Manufacturing

To stay competitive and succeed in all market transitions, manufacturers are investing in the latest technologies and adopting new business models. Foley’s Manufacturing industry team helps its clients both maximize current operations and fully grasp emerging and evolving legal and business issues and opportunities.

Why Foley?

Manufacturing is globally focused. In order to succeed, manufacturers need to partner with advisors who can support them in all major world markets. Foley’s success heritage in manufacturing, combined with extensive network of offices and deep relationships with law firms in key manufacturing locations throughout the globe, helps us keep a sharp eye on the future and to ensure the success of our manufacturing clients at home and abroad.

Our supply chain experience is rooted with clients in the automobile, heavy equipment, consumer products, and other manufacturing industries, who depend upon reliable, high-volume flow of materials and products in a just-in-time environment that meets their customers’ demands.

As regulatory oversight and enforcement actions continue to expand, we are well positioned to guide our clients. We draw on our experienced government relations attorneys to provide effective legislative policy development and regulatory compliance counsel to corporations and trade associations. When disputes with regulators, law enforcement officials, customers, and vendors arise, our bench of highly skilled litigators provides business-focused representation, helping manufacturers protect their interests while continuing to focus on current operations.

Value We Deliver:

Combining legal knowledge with market experience.

  • Cross-disciplinary legal teams that provide comprehensive solutions
  • Proactive and collaborative approach to identifying and managing risk
  • 175 years of advising leading U.S. multinational manufacturing clients
  • Experienced government relations attorneys based in Washington, D.C., in state capitols, and in key commercial centers throughout the country
  • Transparency with respect to matter management, fees and client communication
  • Practical solutions that address complex business needs
  • Flexibility on approach and pricing
  • Efficient use of technology and up-to-date and relevant thought leadership

Manufacturing Thought Leadership

Manufacturing BlogThrough our blogs, social media platforms, events, roundtable discussions, and partnerships with industry associations such as the National Association of Manufacturing and the Manufacturing Leadership Council, academia, government, and other consulting firms, we are providing forward-thinking legal and business insight relevant to innovative manufacturers.

Manufacturing Industry Advisor Blog

Foley’s manufacturing blog provides insights on the latest news, developments, and trends in manufacturing.

Strategic Partnerships and Programs

Through our events, roundtable discussions and partnerships with leading manufacturing associations, we are providing forward-thinking legal and business insight relevant to innovative manufacturers.

Representative Transactions

An auto parts manufacturer, in $5.7M arbitration award against a Korean supplier in a trade secrets dispute, regarding a half shaft joint used in steering systems.

A plastics manufacturer, in its acquisition of a specialty plastics division of an international plastics manufacturer; in China, Brazil, Switzerland, and Germany, as well as other jurisdictions.

A manufacturing company, in patent infringement lawsuit brought by competitor in the District of Minnesota, involving patents directed at methods for assessing the cleanliness of rooms. Case settled on the eve of trial.

A manufacturing client, in an investigation relating to a high-risk deal involving a Thai joint venture partner and a buyout investment in Vietnam, which raised significant FCPA and other concerns. More than 100 suppliers in successfully navigating the bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler, securing critical vendor status and full payment in most cases.

A motorcycle manufacturer, in the transformational restructuring of its manufacturing operations in Pennsylvania, Missouri and Wisconsin; in negotiating new “state-of-the-art” labor agreements to facilitate flexible manufacturing, continuous improvement and third-party sequencing; insourcing of transportation management operations; and in contract development in logistical areas.

A large manufacturer of components, for defense and commercial applications and its multiple divisions regarding various supply chain sourcing issues, including compliance with Department of Defense specialty metals sourcing requirements and the SEC's conflict minerals proposed tracking/disclosure requirements.

