Private International Law

Welcome to the Private International Law site.

The Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Private International Law (L/PIL) is responsible for the negotiation and conclusion of international conventions, model laws or rules, legislative guides, and other instruments governing private transactions that cross international borders. The Office is also responsible for providing advice on private international law matters, including when these matters arise in domestic litigation. Subject areas of private international law include matters relating to children and families; dispute resolution (including international arbitration and mediation); judicial cooperation (including the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments); insolvency; finance and banking; secured transactions; contract law; electronic commerce; and wills, trusts, and estates.

Most of the work of the office takes place in three international settings: the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCOPIL), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT). The Office also engages in activities at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC), Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT).

From time to time, the Office obtains advice regarding its work from the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law (ACPIL). The ACPIL typically meets throughout the year on a variety of topics. ACPIL membership includes representatives of national organizations, whose professional activities involve the field of private international law, and other experts in private international law. Public meetings are announced in the Federal Register. Please see the Advisory Committee on Private International Law tab for information on upcoming meetings as well as summaries for public meetings.

For information on matters in which L/PIL is engaged, please see the issue-specific tabs (i.e., Wills, Trusts, and Estates; Family Law; Arbitration and Judgments; Judicial Assistance; and Commercial Law).

Students in law school who are interested in serving as an extern in L/PIL during the academic year should see the Externship tab.

Persons or organizations wishing to comment on this website or to otherwise contact L/PIL are invited to email, fax, or write a letter to the following:

Office of Private International Law
2430 E Street, NW
Suite 357 South Building
Washington, DC 20037-2851


Fax: (202) 776-8482