Infrastructure and Transportation > Overview

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s infrastructure and transportation practice advises public- and private-sector clients in the United States and globally on innovative strategies for financing and developing large infrastructure projects. We have brought together in one practice lawyers from various disciplines who can deliver to clients a complete and fully integrated set of services. We advise clients on infrastructure projects across all major sectors globally, including transportation; power; oil and gas; renewable energy; industrial real estate; tribal; water; telecommunications; and social infrastructure, such as health care, courthouses, prisons and higher-education facilities. Our clients include general and limited partners forming infrastructure funds, partners to joint venture agreements and joint ventures pursuing and undertaking infrastructure projects, governmental entities and underwriters.

Our job in each engagement is to master the relationship between our client’s public or private business objectives and the complex legal environments in which these objectives must be met. Our goal is to provide advice and counsel of exceptional value—helping clients maximize their opportunities while avoiding unnecessary complications and delays. Drawing on our vast resources, our infrastructure and transportation lawyers and other professionals engage in complex projects by diffusing political risk, addressing the interests of diverse stakeholders, resolving regulatory hurdles, ensuring that the project development is bankable and creating innovative financing structures.

Investment in Infrastructure and transportation projects is predicted to skyrocket over the coming years across the globe. In the United States in particular, there is a heightened focus on infrastructure investment, with the federal government and state and local governments evaluating options for increasing funding and financing options for infrastructure. Our experience and holistic approach allow us to accurately identify trends and new growth opportunities within both established and emerging markets.

Our network of infrastructure and transportation lawyers spans multiple offices including Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, San Francisco, Singapore and Washington, D.C. Specifically, our multidisciplinary team provides advice regarding:

  • regulatory and political risks regarding infrastructure investments
  • formation of infrastructure investment vehicles
  • tax implications and structuring
  • negotiation and drafting of joint venture arrangements
  • negotiation and drafting of shareholder agreements
  • Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) implications and approach
  • antitrust implications
  • due diligence regarding investment opportunities
  • state and local procurement and government relations
  • contract negotiations and drafting
  • negotiation and drafting of revenue agreements
  • federal and state laws and regulations and regulatory approvals, including environmental review and permitting.

Public-Private Partnerships

Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) are becoming increasingly popular for local governments seeking to manage cash flow and lower risk in large-scale public infrastructure projects. Offering increased protection against timeline and cost overages, PPP provides the private sector with the possibility of bringing design innovation, experience and expertise to the project to improve construction, maintenance and overall operation.

Our PPP experience adds significant value to the transportation and other infrastructure projects on which we advise. Our team understands the importance of assessing the political landscape, reaching out to key decision-makers, advising on regulatory requirements, and assisting in structuring and securing funding, as well as financing and expediting the project development process. We deliver a team with knowledge and experience tailored to the needs of the client and the project. Our understanding of all phases of an infrastructure project, from planning to environmental review and preliminary engineering and design, to the procurement phase, allows us to advise clients regarding opportunities and risks and provide comprehensive representation regarding political, regulatory and business implications.

Click-through to read more on our comprehensive approach and services provided to our clients in the infrastructure and transportation sectors:

Energy

Global energy projects have been on the rise in recent years in developing countries that are eager to compete in a globalized economy. Akin Gump lawyers have been at the forefront of numerous global infrastructure projects, including traditional and renewable energy developments. Our team has led the way in groundbreaking projects in the renewable energy industry. Our dedicated projects team has broad global experience working on some of the world’s largest and most complex projects involving traditional energy and infrastructure, including natural gas, nuclear and other fuels; and renewable energy projects, such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, landfill gas, biomass and biofuel. Specifically, we have represented energy companies and investors in the development, purchase, sale and financing of energy projects, including:

  • developing entitlement strategies
  • securing federal, state and local permits/approvals
  • providing legal opinions on the sufficiency of permits and approvals
  • developing strategies to garner public support or overcome project opposition.

Industrial Real Estate

Our firm has decades of experience advising large institutional investors, high-net-worth individuals, private equity funds, publically traded and privately held companies, and municipalities in the acquisition, disposition, development, construction and financing of a wide variety of real-estate-related investments. Our sophisticated real estate practice has allowed our lawyers to gain significant experience in assisting clients with issues relating to industrial properties and related infrastructure, including with respect to airports, data centers, transload facilities, cogeneration facilities, telecom centers, warehouses, cold storage facilities, distribution centers and R&D buildings.

Military Housing

Akin Gump has experience advising developers on competing for, and negotiating, PPPs to finance, develop, operate and maintain military housing. Lawyers and advisors in our government contracts, corporate, and public law and policy practices work together to assist our clients with identifying and evaluating opportunities, advocating for our clients, structuring the transaction, and advising on compliance with applicable federal laws and regulations. Our political prowess, combined with our transactional and regulatory experience, makes us well qualified to assist with these and other public-private partnership transactions involving U.S. military bases.

Social Infrastructure

Public works projects, such as hospitals, schools, fire stations, federal buildings, courthouses, prisons and parking garages, typically do not generate revenue; therefore, they create significant challenges for communities that need to build, maintain and operate these facilities. Our lawyers assist clients in evaluating whether sponsors can feasibly and more cost-effectively undertake a project through a PPP. We have advised clients undertaking PPPs involving healthcare facilities, higher education institutions, prisons and courthouses.

Transportation

Akin Gump’s transportation practice is global—with our U.S. and international offices working in tandem to provide integrated services to our clients. We represent both private- and public-sector clients involved in a broad range of projects, including highway and toll road, airport, seaport, rail and intermodal. The lawyers in our transportation practice are experienced with the development and financing of transportation projects and with the laws and regulations governing such projects in the United States and abroad. Our lawyers assist and counsel our clients with regard to every aspect of the development, financing and operation of transportation projects. We bring to our work a strategic vision and creative energy, familiarity with government and the political overlay of projects, a clear understanding of our clients’ business needs, and a keen appreciation and understanding of the legal and regulatory hurdles that large-scale infrastructure development must overcome.

Tribal Infrastructure

The development of infrastructure on tribal lands by tribes and private developers and through private/tribal partnerships is increasing as tribes become more sophisticated, financing opportunities increase, and the federal government continues to relax its regulation and oversight of tribes’ land leasing and business dealings. With one of the nation’s largest American Indian law practices, our lawyers have advised tribes and private developers on the development of a wide range of large-scale infrastructure projects on tribal lands, including transportation, water delivery and wastewater treatment, pipelines, transmission lines, and traditional and renewable energy. Our knowledge of tribal culture and politics and the laws affecting tribes and tribal lands allows us the insight necessary to evaluate, plan, secure approvals and develop infrastructure projects on tribal lands.

Today’s marketplace is highly regulated. With the input of Akin Gump’s influential public law and policy practice, each environmental and land use challenge and dispute moves forward within an optimized regulatory and political context. 

Water Infrastructure

Water and wastewater projects will be a high priority for the new administration in Washington, D.C., and across the globe. We routinely advise clients on water infrastructure matters, including policy development, regulatory issues impacting project development, PPPs, water resources and supply, and water pollution. Our water infrastructure clients include public and private project sponsors, institutional investors, investor-owned utilities, government agencies, tribes and international organizations.