Reinhold F. Krammer

Principal, Chicago
Phone: 312.245.7500
rkrammer@masudafunai.com

Reinhold F. Krammer's advice is sought by international-based companies, their U.S. subsidiaries, foreign governmental trade representatives and offices, and domestic entities. Mr. Krammer assists companies in entering the U.S. market, expanding their existing U.S. operations, and protecting their corporate interests in the United States, and correspondingly, the parent company's interests overseas.

Mr. Krammer has been named a Leading Lawyer in the Leading Lawyers' Network for the areas of International Business and Trade Law as well as Commercial Litigation, and has been appointed by the Republic of Austria as its Honorary Consul responsible for the States of Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. His practice is concentrated mainly on international trade; business litigation and dispute resolution; contract negotiation and drafting, including agreements related to intellectual property, technology and product development, supply, licensing, sales and distribution; counseling companies on entering the U.S. market; collection-related matters; collateral recovery; and protecting companies who have done or are doing business with customers who are distressed or have filed for bankruptcy protection.

Mr. Krammer is a President Circle Member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, has been a director and officer of the International Trade Club of Chicago, and is a director and officer of the Austria America Foundation, Inc. Mr. Krammer is a frequent speaker to governmental and international trade groups involved in and responsible for foreign direct investment and export related activities. Topics include commercial litigation, entry into and expansion in the U.S., and international trade.

He has appeared pro hac vice in lawsuits, arbitration proceedings and mediations throughout the U.S. and overseas including Paris, France, and the States of Illinois, Michigan, New York, Delaware, California, Arizona and Florida.  Mr. Krammer is also a Certified Public Accountant. He maintains fluency in English and German.

Representative Industries

  • Automotive and parts supply
  • Bio/Pharmaceutical
  • Construction
  • Consumer products
  • Electronics and semi-conductor
  • Energy
  • Equipment leasing and financing
  • Food manufacturing and distribution
  • High-Tech, including development, software and e-commerce
  • Machinery and equipment, including machine tools, robotics, lasers, optics, packaging, construction and metrology
  • Retail, distribution, sales and services
  • Transportation, warehousing, shipping, and domestic and international trade

Representative Matters


  • Prosecuted claim and defended Counterclaim for lens/optics designer/manufacturer against camera/lens manufacturer/seller at hearing before American Arbitration Association tribunal conducted in New York, New York related to claim for wrongful termination of Development Agreement. Arbitral Award found in favor of lens/optics designer/manufacturer and awarded over $3.9 million in damages.

  • Represented manufacturer of water purification equipment used in fracking industry over breach of licensing agreement before International Chamber of Commerce, International Court of Arbitration in Paris, France.

  • Represented glass etching and cutting machinery supplier against fortune 500 company alleging defective design and manufacture. Resulted in purchaser keeping equipment and seller retaining payments made for equipment.

  • Represented optics company in dispute related to wrongful termination of Development Agreement.

  • Represented Tier II automotive supplier in recovering millions from publicly traded Tier I supplier for unrecovered NRE and capital expenditures related to wrongful termination of blanket supply agreement. Based upon resolution, parties continued business relationship.

  • Represented a Tier II automotive supplier in a $3.1 million preference claim, in which as a result of a disgruntled employee who failed to advise the company of the claim, a default judgment was initially entered in that amount against the supplier. Asserting that the supplier had not been properly served with the summons and complaint, and that the defendant had complete defenses to the avoidance actions, supplier prevailed in obtaining a finding that the default judgment should be overturned and ultimately convinced plaintiff to dismiss the complaint altogether without the supplier having to return any of the alleged preferential payments.

  • Defended and settled various claims against manufacturer of outdoor and indoor power tools, alleging defect in design, manufacture and warning.

  • Defended publicly traded manufacturer of industrial excavator equipment from indemnification claims from subsequent reseller for substantial alleged consequential and other economic losses.

  • Counseled clients in disputes over millions of dollars in unpaid receivables due from bankrupt or distressed suppliers and customers resulting in successful structured repayments.

  • Obtained dismissal of claim brought against Tier I automotive supplier relating to child's alleged exposure to lead brought home by parent from facility.

  • Represented a supplier of a component used in the automotive industry. The purchaser owed the supplier millions of dollars. Purchaser asserted that the product was defectively manufactured. Successfully argued that purchaser's design of the product that was provided to supplier for manufacturing purposes was defective and not supplier's manufacturing process. Matter was thereafter settled favorably, whereby purchaser dismissed its claims and paid purchaser amounts due.

