I help multinational businesses and financial institutions in the commercial, corporate and financial sectors deal with issues such as compliance, financial regulation, data protection and privacy, anti-corruption, multi-level marketing and customs and trade law.

I also advise sovereign governments, handle crisis management situations, assist on mergers and acquisitions and manage a wide variety of litigation matters, ranging from major infrastructure projects to complex international financial disputes, as well as contract and labor law disputes.

I have taught courses on international business transactions, international dispute resolution, US constitutional law, and the common law system.

I have published numerous articles, both scholarly and more practice oriented. And I have spoken on a wide spectrum of related topics, from bankers’ liability to the Millennium bug, to the law of beer.

I serve or have served on the boards of, or been active in a broad variety of professional, charitable, civic, and political organizations, ranging from The American Chamber of Commerce in France, and the European American Chamber of Commerce, the International Section of the American Bar Association, the Rheinischer Internationaler Juristenverein, the Duke University Alumni Club of France, the Democratic Party of the United States and Democrats Abroad, and the American Friends of St. Joseph’s Passionist RC Church.

On September 23 2021, I participated with colleagues from the Fall Alliance in the Paris Arbitration Week (PAW) in the frame of a conference on the following topic "Francophone Africa & International arbitration".  

  • Counsel to a US based multinational manufacturer of high-tech composite materials used in the space and aeronautics industry in connection with its long term supply agreements, distribution agreements and general corporate and commercial work throughout Europe, as well as various acquisitions and reorganizations of its European subsidiaries
  • Counsel to a large US based retailer with worldwide operations concerning data transfer issues between the EU and the US, in particular employee and consumer related data, the transfer of such data in the context of litigation in the US, as well as French and European rules regulating or prohibiting such transfersCounsel to a French-speaking sub-Saharan nation in connection with the drafting of the anti-corruption regulations under its Mining Code
  • Counsel to a French-speaking sub-Saharan nation in connection with its relations with the US and France
  • Counsel to a French-speaking sub-Saharan nation on certain crisis management matters
  • Representation of a North American airline in relation to a dispute with an international air traffic control agency, involving the alleged siphoning off of funds by employees of the agency and the illicit transfer of the funds to an international drug trafficking and money laundering ring operating out of Cyprus, Lebanon and Nigeria
  • Representation of a major US manufacturer of oil field production equipment in connection with a breach of contract dispute for the sale of aluminium tubing to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War, including questions concerning the breach of related charter parties, and questions of FCPA, fraud and usurpation of corporate identity
  • Counsel to a consortium of banks based in London for the financing of the retrofitting of an aircraft operated by a state-owned mixed economy enterprise based in Francophone Africa, as well as the drafting of legislation for the country in question recognizing aircraft mortgages
  • Counsel to several US based manufacturers in connection with their European-wide commercial agreements, including review and negotiation of distribution agreements, supply agreements, general terms and conditions, licensing and trademark agreements
  • Representation of a French manufacturer of luxury pleasure crafts in connection with a dispute in US federal court in South Carolina and Florida in a significant products liability matter, including the successful dismissal of the complaint for lack of jurisdiction
  • Counsel to a leading French wine group on the exportation of its wines to the US
  • Counsel to several mining consortia based respectively in Canada, Israel and the USA in connection with their acquisition of mining rights in various sub-Saharan countries
  • Counsel to a US based multi-level sales distributor of health and wellness products in connection with the setting up of its French operations including questions of French and EU consumer protection, French labour and employment law, French commercial and corporate law
  • Counsel to a major US bank in connection with several French-based financing transactions and the bank’s role as corporate trustee
  • Counsel to a leading manufacturer of high-tech products in connection with the resolution of claims of moral harassment by a senior executive
  • Counsel to a leading manufacturer and retailer of fine jewelry in connection with its acquisition and subsequent divestiture several years later of the largest chain of fine jewelry retail outlets in France and related commercial law, corporate law, labor law, unfair competition law (including white collar crime issues) and banking law issues
  • Counsel to a US-based company specializing in the multilevel marketing of dietary and weight control food supplements and related wellness and fitness training, and various aspects of commercial law and French consumer protection law
  • Counsel to three consortia of US, French and Belgian banks in connection with three syndicated loans for the construction of the then largest plastics plant in Latin America, and related French and Belgian government export finance guarantees
  • Counsel to a high net worth individual in connection with his real estate holdings on the island of Saint Barthélemy (St. Barts) and related litigation and inheritance issues
  • Counsel to a French-based bank in connection with the seizure of an aircraft purportedly belonging to a sovereign state but used by its president for his personal affairs
  • Counsel to a rising opera singer in connection with a contract dispute with a major opera house
  • Representation of the government of a sub-Saharan government in connection with advising it on obtaining private enterprise investments from the United States and in improving its relationship with the government of the United States
  • Counsel to an independent international film producer based in Luxembourg
  • Representation of a US based cosmetics company in connection with a dispute involving a French joint venture partner
  • Representation of several commercial entities and individuals who were victims of an international scam involving actions in France and the United Arab Emirates and related criminal complaints there


