10 Easy Tips to Effective Financial and Legal Translations

  1. Translate communications for international employees even when it isn’t legally required.

    Most countries do not mandate the translation of HR policies and codes of conduct, however many countries have de facto laws that render untranslated employee communications as legally invalid. Violations can be difficult to enforce, even if the employee speaks English. By translating HR policies and codes of conduct you demonstrate your dedication to and appreciation of all employees and avoid expensive legal costs.

  2. Practice continuous improvement with global compliance programs.

    Enforcement of FCPA has become increasingly aggressive: penalties are escalating and foreign prosecutors are assisting in anti-corruption actions of US authorities. Stay abreast of developments and ensure that all employees are aware of new or changed company policies, particularly rank and file employees who may not speak English well. By translating FCPA policies and partnering with local management to ensure they are understood, you increase compliance and improve enforceability.

  3. Develop a solid plan of action for translation in cross-border litigation.

    Sifting through voluminous amounts of data during the discovery process can be arduous in English, let alone in one or more other languages. Having a strategy for language-intensive discovery will help you avoid translating irrelevant materials, saving precious time and money. Create a list of keywords for ALL languages to help you prioritize documents for relevance and importance. Critical documents may require certified translations, while others may require a summary translation. Text that is “for internal purposes only” may only require a cursory translation to facilitate understanding. LAS can advise you.

  4. Translate litigation hold policies to ensure they are understood and adhered to by foreign employees.

    The goal of every litigation hold is to preserve data that is relevant to the case. In international litigation, holds must be communicated in a manner and language that a foreign employee will understand so he knows what it means to preserve and the rules surrounding it. This prevents data from being compromised or lost. Reducing the amount of “legalese” in hold communications may be required depending on the target country and employee familiarity with legal processes.

  5. Increase the velocity and confidence in cross-border mergers and acquisitions by pro-actively translating key data.

    Cross-border mergers and acquisitions are more common than ever. Regardless of the direction of the deal, participants are likely to be located in a country where English is not the primary language. Proactively providing due diligence and other information in different languages as clearly and accurately as possible helps both the buyer and seller conclude the cross-border deal more quickly, confidently and cost effectively.

  6. Create a multilingual data room (VDR) for smooth and accessible M&A information exchange.

    VDRs have numerous benefits to both buyers and sellers. The seller can attract more buyers by providing translated due diligence materials in a secure, searchable repository. Buyers have access to pertinent information for better assessment and decision-making. At a minimum the seller should translate the VDR index so buyers can readily find pertinent information. Providing translation summaries of key documents should also be considered, since it helps the transaction progress more quickly.

  7. Remember that due diligence can extend beyond the obvious.

    Cross-border due diligence processes may extend beyond the company being acquired and include strategic suppliers, business partners and customers. Communicating with all of these parties in a cross-border environment suggests translating key information is required. Consider translation in your due diligence strategy; it will help you prioritize information, determine the quality level required, control costs and ensure the right information is accessible when it’s needed and in the right languages.

  8. Adjust quality expectations according to the text requiring translation and its intended purpose.

    100% accuracy and consistency are the hallmarks of legal and financial translations, particularly when legal or financial decisions rest on a complete and unambiguous understanding of the text. However it isn’t always practical or financially prudent to seek this level of quality with all legal and financial information. Consider the purpose of the documents and assess their importance. “Information only“ documents may only require a cursory translation for understanding rather than a more costly certified translation.

  9. Assess your IP translation practices for cost reduction

    Our globalized economy is making the protection of your intellectual property at an international level more important than ever and necessitating the filing of patents in multiple countries. Without an effective IP translation strategy, translation costs can spiral out of control. Reducing your reliance on a multitude of international law firms to handle translations and exploring translation technologies that can reuse text can help mitigate costs. Call LAS to discuss your options

  10. Maintain client-attorney confidentiality by using professional translation services.

    Using online translation applications such as Google Translate to save money could be a false economy. Care must be taken because any text that is translated through it becomes part of Google’s domain and therefore has the potential to violate client-attorney confidentiality and jeopardize a case. Sensitive documents should be translated by professional translators who are bound by non-disclosure agreements. Call LAS to discuss cost-effective alternatives to online translation tools.