Next Generation Vehicles
The pressing need to reduce oil dependency together with heightened awareness of climate change and concerns about the environment have resulted in a keen focus on alternative transportation technologies and Next Generation Vehicles. Next Generation Vehicles will result in unprecedented new business opportunities for established and start-up companies alike, new patterns of energy consumption, and significant vehicle, manufacturing and technological innovation, all of which will move the world in the direction of a greener future.
As a result, governments and others around the world are increasingly spending significant amounts and offering subsidies and other benefits to encourage the development and adoption of Next Generation Vehicles. Collaboration among many industry stakeholders, such as governments, manufacturers, parts suppliers, power producers, scientists, investors and lenders, is needed to make the ground-breaking changes that will revolutionize the transportation industry.
Skilled advisors will be essential to help navigate the countless business, financial, legal and regulatory issues that will undoubtedly arise as the industry continues to develop. No law firm is better suited to assist you with these issues than Chadbourne & Parke LLP.
George E. Pataki, the former three-term Governor of New York, and Chaim Wachsberger, a renowned energy and finance lawyer, lead our interdisciplinary team of dedicated attorneys focused on Next Generation Vehicles. Our lawyers are well versed on all aspects of the Next Generation Vehicles industry and are capable of assisting industry participants, including existing and new manufacturers and suppliers, investors, lenders and other financiers, government agencies and others, with their legal needs, including matters relating to:
- establishing new businesses
- raising capital, whether through venture capital, private equity, commercial loans, capital markets or project financing
- obtaining government loans, grants, guarantees and the benefits of other government incentives
- joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions
- protecting intellectual property rights
- vehicle communications matters
- tax strategies
- environmental and other regulatory matters
- employment agreements, plans, arrangements and related issues
Chadbourne & Parke LLP has an established track record in partnering with industry participants in new and burgeoning industries. For example, we have long been recognized as one of the leading law firms in the renewable energy industry. The market knowledge and legal experience we have gained by being a leading early participant in new industrial sectors has bolstered our ability to help our clients succeed. We have especially enjoyed partnering with new industrial sector clients in dealing with the multitude of novel and recurring legal issues as they have grown from small companies into national, and for some, international, enterprises.
Further, we believe that significant growth in renewable energy, including wind and solar, and increased demand for Next Generation Vehicle technologies will link up in better management of electric transmission and distribution grids. Wind and solar power generation are intermittent power sources often not well suited to support the grid and put additional demands on grid stabilization. Advanced batteries for Next Generation Vehicles can supplement renewable generation by providing regulation services and excess energy storage during periods of high transmission line usage or low customer demand.
Establishing New Businesses
Many new businesses will be formed to participate in various aspects of the Next Generation Vehicle industry, and Chadbourne & Parke LLP has extensive experience with early-stage growth companies. Our firm's full-service capabilities allow our lawyers to provide these clients with legal advice in all phases of their development, including formation, corporate governance, intellectual property protection, venture capital raising, strategic alliances and acquisitions and going public.
We pride ourselves in providing entrepreneurial, pragmatic and proactive advice to our start-up clients in a cost-effective manner. Value added services that we have provided to our start-up company clients includes introducing management teams to significant capital sources.
Significant amounts of capital will need to be raised worldwide to fund the start-up costs, manufacturing facilities, infrastructure and other investments that will result in the paradigm shift to Next Generation Vehicles. Clients routinely call upon Chadbourne's experience in raising capital to fund their growth needs, including from venture capital investments, private equity transactions, capital market offerings, temporary and long-term commercial lending arrangements and project financings.
Our venture capital and private equity transactional experience spans numerous industry sectors. We represent both start-up companies and the venture, buyout and hedge funds that finance them.
Our capital markets lawyers regularly advise issuers, underwriters, placement agents and initial purchasers in public and private U.S. and global offerings of equity and debt securities, including SEC registered initial and follow-on offerings, Rule 144A and Regulation D private placements and Regulation S offerings. These offerings include straight debt, convertible debt, high-yield debt, medium-term notes and tax-exempt securities, as well as common and preferred stock, warrants, and securities issued in connection with asset securitization and monetization transactions.
Many industry participants will look to project finance techniques as a way to fund investments in factories and other infrastructure. For more than 25 years, Chadbourne's international projects practice has been a market leader, offering expertise in the full breadth of infrastructure financing techniques and the financial engineering that improves the value of project assets in the United States and abroad. Chadbourne's project finance lawyers advise on the development and financing of greenfield, transportation, energy and other industrial projects, including novel public-private partnership structures, as well as acquisitions and divestitures (including privatizations), private equity investments, debt restructurings, and the resolution of political risk claims and investment disputes.
Government Incentives (including DOE programs)
Governments around the world have begun to offer loans, grants, guarantees and other incentives to encourage manufacturing and consumer adoption of Next Generation Vehicles. Chadbourne has been deeply involved with both the development and the deployment of the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee programs for innovative energy projects, including both the loan guarantee programs for renewable and related energy projects under the Stimulus Act and the predecessor Section 1703 programs for innovative projects, including alternative fuel vehicles, under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Chadbourne was among the first firms chosen by the DOE for its panel of firms to advise it in connection with its provision of financing to such projects. We have constituted a team of more than a dozen partners and associates to support DOE in deploying more than $100 billion in energy project financing. Currently, Chadbourne attorneys are advising DOE in connection with its proposed financing of thin-film battery manufacturing, biofuels, wind turbine manufacturing, geothermal generation, industrial co-generation and two nuclear power generation projects.
