Newsroom / News / Media / Info Magazine LGP NEWS 01/2020 / Legal advice between foreign policy and law

Legal advice between foreign policy and law

Legal advice between foreign policy and law

LGP has advised and represented companies and private individuals in cross-border mandates for many years. LGP has built up an excellent reputation, particularly in the field of strategic advice and representation of states, governments and government-related institutions.

Whether it is legal support for market entry to emerging and industrialised countries, major investments, M&A and financial transactions or complex international litigation: what all these fields of activity have in common is that they go far beyond mere legal advice and a glance at the letter of the law and instead require a multi-layered, context-related assessment of the situation, including the economic and political environment. The law firm’s motto “thinking outside the box” is therefore not just a hollow phrase, but a lived – necessary – reality of LGP’s everyday work. This also includes the extensive Senior Expert Council of high-ranking LGP advisors, which is made up not only of recognised experts in a wide range of legal fields, but also of former top managers, top civil servants, diplomats and politicians. LGP is thus probably one of the few law firms to have its own “in-house expertise” in political analysis and consulting.

This is all the more important because the world has become riskier and more unpredictable for corporations and investors in recent decades – despite or perhaps because of increasing globalisation and global value chains. One need only think of the increasing number of economic sanctions imposed in recent years and of the sometimes byzantine investment screening regulations, in the context of reawakening geopolitical rivalries. States and governments, especially those in border regions and at the intersection of established and emerging world powers, need advice and support in navigating increasingly complex international relations. Against this backdrop, it is of central importance for LGP’s clients to be able to access the accumulated professional experience of the Senior Expert Council and the analytical skills of its Policy Advisers. But what is the concrete role of former diplomats and politicians across very different mandates – and in what way can they offer support to these clients? 

On the one hand, we provide senior expertise to corporate clients and investors with our knowledge of intercultural communication and regional peculiarities, gained over many years of professional experience. Successful managers know that it is often the subtle nuances of personal interactions and unwritten cultural rules of behaviour can decide the success or failure of negotiations. Of benefit to the firm’s clients are also the many years of experience in conducting negotiations with national, supranational and European institutions as well as a comprehensive knowledge of the communication practices of official bodies such as state chancelleries, ministries and international organisations, all of which form part of the diplomats’ toolkit in the Senior Expert Council of Lansky, Ganzger + Partner. There is also a need for skills such as political risk assessment and prevention, and strategic communication, which are central to foreign and European affairs ministries and are of great importance in modern business life. 

States and governments in turn benefit from the experience of the LGP Senior Expert Council when it comes to defining and implementing their foreign policy strategies. Over the years, LGP has been able to advise and represent sovereign states in numerous complex matters – from the frozen conflicts in the South Caucasus, such as the status of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, to questions of state succession and rapprochement with the European Union of the successor states to the former Yugoslavia, as well as in the settlement of the last, smouldering conflicts in the Western Balkans. LGP was also able to achieve concrete solutions to complex property law issues relating to state-owned enterprises in the former Soviet Union.

In my personal career, I worked intensively in and with Western Balkan countries for many years before joining Lansky, Ganzger + Partner. I also have many years of professional experience with the US, the decision-making structures of the EU, the UN and the OECD, and the WTO. Therefore at LGP I am able to support companies in negotiations, or to advise states that wish to deepen their relationships with the EU or international organisations.

In the coming years we cannot assume a return to consensual, conflict-free relations given the global tensions between the USA, Russia, China and the EU, and their struggle for relevance in the border regions of their respective spheres of influence. I do not therefore see the need for a sound knowledge of international relations in the business world diminishing in the foreseeable future. On the contrary, the clients of Lansky, Ganzger + Partner can benefit in many ways from the firmly established Senior Expert Council as an integral part of the firm’s consulting activities.


Dr. Wolfgang Petritsch, Botschafter a. D., Senior Expert Counsel bei LANSKY, GANZGER + partner

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