Morgan Lewis’s global team of lawyers collectively have decades of experience in the varied aspects of transportation-related law, handling the full spectrum of transactional, regulatory, and litigation matters. Our transportation industry clients are involved in virtually all facets of the automotive, aviation, maritime, railroad, and mass transit sectors. Our teams take a multidisciplinary approach to working through the often complex legal issues our clients face, including corporate, financing, structured transactions, tax, telecommunications, technology, labor and employment, and dispute matters.
With a significant presence throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe, we understand how to carry out large cross-border transactions and the best ways to resolve the legal challenges associated with multinational manufacturing, operations, and customer bases. Our lawyers practice extensively in international arbitration tribunals and have handled numerous other matters implicating diverse cross-border issues, ranging from US Foreign Corrupt Practices (FCPA) matters to citizenship requirements for maritime vessel crew members.
Our teams advise virtually every major automaker—as well as automotive component manufacturers, technology suppliers, distributors, and trade associations—on matters relating to all facets of a product’s life cycle, from patents through marketing. We have worked with the world’s leading air carriers and manufacturers on their most complicated matters, including restructuring, financing, and leasing deals. Our maritime clients include prominent shipping, logistics, and terminal operating companies, as well as investors and financial institutions focusing on maritime activities. In the mass transit sector, we have counseled a variety of rapid transit and bus operators. We also represent all elements of the railroad industry—rail operators and manufacturers, rolling stock leasing companies, banks, private clients, and corporations—throughout the world.
Transactions & Restructurings
A prominent aspect of our work for transportation clients involves handling sophisticated financing and transactional matters, as well as restructurings. We advise on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, capital market transactions, purchases and sales, financing and leasing, government contracting, and taxation issues. Our restructuring work has entailed advising stakeholders in all aspects of financially troubled situations, including repossessions, bankruptcies, and other restructuring matters around the world.
We assist clients across a wide range of disputes, including those arising from aviation disasters, recalls, government investigations, and antitrust matters. We have successfully resolved liability class actions resulting from high-profile allegations of product failure. Our lawyers also handle dealer disputes, environmental compliance, tax disputes, and consumer protection litigation. In addition to representing companies in government investigations in the United States, we handle cases before international and government bodies of other nations, as well as before the European Commission. Among our lawyers are those who have worked extensively in international arbitrations.
Labor & Employment
We assist clients such as automakers to manage their sizable and global workforces. Our services in this area include advising on large-scale employee transfers, counseling on benefits and human resources issues, providing guidance on organized labor matters, and defending companies in employment litigation. Since this often means dealing with multiple sets of laws and regulations in more than one country, we put our global resources to work in service of our clients’ needs.
Our Washington Strategic Government Relations & Counseling team, based in the US capital, is well-versed in advocacy on transportation-related issues. The team’s senior director served as the longtime senior vice president and chief lobbyist for the American Trucking Associations, where he was responsible for the organization’s advocacy efforts, strategic planning, public outreach, state affiliates, and safety promotion programs.
We understand that the automotive industry is more dynamic, competitive, and challenging than at any time in its history. As a cross-border, full-service law firm, Morgan Lewis anticipates and quickly responds to the many challenges faced by our automotive clients. From securing our clients’ critical innovations to helping them navigate emerging global legal and regulatory issues, we provide advice critical to their success in this complex environment.
Morgan Lewis represents airlines, aircraft and aircraft engine manufacturers, lenders, lessors, investors, private clients, and other industry participants throughout the world. Leveraging our established global network of local professionals and our in-depth understanding of global aviation regulatory and legal systems, our lawyers are well positioned to assist clients on matters across multiple jurisdictions.
Morgan Lewis represents many prominent shipping, logistics, and terminal operating companies as well as investment banks, financial institutions, and investors focusing on maritime activities. We regularly advise on shipping-related matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, capital markets transactions (with a particular focus on US public offerings), lease and secured financing transactions, new building construction, the purchase and sale of vessels, reorganizations, and restructurings. Additionally, we provide a gateway to a global network of contacts with financial professionals, US and overseas shipping counsel, and key strategic players.
We work on transactions involving a broad array of maritime assets, including container vessels and terminals, crude oil and product tankers, bulk carriers, barges, and tugboats. We work within all major maritime jurisdictions, including the United States, Marshall Islands, Liberia, Singapore, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Panama, and Cyprus. We are frequently called on to assist clients with respect to US citizenship requirements applicable to vessels operating in US waters. And we are a primary legal resource for labor and employment issues faced by US West Coast shippers in negotiations and contract enforcement with organized labor.
Our maritime team guides clients through the intricacies of US securities laws, Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements, and stock exchange listing criteria as they customarily apply to non-US shipping companies. We routinely advise on the taxation of US shipping-related income, passive foreign investment company (PFIC) rules, and on the interaction of the tax laws of traditional shipping jurisdictions outside the United States. We advise on Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) issues related to cross-border acquisitions involving companies participating in the maritime industry. In addition, we work with clients on matters related to the US Maritime Security Act of 2003 as well as the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and various international conventions governing environmental aspects of the shipping industry.
Morgan Lewis represents clients in the railroad industry, as well as ancillary industries related to roads, tunnels, bridges, and ports throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. Our global network represents rail operators and manufacturers, rolling stock leasing companies, banks, private clients, and corporations. We advise on finance, leasing, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and contractual disputes, as well as regulatory, environmental, insurance and reinsurance matters, and fraud.
We are advisers to some of the most well-known rail industry companies in the United States and around the world. Our lawyers are frequently involved in major global transactions, such as helping to set up the first Sino-foreign joint venture with China’s Ministry of Railways, working on major debt restructurings and joint ventures with Russian companies, and assisting on leasing matters in connection with trains used in the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.