K&L Gates' Infrastructure practice is composed of lawyers with experience across a broad range of disciplines, from project finance and energy and utilities, to public-private partnerships, environmental regulation, natural resources, and construction.
Our work likewise spans the gamut of facilities, including power generation and transmission, water, wastewater, waste management, transportation, telecommunications, and oil and gas. We work seamlessly across our global network to ensure the right level of proficiency is brought to bear on every client project.
We advise governments, sponsors, project entities, third-party equity investors, banks, construction contractors, and facilities management providers on projects throughout the world. Our global Public-Private Partnerships (P3) practice consists of a dedicated team of lawyers located throughout our offices, pooling their experience and market knowledge to meet clients' objectives. Together, this group has advised on projects in 60 countries around the world.
We provide professional support at every stage of project development: from inception and structuring to financial close and continuing through operation, which may involve refinancing, the secondary markets, or dispute resolution. The disciplines available to be drawn upon for projects at any stage include: construction, corporate, dispute resolution, employment, environmental, finance, intellectual property, operations and management, pensions, planning, procurement, real estate, tax, and technology.
The lawyers in our P3 practice have advised on PPP and project financings in various sectors including communications, education, energy, health and social care, hospitality, housing, museums, parking systems, prisons, rail, roads and bridges, science and research, stadiums, waste management, water, wastewater, and reclaimed water.
We have developed an extensive knowledge of current market practice from acting for different project participants and in diverse sectors. This enables us to advise clients on negotiating positions and likely outcomes. We are also able to advise on the 'bankability' of proposed risk allocations.
K&L Gates' project finance lawyers respond to the diverse, detailed, and innovative legal requirements applicable to the process of structuring, developing, constructing, and operating economically and legally independent projects and facilities. In developing and structuring projects, we assist in multiple sectors, including governance arrangements and tax-efficient entity structures. We are familiar with international procurement laws, such as the EU procurement directives, which increasingly impact international projects. In the financing phase, our lawyers implement traditional project financing, structured finance, taxable and tax-advantaged debt, equity, and intercreditor arrangements.
We collaborate with project sponsors and participants to understand the dynamics of the project from each of their perspectives. We then advise our clients on the best means of achieving their objectives and needs, drawing on the knowledge of our professionals practicing in the areas of tax, insurance coverage, environmental, employment and labor, real estate, and public utilities (among others) to implement our clients' instructions thoroughly and creatively.
Our experience with the development and financing of a wide variety of complex projects continues to give us a new, unique perspective that benefits our clients in the form of creative solutions to their transactional needs.
In the constantly changing arena of federal, state, and local environmental and land use requirements, complex projects often require creative approaches to find durable, cost-effective solutions. K&L Gates has more than 100 experienced lawyers in the United States, Europe, and Asia devoted to working through and resolving the environmental and land use challenges confronting our clients. Many of our lawyers have first-hand knowledge of the intricacies of environmental regulations, having served in legislatures and regulatory agencies at every level of government.
We work with clients to successfully navigate the maze of regulatory requirements and maintain good relationships with regulatory agencies, elected officials, non-governmental organizations, and the public. We help clients anticipate and avoid problems before they impede their objectives or result in needless, costly litigation. When necessary, we are prepared to represent our clients vigorously and effectively in litigation with regard to those issues which cannot otherwise be resolved.
Recognized Leaders In The United States And United KingdomCombining such disciplines as environmental and land use regulation, site remediation, transactional counseling, and project financing, our multi-disciplinary team pursues project development in an integrated manner for public and private clients and public/private partnerships.
Lawyers in the group have substantial experience in complex environmental siting and permitting issues for numerous complex infrastructure projects, including air, water, waste, and endangered species issues. They have successfully defended clients against a wide variety of permit challenges, regulatory proceedings, and enforcement actions by federal and state regulators.
Our group has extensive "brownfields" experience associated with the remediation and redevelopment of industrial and other challenged sites, combining a clear-headed identification of potential risks with creative transaction and risk-mitigation arrangements to effectuate successful project development.
The practice is a recognized leader in such emerging areas as alternative energy and carbon trading, environmental justice, degraded urban rivers, and the developing EU regulatory regimes.
