AREAS OF PRACTICE
One of the key elements of the success of any organization is a thorough and carefully implemented regulatory compliance program. In today’s fast-paced business environment, every industry must contend with an increasingly complex array of regulations that are written, administered and enforced by a plethora of government regulators at every level. The reach of federal, state and local agencies continues to proliferate and, as a result, the regulated industries must adapt and maintain compliance without delay or interruption. Because our clients operate in some of the most heavily regulated sectors of the economy including international transportation, insurance and banking, many of them have been disproportionately impacted by the expansion of these administrative agencies.
We work closely with our clients to develop the most effective compliance programs possible, while ensuring that these programs do not impede the client’s business. A well-conceived, properly administered compliance program is one of the best investments a company can make. Conversely, an imperfect compliance program can result in catastrophic civil and in some cases even criminal penalties. Our lawyers are adept at skillfully assisting companies of all sizes navigate the multitude of rules and regulations that frequently impede growth and prosperity.
Our firm has successfully represented clients in matters before numerous regulatory agencies including the Federal Maritime Commission, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Department of Commerce (including the Bureau of Industry and Security) and Department of the Treasury (including the Office of Foreign Assets Control). Utilizing our comprehensive understanding of these regulations and other laws governing international trade and commerce, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, we routinely work with companies of all sizes to devise and implement training programs that are essential to the goal of reducing the risks associated with non-compliance.
In addition to the ever-expanding number of federal administrative agencies and bureaus within these agencies issuing and enforcing regulations, every state government and even many municipal governments have added to the regulatory obligations imposed on many industries. Not only must our clients flawlessly comply with this library of regulations, but federal, state and municipal regulations are often inconsistent. These inconsistencies must be carefully interpreted and reconciled.
Our firm’s overriding goal is to protect our clients so they can focus on operating and growing their businesses. We are unique because we adroitly deploy our complex commercial litigation expertise in an effort to prevent litigation from ever occurring in the first place. We work with companies to plan and grow their businesses using well-grounded legal and regulatory parameters in order to avoid common legal pitfalls that frequently result in costly and time-consuming litigation. Whether it is the skillful drafting of contracts, structuring of transactions or formulating human resource policies, savvy “issue-spotting” helps to avoid or minimize the disruption to our clients that often arises from burdensome litigation.
In the event our clients do encounter situations where litigation is unavoidable, our firm’s attorneys have the experience and knowledge to expertly navigate through these matters. We have successfully litigated numerous complex disputes in both federal and state courts.
Some of these matters have included:
- Trade secret infringement
- Insurance litigation (including coverage disputes)
- Post-employment non-compete and non-solicitation agreements
- Defense of employment discrimination claims
- Fair Labor Standards Act and other federal and state wage and hour law claims
- Real Estate Litigation
- Shareholder Disputes
- Contract Litigation
Whatever the litigation may entail, we work directly with every client to pursue the most cost-effective strategy to attain a resolution that is practical and achieves the client’s ultimate goal. The overwhelmingly positive feedback and referrals we have received from clients and other attorneys is a clear reflection of the quality of our work.
Transportation Law, International Commercial Transactions and Trade Compliance
The firm has a unique expertise in the field of transportation law and currently represents many air and ocean freight forwarders, non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCC’s), customs brokers and other companies engaged in the business of international logistics. In 2015, the firm was recognized by Corporate Live Wire Magazine for excellence in the field of Transport Law, earning “Law Firm of the Year” distinction in the United States.
We routinely handle complex international commercial transactions, including cross-border joint venture agreements, international agency agreements and international supply-chain agreements. Many of our clients are overseas companies that maintain substantial operations in the United States. We work closely with those clients to ensure compliance with U.S. and international laws, enlisting the assistance of international co-counsel when required. In the field of international trade, we advise clients with respect to a host of laws including the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, the Montreal Convention, the Hague-Visby Rules and many others.
Trademark Registration and Protection
One of the most valuable assets of any organization will own is the name and logo of its business and the products or services it sells. Our firm maintains a sophisticated intellectual property practice that can assist with the protection of these critical assets with federal trademark registration as well as international registration. Once registered, a trademark become an asset that has value and can be sold or licensed to others.
Our firm helps clients to evaluate and understand the benefits of trademark registration throughout the United States and globally. The most effective point in which to engage the services of a trademark attorney is during the development stage of a new product or service, before the product or service is introduced in the marketplace. If a trademark is already in use, but is not registered, we can provide valuable advice about potential conflicts with other trademarks in order to avoid the improper use of a mark that may subject the user to a trademark infringement claim. Similarly, when a claim of infringement is initiated against one of our clients, we are adept at developing defenses to those claims.
Trademark registration, which is commenced by filing a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), gives the owner of the registered mark the exclusive rights to use the mark in connection with the specific products or services. We regularly assist clients in determining the most effective way to describe their goods and services as well as the appropriate classification(s) in which to register the trademark. We also work with clients to prepare responses to any challenges to the application by the USPTO or another party that may claim ownership.
In addition to guiding clients through the trademark registration process, our firm assists clients in the enforcement of trademark rights in the event of an infringement allegation by another person or company. We use a state-of-the-art trademark monitoring system that helps us to swiftly identify a potentially infringing trademark application and we advise clients about available remedies.
Our corporate practice includes advising clients on the intricacies of the formation and acquisition of corporations, limited liability companies and other types of business entities, corporate restructurings, corporate governance, directors and officers liability and other issues. Our attorneys have served in top level positions in corporate legal departments and have a unique perspective about how to structure mergers and acquisitions with an understanding of the complex process that follows the closing of any transaction. What truly distinguishes us is our expertise in managing the “hands on” post-merger corporate integration process.
We methodically guide our clients through the entire process beginning with a detailed analysis of the potential transaction and moving through the due diligence, regulatory approval, document drafting, closing and post-closing phases. Each step must be carefully managed in order to ensure the success of the transaction long after the legal issues have been handled.
To accomplish the ultimate goals of the transaction, the legal framework of any merger or acquisition must be designed to facilitate the merger of boards of directors, employees, customers, facilities and suppliers. The underlying philosophy of our corporate attorneys, which has proven to be extremely effective, is that the legal structuring and execution of the final closing documentation is not the end of the transaction, but rather the start of a nuanced process that requires careful planning and a healthy dose of flexibility.