Fellow, Special Program for Young Lawyers – October 1982 to December 1983


Juris Doctor – May 1980

Honors and activities:Order of Barristers; Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, Regional Team; International Law Society, President (1979-1980); Assistant to Dean Nicholas Cafardi for Alumni Affairs (1979-1980); Research Assistant to Professor Karl P. Herbst on Commercial Law of the People’s Republic of China

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Master of Arts, German – August 1976

Thesis: "Sphinx und Strohmann and Hiob: An Interpretation of Two Plays by Oskar Kokoschka"

Honors and activities: Davidge Fellow; Dupont Fellow; Graduate Teaching Assistant; Research Assistant

DUKE UNIVERSITY, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude), Germanic Languages and Comparative Literature – September to December 1971; September 1973 to May 1975

Honors and activities:Fulbright Scholarship Alternate Fellow for Germany (1975); Class Honors (1974); Dean’s List (1973-1974); Delta Phi Alpha (Honorary Fraternity – German Studies)

WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON COLLEGE, Washington, Pennsylvania, USA – February 1972 to May 1973

Majors in English and German

Honors and activities: Beta Scholar; Delta Phi Alpha


  • French (native)
  • English 
  • Spanish 
  • German 

“My Firm and I have known Joe for 7 years but he was recommended to us by both our previous counsel (who was retiring) and by my colleagues in our Paris office who have known him for many years. Joe has been both very responsive and knowledgeable about our needs. He has always been attentive and connects with a human touch. Great to work and communicate with.” CEO of a French bank

“Where to even start expressing my appreciation for a quarter-century’s personal and professional collaboration with Joseph Smallhoover? Beginning as a mentor and trustworthy colleague in civic associative endeavors, Joe has continually provided insightful and pragmatic guidance and support as a friend and legal counsel. I highly recommend Joe’s legal services with no reservations whatsoever.” Independent Film Producer and Entrepreneur

“I have known Joseph Smallhoover for many years personally.  I recently engaged him in various projects that I am involved with and  the best way I can describe this experience is ‘He works miracles’.”  International Art Dealer

 “I have retained and worked closely with Joe for over 20 years in the course of my work as executive vice president and general counsel of a NYSE corporation engaged in global manufacturing of products involving advanced technologies. Throughout the years Joe has provided astute legal counsel from initiation to final implementation of each project for which he was a principal advisor. Among these matters were banking, human resources, insurance and litigation, corporate structuring, compliance and director responsibilities. His combined US and European experience was especially useful where multi-jurisdictional and cultural considerations were important. Joe also brought a practical business lawyer’s viewpoint to the search for solutions where more than just legal analysis was needed to achieve the desired goal.” Executive vice president and general counsel of a NYSE corporation


