Legal Issues for International Schools During the Pandemic

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Harris Bricken international attorney Arlo Kipfer was recently interviewed by Richard Gaskell, CEO of International Education Solutions (IES), regarding legal issues affecting international schools during the COVID pandemic.

As part of his wide-ranging international practice, Arlo spends much of his time on international education issues. Arlo has advised many companies on independent and joint venture international schools and he is a frequent speaker at international school conferences. Arlo is based in Bogota, Colombia, and he is fluent in Spanish, Chinese, and English.

In this video below, Arlo discusses the importance of setting solid legal foundations for your school and getting your legal schoolhouse in order, both of which will help ensure your school can weather unexpected situations — like a pandemic, changing national education laws, or an economic recession.

Based on Arlo’s nearly two decades of working with international schools and businesses, he emphasized the following as key legal issues for schools to examine:

1. Conducting due diligence on your current and prospective local partners.

2. Choosing a legal form and deal structure that reflects accurately the expected business arrangement of a new to-be-established school.

3. Protecting your school’s intellectual property.

4. Ensuring your contracts are enforceable.

5. Preparing your HR department to comply with employment laws, especially as restructuring may now be necessary for local and foreign staff.

Though Arlo’s talk focuses on educational companies, what he says is relevant for any company that does business internationally.

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