U.S. lawyers in the group are experienced in traditional and cutting-edge practice areas such as:
In the United Kingdom, in addition to many of the areas listed above, our lawyers have considerable experience with the IPPC (U.K. equivalent of NEPA), the Contaminated Land Regime and the Environmental Liability Directive (U.K. equivalent of Superfund and RCRA, respectively), and REACH (European chemical regulations). Our London environmental lawyers regularly act for U.S.-based global corporations on European projects and issues.
The construction and engineering industry is fast-paced and often governed by strict deadlines, where completing a successful project requires cooperation and teamwork among owners, architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and many others. The lawyers in our Construction and Engineering practice have a complete understanding of the industry, from the early stages of finance, development, and design through implementation, construction, and project close-out. Our lawyers draw upon their legal and technical experience to work with clients to minimize disputes and accomplish common project goals on a local, national, and international scale.
Many of the group's lawyers have worked in the construction, engineering, architecture, and building materials industries or in the government agencies that interact with these industries. This practical, real-world experience, combined with the breadth of the practice, allows our lawyers to anticipate, address, and help prevent the myriad of problems that can arise during any phase of a construction project in both the private and public sectors.
Our practice's reach extends to all corners of the globe with our lawyers having current or completed projects in more than 80 countries, including the BRIC and several CEE countries. The scope of this work ranges from complex energy and infrastructure projects to libraries and monuments. With full-time, dedicated construction lawyers resident in most major American cities, K&L Gates has one of the largest and most geographically diverse construction law practices in the United States. Our construction lawyers located throughout Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East round out one of the most diverse and technically skilled practices in the world.
K&L Gates' interdisciplinary Energy and Utilities practice leverages experience from a wide variety of legal disciplines to address the broad spectrum of issues facing the dynamic energy industry and the changing field of utility operations. Lawyers throughout our offices work together to guide our clients through strategic decisions, policy initiatives, commercial transactions, project financing and development, state and federal regulatory proceedings, and litigation. We pride ourselves on our responsiveness and teamwork, as well as on maintaining a thorough grounding in both the legal and business dimensions of the energy and utilities industries.
Our clients include investor-owned and publicly owned water, electric and telecommunications utilities, independent power producers, alternative energy project developers and producers, emerging businesses in the smart energy sector, power marketers, oil and gas producers, coal bed methane producers, natural gas and petroleum product storage and transmission companies, members of the nuclear power industry, industrial and commercial energy customers, municipalities, lenders, developers, and contractors.
K&L Gates has extensive global experience representing contractors and suppliers on transportation infrastructure projects and transportation service agreements in all modes. Our lawyers have represented companies on project management, design, construction, operation, finance, and maintenance projects for intercity and metropolitan rail systems; electrified light rail and streetcar systems; subway/heavy rail systems; freight rail projects; urban and regional bus systems; paratransit or other specialized roadway transit services; highway, bridge, tunnel, and toll road projects; port and station facilities; and virtually every other type of transportation infrastructure project.
We have assisted our clients on entity formation and negotiation of joint venture agreements; on procurement compliance and strategy issues and preparation of responsive bid materials; on the negotiation and preparation of operation and service agreements, subcontractor agreements, financing agreements, and license and other regulatory applications; and in connection with all other commercial and legal elements of transportation infrastructure and service agreement transactions. We have assisted our clients in connection with all types of delivery models, including design-build procurements and transactions financed with project revenues or developer financing.
K&L Gates also has an extensive Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulatory practice. Our lawyers have represented freight railroads, commuter railroads, railroad contractors, public transit agencies, and rail transit systems in proceedings before the FRA involving the scope and applicability of the federal railroad safety laws, regulatory waivers, quiet zones, agency rulemakings, compliance issues, enforcement matters, and penalty settlements. In fact, our lawyers have obtained more Shared Use Waiver petitions for public transit systems than any other law firm.
K&L Gates' mining practice stretches from the backyard of America's first coal fields to the central and western United States. We have broad experience in local, national, and international projects in the mineral industry. Our mining industry practice spans the range of natural resources development, conservation, and management companies — including coal, aggregates, minerals, and base and precious metals.
Our work has focused on a wide range of regulatory compliance and transactional matters, from obtaining, renewing, and transferring mining, water, air, and other permits, to due diligence (environmental, real estate, corporate, litigation, and financial) in the context of acquisitions of facilities and mineral rights. As circumstances warrant, we have represented clients before state and federal bodies in litigation, civil suits, and enforcement proceedings for alleged permit and license violations.
