Friday, Eldredge & Clark lawyers represent a myriad of manufacturing and industrial companies, including manufacturers of social expression products, food and consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, valves, wire, engineered products, firearms, tires and other auto components, medical devices and many more. These clients include multi-national Fortune 500 companies and smaller regional entities. Whatever their size or wherever they are located, clients rely on our attorneys for client-focused advice and representation grounded in a thorough understanding of their industry sector.
Services to Manufacturing and Industrial Clients
Business, Corporate, and Commercial
Some of the largest and most prestigious companies doing business in Arkansas have relied on us for guidance and representation in environmental matters. Clients rely on us to help them with such environmental matters as permitting and compliance, environmental due diligence and all appropriate inquiries, clean-up and abatement toxic torts, litigation representation, and management of environmental risks and liabilities. We have represented them not only in courts, but also before the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.
ERISA and Benefits
Our firm has by far the largest employee benefits practice in Arkansas, with a practice group focused exclusively on the tax and ERISA (Employee Retirement and Income Security Act) concerns of clients’ unique benefits plans and compensation needs, and encompassing more than 1,000 separate benefits and compensation plans. Our clients based in this state and beyond represent a “who’s who” of leading employers, including manufacturing and industrial employers. They rely on Friday, Eldredge & Clark to handle their unique employee benefit needs. We handle every legal aspect of employee benefits plans from design, implementation, and administration to compliance, audits, and mergers and acquisitions.
Labor and Employment
Our lawyers routinely provide labor and employment counseling and representation for our manufacturing clients. We focus our capabilities on the labor and employment issues that we believe are the greatest potential concerns—compliance with the full range of federal and state laws and defense in litigation, and proactive counseling to help identify problems that can become employment disputes. We represent manufacturing and industrial clients in such areas as wage and hour compliance, employment discrimination litigation of all types, EEOC investigations, labor relations, and covenants not to compete.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Our manufacturer clients call on us for advice on everything from drafting of warnings and manuals to preventing product liability claims to product safety compliance issues. More than 20 litigators at the firm represent clients in product liability matters, including class actions. Our product liability lawyers have tried numerous product claim related jury trials in Arkansas and throughout the country. The underlying products are as varied as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, agricultural equipment, automobile, industrial equipment, consumer products, firearms, air guns, paintball equipment, and more.
Litigation may also arise from contracts gone wrong or other business torts, and we have litigated or mediated such cases on behalf of manufacturing clients.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Friday, Eldredge & Clark represents buyers and sellers in a variety of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. Our lawyers assist with the structuring, negotiation, documentation, and closing of the deal using our firm’s full resources for everything from due diligence and tax-efficient deal structures, to financing and antitrust approval, to the review of employee benefits and non-compete agreements in the acquired entity.
Municipal and Corporate Finance
A particular area of strength for our bond practice is public financing of private business projects, including industrial facilities throughout Arkansas and in a number of other states. We serve as bond counsel for industrial development revenue bond issues for all types of industries and all sizes of companies. Businesses get our help in working with municipalities as well as such state agencies as the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. Packages can range from several million dollars to many hundreds of millions of dollars, and we are effective at developing incentive vehicles that combine financing from multiple public and private sources. Public and private manufacturing and industrial companies ask Friday, Eldredge & Clark lawyers to handle initial, primary, and secondary public offerings of debt securities and of hybrid securities such as junior subordinated deferrable interest debentures, collateralized pollution control revenue bonds, subordinated trust preferred securities, and leveraged and synthetic leases. We can handle all phases of an offering for a company, including preparation of the prospectus, structuring the offering terms, and obtaining clearance from the SEC and other regulatory bodies.
Our real estate work for manufacturing and industrial clients covers a broad range of transactions, regulatory advice, and litigation—from routine purchase agreements to complicated and sophisticated commercial, corporate, tax, and environmental work. We provide clients with practical advice and creative solutions whether they are buying, selling, leasing, or operating real property oil and gas interests in Arkansas or in multi-state transactions. We counsel clients on debt and equity financing, non-recourse financing, project financing, partnerships and limited liability companies, joint ventures and other investment vehicles, as well as land use, brokerage, and management agreements. We authored the limited liability law in Arkansas. Our experience in the area of exchanges is deep and covers straight like-kind exchanges, reverse like-kind exchanges, and deferred like-kind exchanges. We have acted as lender’s counsel in real-estate-based loans to countless institutions and as local counsel for out-of-state lenders.