of Lyon Metropole.

Mrs. Dekeuwer Esq. was invited to exchange with several General counselors and legal officers from some major companies such as Renault Trucks and Vinci Energy to share her rich experience in International negotiation. The founding member of D2K law firm highlighted on negotiation strategies, preferable and avoidable behaviors. Moreover, she also advised to create an enabling environment to negotiate or resolve some difficult situations.

The role of the negotiator is not only preparing to negotiate by determining his objectives and interests but also anticipating those of the other party. During the discussions,  both parties has to agree on the agreement before granting any bilateral concessions. It is necessary to take notes of decided or approved opinions, reformulate what the other party has said in order to ensure the same level of comprehension, and in case of disagreement, to still open to discussion. Indeed, it is important to improve negotiability by seeking mutual interests. However, the closer the reserve price of the other party the better the negotiation on the agreed price.

It is essential to understand the other culture in an international context especially during the negotiation process. With better understanding in different culture, it will become easier to establish personal relationships between individuals and to understand the way to negotiate of each other. For instance, an Asian partner likes to take some time for negotiation. Moreover, since he bases his conception of business relations on the trust built, he seldom uses pre-contracts.

From the legal point of view, the watchword is the security of relations in order to avoid any hazards of litigation. Therefore, the choice of an applicable law depends on the challenges of the contract. Contrary to common belief, subjecting the contract to its national law is not always the best option. Since each state court has its own different discretion of international conventions, the choice of the competent jurisdiction also might be useful.

At last, in order to encourage each party to fulfill its obligations depending on the contractual context and the parties, it is important to refer to several essential legal clauses such as incoterms, alternative dispute resolution, disclosure agreement, letter of intent and so on…

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