Skip to main content
Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Cross Cultural Competence and International Business Etiquette for Lawyers

13 February 2015

Time: 6:00 - 8:00pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London, 67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3JB

According to Professor Geert Hofstede, the founder of comparative intercultural research, culture is the "the software of the mind," set against the "hard wiring" of genetic development. Without knowing, we are all influenced by the culture in which we have been raised and this influences our business dealings and relationships with others. Although it is not possible to master all of the diverse customs and cultures of the various regions of the world, as a modern-day lawyer during a period of globalisation, it is important to develop an awareness of international business etiquette and to understand that what may be considered perfectly acceptable and natural in one country can be confusing or even offensive in another.

For an international lawyer, cross-cultural competence is critical to professional success because in the coming years the businesses and organisations most likely to experience sustained growth are those that carry out work on an international basis and who develop a set of strategic skills to master business across many different cultures. According to a recent Accenture study, productivity in businesses can be raised by 30 percent through optimising cross-cultural skills in their staff. Clearly, legal firms need employees who are globally minded and who have the skills necessary to operate successfully on an international level. To develop these now is an investment in the future that can also help during the selection process.

The aim of this session is to help you to identify different cultural types throughout the world and to develop an awareness of business etiquette that will enable you to operate successfully on an international basis.

By the end of the session you will be able to: 

  • Identify your own cultural type and understand how this differs from that of others
  • Learn the ABC of International Business Etiquette:
    • Appearance-
      What to wear and how to adopt the style expected of a successful lawyer
    • Behaviour-
      How to act at interviews, in meetings, dinners and networking events
      How to deal with card presentation and gift giving
    • Communication-
      How to use the right body language
      How to communicate verbally to avoid misunderstanding
      How to use the correct etiquette during e-mail exchanges

A Certificate of Attendance will be awarded.

This course is led by Dr Pippa Heath (QMUL),  Charlotte Rushworth (QMUL), and Svetlana London (Managing partner of CIS London).

How to Book

This seminar is open to CCLS post-graduate students only.

Attendance is free of charge but prior registration is required via Eventbrite.


For more information, please contact the CCLS Events Team on

Photography, video and audio recording

Please note that CCLS events may be photographed or video and audio recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by Queen Mary University of London. If you object to appearing in the photographs, please let our photographer know on the day. Alternatively you can email the CCLS Events Team on in advance of the event that you are attending.

Back to top