We handle international and domestic litigation and alternative dispute resolution, representing foreign and domestic companies in matters involving complex legal, regulatory, and technical issues in state and federal courts around the U.S. We also counsel international clients on commercial and business-related issues such as product liability and risk management.
The international work involves issues relating to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, application of various treaties, jurisdictional challenges, the doctrine of forum non conveniens, and enforcement of foreign judgments. We counsel clients globally in all of these areas and more generally, on matters involving cross-border litigation and the application of law from both civil and common law jurisdictions.
The Axelrod Firm Partner Lisa Savitt’s foreign legal experience spans work in many jurisdictions including in Austria, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Ethiopia, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Peru, Poland, Taiwan, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United Kingdom.
Ms. Savitt received the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of International Law Mayre Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law. She has received numerous special honors and opportunities to travel to foreign nations to participate in delegations of the ABA, including the ABA International Legal Briefing Trip to Turkey (2016), Cuba (2015) and Myanmar and Cambodia (2014). She also was one of three ABA panelists in a public session on mediation and dispute resolution together with Polish journalists and lawyers during the ABA International Legal Briefing Trip on Dispute Resolution to Warsaw and Vienna (2013).
Ms. Savitt is qualified as a Solicitor in England and Wales and worked in London for three years. She is a former Chair of the ABA Section of International Law and currently serves on the ABA Rule of Law Board. She is the former Chair of the International Committee of DirectWomen, the only national non-profit dedicated to increasing the number of women lawyers on major corporate boards. Ms. Savitt is also Chair of the Board of the non-profit organization, A Child for All which helps vulnerable children in Mali. She is a founder and former President of the International Aviation Women’s Association.
Ms. Axelrod is fluent in Spanish and Mr. Sauffrant is a native French-speaker.
- Acted as an expert in an international arbitration regarding a breach of contract claim seeking to invalidate exculpatory clauses in an international sales contract for a major international company arising out of allegations of product defect.
- Counseled major international aircraft component manufacturer in breach of contract claims and mitigation of damages in matter in which $13 million in damages were alleged.
- Successfully represented a major international insurance company in an arbitration to resolve a coverage dispute.
- Defended a French bearing manufacturer in a wrongful death action in state court in Cook County, Illinois arising out of a helicopter crash. Representation included challenging the jurisdiction of Illinois courts resulting in the dismissal of the lawsuit by trial court; maintained the challenge after plaintiff’s successful appeal through to the Illinois Supreme Court to an unsuccessful petition for certiorari to the U. S. Supreme Court; continued defense against allegations including strict products liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. The case involved multiple experts including a metallurgist, an accident reconstructionist, a pilot expert, an economist, a biomechanics forensic expert, and a maintenance expert. Following mediation, the case settled on favorable terms two weeks before trial.
- Counseled a French engine manufacturer and worked with Mexican counsel regarding a possible claim by a Mexican distributor of engines and victims of an airplane crash in Mexico.
- Represented the airport authority Aeroports de Paris and its insurers in a wrongful death action and personal injury claims in the United States and overseas arising out of the collapse of a terminal at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Claims included allegations of negligence related to construction and architectural defects. After several mediation sessions, a wrongful death case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York arising out of accident resulted in a favorable settlement.
- Successfully converted a $24 million foreign judgment of a shipping company against a Yugoslavian bank into a U.S. judgment and represented the shipping company in an enforcement of judgment action including dealing with OFAC provisions and attempts by the Yugoslavian bank to transfer assets from the United States in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court ancillary proceeding.
Counseled an Austrian company on contractual language to be used in documents for the sale of goods to the United States.
Represented an international aerospace company in a dispute with a maintenance, repair, and overhaul company, including providing advice on contractual terms.
Represented Deutsche Aerospace in contract and negligence issues arising out of the crash of a JPATS prototype aircraft during a test flight in Germany.
- “International Arbitration & Cross-Border Litigation — Highlighting the Differences,” NAMWOLF Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois | September 2018
- “There’s No Place Like Home: Challenges to Jurisdiction in Life Sciences Litigation,” ABA Section of International Law Life Sciences Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark | June 2018
- “The Challenges of Defending Litigation in the Mexican, Canadian and U.S. Judicial Systems” ABA Section of International Law North American Forum, Vancouver, Canada | 2014
- “The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act: Origins, Expectations and Surprises, The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act at Forty: U.S. and International Perspectives,” Center for Transnational Business and the Law, Institute for International Economic Law Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. | 2016
- “Are Quotas for Women on Boards the Answer in Latin America? Leveraging Best Practices Across Regions,” ABA Section of International Law Fall Meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina | 2014
- “In the Tentacles of the U.S. Civil Justice System and How EU Companies Can Prepare For It – An Update,” Wolf Theiss Litigation Forum, Vienna, Austria | 2013
- “Litigation Risks for Foreign Companies Seeking to Sell Services or Products to the U.S. Market,” St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, St. Petersburg, Russia | 2012
- “The International Aviation Market: How to Counsel Your Clients on the Pitfalls and Litigation Risks of Doing Business in the BRIC Countries,” ACI 4th Annual Forum on Defending and Managing Aviation Litigation, Boston | 2012
- “Turning the Tables on Discovery Using U.S. and German Proceedings to Your Advantage,” ABA/German Bar Association Conference, Frankfurt, Germany | 2010
- “Concept of Personal Jurisdiction in the United States,” IBA/ABA Transnational Litigation Conference, Vienna, Austria | 2009
- “International Litigation in the United States Involving Foreign Parties,” Korean Bar Association, Seoul, Korea
- “U.S. Supreme Court decision on Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act,” Law360 | March 29, 2019
- “The New World of Personal Jurisdiction in the United States,” Union Internationale des Avocats Juriste International | 2018
- “The Perils of Going Global: Personal Jurisdiction May Exist for Foreign Companies in U.S. Courts”, Journal of the Dispute Resolution Section of the International Bar Association | 2008
- “Attorney-Client Privilege for the In-House Counsel is Not Absolute in Foreign Jurisdictions,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel | 2007