Georgina Fabian’s first day working at a US law firm was September 10, 2001, in New York City. The next day, the World Trade Center towers came down. Since her US visa was not quite finalized, she was unable to work for a month, and, thus, ended up experiencing first-hand some of the frustrations of working in a country other than her homeland. But she persevered, and after over a decade of success in several prestigious international law firms, the energetic, bilingual Mexican and US-licensed attorney founded the International Business Law Group (INTBLG).
Fabian was raised in Mexico—her father was a trial lawyer. She received her law degree in 1995 from the Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City and worked as an associate at Basham, Ringe y Correa (also in Mexico City), handling domestic and international litigation and commercial arbitrations, investor-state proceedings, and international business agreements.
“At Basham, I worked mostly with international clients, in both Spanish and English, who had business dealings in Mexico,” she says. “I wanted to learn more about how business entities were structured, to provide counsel in the different jurisdictions in which my clients operated, and to practice law in the US.” To better prepare her for that, in 1997, she got a master’s degree in comparative law at New York University (she is currently licensed to practice in Mexico, New York, and Illinois).
After finishing her commitment to Basham, she returned to New York to work for Debevoise & Plimpton. In 2004, she took a job in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown. One of her specialties, in all three law firms, was Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), helping parties resolve disputes through methods other than litigation. “I did a lot of community and business mediation, international commercial arbitration, and investor/state arbitration,” she says.
Business Law Group
HQ: Chicago, IL
Employees: 8 attorneys in Mexico; 6 in the US
Specialty areas: Commercial and investor-state arbitration, business litigation, entity formation, business immigration in the US and Mexico, labor and employment, intellectual property, and bankruptcy.
INTBLG provides comprehensive global legal representation, focusing on business law and financial matters, for domestic and international clients.
Acquiring experience as a US attorney “presented its own challenges,” she admits, “since in addition to concentrating on the cases and laws involved, I had to attune myself to the cultural needs of the clients.
After almost five years at Mayer Brown, she launched INTBLG, which provides high-quality legal services to public- and private-sector entities and individuals, especially those seeking legal representation across multiple jurisdictions. “I wanted to create a firm where I could help business owners who were just starting out and didn’t have access to legal services,” Fabian explains.
In the beginning, INTBLG focused mostly on ADR cases. Since then, it has evolved into a full-service law firm, handling a significant amount of business-related arbitration and litigation, as well as transactional corporate law matters. And now that it has a proven track record and a growing client list under its belt, it is starting to attract a different clientele. “We’re established now, with more credibility, so we’re starting to get work from bigger companies with more revenue. Non-Hispanic businesses are also reaching out to us,” Fabian notes.
Thought most of INTBLG’s clients are based in Mexico and the US, many of them have businesses in other parts of the world, including Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. INTBLG serves them via what Fabian calls their ‘Counsel Worldwide Network.’ “Since the inception of my career, I established a network of attorneys around the world. We, therefore, have local counsel we know and can collaborate with whenever a client requires representation in a market outside the US or Mexico.”
Most of INTBLG’s client companies do not have lawyers on staff, so Fabian and the rest of her team perform tasks that are more typical of in-house counsel. “We function like general counsel for most of our clients,” Fabian confirms. “We work with them as members of their team. We go over their business structures and plans, enlighten them to the types of issues they’re likely to face, advise and guide them, and help them grow.”
“More and more of our clients are focusing on prevention, to avoid future litigation,” she says. “Businesses today know that the smart thing is to get legal advice in the early stages, when they’re just starting a business or growing their company, drafting a contract, entering a new market, developing a new product, or considering a new venture. Our motto for all our clients is ‘plan, prevent, and succeed.’”