  • Prosecuted trademark infringement claim against infringer whereby defendant ceased using trademark and was found liable for infringement.

  • Defended claims asserted against a supplier of marine diesel engines. The contract, warranty and fraud claims asserting millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages were settled upon terms favorable to the supplier.

  • Mediated and obtained settlement favorable to defendant manufacturer of printing presses in $3 million preference claim involving complicated international transactions based upon Letter of Credit and Documents against Payment. Also contested solvency and asserted defenses of contemporary exchanges, new value, and ordinary course of business.

  • Defended a purchaser of material handling bags against the supplier. Convinced trier of fact that subject bags were defective and, as a result, the amounts claimed from supplier were not due.

  • Represented a creditor in work out and bankruptcy proceeding in which creditor was main supplier and customer of debtor and in which creditor supported, in part, through guaranty, DIP financing.

  • Pursued insurance company which claimed subrogation rights under credit card insurance policy, resulting in $1.9 million payment to decedent's estate relating to Kentucky airline crash.

  • Represented manufacturer of pumps before U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regarding possible recall issues.

  • Recovered a printing press on behalf of a lessor that served as collateral for an equipment lease. Lessee, who defaulted under the lease, claimed that the press was defectively designed and manufactured and, therefore, had no obligation to make payments under the lease or to return the equipment. A settlement was reached whereby the lessee returned the equipment to the lessor, agreed to pay significant amounts to the lessor and released its claims asserting defective design and manufacture.

  • Represented a manufacturer of plastic storage containers. Obtained prompt repossession of plastic injection molds from the adverse party in Canada and settled and resolved the Canadian defendant's counterclaims without payment of any funds.

  • Represented an employer that suffered significant losses because of an employee's embezzlement of monies. Successfully sought a freeze of the employee's assets that resulted in full restitution by the employee to the employer.

  • SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS AND ARTICLES

    • Sole Presenter on U.S. Entry Strategy and Entity Formation to Netherlands Smart Cities Delegation sponsored by the Energy Coalition of Chicago – June 2, 2015
    • Contributor to Round-Table Discussion on "Law-Made in Germany" sponsored by German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc. – December 4, 2014
    • Sole Presenter to U.S. Department of Commerce/Commercial Service, "Structuring and Negotiating International Sales Partner Agreements by Exporters" – September 10, 2014
    • Speaker at the State of Illinois, Office of Trade and Investment, Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity's "Latest International Trade Policies, Missions and Available Services to Grow Your Business and Meet Potential Partners" – September 10, 2014
    • Presenter for Roundtable Discussion hosted by State of Illinois, SBDC International Trade Center at ICNC, "International Sales and Distribution Agreements" – January 29, 2014
    • Speaker at State of Illinois, SBDC International Trade Center event on Structuring International Trade Agreements – December 10, 2013
    • Presenter to Representatives of Upper Austrian Automotive Cluster regarding Entering and Doing Business in the U.S.
    • Contributor to State of Illinois, Illinois Trade Center Brief "Knowing When and How to Protect a Small Business against International Claims." – November 12, 2013
    • Participant at Wind Energy Expert Roundtable – German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc. – November 11, 2013
    • "Wisconsin's Fair Dealership Law" – Presentation to German Wind Energy Delegation sponsored by German American Chamber of Commerce
    • "When Your Secrets Are No Longer Secret – The Need for Confidentiality Agreements" – Austrian Connect Newsflash of Austrian Trade Commission
    • "The Future of Global Manufacturing: Trends and Opportunities" – Moderator of Panel Discussions sponsored by German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc.
    • "The Future of Business in Europe" – Introductory Remarks to a Presentation by Christoph Leitl, President of Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and Former President of Eurochambers sponsored by Chicago Council on Global Affairs
    • "Maximizing Your Return Through Collection Efforts" – Webinar sponsored by Austrian Trade Commission
    • "Bankruptcy and Conducting Business With Distressed Suppliers and Purchasers" – Panelist for event organized by German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc.
    • Article, "Getting Paid by Automotive and Other Customers" – German American Trade Magazine
    • Regular Contributor to Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. Litigation Practice Group Newsletter including article "Getting Paid by Financially Distressed U.S. Customers"

Practice Areas

Language

  • German

Education

  • University of Illinois, B.S., with honors, 1988
  • DePaul University College of Law, J.D., Editor for the DePaul Law Review, 1993

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Chicago Council on Global Affairs - Presidential Circle
  • German American Chamber of Commerce
  • German International School of Chicago - Honorary Director
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • International Trade Club of Chicago – Director

Distinctions

  • Recognized as a Leading Lawyer, 2015-2017