Business Formation and Growth
We represent manufacturing companies of all types and sizes, from counseling startup and emerging companies on business formation and entity structure to advising mature companies on pursuing growth strategies and mergers and acquisitions. Our attorneys provide guidance on end-to-end supply chain operations as well as on drafting and negotiating complex distribution and supply contracts. Our M&A lawyers have experience structuring large-scale leveraged buyouts, private equity transactions, joint ventures, fund formation, and in the acquisition and disposition of portfolio companies and investments. And we help private companies establish employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) as part of succession planning.
Capital Raising, Transactional Finance, and Securities
We have extensive experience in structuring financing transactions from due diligence to closing for manufacturing clients on all sides of the negotiating table. We advise on securities and compliance matters, including SEC compliance by our public-company clients, as well as debt and equity capital-raising activities, commercial loans, letters of credit, and technology licensing. In addition, we work closely with attorneys in our Tax Group to guide restructurings, recapitalizations, audits, and transactions that leverage state and local tax credits, deductions, abatements, enterprise zones, and exemptions.
Labor, Employment, and Compensation Strategies
We have extensive experience with all aspects of labor and employment law for a broad range of industrial clients. We understand the unique issues posed by the unionized workforces common in some industrial sectors of our economy. We have strategized and bargained labor contracts across the country, handled unfair labor practice litigation before the NLRB and in the appellate courts, obtained injunctions against striking workers, and tried labor arbitrations involving issues ranging from discipline and discharge to complex contract interpretations.
Outside the arena of traditional labor law, we have provided, in both union and non-union settings, management training, day-to-day advice, strategic planning, internal investigations, and defense of all types of employment-related litigation. For example, we work closely with health and safety professionals to conduct mock OSHA audits, improve workplace safety training, and defend OSHA investigations and related litigation. For manufacturers that rely on foreign workers for some positions requiring specialized skills, we have assisted in obtaining H1-B and other visas, and in ensuring I-9 and immigration compliance.
For clients making acquisitions, downsizing, or restructuring, we provide the counsel necessary to ensure that related employment issues are addressed and do not derail key plans. The protection of intellectual property and other confidential information is critical to success in many industries; we have drafted and enforced restrictive covenants such as non-competes and confidentiality provisions in jurisdictions across the country. Finally, our litigation practice runs the gamut of employment claims. We have successfully defended cases involving ERISA, workplace torts (such as defamation and invasion of privacy), discrimination, harassment, retaliation/"whistleblowing," breach of contract and wage/hour laws. Our experience includes single plaintiff cases and large multi-state class actions.
Our attorneys also help clients design employee benefits and compensation packages that attract and retain a valuable workforce. We also draft incentive and equity, retirement, health care, and welfare benefit plans for regional and national manufacturing companies. The team counsels plan fiduciaries on governance, ERISA, tax, and other related issues.
Whether it’s a plant or pipeline, an office or warehouse, all manufacturing companies own or use some form of real estate in their business operations and face real estate-related challenges. Our real estate attorneys handle all aspects of property-related projects, transactions, and issues—from ground-up development to sophisticated financing transactions to complex tax matters.
We work with leading manufacturing companies to maximize asset value, minimize taxes and other liabilities, identify and capitalize on opportunities, and overcome obstacles. Our real estate practice is exceptionally diversified and our services fully integrated—providing seamless, strategic counsel whether a company is acquiring property, challenging an assessment, planning and implementing development, entering into a complex lease, or divesting of assets that no longer fit the corporate mission.
We have significant experience working with clients to develop, expand, relocate, or dispose of corporate headquarters nationwide. We advise management and in-house legal teams on complex real estate transactions, including negotiation of economic incentives that support community development while maximizing opportunity for the businesses.
Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainability
For decades we have counseled manufacturers on environmental regulatory and compliance matters affecting their businesses, helping clients to obtain and comply with air, water and solid waste permits, to address contamination issues and to fend off enforcement actions and citizen suits. Our attorneys have represented major industrial players in resolving governmental and third-party damage claims arising from permitting, regulatory compliance, risk management, waste management, and complex water- and air-quality matters. The team also has deep experience in other areas of “traditional” environmental law, such as transfer and development of wetlands and contaminated properties, chemical registration and regulation, natural resource mining and production, storage tank and spill regulation, remediation obligations under Superfund and state analogs, and even unique state programs such as California’s Prop 65 chemical disclosure law.
Today, manufacturers need more, and we help our clients develop business strategies not only to address regulatory challenges, but also to take advantage of opportunities and to respond to customer demands. We help our clients participate in the development of new regulations to protect or enhance the value of their products. We identify competitive advantages to be gained through regulatory action. We provide a complete suite of advice relating to sustainability efforts, supply chain improvements and Environmental/Social/Governance investor reporting. We also help our clients prepare for and navigate the patchwork regulation of greenhouse gases that is emerging as states across the country adopt independent programs to combat climate change.
While many business disputes can be resolved through effective negotiation, there are some issues that require a litigation approach. Our manufacturing clients retain us for our ability to identify the business problem at the core of a dispute, formulate a legal strategy to obtain the best result, and skillfully advocate their position in court, in agency and administrative proceedings, and before arbitration panels. From the moment you contact us with your matter, we are assessing how best to help you achieve the result that makes the most business sense for you. We tailor solutions to your problems. And we have lawyers who are adept and creative in using litigation as the powerful business tool that it can be. At bottom, we know that "success" means achieving the best commercial outcome for your business, whether that requires an early motion to dismiss, an early settlement, or taking the case all the way to trial because the principle in question is important.
Our capabilities span the range of commercial issues our clients face, including antitrust, bankruptcy, environmental compliance, government regulatory actions, product liability, corporate governance, and white collar investigations. From simple contract disputes to complex bet-the-company class actions; from patent infringement assertions to employee terminations; from restrictive covenants to Superfund sites, we have deep knowledge of and credentials in resolving issues such as these for our manufacturing client base.
Intellectual Property Management and Disputes
Industrial clients frequently own and manage extremely valuable IP assets and portfolios—and we understand the importance of ensuring that they are properly protected. Our team provides a full range of IP strategy, procurement, branding, monetization, and enforcement services for intellectual property throughout the world. Many of our attorneys and patent agents have worked as scientists and engineers in the industries they now serve and hold advanced degrees in the sciences. We have the technical and legal experience and resources to efficiently and creatively handle complex infringement and antitrust regulatory issues relating to licensing, patents, trademarks, copyrights, designs, domain names, and trade secrets. We are frequently involved in due diligence for mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, financing, and securitization.
Our experience in drafting and negotiating intellectual property agreements, policies, and programs helps identify measures that reduce the risk of IP misappropriation and maximize the value of the IP. The group includes attorneys skilled in dispute resolution strategies who have successfully represented IP owners and accused infringers before patent and trademark offices and state and federal courts across the country and in international forums.
Data Privacy and Security
Technological and information-gathering advancements are constantly reshaping manufacturing capabilities, and we understand the privacy and data security laws governing these technologies. Our attorneys work closely with industrial clients on the development and implementation of information risk management programs, vendor assessment and management issues, privacy and information security disclosures, cyber incident response planning, information governance, and data breach response.
We have advised clients on privacy and security considerations in designing and implementing data storage and management plans to mitigate threats and liability. We understand the procedural nuances within data life cycle management, from creation and initial storage of a record until it becomes obsolete and is deleted, and help clients comply with state, federal, and international laws, regulations, and industry standards. We counsel clients on the privacy and security implications of emerging Internet of Things (IoT) technology, advising them on developing standards and regulations, the impact of foreign data privacy law on collection and transfer of IoT generated data, disclosure obligations, and potential discriminatory impact of algorithm based decisioning tools.