Public Law and Policy > Complex or Controversial Projects

Efforts to develop major projects are often plagued with regulatory, environmental, public policy and political hurdles that only increase as a project becomes more complex and controversial. While these hurdles frequently mean delays and increased costs, they can also result in partners or investors abandoning a project, or even in the termination of a project. Our lawyers and advisors have extensive experience advising on all facets of developing major, complex and controversial infrastructure projects. We understand how to position a project to succeed, and we understand the vulnerabilities that will cause a project to fail. Armed with this knowledge and experience, we regularly advise our clients on the array of interrelated factors and considerations that mean the difference between project success and failure.

A key to delivering results for our clientswhether they support or oppose a projectis our understanding of the laws and permitting requirements that govern major projects. Akin Gump’s environment and project development lawyers regularly assist our clients in securing required permits and approvals for a wide range of complex development projects throughout the United States, including oil and natural gas, pipelines, renewable energy, transportation, mining and transmission lines.

Beyond this regulatory component, advancing our clients’ interests requires navigating the myriad other factors and issues that are central in major project development. We work with our clients to not only navigate, but also to shape and influence, the political environment, public policies and public perceptions that are linchpins for project support or opposition.

On the political front, Akin Gump has one of the largest and most diverse public law and policy practices of any major law firm worldwide. Our bipartisan practice—which includes many former members of Congress and executive branch and congressional staff—develops successful strategies and tactics to complement and support our regulatory efforts in a manner that is effective, timely and highly coordinated. Our efforts include direct advocacy with government decision-makers to achieve specific legislative, policy or regulatory results concerning a project.

We also recognize that achieving our clients’ project-related objectives frequently requires an external element. Akin Gump has invaluable experience assembling, working with and coordinating professional teams that can include media relations specialists, public opinion polling organizations, grass roots consultants and other outside experts as needed. In today’s environment, this additional level of support is crucial to achieving success.

Our long-standing work on controversial projects has also confirmed that there is strength in numbers. We know how to successfully identify and mobilize third-party groups and organizations to support our efforts. Because Native American tribes can be strong and effective allies, having one of the nation’s strongest American Indian law practices allows us to readily understand how tribes may be affected by a proposed project, and identify and solicit support from tribes whose interests are aligned. Akin Gump has also been a leader in a wide variety of coalitions—as a participant, organizer and/or manager—where we are able to work with a diverse group of stakeholders to achieve a common goal. Finally, we are actively involved in, and have close relationships with, a number of associations and business organizations that we are able to draw upon to advance our clients’ interests.