Photo of Jonathan Bench

Jonathan is co-chair of Harris Bricken’s corporate practice group, where he helps public and private companies with international and domestic business transactions. His clientele includes companies from Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Jonathan has worked and consulted in the U.S., Asia, and South America and is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese.

Jonathan co-hosts Harris Bricken’s weekly Global Law and Business podcast, which covers legal and economic business developments around the world. He is a regular contributor to the award-winning China Law Blog and the award-winning Canna Law Blog, where he shares his practical insights into doing business internationally and in the cannabis and emerging products industries.

Jonathan studied international business and international law at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., earning both JD and MBA degrees. He describes himself as a businessperson who went to law school rather than a lawyer who studied business. Jonathan’s business clients value his ability to think like a business owner as he provides sound legal guidance while maintaining key business issues at the forefront of the discussion.

Jonathan regularly presents to business owners and organizations regarding international business transactions, particularly foreign direct investment and the international cannabis trade.

In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys spending time with his young family, enjoying the outdoors, practicing Hapkido, learning guitar, and working on his Spanish.

international M&A due diligence

My law firm’s international lawyers do a significant amount of transactional work, which we call “happy law.” It’s generally happy because the buyer and seller largely know what they want from the other side and they have already agreed in principle on what the deal will look like. Both sides bring in transactional lawyers like

China future business

I may be later to the party than some of you, but I recently read the lengthy transcript of a speech given by former Australian journalist and later diplomat to China, John Garnaut, entitled Engineers of the Soul: Ideology in Xi Jinping’s China, which was printed on Bill Bishop’s Sinocism website in 2019.

Should you go international

We were prompted to write this post by talk that Mexico should consider joining the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership). But how many Mexican companies can really take advantage of the opportunities these sorts of trade agreements bring? How many Mexican companies are in a position to penetrate other markets? There’s nothing wrong with internationalism,

International consulting contracts

Our international lawyers have been getting an increasing amount of work involving the provision of services across borders. International service agreements are more complicated than international product sales agreements because they typically involve an ongoing and more amorphous relationship without easily definable deliverables. It is easier to write a contract to buy 1,000 widgets from

International M&ALately we have seen an uptick in international M&A work – some of it from China, some of it to China, some with other China alternative countries, like India and Malaysia, and some of it within the U.S. relating to U.S. subsidiaries owned by foreign companies. This increase coincides both with the world partially thawing

China contract damages

In my last post I discussed the importance of having the right person craft your China contracts. I am often asked (usually right after I quote our fee) whether a China contract I am proposing to write “is even enforceable in China.” I always give the same answer, which is more or less the following.

China contracts

I have never handled a DUI, a divorce, or any type of litigation, not even for friends or family. I have never negotiated with a union, navigated customs, immigration, or import/export duties, drafted a pension plan, or handled a bankruptcy. I could go on for pages listing out the legal matters I have never handled