For more than 25 years, our litigation lawyers have represented coal producers and coal purchasers in a variety of complex commercial and non-commercial disputes involving UCC/breach of contract claims, insurance coverage issues, environmental claims, market pricing disputes, declaratory judgment actions, claims of force majeure, commercial impracticability and single source supply disputes, permitting issues, and piercing the corporate veil and fraud claims, to name a few. We have litigated complex coal-related disputes in state and federal courts throughout the United States and in a variety of alternative dispute resolution forums including private arbitration.
Our team has considerable experience in the siting, permitting, construction, operation, and implementation of water, wastewater, and reclaimed water projects across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, including innovative public-private partnerships. We have worked on major water projects, ranging from traditional water source development, treatment, and distribution system development to high-tech desalination and high-quality reclaimed water services. We have actively represented individual water, energy, and other utilities, as well as private developers and industries, in obtaining state and basin commission permits for groundwater and surface water withdrawals, wastewater treatment, reuse, and discharge projects. Over the past 15 years, we have counseled and represented entities engaged in some of the largest and most innovative public-private water and wastewater infrastructure development projects across the United States.
At the same time, the water law group at K&L Gates is at the forefront of water law issues in both the eastern and western United States. Members of our team have handled precedent-setting cases regarding water law and allocation, including interstate water disputes and development of hydroelectric power.
In the western United States, our lawyers serve clients in obtaining, amending, and transferring water rights. We assist in obtaining permits for waste water discharge, use of reclaimed water, and new sources of supply. Our lawyers address issues arising under the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and various laws and treaties relating to Native American water right and fishery resource claims. We have also assisted clients in complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act through creative financing, restructuring, and regulatory solutions, and achieving municipal and private client goals through water reuse. Similarly, in the eastern United States, we have represented clients in major water withdrawal permitting efforts at the state and basin commission levels, and have taken a leadership position in various state and regional water law reform efforts.
K&L Gates advises a wide range of telecommunications infrastructure and service providers - from local telephone companies to wireless operators, and domestic and international backbone providers to broadband service providers - on all aspects of network build-out and operations. The firm has served as lead telecom regulatory and land use counsel in connection with numerous domestic and international undersea and terrestrial fiber optic cable projects, permitting and zoning issues associated with tower siting, rights-of-way and deployment of wireless facilities, and obtaining permits and approvals required for the deployment of cross-border telecommunications facilities.
We are also actively engaged in policy and legislative initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels designed to remove barriers to the deployment of telecommunications and broadband facilities. We also advise clients on land use issues under federal and state telecom laws and have handled numerous judicial appeals under the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
Our work regularly involves working with agencies at all levels and branches of government, including federal agencies (such as the Bureau of Land Management, National Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers); state departments of natural resources, environmental protection, coastal commissions, transportation, and parks; and numerous local governmental entities, including city and county councils, zoning boards, and public works departments. The firm has significant experience obtaining the permits and approvals required for the deployment of cross-border telecommunications facilities and has had extensive dealings with the White House, the U.S. State Department, the International Boundary and Water Commission, relevant congressional committees, and the FCC in connection with such projects.
We have extensive global experience advising project participants on social infrastructure projects. Such projects encompass health care systems (including acute care hospitals, treatment centers, mental health facilities, and the provision of primary care), educational and research systems (including elementary and secondary schools, universities, colleges, and research institutions), social welfare systems (including social housing, extra care housing, and adult social care facilities) and emergency services (including police, ambulance, and fire and rescue). We have been able to use experience gained in the United States and UK for structuring social infrastructure projects in emerging markets such as India and Jordan. Similarly our U.S. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) experience gained over several decades can be applied to the UK, which is just starting to develop this financing mechanism.
In our experience, social infrastructure project participants need comprehensive legal advice from lawyers who have the commercial and market knowledge, technical and regulatory experience, and project management skills to support them in all aspects of project procurement. Our lawyers' backgrounds in finance, corporate, construction, engineering, procurement, and government policy enable them to apply their institutional knowledge to deliver creative, cost-effective solutions to social infrastructure projects within the procuring authorities' established structures and procedures. We have successfully represented all types of market participants including the sponsors or promoters of projects as well as authorities, lenders, investors, vendors, landowners, contractors, operators, and equipment suppliers. Our lawyers advise on all phases of the project-from the initial concept, structuring, and development through bidding, financing, construction, and beyond.