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Joseph Smallhoover is a partner in the firm’s Paris office and has practiced law in France and Germany for over 30 years. Before moving to Europe he practiced law in California and Pennsylvania as well.

Mr. Smallhoover practices in the areas of regulatory compliance affecting multinational businesses and financial institutions; banking and financial law (including issues touching public and private funds ranging from hedge, mutual and offshore funds to non-U.S. investment vehicles) ; corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions (for both financial and strategic buyers and sellers); custom and trade law; anti-corruption; data protection and privacy law; corporate restructurings and insolvency matters; and general commercial law. 

Mr. Smallhoover has counselled French and international clients at the senior management and board levels on a broad variety of transactions and disputes in France and Germany, as well as across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. In addition to speaking English and French, Mr. Smallhoover also speaks fluent German and is conversational in Spanish.

He has published many articles on topical legal issues and teaches international business law and international dispute resolution.

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Chair of the International Board of Advisors of McGeorge School of Law (2016 to 2018)
    • Regulatory Compliance Lawyer of the Year in France: 2015 Global Law Experts Awards
    • Regulatory Compliance Lawyer of the Year in France: 2014 Corporate Intl Magazine Global Awards
    • Leadership & Stratégie, Silver Medal: Trophées du Droit et de la Finance - 2008
    • Duke University Alumni Club of France, Co-President (1990 to 2015); Chairman Duke University Alumni Club of France, Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee (1987-1992); Member (1992 to Present)
    • The American Club of Paris, President (2011 to Present); Member (1986 to Present)
    • American Council on Germany, Member (1992-2011)
    • Democratic National Committee: Member (1995-2003; 2008-2012); Credentials Committee, Member (1997-2003; 2008-2012); LGBT Caucus, Member (2008-2012)
    • Democratic Party Committee Abroad: International Chair (1999-2003); International Vice Chair (1995-1999); International Counsel (1991-1995; 2003 to 2011); LGBT Caucus, Chair (2008 to 2013)
    • Democrats Abroad France: Chairman (1989-1995; 2007-2009); Vice Chair (2013 to Present); Executive Committee, Member (1988-1989); LGBT Caucus, Co-Chair (2008 to 2013); Vice Chair (2013 to Present); Member (1985 to Present)
    • Duke University Alumni Club of France, Co-President (1990 to 2015); Chairman Duke University Alumni Club of France, Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee (1987-1992); Member (1992 to Present)
    • The American Club of Paris, President (2011 to Present); Member (1986 to Present)
    • American Council on Germany, Member (1992-2011)
    • Democratic National Committee: Member (1995-2003; 2008-2012); Credentials Committee, Member (1997-2003; 2008-2012); LGBT Caucus, Member (2008-2012)
    • Democratic Party Committee Abroad: International Chair (1999-2003); International Vice Chair (1995-1999); International Counsel (1991-1995; 2003 to 2011); LGBT Caucus, Chair (2008 to 2013)
    • Democrats Abroad France: Chairman (1989-1995; 2007-2009); Vice Chair (2013 to Present); Executive Committee, Member (1988-1989); LGBT Caucus, Co-Chair (2008 to 2013); Vice Chair (2013 to Present); Member (1985 to Present)
    • Democratic National Committee: Member (1995-2003; 2008-2012); Credentials Committee, Member (1997-2003; 2008-2012); LGBT Caucus, Member (2008-2012)
    • Democratic Party Committee Abroad: International Chair (1999-2003); International Vice Chair (1995-1999); International Counsel (1991-1995; 2003 to 2011); LGBT Caucus, Chair (2008 to 2013)
    • Democrats Abroad France: Chairman (1989-1995; 2007-2009); Vice Chair (2013 to Present); Executive Committee, Member (1988-1989); LGBT Caucus, Co-Chair (2008 to 2013); Vice Chair (2013 to Present); Member (1985 to Present)
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Professional Affiliations

    • International Chamber of Commerce Commission on Commercial Law and Practice, Paris, France – 2011 to Present, Member
    • International Business Law Journal, Paris, France – 1986 to Present, Bilingual Editor
    • Rheinischer Internationaler Juristenverein e. V., Düsseldorf, Germany – 1983 to 2009, President (1985-1989; 1997-1999); Secretary-Treasurer (1989-1990); Secretary (1990-1992; 2005-2006); Member (1983 to 2009)
    • The American Chamber of Commerce in France, Inc., Paris, France - 1985 to Present ; President, Young Executives Program (1991-1993); Member, Committee on Law and Public Affairs (1995-1998); Member (1985 to Present); Member, Board of Directors (2013 to Present)
    • Pacific McGeorge School of Law, International Board of Advisors, Sacramento, California – 2008 to Present, Member (2008 to Present), Vice Chair (2013 to Present)
    • American Bar Association – International Section: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues Network – 2013 to 2015, Vice Chair since August 2015
    • Rheinischer Internationaler Juristenverein e. V., Düsseldorf, Germany – 1983 to 2009, President (1985-1989; 1997-1999); Secretary-Treasurer (1989-1990); Secretary (1990-1992; 2005-2006); Member (1983 to 2009)
    • The American Chamber of Commerce in France, Inc., Paris, France - 1985 to Present ; President, Young Executives Program (1991-1993); Member, Committee on Law and Public Affairs (1995-1998); Member (1985 to Present); Member, Board of Directors (2013 to Present)
    • Pacific McGeorge School of Law, International Board of Advisors, Sacramento, California – 2008 to Present, Member (2008 to Present), Vice Chair (2013 to Present)
    • American Bar Association – International Section: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues Network – 2013 to 2015, Vice Chair since August 2015
    • Pacific McGeorge School of Law, International Board of Advisors, Sacramento, California – 2008 to Present, Member (2008 to Present), Vice Chair (2013 to Present)
    • American Bar Association – International Section: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues Network – 2013 to 2015, Vice Chair since August 2015
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Representative Experience

