Native American Economic Development

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At Dickinson Wright, we believe that effective legal advocacy requires not only a comprehensive knowledge of the law, but a thorough understanding of our client’s businesses, industries, and technologies. As a full-service law firm, we take a whole-of-firm approach to Native American economic development, drawing on our entire firm’s strength and providing seamless legal services to meet the needs of our clients.

From general business counsel to obtaining financing and other grants to negotiating contracts to assisting with mergers and acquisitions, our lawyers work closely with you, advocating for you and enabling you to achieve your objectives. Our services include:

  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution

  • Regulatory Compliance


Emerging Businesses

Dickinson Wright understands the unique needs and challenges facing emerging Native American businesses. Our corporate lawyers have helped hundreds of startup companies across numerous industries position themselves for rapid and consistent growth while avoiding legal pitfalls. We provide sophisticated yet cost-effective legal advice on everything from entity selection and business formation to venture capital and exit events. Our emerging business team is versatile and accessible, providing practical advice while vigorously advocating to achieve each client’s objectives – whether they are starting a new business, purchasing an existing business, or growing and scaling a business.

Corporate Law

Your corporation’s future success largely depends on its ability to evolve and grow amid global market shifts while maintaining financial health. At the heart of general corporate work is a legal team with the foresight to anticipate future problems or trends while helping their clients navigate the complexities of the current business environment. Dickinson Wright’s attorneys provide seamless solutions for Native American entrepreneurs, startups, emerging growth companies, and established businesses. From large interstate and cross-border transactions to corporate governance and risk management to financing and growth opportunities, we provide experienced legal counsel through every stage of the business cycle.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Native American businesses seeking to expand their interests and resources through mergers and acquisitions benefit from working with an experienced legal partner who can help them avoid the risks often associated with these transactions. Dickinson Wright has a leading Mergers & Acquisitions practice representing both buyers and sellers across many industries. Working closely with senior management and in-house counsel, we develop innovative solutions that protect our clients’ interests and help them meet their objectives.

From the early stages of initiating a transaction, through the intricacies of due diligence review and tax planning, to negotiating and closing the deal and implementing post-closing integration strategies, our experienced mergers and acquisitions team supports our clients throughout the entire M&A process.

Economic Development

We actively represent Native American clients in economic development transactions, including gaming, energy development, water resource development, and other opportunities. Our team works to ensure that projects are fully compliant with applicable laws and regulations while ensuring their economic integrity in support of project finance. Our work includes:

• Negotiating and documenting Tribal casino financing.
• Securing federal and state approvals.
• Advocating for Tribal interests and protecting Tribal sovereignty.
• Developing, procuring, and protecting energy resources.
• Acquiring and managing water resources and defending Native American Water Rights.
• Negotiating and establishing agreements with developers and vendors.
• Counseling on state and federal taxation issues unique to Native American tribes, individuals, and lands.
• Negotiating Tribal/state Indian gaming compacts and Tribal/municipality casino development agreements.
• Assisting commercial casino developers with obtaining gaming licenses and obtaining approval of state constitutional amendments and gaming legislation.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

When disagreements cannot be resolved amicably, litigation becomes a reality. Our team of accomplished and skilled litigators has proven to be the best in their fields. From simple disputes to complex multidistrict, multi-party cases, our lawyers strive for the best and most strategic outcome, always with the client’s resources in mind. We frequently appear before legislative bodies on behalf of our Native American clients and work closely with the officials to secure necessary approvals and assure regulatory compliance. We also defend our clients in administrative proceedings, Tribal, state, and federal court proceedings.

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