Representative Matters

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As a biotechnology manufacturer pursuing advanced approaches to treating life-threatening diseases, our client understands that large-scale innovation requires not only inspiration but often a good deal of IP due diligence. Foley represents a next-generation biotech manufacturer that has developed and produced treatments for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, forms of cancer, and infectious diseases. With the ultimate goal of conquering these illnesses and possibly even producing engineered human organs for transplants, this company first tapped Foley’s intellectual property team to investigate and license the necessary technologies. With broader capabilities than typical IP law firms, Foley handled other services as well, including assisting our client with its international expansion. Based on lower costs and government investment in a life sciences/regenerative medicine infrastructure, our client determined that a presence in China would be beneficial to its business strategy. Attorneys from Foley’s China Practice were brought in to help guide our client through the development of a new business entity and a medical university partnership in China.Together, Foley’s IP and China teams, both well qualified and equipped, handled a second strategy in this company’s work, focused on organ repair and replacement. Our client pursued a novel approach of creating a new and potentially unlimited supply of transplantable organs using cells engineered in a lab. With a combination of healthy, transplantable tissue and medication that until now have only been able to prolong life in patients with a fatal condition, our client is prepared to offer patients a real chance at long-term survival.Many companies would be concerned that pursuing this type of technology in the early stages may be too risky. However, with Foley’s support in IP due diligence, licensing, and agreement drafting, in addition to our help paving the way for the company’s work in China, our client is able to proactively pursue innovation and other advanced manufacturing in next-generation technologies. Our assistance in illuminating the IP and business risks and helping the client devise strategies to mitigate those risks has made it possible for the company to pursue its bold vision and proceed with further research and development in this promising area. At a Glance: Next-Generation Manufacturing Business Issues: • Customer-Focused Innovation• Global Engagement• Next-Generation Technologies
For more than two decades, Foley has provided a range of legal services to Peerless Industries Inc., a leading U.S. manufacturer of audiovisual mounting equipment for commercial and residential installations. After Peerless moved a portion of its manufacturing plant overseas from Illinois to China in 2005, the company experienced a number of production and patent-related issues. The company therefore decided to bring its production capabilities back to the United States and acquired a new facility in Aurora, Illinois, where it has since been manufacturing its entire product line in-house. Foley supported the company’s reshoring effort from start to finish. The firm provided a wide variety of IP counseling and prosecution services to help protect Peerless’ rights in both China and the United States. Foley also assisted Peerless with real estate financing and transactions for the sale and purchase of its new production facility. Our attorneys have also regularly provided counseling and other services to Peerless relating to its previous activities in China and the effects of its reshoring activities to the United States.
Harley-Davidson is an American manufacturer of heavyweight touring and cruiser motorcycles. In October 2009, Harley-Davidson announced its long-term business strategy to drive growth through a single-minded focus of efforts and resources on the unique strengths of the Harley-Davidson brand and to enhance productivity and profitability through continuous improvement. That included a strategy to develop world-class manufacturing capability throughout the company by restructuring and consolidating operations for greater competitiveness, efficiency, and flexibility. The company sought flexibility to produce motorcycles closer to customer demand, enabling delivery of the right motorcycle to the right customer at the right time. Harley-Davidson certainly has had many advisors in its 110-year history who have supported the company’s vision, and Foley is honored to have been one of its legal advisors in a wide array of areas for more than 25 years. In particular, Harley-Davidson gave Foley the opportunity to assist with its recent strategic efforts in several ways. We supported Harley-Davidson in the transformational restructuring of its manufacturing operations in York, Pennsylvania; Kansas City, Missouri; and Wisconsin by assisting the company in negotiating new “state-of-the-art” labor agreements to facilitate flexible manufacturing, continuous improvement and third-party sequencing. Foley also has assisted Harley-Davidson with the insourcing of its transportation management operations, which also supports the company’s advanced manufacturing philosophy and commitment to efficiency. We have been involved in contract development in logistical areas such as a new shipping crate that enables the company to better track and manage motorcycles during shipping and a corresponding shipment/distribution arrangement that helps the company to more efficiently manage its shipment of motorcycles to dealers. Another area in which we assisted the company was in the negotiation of a sequencing and subassembly services contract under which a third party provides those services to support just-in-time manufacturing at Harley-Davidson’s restructured York, Pennsylvania, manufacturing facility. In addition to our significant work on that venture, we assisted Harley-Davidson in connection with the opening of the new leased facility from which the third party provides those sequencing and subassembly services. Our assistance included negotiating service agreements with equipment and service providers who were responsible for moving equipment from the service provider’s former facility to the new facility, installing electrical/compressed air systems, installing docking systems, and other important logistical aspects. At a Glance: Next-Generation Manufacturing Business Issues: • Continuous Process Improvement• Enterprise-Wide Supply and Distribution Chain Management and Collaboration• Facilities Siting, Reconfiguration, and Management• Next-Generation Technologies