Can I sue a foreign shareholder for breach of contract in New York?

T. Edward (Eddie) Williams - Business Litigation - Super Lawyers

Answered by: T. Edward (Eddie) Williams

Peyrot & Associates PC
New York, NY
Phone: 646-569-9335

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You can sue a foreign person or entity in federal court for breach of a contract.  However, in some cases, you may be required to arbitrate the dispute, if the governing documents require arbitration.  Before suing or filing an arbitration, understand first the basics of suing or filing an arbitration against a foreign person or entity.  Hire a lawyer.  

Filing A Federal Lawsuit In New York

After filing a federal suit, the next step is serving the lawsuit on the foreign person or entity.

The law on serving a foreign person or a foreign entity has become easier over the years, but you still want to be certain that you have followed the procedures strictly.  Service of process may differ from country to country, based on existing treaties and whether the specific country ratified the treaties that apply.  If you cannot obtain personal service on the foreign person or foreign entity, alternative service may be available depending on the facts of your case. 

Once service is obtained, New York courts (or the court you are filing in) will have jurisdiction over the case.

Be Selective When Hiring A Lawyer To Sue Foreign Defendants

Not all New York lawyers are familiar with the process of serving defendants abroad. The lawyer you select should have a comprehensive understanding and familiarity with international arbitration rules. In short, you want to be confident in your lawyer’s ability to navigate the complexities of an international forum and see the lawsuit through to the end.

Instead of relying on interpreters, it can also be a good idea to hire a lawyer who speaks a foreign language and has the experience necessary to interpret foreign contracts.

Time Is Of The Essence When Filing A Claim

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is sleeping on a claim or waiting too long to file your claim. Preserving your claim is important. As time passes, evidence and information may become stale; and witnesses may move. The quicker you file your claim, the quicker you preserve evidence and the better your chances of recovering what you are seeking to recover.

If you are considering filing a lawsuit against a shareholder for breach of contract, being proactive is key. If you suspect something is going amiss, hiring a lawyer in the early stages can help safeguard your options for legal recourse.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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