Harris Beach has been providing legal counsel to manufacturing companies since the firm was founded in 1856. Our Industrial and Consumer Manufacturing Industry Team provides manufacturers with insightful counsel on their most pressing issues including labor and employment, immigration, intellectual property protection, cross-border commerce, sustainability, financing for operations, and economic development incentives.
We are engaged with all aspects of our clients’ operations and know their customers, competitors and suppliers. At Harris Beach, we understand industry-critical issues and help clients successfully work through challenges, including streamlining supply chains, securing project financing and economic development incentives, addressing legal regulatory issues, dealing with international competition and cross-border commerce, conducting labor negotiations, managing mergers, developing distributor and joint-venture relationships, evaluating brand management, and effectively handling product liability.
Our attorneys have developed extensive industry knowledge and insight in many specialty areas of manufacturing, including optics, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, tool and die, industrial equipment, injection molding, automotive and vehicles, consumer goods, precision instruments and new technologies. We counsel clients in a variety of corporate, finance, securities, labor, commercial real estate, environmental, intellectual property, and litigation matters. In addition, our attorneys identify non-legal resources, when appropriate, who can help companies reach their goals. Above all, we understand the need to move faster, think more creatively, and develop new business models to compete in the 21st century.
Nearly every manufacturer becomes involved in real estate or environmental issues at some juncture. Harris Beach represents organizations in the acquisition, disposition, development, leasing and financing of commercial real estate. We are very experienced in land use and zoning matters, including appearances before various zoning and planning boards.
The firm provides counsel with respect to clients’ responsibilities, exposures, and liabilities as a consequence of federal, state, and local environmental legislation and regulations. We help our clients interpret applicable New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements.
Whether a manufacturer is negotiating a strategic alliance, acquiring a business, selling a division, creating a new international joint venture, or planning for succession, Harris Beach attorneys have the experience to provide valuable counsel. We have negotiated large and small joint ventures related to product development and investment from other industry participants. We provide counsel on corporate governance issues, including the creation and review of governing documents, director training, and director liability matters.
A significant part of our practice includes handling general business transactions. Our attorneys support clients with tax planning, contractual matters, intellectual property issues, licensing agreements, warranties, franchising and distributorships, sales contracts, bulk sales, stockholder agreements and antitrust matters.
The attorneys in the e-info Practice Group are leaders in the areas of applying dataset analysis and computer-assisted predictive coding to the challenges of complex litigation and investigations. This benefits our clients with substantial improvement in the analysis of their documents while lowering the total cost through increased efficiencies. Our e-discovery predictive-coding solutions are powered by software which acts as an efficiency engine to leverage attorneys’ analytical skills and Technology-Assisted Review (TAR) to increase accuracy in review by up to 70%, dramatically reduce review timeframes by up to 50% and cut client costs by up to 50%.
E-Discovery has become a significant cost component of litigation and government or regulatory investigations. It is also an area fraught with risk since sanctions and claims of spoliation are now common in large litigation cases. As a law firm with state-of-the-art technology, Harris Beach is well positioned to meet the defensibility and cost challenges associated with e-discovery. We leverage predictive-coding to make e-discovery reasonable for any litigation, regardless of size or industry, and we provide these services to a wide range of organizations, including national law firms. We have routinely been named as a “Go To” law firm for litigation e-discovery in the In House Law Departments at the Top 500 Companies as published by Corporate Counsel. The e-info Practice Group leader, Alan Winchester, is recognized by the Courts as an expert in this area and has been appointed to chair the Operations e-Discovery Working Group. This group has drafted legislation and participates in the training for judges to improve the practice of electronic discovery
Our attorneys have extensive trial and jury experience in all types of employment discrimination matters, including age, gender, sexual harassment, national origin, race, religion, disability and ERISA claims. We defend employers against unfair employer practice charges, and we handle the appeal of such cases in federal and state courts. Our experience includes claims coming under non-compete agreements or under state or federal “Whistle Blower” laws.
Manufacturers and other business entities have become increasingly subject to government investigations. These investigations, which often result in criminal prosecution, large fines, and extensive public scrutiny, can have a serious and long-lasting effect on an organization. It is critical for organizations to protect themselves from the potentially disastrous results that such investigations can bring. Harris Beach has an experienced multi-disciplinary team and the depth needed to address all issues related to compliance, government investigations and defense. For tenuous or potentially volatile situations, Harris Beach also provides crisis communications services. We work with our clients to develop an effective communications and media strategy, ensuring that sensitive, confidential information is managed with potential legal issues in mind.
We also offer legal counsel and assist employers with immigration matters. These matters include I-9 compliance; general counsel on immigration benefits; filing and processing permanent US residency and temporary visas, including H-1B, L, O, and TN temporary visas; NAFTA applications; adjustment of status documents; transferee and other corporate immigration benefits related to overseas facilities.
Harris Beach has successfully defended a wide variety of insurance and product liability claims for manufacturers and suppliers. These cases involve consumer products, commercial and industrial products, prescription and OTC products and medical devices. To serve this practice effectively, we collect information on physicians and other experts in an electronic research bank. We routinely work with accident reconstruction experts, biomechanics, engineers, and other professionals to properly defend these types of cases. As a result of having one of the largest health services practices in New York state, Harris Beach has access to leading medical experts from a full breadth of specialties to defend insurance litigation and product liability matters.
Harris Beach attorneys have the experience, resources, and trial skills to handle complex litigation in patent infringement, trade secret and other intellectual property litigation. Since intellectual property litigation often occurs in federal court, we are able to represent organizations throughout the US Harris Beach is at the forefront of counseling clients on intellectual property protection, as well as enforcing their intellectual property rights. We can register all types of intellectual property rights and can assist in evaluating and managing intellectual property portfolios. Harris Beach prosecutes patents in a wide variety of technologies in the United States, as well as most industrialized countries. Our intellectual property work covers a wide range of technical areas, including medicine, chemistry, biotechnology, electrical engineering, physics, computer science and technology, mechanical and metallurgical engineering, civil structural and process engineering and fluid dynamics.
Human resources challenges can consume significant management resources. At Harris Beach, our experience can help ease your concerns. In fact, we have one of the largest labor law practices in New York state, handling all aspects of “traditional” labor law, including collective bargaining, union organizing, and labor contract administration. In many instances, we act as in-house HR consultants and address the areas of employment discrimination, employee benefits, occupational safety and health, personnel policies, and employee handbooks.
To help clients succeed, we provide extensive training for supervisors. We teach managers how to evaluate employees, how to oversee employees to avoid overtime lawsuits, and how to create the paper trail needed when employees are separated from employment. Training on sexual harassment and other types of harassment is also frequently provided.
Finding the right location for a new plant and securing important economic development incentives are essential elements for manufacturing profitability. Our attorneys have helped hundreds of businesses utilize economic development tools for maximum impact. Our experience includes working with Brownfield Redevelopment Tax Credits, State Environmental Bond Act funding, New Markets Tax Credits, economic development through condemnation, PILOT Increment and Tax Increment financings, HUD 108 Loans, BEDI Grants, Empire Zone benefits and many other areas that are often overlooked or not fully understood.
Our attorneys work across disciplines to counsel clients on all aspects of site acquisition, zoning, and development approvals, as well as the structuring of financing packages. We bring extensive expertise to taxable and tax-exempt transactions, including private placements (with investments by venture capital and other funds), public offerings bond financings, and conventional institutional financings.
July 26, 2011 / Authored Article
June 24, 2011 / Legal Alert
Following is a list of relevant informational resources you may find valuable: