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Firm Profile

Schnader's team of outstanding lawyers serves the complex litigation and transactional needs of both long established and newly emerging businesses, including those doing business internationally and in cyberspace. We also provide wealth management and an array of personal legal services to individuals.

In the sophistication of its legal work, Schnader is truly distinctive. Among its many honors, we have many Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers, and one of our partners, Ralph Wellington, was recognized in an independent survey of Fortune 1000 companies as one of only 78 attorneys selected worldwide for providing superior client service. Eleven attorneys from Schnader are members of the American Law Institute. We also count several Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers among our ranks. Chambers USA ranked Schnader in the top tier among both Pennsylvania and New York firms in several practice areas, Best Lawyers and U.S.News & World Report recognized several of the Firm's practice groups in its "Best Law Firms" rankings, the Firm has been "highly recommended" by Benchmark Litigation, and Legal 500 has recognized the Firm's Aviation Practice Group as one of the best in the U.S. Many of the Firm's attorneys are recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, the highest rating available. In addition, Schnader includes within its ranks two former federal court of appeals judges and a federal district court judge.

Schnader's clients range from large, international corporations to individual entrepreneurs. They include companies based in the United States as well as those from other countries. We represent clients in many industries including transportation, manufacturing, communications, insurance, banking and finance, health care, computers and office equipment, automotive, construction, as well as service organizations.

The Firm emphasizes both quality and cost control. We avoid assigning more lawyers to a task than it needs. Each client has a client manager - an experienced lawyer who analyzes each matter, makes sure the client receives the service suited to the matter, and supervises the quality and cost effectiveness of the services.

Our lawyers have been leaders in government and the profession. They have served in high government posts at the federal, state and local levels. Our lawyers have also held leadership positions in the bar, including President of the American Bar Association, President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and Chancellors of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Our lawyers have taught in leading law schools and have written numerous legal treatises and articles. They have played a significant role in developing our nation's law, most notably in the 30-year development of the Uniform Commercial Code, now in effect across the nation, and in the development of the Uniform Probate Code. They hold leadership positions in national and local civic, cultural, political and charitable institutions, and have a reputation for outstanding pro bono service to the profession and the community.

Schnader has more than 40 practice areas divided between Business, Litigation and Tax & Wealth Management services.

Our Firm's appellate and trial litigation practice has involved numerous landmark litigation proceedings. Our practice is organized into groups specializing in securities, mass torts and product liability, construction, technology, antitrust, energy and public utilities, white collar crime, and communications and First Amendment law. Our litigators handle a high volume of trial and appellate work across the nation, and we have served as national coordinating counsel in both antitrust and product liability litigation. Our litigators have obtained favorable outcomes in major cases at all levels of the judicial system, including numerous decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States. During its history, the Firm has had twelve partners elected Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a distinction awarded in recognition of excellence at the trial bar.

In 2007, Schnader founded the Bernard G. Segal Institute for Appellate Advocacy LLC. The Segal Institute provides a full range of appellate consulting services to attorneys engaged in appellate litigation.

Schnader's attorneys have many decades of experience in class action and multidistrict litigation. Subject matters in this area include securities fraud, antitrust, consumer fraud, insurance, employment discrimination, product liability, and landowner property rights. We are fully conversant with the relevant law, the applicable professional standards, and the attorneys and experts who regularly appear in complex class action litigation, enabling us to work creatively, effectively and efficiently toward the vindication of our clients' rights. Using the resources of our Commercial Litigation Practice Group and our nationwide offices, our attorneys have represented national and international clients in federal and state courts around the country.

Schnader's Aviation Group has represented many of the world's leading manufacturers of commercial, general aviation and military aircraft and equipment, as well as domestic and international airlines and aviation insurers. The team combines sophisticated engineering and practical aviation skills with substantial trial and appellate experience. We have represented aviation clients in major accident litigation, claims against government agencies, challenges to government regulations and legislation, antitrust and commercial disputes, employment litigation, and passenger, baggage and cargo claims.

