Tribal Business Enterprise Group

Practice Overview

Drummond Woodsum’s Tribal Business Enterprise Group delivers a comprehensive range of legal services to tribal nations and tribal business entities.  We have been serving tribes on gaming and economic development matters since 1983. Collectively, we have over 100 years of experience serving tribes in these areas, and we are ranked by our peers in all independent guides to the best lawyers in the country.  We generally work as Special Counsel in concert with local or in-house counsel to our tribal clients, and take pride in promptly delivering the highest quality legal advice in a cost-efficient manner.

We pair lawyers with deep knowledge of federal Indian law with  Drummond Woodsum’s business and commercial attorneys to provide a full spectrum of business legal services to tribal nations, tribal enterprises, and select developers, lenders and other businesses operating in Indian Country.  Drummond Woodsum represents some of the country’s largest corporations, small businesses and start-up companies, national and state financial institutions, tribal enterprises, municipalities, school districts, utilities and individuals.  We draw upon all of this experience to serve our clients in Indian Country.

Drummond Woodsum’s work with tribal business entities includes:

  • Innovative Financial Transactions
    Drummond Woodsum attorneys have worked on well over $2.5 billion of tribal financings, including many of the leading precedent-setting transactions in Indian Country.  Our lawyers have played a significant role in creating solutions to many of the issues that once prevented tribes from borrowing money and accessing capital markets.  We work extensively with low income housing tax credits, New Markets Tax Credits and other tax-based subsidies.
  • Federal Institutions
    Drummond Woodsum has strong working relationships with leading officials in the Department of Interior, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Indian Gaming Commission, and is well-versed in current Indian Law and policy issues.
  • Structuring Tribal Businesses
    We are very familiar with the federal, state and tribally-chartered entities that are commonly used for tribal business enterprises, and how they often simplify and expedite business development, while providing important corporate and tax protections.
  • Federal Contracting
    We understand qualifying tribal businesses for 8(a) certification under the federal Small Business Act, and can guide tribes in developing the business organization critical to obtaining and successfully performing federal contracts.

Our Indian Country clients can draw upon an interdisciplinary team of Drummond Woodsum attorneys with distinct areas of expertise, bringing to our Indian Law practice the benefit of deep and specialized experience in key areas of the law:

  • Labor and employment, including compliance with applicable civil rights laws, personnel management, union labor negotiations and agreements, addressing suspicions or allegations of employee misconduct
  • Construction agreements and disputes
  • Taxation
  • Litigation and alternative dispute resolution

By drawing on the specialized skills of individual attorneys within our various service groups, we promptly respond to the specific needs of each client as they arise, with high caliber legal service and with an eye to the financial realities of the particular transaction or case.

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