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Hague Service of Process

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Hague Service of Process

Pursuing legal action abroad or against a foreign party is often a necessary aspect of growing your business internationally. However, when bringing suit against a party located in another part of the world, your method of securing jurisdiction over that foreign party can be critical. Hague Service of Process provides a standardized method for serving legal documents internationally, ensuring that proceedings are properly communicated and recognized across borders.

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What Is the Hague Service Convention?

he Hague Service Convention more formally known as the Hague Convention of 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, is an international agreement that streamlines the process of serving legal documents to parties involved in disputes across different countries.

The Convention establishes standardized forms and service methods to ensure efficient delivery of legal documents. It’s important to note that the Hague Service Convention focuses on service of process, not enforcement of judgments. So though the Convention helps facilitate legal proceedings, enforcement of a judgment from one country in another may depend on separate treaties between those specific countries.

However, many countries will not enforce a foreign judgment unless service has been properly effected under the Hague Convention.


How the Hague Service Convention Process Works

Generally speaking, a business can effectively complete Hague service in three ways:

  1. Through the Central Authority: Each country that has signed the Convention has designated a Central Authority to receive documents. A competent official in the originating jurisdiction sends official paperwork to the Central Authority, which then initiates a request with the local courts to issue the customary service documents for their region. Once complete, the source confirms the execution with a certificate of service to the originator.
  2. Through the Mail: The Convention permits international litigants to serve documents via mail if a country’s laws do not expressly prohibit it. This method is not an option in jurisdictions like China, and courts in the U.S. have upheld China’s right to refuse mail as an alternative.
  3. Through Other Alternative Methods: The Convention also allows litigants to choose additional service methods approved by the receiving country through its laws or previous diplomatic agreements.
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Experience on a Global Scale

Harris Sliwoski boasts a team of experienced international attorneys who help companies (and collaborate with lawyers) to enforce and protect their legal rights and business assets globally. Our expertise extends to navigating complex international legal frameworks, including Hague Service of Process. We provide legal guidance from offices spanning the globe, offering the localized knowledge you need to effectively manage cross-border disputes.

The Hague Service Convention streamlines the process of serving legal documents internationally, and our team is adept at utilizing its mechanisms to ensure efficient and compliant service of process. Whether through the Central Authority, mail, or alternative methods, we handle all aspects of the Hague service process to facilitate smooth international litigation. We work closely with lawyers and companies to ensure that all necessary steps are taken for successful outcomes.

Our firm maintains fluency in multiple languages, including Hindi, Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Mandarin, Gujarati, Korean, Cantonese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Turkish, and Thai. This linguistic expertise, combined with our deep understanding of diverse legal systems, allows us to provide comprehensive support tailored to your unique litigation needs.

By leveraging our global experience and multilingual capabilities, Harris Sliwoski ensures your business can confidently navigate the complexities of international legal processes, protect your interests, and achieve successful outcomes. Whether you are a company or a legal professional seeking specialized assistance, we are here to support you every step of the way.


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Our Cross-Border Service of Process Team

Though the Hague Convention doesn’t detail the specific rules for the service of process, following defined steps can improve your outcomes. Harris Sliwoski’s international service of process team knows what it takes to be successful with a cross-border service and offers comprehensive services, including:

  • Determining the appropriate service method according to country protocols
  • Ensuring service satisfies the originating jurisdiction’s due process laws
  • Crafting service papers for the proper scope, such as a claim for damages versus a tax dispute
  • Drafting instruments that will satisfy country-specific scrutiny to effect service
  • Completing required Hague Convention forms
  • Translating documents into the country-specific language
  • Obtaining needed court seals before requesting Hague service actions
  • Collaborating with a licensed, experienced attorney in the foreign country
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Practical Insights of Chinese Law and How it Impacts Business

Dan Harris is a leading authority on China’s legal system and business environment. In addition to making frequent media appearances to speak on Chinese legal issues, Dan co-authors the China Law Blog, which consistently ranks as one of the top English-language legal blogs in the world.

The ABA (American Bar Association) Journal named the China Law Blog as one of the 20 best legal blogs of all time, and for five years in a row the Journal’s readers voted it the best in its category. The China Law Blog offers readers a wealth of information about the types of clients we serve and the legal challenges we help them solve every day relating to China.