Other Chadbourne attorneys are active representing prospective users of the DOE loan guarantee and grant financing programs. We have advised numerous clients in connection with preparing their applications and, for successful applicants, the negotiation with DOE of term sheets. We are currently advising sponsors and borrowers for roughly two dozen solar energy, wind power, and related manufacturing projects that will be among the first under the DOE loan guarantee programs to reach financial closure.
We also advise multilateral development lenders, such as the International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank and numerous others that are turning their attention and resources to supporting the development of infrastructure geared toward reducing carbon emissions. Chadbourne’s partnership with such institutions provides us with an up-to-date perspective on such initiatives globally.
Joint Ventures, Mergers and Acquisitions
Collaboration among industry participants will result in newly forged partnerships and alliances and other business combinations. Our lawyers have extensive experience in the full range of sophisticated joint venture, merger, acquisition and divestiture transactions ranging in size from a few million to billions of dollars, including:
- joint ventures and other alliances
- mergers, acquisitions and tender and exchange offers
- private equity and leveraged buyout transactions
- stock and asset divestitures and spin-offs
- cross-border M&A transactions
Protecting Intellectual Property Rights
The vast technological innovation that will accelerate the development of Next Generation Vehicles will result in the necessity for the developers of that technology to protect their intellectual property rights. Chadbourne's IP Team is a leader in managing historical and emerging IP issues in green technology fields. With our access to clients leading the development of new markets in these industries, Chadbourne understands the competitive dynamics that define the landscape of IP issues facing new entrants as well as incumbents. Whether their businesses are directed to hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles, wind turbines, photovoltaic or other solar technologies, advanced chemical engineering or solid state materials, the smart grid or carbon credits markets, Chadbourne has the advanced IP expertise to help our clients better compete and prosper.
We provide services across all areas of technology and IP, including patent and trademark prosecution, licensing, litigation, U.S. International Trade Commission actions, complex technology transactions, and IP diligence for loan guarantees, equity financings, mergers & acquisitions and other corporate transactions. We routinely assist our clients in assessing the intellectual property rights of start-ups and other companies they invest in.
Vehicle Communications Systems
Next Generation Vehicle manufacturers will utilize vehicle communications systems in order to provide a wide variety of services to vehicle owners, including remote monitoring, diagnostics, power management, software upgrades and location-based e-commerce. The Communications, Media and Telecommunications practice at Chadbourne was instrumental in convincing the FCC to allocate radio frequency spectrum for intelligent transportation systems and vehicle communications and to adopt government regulations and technical standards for devices and systems used in vehicle communications and electric smart grid systems and devices. We have represented automobile manufacturers and electric utilities in the negotiation of complex agreements with communications service providers for vehicle communications systems.
We also represent vehicle manufacturers, electric utilities and communications service providers in the regulatory approval process and industry standards setting process for vehicle communications and electric smart grid systems and devices. We regularly represent clients in all of the major rulemakings before the FCC with regard to the allocation of radio spectrum, FCC regulation of electric smart grid and broadband communications systems and the National Broadband Plan.
Tax StrategiesStart-ups and established businesses in the Next Generation Vehicle industry will need sophisticated tax advice as they grow their businesses and engage in complex investment structures and business combinations and alliances. Chadbourne tax lawyers work closely with our clients to ensure the best possible solution to any tax problem. Our tax lawyers have planned, structured, negotiated and implemented numerous high-profile, tax-sensitive U.S. and cross-border transactions and significant international reorganizations. We represent numerous private equity funds and hedge funds and are actively involved in developing new financial products and state-of-the-art international debt and equity financing structures. Chadbourne tax lawyers have created and pioneered innovative, tax-enhanced private equity buyout structures. The tax group’s experience and creativity extends to a broad array of other areas, including asset based financing and securitizations, global private business and family estate planning, international investment funds, securities offerings, project financings, real estate transactions and alternative energy structures and transactions.
Environmental MattersAs the Next Generation Vehicle industry moves the world toward a greener future, compliance with environmental protection requirements will be a paramount concern. Chadbourne assists newly formed and established enterprises with permitting and compliance with all aspects of environmental law. Chadbourne’s environmental lawyers also regularly handle the environmental aspects of the largest corporate and real estate transactions. Our expertise and experience also includes participation in the development of key environmental statutes and regulations.
Like all businesses, industry participants will need assistance on issues relating to the employer-employee relationship, and a broad range of large and small enterprises regularly seek legal counsel from Chadbourne in solving these issues.
Chadbourne’s employment lawyers seek to help clients prevent or contain problems. Because our employment lawyers strive to develop creative approaches and solutions to employment issues, clients often are able to identify potential problems in advance and take actions that can help prevent costly and time-consuming litigation.
Chadbourne’s executive compensation and employee benefits attorneys also represent businesses and executives in the negotiation of employment, change of control, severance, consulting and management services agreements and the establishment of employee benefit plans.