  • "German Newsletter" with Dr. Volker Triebel in Business Law Review (1983-1984)
  • "France" in Doing Business in Europe, CCH Editions Limited (1988-1998)
  • "Rites of Tolerance" in Two and Two (March/April 1990)
  • "France" in International Banking: A Legal Guide, Special Supplement to the International Financial Law Review (September 1991)
  • International Financial Law Practice Files, French Correspondent (1992-1993)
  • "La commercialisation d’OPCVM étrangers en France" in Marchés et Techniques Financières (no. 72, July-August 1995)
  • "Faut-il renforcer l’article 52 de la loi bancaire" in Marchés et Techniques Financières (no. 76, December 1995)
  • "Nouvelles lumières sur les règlements des litiges dans les financements internationaux" in Marchés et Techniques Financières (no. 79, March 1996)
  • "L’évolution du comportement des investisseurs institutionnels en matière de 'Corporate Governance'" in Marchés et Techniques Financières (no. 81, May 1996)
  • "La fusion d’échelles d’intérêts" in Marchés et Techniques Financières (no. 83, September 1996)
  • "Le nouveau régime du nantissement de comptes d’instruments financiers" in L’Agéfi (November 26, 1996)
  • "France Fights to Regain Foothold" in Airfinance Journal: Guide to Aviation Lawyers (1997)
  • "Recouvrement amiable des créances: nouvelle réglementation" in L’Agéfi (January 17, 1997)
  • "Fraude dans les opérations bancaires internationales" with Kristine Karsten in L’Agéfi (March 27, 1997)
  • "Une copie à revoir? La nouvelle Loi sur les plans d’épargne retraite" in L’Agéfi (June 4, 1997)
  • "La nouvelle réglementation du recouvrement amiable de créances: Etes-vous concerné " with Stéphane Vital-Durand in La Semaine Juridique, Ed. E, (no. 38, 1997)
  • "Realizing an Aircraft Mortgage in France" with Kristine Karsten in Airfinance Journal: Guide to Aviation Lawyers (1998)
  • "The Euro: The Practical Implications for Its Introduction" with Bernardine Adkins in The National Law Journal (July 27, 1998)
  • "Gestion de Trésorerie Centralisée ou Décentralisée? / Centralized or Decentralized Cash Management?" in Revue de Droit des Affaires Internationales (no. 6, 1998)
  • "La réforme de la notion d’appel public à l’épargne" with Christian Cano in Les Echos (December 2, 1998)
  • "France Seeks to Create its Own Pfandbriefe Market" with Christian Cano in International Financial Law Review (August 1999)
  • "Capital-risque : quels sont les outils dont dispose un investisseur pour entrer dans votre capital?" with Christian Cano in Option Finance (September 13, 1999)
  • "Les obligations foncières : un nouvel acteur dans le marché français" with Christian Cano in La Semaine Juridique (no. 37, 1999)
  • "Fund and Asset Management in France" with Christian Cano in Fund Management 1999, a legal guide (International Financial Law Review, 1999)
  • "The Economic and Commercial Benefit of Corporate Guarantees – An International Comparison" with Andrew Petersen, Richard Temko, Marc Seimetz, Gary Green and Vincent Coq in Butterworth Journal of International Banking and Financial Law (Vol. 17 - No. 6, June 2002)
  • "Les devoirs des gérants de ‘hedge funds’ : Le contrôle de la Securities and Exchange Commission sur les ‘hedge funds’ est remis en question par la Cour fédérale d’appel du District de Columbia" with Alexandre Marion in Les Echos (September 13, 2006)
  • "French Issues on Securitization" in Securitizations: Legal and Regulatory Issues (Law Journal Press, 2006)
  • "The CMBS Market in France"  in Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securitisation: Developments in the European CMBS Market (Sweet and Maxwell, 2006)
  • "Le Secret Professionnel et la Cyber Law" in Protection of Privacy Rights and the Challenges of the Virtual World (College of Law -- United Arab Emirates University, November 2014)
  • “Enforcing Non-US Court Judgments In The US Can Be Difficult” with Rodney F. Page in (August 15, 2017) 
  • "Sapin II ne nous concerne pas, n’est-ce pas ?" with Constantin Achillas in Les (August 30, 2017)
  • “Recent Court Decisions May Complicate the Enforcement of Non US Court Judgments in the United States” with Rodney F. Page in  Dispute Resolution International Vol. 12 N°1 (May 2018)
  • “CCPA et Cloud Act, Que faut-il retenir?” in actuEL Direction Juridique - Numérique (July 27, 2018)