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Get in Touch with Our International Law Team

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Our Clients' Successes

“Harris Sliwoski expertly guided us through the formation of our company. They continue to assist with necessary registrations and compliance with numerous regulations. They were able to promptly answer all our many questions and provide understandable options, explanations and practical advice. We expect to continue to use Harris Sliwoski on a regular basis as our company expands. They were also able to introduce us other professional experts. We would not hesitate to recommend Harris Sliwoski to any companies in need of legal advice.”

user icon Three Continents Foods LLC

This law firm was a huge help as our company went through the process of commercial licensing in the California cannabis industry.  They have helped us with a variety of legal issues in a timely fashion, while clearly communicating with us throughout the process.  Everyone we’ve worked with at Harris Sliwoski is an expert in their field and we have always felt that we were in good hands through our legal representation.

user icon Wil Crummer, CEO PRO Farms

Legal stuff is always scary. And I’ve had to play offense a couple times, begrudgingly. To have Harris Sliwoski have my back? It made things a lot less prickly. They quickly walked me through my options, and were refreshingly consistent in their communications, timing and billing. I’ve been lucky to stay out of the legal side of things my whole career, thankfully. When things went a little wrong, Harris Sliwoski quickly made things right.

user icon Aaron Draplin, Founder Draplin Design Co.

I am impressed with this law firm. They answered all my questions regarding cannabis businesses and the California cannabis framework, and they have helped me with a variety of legal issues in a timely fashion, while always clearly communicating with us throughout the process. They also redirected me to other quality people for my business needs. Everyone I worked with at Harris Sliwoski is an expert in their field, and I was in good hands throughout my legal representation.

user icon Corey T., CEO Thinc Cubed, LLC

I have been working with the lawyers at Harris Sliwoski for more than 20 years both as a business owner and as an executive at a large east-coast health system and that is because they have always efficiently provided high level and clear international law advice. Most recently, Harris Sliwoski provided legal support on many matters related to procuring medical products worldwide. Their support was particularly helpful to during the onset of COVID, when there was a big need for securing PPE quickly, all while navigating complicated international and domestic legal requirements. Harris Sliwoski’s team of international lawyers helped by conducting rapid-fire due diligence on potential suppliers, navigating the legal logistics for getting product from overseas and through U.S. customs, and drafting contracts to protect against various sorts of horribles. They did this by essentially providing what amounted to 24/7 service. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

user icon Dan Pak Hospital Supply Chain Executive

Harris Sliwoski has represented our company in the legal cannabis industry for years. Harris Sliwoski has advised us in a wide variety of legal matters, and they are truly experts in their field. I would highly recommend Harris Sliwoski to anyone with questions about cannabis law, or any legal matters. They have been great for our Company, and will continue to guide us as our industry evolves

user icon Matt Hurt, COO Cannabis Nation

You won’t find a better partner than Harris Sliwoski when trying to navigate the complex world of healthcare regulations.  They not only give sound and reliable legal advice, but they are also very responsive and are able to guide you in a way that helps you reach your business objectives as well.

user icon Joseph Axelrod, General Counsel Irwin Naturals

When we started the process of building a ‘seed to sale’ cannabis company in Oregon, we saw the need for expert legal counsel.  The cannabis sector is fraught with potential peril at every turn, and we wanted the best legal advice we could find.  After talking to several firms and individuals, we feel extremely fortunate to have chosen Harris Sliwoski as our legal counsel.

user icon Tony Theiss, CEO and Co-Founder Redbarn Cannabis 

We use Harris Sliwoski on all our international legal matters, including on our international litigation matters. We have over the last few years been involved in a couple big international legal disputes and Harris Sliwoski’s international dispute resolution team provided us with expert legal assistance on both matters. They were always very careful to explain to us what they were doing and why and what their actions would likely cost us in legal fees. Most importantly, we did extremely well on both cases and I have no doubt Harris Sliwoski was a big factor in that.

user icon Kevin English, CEO We Are Camp

We have used Harris Sliwoski for legal help related to our international manufacturing. The lawyers with whom I worked had extensive familiarity with the international legal issues involved in our various projects and offered us key insights. I particularly appreciated how they always quickly and efficiently do what they say they will do and always within their cost estimates.

user icon Andrea Barona Valladolid, Senior Legal Counsel Fairphone