Neal N. Beaton is the firmwide Co-Leader of the International and Cross Border Transactions practice. He practices in the area of corporate and commercial transactions, intellectual property, international trade and business immigration law. He is experienced in mergers and acquisitions (particularly on behalf of non-U.S. parties); venture capital and minority investments; pharmaceutical and intellectual property licensing, joint development and other technology agreements; joint ventures; distribution agreements; shareholder agreements; employment agreements; trademark and copyright protection; antitrust compliance; and corporate and visa planning. He has been particularly active in representing Finnish and Japanese clients. Among the transactions he has handled were the largest acquisition at the time by a Japanese corporation outside Japan and numerous acquisitions or other transactions in the wireless equipment, biotech and other fields.

Prior to its combining with Holland & Knight in 2001, Mr. Beaton spent his entire legal career with Gilbert, Segall and Young.

Representative Engagements

  • Represented a global tobacco company based in Japan in its $8 billion acquisition of all operations of RJR International — at the time, the largest acquisition outside Japan by a Japanese company
  • Represented a large Finnish telecommunications company in numerous matters, including setting up joint ventures in Korea, Texas and Brazil and subsequent buy-outs; more than a dozen acquisitions and divestitures; key agreements with licensors and customers; U.S. corporate structure; blanket intracompany transferee visa approval; and U.S. aspects of multi-billion-dollar global litigation against the owners of a cellular service provider
  • Represented a Finnish manufacturer of heart rate monitors in the acquisition of its U.S. distributor, its U.S. operations, and patent and other litigation
  • Represented Japanese, European and U.S. pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies and not-for-profit entities dedicated to treating and eradicating serious diseases in worldwide, U.S. and Japanese pharmaceutical licenses as well as in research, collaboration, joint venture and equity investment agreements
  • Represented a U.S. cigarette importer in its entry into the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement agreed to by the four largest U.S. tobacco companies and numerous state attorneys general, and advised on the ongoing Master Settlement Agreement as well as FTC, FDA and state regulatory compliance
  • Represented a Spanish hotel chain in the restructuring of its U.S. operations

Representative Experience


  • Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Harvard College, A.B., Government (International Relations), magna cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • New York
  • International Bar Association, Section of Business Law, Committee on International Sales and Related Commercial Transactions
  • Inter-Pacific Bar Association, Pre-Formation Steering Committee
  • Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Director, 2002-present; President, 2007-2011, 2014, 2015
Honors & Awards
  • New York Super Lawyers magazine, 2006-2010, 2012-2023
  • Rhodes Scholarship Nomination
  • Harvard Center for International Affairs, Associate
  • Harvard Law School Ames Moot Court Competition Finalist
  • James Gordon Bennett Prize, Harvard College
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated


Speaking Engagements