Our Creditors' Rights and Business Restructuring Practice Group provides lenders and borrowers advice, counsel and representation in all aspects of bankruptcy and secured and unsecured lending, including loan origination, maintenance, workouts, litigation, real estate, securities, business, environmental and tax issues. We represent lenders, creditors' committees and borrowers. We handle complex litigation arising from failures of financial institutions.

Schnader's Business Services Department serves public and closely held national and multinational corporations as well as small and mid-size businesses, providing them with timely, cost-effective legal representation and helping them to structure, negotiate and close business transactions. Our experience includes securities law; mergers and acquisitions; corporate governance; public and private offerings of equity and debt securities; banking and other financial institution law; tax-exempt bond issues; joint ventures; leveraged leasing; and project financing for major waste-to-energy, small power production and cogeneration facilities.

Schnader attorneys counsel nonprofit organizations of every size, providing them with timely, cost-effective legal representation. We service nonprofit clients through nationally configured practice groups that unite relevant capabilities in our various offices. The unique breadth of our capability and sophisticated level of services differentiate Schnader from other legal service providers in the nonprofit area.

Schnader is among the pioneers in the practice of computer law in the country. Our E-Commerce and Technology Group is comprised of a diverse group of lawyers from the litigation, business, intellectual property and tax practice areas, many of whom have educational or employment backgrounds in the computer industry, working with computer software, hardware, or related computer services. Our practice includes software licensing and distribution, software development and computer system acquisition, protection of proprietary rights, litigation and investigation. This group also tackles communication issues such as free speech and privacy, and business and litigation issues. In 1997, in a case challenging the constitutionality of the Communications Decency Act, this group submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court the first brief on CD-ROM ever accepted by the Court. The Firm's Information Systems personnel work closely with the group in its efforts to gain a full understanding of the applicable technology.

Lawyers in our interdisciplinary Employee Benefits Group provide advice, counsel and representation to employers and single and multiemployer benefit plans and fiduciaries in this complex area. Because of the varied legal issues that arise, the group includes members of our tax, labor, corporate, litigation, and trusts and estates departments. Our lawyers counsel employers about executive compensation. We are experienced in qualified pension, 401(k) and other profit sharing plans, employee stock ownership and stock option plans, tax deferred annuity and "Sec. 457" nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements for nonprofit employers, other types of welfare benefit plans and supplemental executive retirement and golden parachute arrangements.

The Labor and Employment Group provides counseling and litigation services to management. We advise employers on how to resolve disputes and potential problems and to implement employment decisions in order to avoid expensive litigation. We typically represent clients in equal employment opportunity matters, defense of wrongful discharge and defamation lawsuits, executive employment contracts, safety and hazardous materials matters, and antitrust and RICO actions. We also represent employers who contribute to multiemployer pension plans and defend trustees of multiemployer pension plans in fiduciary obligation litigation. We handle the entire spectrum of traditional labor relations including negotiations, counseling, contract administration, union avoidance, obtaining injunctions, advice on hiring of replacement workers, and all NLRB proceedings and disputes.

Environmental law plays a major role in the acquisition, sale and financing of almost every type of property and business entity. The Environmental Group includes lawyers from our litigation, real estate and business practices. The group's practice includes defending administrative and judicial enforcement actions, both civil and criminal; participating in administrative rulemaking; initiating judicial challenges to agency actions; coordinating and advising on environmental audits; counseling and negotiating about environmental liabilities in business and real estate transactions; and strategic planning to help clients achieve cost-effective compliance with environmental regulations.

Schnader has guided its health care clients through the changing legal and regulatory environment of the past three decades. The Health Law Practice Group provides comprehensive services including counseling, negotiation and litigation. We represent hospitals, ambulatory care facilities, trade associations, individual providers and provider groups, multihospital holding companies, joint ventures of tax-exempt and taxable entities, medical equipment manufacturers and others in the health care field.

