Nature of Practice
Schnader's Pittsburgh office, established in 1994, serves a wide range of the firm's local, national and international clients in areas including general corporate, securities, business and complex litigation; franchise; taxation; commercial transactions; aviation; environmental; energy; renewable energy; trusts and estates; retirement and business planning; real estate development and finance; land use planning; leasing; labor and employment; employee benefits; and construction. With support from across the Firm and from all seven offices, Schnader's attorneys can address your litigation, transactional, regulatory, and environmental needs.
Description of Practice Areas
Schnader attorneys represent many of the world's airlines, aviation manufacturers and aviation industry organizations. Our internationally recognized attorneys have for decades provided a wide variety of legal services to meet the constantly evolving needs of clients in this competitive industry. We combine the depth and experience of our network of aviation attorneys with the resources of Schnader's full-service law practice - including corporate, finance, tax, government contracts, commercial litigation, antitrust, intellectual property and international law - to meet the demands of clients engaged in the global aviation industry.
One of our Pittsburgh attorneys serves as counsel for the Allegheny County Airport Authority, a position he has held since the inception of the Authority. He has represented the authority in the acquisition of the assets of Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airports. He has subsequently represented the Allegheny County Airport through the bankruptcies of its hub carrier, including the renegotiation of the Airline Operating Agreement and leases for special purpose facilities. He also counsels enterprises in the interface between governmental and economic development agencies and devises financing strategies utilizing both private and public partnerships.
Schnader aviation lawyers have counseled airports involved in airline bankruptcy proceedings, including acting as lead counsel to airports in many major airline bankruptcies. These include representing the Allegheny County Airport Authority (PIT) in both US Airways I & II and the Memphis-Shelby Airport Authority (MEM) in the Northwest Airlines case, as well as the following bankruptcy cases: ATA, Vanguard, Midway, United, Independence and Delta. The Firm currently represents aircraft and aircraft engine owners, lessors and lenders in the following current or recent airline bankruptcy cases: US Airways, Vanguard, National, Southern Air Transport, Kiwi, Western Pacific, AccessAir and Sun Country. In 2000-2001, we represented a group of lessors and lenders in the TWA bankruptcy, and were responsible for drafting major stipulations relating to TWA’s aircraft and their acquisition by American Airlines.
Creditors' Rights and Business Restructuring
Our bankruptcy lawyers provide aggressive, full-service, interdisciplinary knowledge to solve our clients' insolvency issues. We handle all aspects of litigating creditors' rights on behalf of both secured and unsecured creditors. We also provide the experience and insight of lawyers well-versed in the related areas of lender liability, professional malpractice, and director and officer liability. We have represented lenders, vendors, municipal authorities and other assorted creditors in bankruptcies involving debtors from international corporations to individuals. In addition, Schnader Pittsburgh attorneys have represented clients in proceedings under Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code as well as in proceedings ancillary to a foreign bankruptcy throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Our corporate lawyers have extensive experience in business counseling and general corporate matters, including mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; corporate governance; venture capital financing; commercial lending; partnership syndications; equipment leasing; franchising, banking, municipal finance and project finance.
Our construction industry services include contract negotiations and drafting, bids and bid protests, project organization and management, litigation, alternative dispute resolution, governmental compliance and construction administration.
Schnader's Emerging Companies team focuses on the legal needs of emerging and high growth companies across all stages of development from formation and seed funding; to venture capital financings, equipment financing and public capital; to strategic growth through joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and cross-border transactions; to strategic tax planning; to complex intellectual property capture, commercialization and protection; to the myriad legal issues attendant to the hire, retention and separation of human capital; to the business of launching and growing public companies and the representation of mature transnational corporations; to handling sophisticated multi-jurisdictional offensive and defensive litigation.
We have extensive experience in all areas of employee benefits, advising employers with respect to pension plans, 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans, profit sharing plans, medical, life and disability plans and executive compensation arrangements. In employee benefits litigation, we typically represent employers, plans, insurers and fiduciaries, defending them with respect to a wide variety of claims, including claims for benefits and breach of fiduciary duty. Our employment lawyers provide ongoing advice and assistance with respect to compliance with legal requirements under ERISA, administrative issues and fiduciary issues. We also represent governmental employers with respect to their employee benefit plans.
Our environmental practice focuses on environmental, regulatory compliance, land use and transactional matters, including defense of citizen suits, permit challenges, enforcement and cost recovery actions under air, water, hazardous waste, storage tank, Superfund and other environmental laws and regulations. We have experience in compliance counseling, site assessments, remedial investigations, underground storage tank cleanups and corrective actions, environmental assessments, environmental due diligence in connection with business transactions and acquisitions and defense of municipal enforcement actions and counseling in connection with project and facility development. Our environmental attorneys also provide counseling to clients including waste disposal companies, waste-to-energy companies, coal and mineral mining companies, petroleum companies and other businesses.
The finance practice provides lenders of every nature with a full range of sophisticated legal services required for the extension of credit and the enforcement of obligations. Our finance attorneys represent clients in various forms of financings, including tax-exempt bond financing, private placements, convertible securities and revolving credit facilities. We have represented venture capital funds, structured investments, loans and capital contributions. In addition, we have also been involved with representing start-ups and "angel" investors. Our wide range of experience enables us to effectively and efficiently structure and, when necessary, restructure transactions.
Schnader's franchise attorneys assist clients from inception to development of their franchise plans, advise with respect to all documentation and registration matters and provide ongoing counsel on matters affecting their systems, including intellectual property, real estate, labor and employment and government regulation concerns. Schnader attorneys have national and international experience in these and all other aspects of franchise issues, and have assisted American franchisors in negotiating and structuring master franchise agreements abroad and represented foreign franchisors in developing and expanding their franchise operations within the United States. The Firm has successfully represented franchisors, from the planning and start-up stages to the various needs of an established and growing franchise.
Our government contracts practice is both domestic and international in scope and involves the representation of clients in the procurement process, including contract formation, contract administration and dispute resolution. Our lawyers represent clients who supply goods and services to federal, state and local government entities. We advise companies seeking to do business with foreign governments, and we counsel foreign governments in their dealings with U.S. contractors and on matters of international trade in defense equipment. In the construction field, we represent general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, sureties, architect-engineers and owners.
Our health care practice focuses on providing corporate legal counsel and transactional advice to health care providers and other health related businesses. Our practice includes counseling clients on business formation, commercial financing, management operations, regulatory compliance, contractual relationships, reimbursement, nonprofit issues and business transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, affiliations and joint ventures.
Schnader brings together a cadre of attorneys with varied skill sets and backgrounds to provide a holistic and multifaceted approach to address the needs of our higher education clients. Many of the professionals in our group serve on boards of educational institutions or have worked as faculty or administrators in colleges and universities. These “real-world” experiences enable us to more effectively partner with you to accomplish your goals. Our representations in numerous higher education matters give us a head start in addressing short-term problems and realizing long-term goals, as we provide traditional legal counsel, training and information programs, policy and procedure review, and representation in dispute resolution.
We respond to the specific needs of each individual client and situation, always recognizing that plans must be practical and cost-effective. We also fully appreciate that it is essential for our clients to develop and maintain positive relationships within their local communities and in all levels of government.
Schnader has been actively engaged in the broad scale practice of what is now known as intellectual property law for more than 50 years. The practice includes domestic and international patent procurement and trademark and copyright registration, computer law and associated transactional matters, and related licensing, counseling and litigation. We understand clients' technologies and help guide them through the complexities of today's intellectual property laws.
Our litigation lawyers are experienced in virtually every type of litigation, including antitrust, complex commercial litigation, labor and employment, securities and shareholder litigation, product liability, toxic tort, environmental, aviation, bankruptcy and construction. In addition, our litigators are experienced in arbitration and mediation of complex commercial matters.
Labor and Employment
Our labor and employment attorneys have defended discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge and other employment claims in state and federal courts, as well as before various administrative agencies including the NLRB, EEOC, PHRC, Civil Service Boards and Unemployment Compensation Boards. We regularly counsel employers in connection with matters such as terminations, reductions in force, employment policies, and wage and hour issues. We represent employers in all aspects of labor relations, including issues associated with labor organizing issues and in collective bargaining. We also handle traditional labor matters, including union representations; elections; collective bargaining negotiations; employee grievance arbitrations; and age, sex and race discrimination claims.
Our real estate attorneys practice in all areas of real estate from land use planning, zoning, development, financing, leasing and construction. Our Pittsburgh real estate attorneys include lawyers who also have architect and engineering degrees, as well as lawyers who have served in numerous quasi-governmental capacities as city planning commissioners, board members to transportation and infrastructure authorities and solicitors to municipal authorities.
Schnader's securities lawyers deliver decades of experience in representing companies seeking public and private capital, venture capitalists and strategic investors, investment bankers and securities professionals. Schnader brings to the complex securities area many attorneys with diverse backgrounds in onshore and offshore capital formation, the structuring and offering of sophisticated and derivative securities, and organization and operation of clients within the securities industry. Our attorneys come not only from legal backgrounds but also from the Securities and Exchange Commission and in-house positions in a wide variety of companies.
Our taxation practice concentrates in the areas of commercial law and taxation, with particular emphasis in the areas of tax litigation, tax administrative practice, corporate acquisitions and divestitures, partnerships, domestic and international business taxation, real estate and natural resource development.
Trusts and Estates
The attorneys of Schnader's trusts and estates practice provide sophisticated legal services to individuals of high net worth, owners of family businesses, corporate executives, fiduciaries and charitable organizations in a variety of areas. Our Pittsburgh estate planning lawyers have experience drafting and implementing family limited partnerships and a variety of trusts and wills. They also advise clients on the use of trust agreements for asset protection and tax reduction.
Schnader's Nationwide Network of Offices
With offices in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington, D.C., California and Pennsylvania, Schnader's attorneys bring together a diverse set of skills to serve our clients. Attorneys in our Pittsburgh office work collectively with attorneys in Schnader's nationwide network of offices to deliver legal services of the highest quality in all our areas of practice. We use our state-of-the-art computer network and communications capability (including video conferencing) to maximize our legal resources, regardless of where among our offices those resources are located. Our common bond is a commitment to excellence and hard work, and a dedication to providing the highest quality legal services to the Firm's clients on a cost-effective basis.