Background - Practices (Details)


From the beginning, aerospace clients have been central to our practice. Many aerospace clients came to us originally in conjunction with our Government Contracts Group, but over the years our relationships have grown and our clients have changed. We now provide a full range of legal services to many of our aerospace clients, and have represented two-thirds of the companies in the Fortune 500 listing for the aerospace industry as well as the top seven companies listed there.

Since its inception, our aerospace practice included litigation and arbitration among companies in the industry. Some of those disputes arise out of government subcontracting relationships, but many do not. We have prepared claims and litigated disputes involving major commercial airplane development programs, foreign and domestic joint venture agreements, monopolization claims under the antitrust laws, product liability, and a host of other issues.

From the early 1980s, when many of our clients fell victim to the Department of Defense's (DoD) campaign against "fraud, waste and abuse," we have represented a large part of the aerospace industry in government investigations. As the "criminalization" of federal contracting became more pervasive, our representation of clients grew to include investigations on a broad range of subjects, including potential environmental violations, payments to foreign agents, export control, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification, and others. Because our lawyers already understood the aerospace industry well, we were able to respond quickly to each new investigative focus as it developed.

Since the government imposes so many unique requirements on aerospace companies and particularly on government contractors, we also found that our aerospace clients increasingly called on us to provide specialized advice in connection with mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. Consequently, our antitrust lawyers and corporate lawyers have become knowledgeable on the issues that arise frequently in corporate transactions in the aerospace industry. Our labor and employment lawyers who originally began counseling aerospace clients on the special equal employment and affirmative action requirements of government contracts now provide advice to aerospace companies on a variety of employment-related issues. Given their deep understanding of the industry, they are able to provide legal advice about labor issues that are particularly tailored to the contextual circumstances.

Together with our colleagues at C&M International, we succeeded in adding provisions to the last General Agreement on Trade & Tariffs (GATT) round that were advantageous to domestic aerospace companies. On several occasions, we have provided advice about export control issues related "export" of products into space. As the horizons of our aerospace clients expand, so do ours.