A team from Birmingham headquartered law firm SGH Martineau has returned from a trip to the industrial heartlands of the USA, with instructions from new clients, following presentations in Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Chicago.

The meetings, organised in association with three US law firms, were designed to explain the benefits of setting up or acquiring a business in the UK, whilst addressing specific areas of concern for clients and prospects of the three firms.

SGH Martineau partner Bill Barker said: “Thanks to the strong relationships we have developed with US law firms in recent years, we were able to take this opportunity to stop talking about foreign direct investment and do something practical about attracting more to the UK in general and the Midlands in particular.

“The three cities we visited are similar in many ways to Birmingham - they are in the shadow of more fashionable cities, have endured tough times, face new challenges, but retain the entrepreneurial spirit and drive to succeed that is so evident here in Birmingham.

“In each city we delivered presentations to selected audiences of local business owners, managers and senior executives, who all wanted to understand more about doing business in the UK and the EU legislation that governs it.”

Mr Barker added: “Whilst we presented a lot of general information about setting up or acquiring a business in the UK, including taxation and intellectual property issues, we were also asked to address the specific concerns many US businesses have in relation to EU privacy laws and anti-bribery legislation.

“The UK Bribery Act is significantly different to US law and the audience expressed concern about the offence of a ‘commercial organisation failing to prevent bribery on its behalf’, with no such offence currently affecting US businesses at home.”

Adam McGiveron, a corporate lawyer at SGH Martineau said: “It was obvious from the questions that followed our presentations that doing business in the UK is high on the agenda for many US corporations.

“This was a great opportunity to put the case for the UK as a whole, emphasising the low corporation tax rates - currently the lowest in the G20 - the strength and maturity of the infrastructure that supports businesses in the UK and the highly skilled workforce available.”