George Harper has very few equals in the field of international law the successful Miami pioneer has been at it for the past 42 years
George R. Harper has pioneered the practice of international law and cross-border transactions in Miami and South Florida. During his 42-year career, he has seen Latin American-US business transactions become more and more sophisticated as Miami continues to become a center of international commerce.
"When I started out, an international practice would be defined as somebody from Venezuela buying a condominium in Miami," he said. "It's gone significantly past that. We're doing international mergers and acquisitions. We're doing international distribution agreements. We're doing US franchise agreements nationwide for clients in Central America, so it's become a lot more sophisticated and a lot more complex."
His firm, Harper Meyer, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. After having worked for both large and small law firms, Mr. Harper knew that being part of a small, service-oriented firm was one of his top priorities. Harper Meyer has grown from three lawyers to 12 and is looking to grow slightly more.
His areas of expertise include operating and financing aviation equipment leases, foreign debt renegotiations, asset-based lending, distribution agreements, franchising, licensing and commercial transactions.
"I've always had that interest," he said about international law. "In fact, when I started out as a young lawyer just out of law school, I left [a] firm because they did not do international work. I was born in Cuba… I speak Spanish fluently and I've traveled extensively in Latin America. It just seemed to gravitate in that direction from the very beginning."
Mr. Harper is the former president of the Inter-American Bar Association, the University of Miami Alumni Association and the University of Miami Law Alumni Association. He has also served on the board of the Salvation Army and was board chairman of the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, currently known as HistoryMiami.
He talked about his career and trends in international law with Miami Today's Patricia Hoyos in his downtown Miami office.
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