Transportation

We Understand Your Business

Companies across the transport industry are working to develop today's vision into tomorrow's reality ─ from intercity transportation to global transport. To exploit emerging opportunities, the world's leading transportation companies and service providers are turning to Holland & Knight because of our extensive experience, our deep knowledge and our prompt responsiveness. With a long history of representing clients in transportation matters, we advise clients at nearly every point in the supply and distribution chains and deal with the myriad issues that have emerged in the industry. Some of the issues our clients are facing include:

  • Aviation and aerospace clients are looking at how to maximize opportunities in the next frontier ─ commercial space transportation. Aerospace companies expanding into this sector are busy planning for these operations, but are hesitant on some fronts due to the emerging regulatory and legal issues that will surround this new mode of transportation and tourism.
  • Existing aircraft fleets are becoming too old and uneconomical to operate at current projected future fuel prices and, therefore, need to be replaced. At the same time, demands for travel capacity are increasing, as is the per unit capital cost of aviation equipment. Carriers must determine how long to keep their less efficient equipment in service and defer the acquisition ─ and capital expense ─ of replacement equipment. Once they opt to replace equipment, carriers must find sources of capital to finance their needs. Traditional bank lending capacity is challenged by existing financial conditions. Export credit agencies have provided enormous quantities of capital already to fill gaps. Hedge funds have made significant investments in the sector and continue to do so. Capital market transactions were a major source of capital until the 2007 credit crisis and are only now starting to emerge as a viable source of capital once again.
  • Maritime industry leaders are calling for radical change to improve customer service in the face of declining freight rates, increasing operating costs and a growing sensitivity to environmental concerns. As the market evolves, those with the talent, the resources and the fortitude to make the necessary changes will succeed.
  • Transit providers and their private sector partners are looking for a streamlined project approval process at the federal, state and local level, as well as seeking to expand the use of innovative approaches to delivering major capital projects. The industry is anticipating an expanded use of project finance utilizing dedicated sources of revenue and expanding the role of the private sector to operate and maintain transit services.
  • In the worldwide marketplace, goods and products are moving across boundaries ─ triggering oversight by state and national regulatory entities. Adding to compliance with local operational rules and regulations is a renewed commitment to comply with laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the False Claims Act (FCA). Companies doing business with domestic and international governments are increasingly undertaking internal investigations and compliance initiatives to assure adherence with these laws.
  • Transportation finance players continue to sift through the substantial landscape changes stemming from mergers, consolidations and other upheavals among lenders. As a result, borrowers are finding that ─ with the dust settling ─ lending is even more relationship-driven but that the lenders are also more cautious and decisions and turnaround times are even longer than in the past. The market is also experiencing further growth in international deals.

Is your company positioned to succeed?


We Can Help

Holland & Knight's Transportation Team has a long tradition of providing legal counsel to major sectors within the industry, including aviation, maritime, transit, freight railmotor carriers and logistics and intercity transportation. Members of our team have extensive industry knowledge and experience and represent transportation clients in all aspects of their business operations, including:

  • Construction: Most sectors within the transportation industry require significant infrastructure to facilitate their operations. We can help you with all of your legal needs related to the project development and construction of such infrastructure, including contract drafting and administration, bid protests and disputes, and contract claims and litigation.
  • Corporate Services: Our team has extensive experience in handling transactions that are unique to the transportation industry as well as in providing general business law advice on issues such as contracts and agreements, mergers and acquisitions, purchases, and sales and taxation.
  • Environment: Transportation operations give rise to environmental concerns and the threat of an impact is prevalent. We can help you develop and implement compliance programs to avoid such impacts and, in the event an impact does occur, we can assist you in reviewing, mitigating, remediating and litigating the impact in order to protect both the environment and your business interests.
  • Financial Services: Whether operating an airline, a maritime shipping business or a surface transportation enterprise, substantial funding is required to support your daily operations. Using innovative financing techniques, our team can assist you with your project finance needs, including equipment financing, bond issuances and federal funding.
  • Insurance: All companies face potential liability risks and the transportation industry is no exception, where a major accident can cripple a company's financial well-being. We can help you anticipate risks and protect your interests through effective insurance planning.
  • International: Transportation operations span the globe. Our team has extensive experience helping clients address their international legal needs, including contract drafting and negotiation, project development and financing, import/export controls, FCPA compliance and dispute resolution.
  • Labor, Employment and Benefits: We can guide you through common employment issues such as policies, training and benefits as well as issues that are of importance to the transportation industry such as OSHA and workplace safety. In addition, we can represent your management interests in employment disputes and labor negotiations and disputes.
  • Land Use and Government: Land use issues are a key concern within the transportation industry. Our team can represent your interests before government agencies on matters including land use and zoning, permitting, condemnation, right-of-way and trackage rights.
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution: Disputes are an unavoidable consequence of doing business. When disputes occur, we are prepared to represent you aggressively and efficiently at a reasonable cost. Our Transportation Team includes highly skilled and deeply knowledgeable litigators who are respectful of your instructions and needs. Our extensive experience covers the full range of transportation sectors.
  • Public Policy & Regulation: The transportation industry is subject to a vast array of regulations at the state and federal levels. Our team can help you safely navigate those regulations and can also represent your interests before governmental agencies on matters such as federal authorizations, appropriations and grants; federal, state and local licensing; public-private partnerships; and privatization. In addition, we can advise you on antitrust compliance related to your alliances.
  • Real Estate: We can help you with all of your real estate needs in connection with your transportation operations, including acquisitions, leasing, joint development and transit-oriented development.
  • White Collar Defense and Investigations: Government investigations can occur within the transportation industry. Our team can represent your interests in any type of investigation or litigation, including qui tam lawsuits.

Guidance You Can Trust

The combination of our thorough knowledge and experience, our extensive history of leadership in bar and industry organizations, the established working relationships we maintain with participants in every facet of the industry and our sincere commitment to provide responsive service is why clients entrust our Transportation Team to handle their legal needs.

These attributes are also the reason why members of our Transportation Team have been recognized among the top legal professionals in the country by leading publications, including Chambers USA – America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Best Lawyers in America, Euromoney Legal Media Group Guide to the World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers, The International Who's Who of Aviation Lawyers, Legal Media Group: The Best of the Best, Legal Media Group: The Best of the Best USA, Legal 500, U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms," Euromoney Legal Media Group Guide to the World’s Leading Shipping and Maritime Lawyers and The International Who's Who of Shipping & Maritime Lawyers. These publications base their rankings and commentary on input provided by those who are best positioned to evaluate our capabilities ─ our clients and other attorneys in the industry.