Newcastle-based Sintons is a nationally known law firm in its own right but it is only one of only two law firms in the UK to be part of International Jurist (IJ), which operates in 30 countries around the world – as far afield as Chile, Brazil, South Africa, the United States and Israel – and has a membership of more than 1250 lawyers and support staff.
The network, founded in 1992, exists to provide clients worldwide with expert legal assistance and focuses on cross-border transactions and enterprise management, where advice and expertise is needed in different jurisdictions. Matters are referred between IJ members to give clients the certainty their matter will be handled in the same manner as it would be by their own lawyer.
Member firms all share a commitment to legal excellence and dedication to providing an outstanding service to clients – and are subject to stringent assessments prior to being accepted as an IJ member to establish this – to give certainty that the levels of service will be of the highest standards.
Sintons, which has been a member of IJ since 2008, has a number of clients who work internationally, and are able to have their work handled in the relevant jurisdiction by a law firm they can be confident shares the ethos of Sintons.
Equally, Sintons has assisted in many cross-border matters for clients of other IJ member firms, advising on the UK aspects of their work.
IJ is committed to developing strong relationships between all member firms, to strengthen working relationships and ensure regular interaction between members. An annual four-day conference is held for members to attend, which is hosted by a different member firm each year. As well as providing a social opportunity and a forum to discuss the business of the IJ network face-to-face, the annual conferences provide a chance to get to know more about the host firm and their native country.
Sintons hosted the IJ conference in 2013, the first time it had been held in the UK. Alongside the formal business meeting, which was held at Newcastle University Business School, Sintons organised a tour of venues including Alnwick Castle, Holy Island and Vindolanda Roman fort, and social activities which included a tennis tournament and dinner and Ceilidh at Jesmond Dene House.
The event was hailed by bodies including UK Trade & Industry (now the Department for International Trade) as being an important showcase of the North East to key players on a global stage.
Christopher Welch, partner at Sintons and a member of the management board of IJ, says: “Being a member of IJ is a very valuable asset – not just for law firms, who are able to be part of a global knowledge and expertise sharing network of like-minded partner organisations, but particularly for clients who operate on a cross-border and cross-jurisdiction basis.
Through instructing an IJ member, you can be safe in the knowledge that, while your work may be done by another firm in another country, it will be completed by someone who shares the ethos and commitment of your own lawyer and law firm.
“Many of Sintons’ clients have benefitted from this – while some of their transactions involve working internationally in a jurisdiction we are not able to operate, they have the advantage of Sintons having the relationships in place to know immediately where to direct their business. This ensures their matter is handled seamlessly and in the shortest possible time, with their own trusted advisor at Sintons overseeing everything. Likewise, we regularly handle matters referred to us from IJ members around the world, working closely with them to ensure their client receives an outstanding service despite often being thousands of miles away.
“We are proud IJ members and our membership has given a strong international aspect to Sintons’ offering and helps to promote us, and indeed the North East region, on a global scale.”