McAfee & Taft represents clients involved in renewable and sustainable energy projects, such as wind, ethanol and biodiesel developments. Clients include landowners, project developers and manufacturers. The firm also assists clients in developing diversified energy and related carbon management strategies in response to developments in the market and in government energy and climate change legislation and policy. These strategies not only include utilization of renewable energy projects but also implementation of methods of enhancing efficiencies and lowering the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from conventional fuel, such as hydrocarbon recycling, GHG emission reduction and conversion, permitting the new generation of coal-fired power plants, carbon dioxide capture and sequestration, and greenhouse gas (GHG) or carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) offset strategies, including carbon credit development, verification and trading.
The firm is able to draw on its established expertise in a number of practice areas to serve the needs of clients in this emerging area. That expertise enables the firm to provide representation in a broad range of areas.
Comprehensive Legal and Business Services
Diversified Energy Strategies
State, regional and federal policies regarding energy production, distribution and consumption are developing rapidly in response to energy security and conservation, as well as climate change, issues. The range of companies impacted, directly or indirectly, by renewable portfolio standards, energy production requirements, energy conservation and efficiency measures and restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG or CO2e) is rapidly expanding. The firm’s energy and environment lawyers keep abreast of these developments in order to most effectively assist clients in strategically addressing energy as one of many critical business issues.
The firm’s real estate experience positions it to represent landowners and developers in varied transactions related to the siting of renewable energy projects. The firm has represented landowners and developers in negotiation of leases, easements and similar agreements related to these projects. These agreements are tailored not only to address the unique issues raised by renewable energy projects, but are designed to facilitate construction and long-term project financing.
The firm has extensive experience in a broad range of financing transactions. It has generally represented developers and has worked with lenders throughout the country in negotiating construction and long-term financing transactions.
McAfee & Taft’s tax lawyers remain abreast of the rapidly changing federal and state tax opportunities available with respect to renewable energy projects. With the national focus on renewable energy, those opportunities will no doubt continue to evolve, and the firm’s tax lawyers are positioned to provide up-to-date guidance on the latest tax-related developments.
General Corporate and Business Matters
McAfee & Taft lawyers have expertise in handling a wide variety of general contract matters, including supply and distribution agreements, franchising, licensing and marketing agreements, transportation agreements, and employment and benefit agreements and programs. The firm has also been involved in all types of business transactions and combinations, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and sales of businesses. Whether the assignment involves evaluating due diligence information, drafting and negotiating merger and acquisition agreements, compliance with securities laws, or any of a myriad of other contract issues, our team will add value. Our experience includes dealing with price discrimination, trade regulation, and antitrust and competition matters.
Patents, Trademarks and Licensing
Our intellectual property attorneys have the technical backgrounds, experience and resources to successfully and efficiently handle all types of intellectual property issues associated with alternate energy. We are familiar with the technology and represent manufacturers of equipment used to create alternate energy and clean energy. We routinely procure and enforce patent rights throughout the world, perform patent infringement assessments and issue opinions, prepare technology development agreements, and counsel clients on how to protect confidential and proprietary information such as trade secrets. We also clear and register trademarks, draft and negotiate trademark-related agreements, and counsel clients with respect to advertising issues and trademark enforcement strategies.
Our attorneys provide advice regarding permitting, compliance, enforcement, administrative appeals, transactional due diligence and litigation services regarding all facets of environmental law, particularly as it pertains to: air pollutant emissions; greenhouse gas (GHG or CO2e) accounting, tracking and reporting; water pollutant discharges; hazardous waste management; surface and groundwater rights and use; water conservation and efficiency projects; environmental assessments and impact statements; and protection of wetlands and endangered species. Our environmental lawyers maintain knowledge of the most recent developments and proposals in this rapidly evolving area and are particularly well positioned to assist clients with strategies in response to developments in climate change legislation, regulation and litigation, and as climate change impacts other areas of environmental law.
Employment and Labor Issues
Workplace issues play a crucial role in the life of every business, and significant changes are expected in labor and employment laws in the near future. Our labor and employment attorneys are well versed in the challenges posed by these issues and the anticipated changes. Our attorneys have tested expertise in all labor and employment areas, including union avoidance, labor relations, wage and hour law, workplace safety, workers’ compensation, discrimination and retaliation, hiring and interviewing, employment agreements, terminations, immigration, drug and alcohol testing, contractor agreements, federal and state regulatory laws, training for hourly and managerial employees, and alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration programs.
Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Plans
Our employee benefits attorneys assist clients of all sizes on group health and welfare plans, qualified and nonqualified group retirement plans, and executive compensation, including equity compensation programs (such as stock option plans, phantom stock plans, and restricted stock award plans), long-term incentive awards and supplemental retirement plans. We also counsel clients on legal compliance, fiduciary responsibilities, and funding and taxation issues, litigate ERISA claims, and handle the employee benefits and compensation aspects of transactions for which the firm provides corporate and securities services.