Schnader's Intellectual Property Practice Group represents domestic and foreign clients in patents, trademarks, copyright registrations, computer law and associated transactional matters, and licensing, counseling and litigation. Our lawyers have extensive technical and scientific backgrounds which give them a greater understanding of our clients' needs. We conduct intellectual property audits, work with our clients to protect patentable inventions and trade secrets, draft agreements for the licensing or other disposition of intellectual property rights, and we handle litigation, including appeals. A number of the department's lawyers are registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Schnader represents foreign corporations doing business in the United States, as well as domestic corporations engaged in international business. Our lawyers have experience with international arbitration and we practice before international courts and agencies. We have developed associations with officials in international organizations and affiliations with lawyers in many countries. Many of the lawyers who serve international clients have been educated and have lived and worked in other countries, and are fluent in a number of languages.

Schnader's real estate lawyers serve major national clients, including developers, public sector agencies, owners, tenants, mortgage lenders, title insurance companies and contractors. They also represent corporations and businesses that, although primarily engaged in other fields, have substantial real estate needs. Examples of work include convention centers, waterfront development, sports arenas, air hub distribution centers, mixed use projects, alternative energy and waste disposal projects, and foreclosures and loan restructurings for financially troubled properties. Real estate lawyers work closely with environmental lawyers to solve environmental problems relating to real property.

The Finance Practice Group provides lenders a full range of legal services required for the extension of credit and the enforcement of obligations. We have been in the forefront of helping lenders and borrowers identify and structure the most advantageous financing arrangements. Our experience includes transactions involving asset-based lending, real estate financing, syndicated credits, public finance and bankruptcy and creditors' rights. Our wide range of experience enables us to effectively and efficiently structure, and when necessary, restructure transactions.

The Firm's bond finance practice is varied, with members of the Bond Finance Group serving as bond counsel, underwriter's counsel, counsel to credit enhancers or counsel to underlying borrowers in connection with all types of issues regarding education, housing, infrastructure, health care, and tax and bond anticipation notes. The Firm is listed in The Bond Buyer's Municipal Marketplace ("The Red Book") and is viewed as a "major player" in public finance. The Firm enjoys an excellent reputation with both regional and national investment banking firms. As a result of the Firm's ongoing involvement in bond finance, our attorneys are thoroughly conversant with applicable state law as well as with the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code which relate to tax-exempt indebtedness, including spending requirements, rebate issues and arbitrage issues. The Firm also has substantial experience in the area of derivative products, having negotiated various interest rate swap agreements and similar transactions.

Our Tax attorneys help clients structure major corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, liquidations, reorganizations, recapitalizations, and leveraged buyouts. Our lawyers regularly handle tax planning for exempt organizations (particularly in the health care field). We provide national and state and local tax planning, audit support and response, and related services in connection with the structuring and implementation of business reorganization plans and new business ventures. We represent individual clients and business clients with respect to transactions, audits, assessments, trials and appeals of all states’ income, franchise, gross receipts, sales and use, employment, property, motor fuel, property transfer, and other excise taxes. Our attorneys have experience in dealing with tax matters that arise in nearly every state. They have contacts with state tax administrators and are familiar with state and local tax strategies to minimize tax liabilities. Schnader's tax lawyers work with clients to obtain advance rulings from the IRS on the tax consequences of innovative transactions.

Complex and changing laws have made estate planning and the administration of trusts and estates a challenging area - one in which a wrong decision can be costly for generations to come. Our Trusts and Estates Department works with business executives to integrate personal financial and estate planning with corporate benefits packages, and are often hired by corporations to provide this service to their executives. We have experience in the complex area of charitable giving, including charitable remainders and lead trust arrangements. Our lawyers help create and provide ongoing representation to large and small private foundations. We advise several public charities about planned giving, including creation and operation of pooled income funds and other charitable vehicles. Our trusts and estates lawyers are experienced in protecting the interests of beneficiaries, creditors and others in estate and trust matters, including will contests and other litigation. Our lawyers are involved with personal planning, including asset protection, planning for the possibility of incompetency and the sensitive area of health care decision making.