  • Counsel to a US based multinational manufacturer of high-tech composite materials used in the space and aeronautics industry in connection with its long term supply agreements, distribution agreements, and general corporate and commercial work throughout Europe, as well as various acquisitions and reorganizations of its European subsidiaries.
  • Counsel to a British based direct sales distributor of home care and health regarding the compliance of the marketing documentation with European and French marketing laws.
  • Counsel to a major US direct sales distributor of home care and health and beauty care products regarding the compliance of the marketing documentation with European and French marketing laws.
  • Representation of a North American airline in relation to a dispute with an international air traffic control agency, involving the alleged siphoning off of funds by employees of the agency and the illicit transfer to an international drug trafficking and money laundering ring operating out of Cyprus, Lebanon and Nigeria.
  • Representation of a major US manufacturer of oil field production equipment in connection with a breach of contract dispute for the sale of aluminium tubes to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War, including questions concerning the breach of related charter parties, and questions of FCPA, fraud and usurpation of corporate identity.
  • Counsel to a large US based retailer with worldwide operations concerning data transfer issues between the EU and the US, in particular employee and consumer related data, the transfer of such data in the context of litigation in the US, as well as French and European rules regulating or prohibiting such transfers.
  • Counsel to a consortium of banks based in London for the financing of the retrofitting of an aircraft operated by a state-owned mixed economy enterprise based in Francophone Africa, as well as the drafting of legislation for the country in question recognizing aircraft mortgages.
  • Counsel to several major funds managers in connection with the marketing and distribution of regulated and unregulated funds in France, Luxembourg and Germany.
  • Counsel to a Canadian manufacturer of DNA testing kits and equipment in connection with its acquisition of a majority stake in a French publicly traded company, including advice on the mandatory takeover bid and advice on commercial, corporate and labor law issues following the successful takeover.
  • Counsel to several US based manufacturers in connection with their European-wide commercial agreements, including review and negotiation of distribution agreements, supply agreements, general terms and conditions, licensing and trademark agreements.
  • Counsel to an Italian based on-line custom-made goods retailer, including corporate, commercial, financial, customs and IT / IP advice.
  • Counsel to a major US based pharmaceutical company in connection with its acquisition of rights to various molecules and their marketing in Europe.
  • Counsel to several mining consortia based respectively in Canada, Israel and the USA in connection with their acquisition of mining rights in various sub-Saharan countries.
  • Representation of a major US infra-structure construction company in an international arbitration matter related to the construction of a highway network in Central Africa.
  • Counsel to a major US on-line consumer products distributor in connection with customs and trade issues.
  • Counsel to a major US manufacturer of military and dual use vehicles in connection with customs and trade issues in France and the European Union.
  • Counsel to a major US direct sales distributor of home care and health and beauty care products on European-wide questions of corporate, commercial and labor law.
  • Counsel to a major US bank in connection with several French-based financing transactions and the bank’s role as corporate trustee and related multi-jurisdictional litigation.
  • Counsel to a leading manufacturer and retailer of fine jewelry in connection with its acquisition (including white collar crime issues and subsequent divestiture several years later) of the largest chain of fine jewelry retail outlets in France and related commercial law, corporate law, labor law, unfair competition and banking law issues.

Publications

  • "La fusion d’échelles d’intérêts" in Marchés et Techniques Financières (no. 83, September 1996)
  • "La nouvelle réglementation du recouvrement amiable de créances: Etes-vous concerné ?" with Stéphane Vital-Durand in La Semaine Juridique, Ed. E, (no. 38, 1997)
  • "Gestion de Trésorerie Centralisée ou Décentralisée ? / Centralized or Decentralized Cash Management?" in Revue de Droit des Affaires Internationales (no. 6, 1998)
  • "Fund and Asset Management in France" with Christian Cano in Fund Management 1999, a legal guide (International Financial Law Review, 1999)
  • "French Issues on Securitization" in Securitizations: Legal and Regulatory Issues (Law Journal Press, 2006)
  • “The CMBS Market in France" in Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securitisation: Developments in the European CMBS Market (Sweet and Maxwell, 2006)
  • “As Bitcoin’s Market Grows in Europe, Increased Concerns for Rational Regulation” with Judith Rinearson in Finyear, 2015

Speaking Engagements

  • “Déterminer la responsabilité du banquier face à l’Euro,” organized by Development Institute International, Paris - May 1998
  • “The Future of Governments: Who Controls Them ?,” organized by Forum 21, Deauville – 2001
  • “Clash of the Titans: Whistle-blowing Hotlines and Personal Data Protection in the EU and US,” organized by MCLE London, London – 2007
  • “12 Hommes en Colère: A Comparison of US and French Criminal Law and the Rights of Criminal Defendants,” organized by the 9ème Forum des Droits Humains, Orléans – 2011
  • “Out of the Closet and into the Conference/Court Room: Elimination of Bias in the Profession – LGBT Issues,” organized by MCLE London, London – 2014
  • “Beer and the Law: Beer as a Paradigm in International Business Law,” numerous presentations in Europe and the United States – 1996 to Present
  • “De legibus vinorum: Wine in Ancient and Modern International Business Law,” Pacific McGeorge School of Law – February 2013