Trade Associations

Representing the interests of industry trade groups for more than 40 years.

Kelley Drye was among the first law firms to develop a practice focusing on the unique needs of trade associations. Given our long history, our representation of nearly 100 trade associations and related industry groups and the extensive experience within the firm, we offer our association clients comprehensive services. We provide our association clients with general counseling services and practical solutions for their many and varied legal challenges. Trade association boards, officers and managers in a variety of industry sectors, including retail, manufacturing, technology, agriculture, services and fisheries, entrust Kelley Drye with their most basic and complex legal matters.

With a track record of success in serving both large and small associations, we approach each association’s legal matters with an understanding of the specific opportunities and challenges that it faces. In particular, we help association clients in the following areas:

  • Forming Associations–We guide clients through all phases of the establishment of associations, and the operations of their for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, subsidiaries and affiliates.
  • Antitrust Advice–We provide real-time counseling on how competitors can engage in lawful, industry-advancing conduct in the context of their trade association, including antitrust monitoring of meetings; oversight of standard setting activities; development of statistical programs; and generic marketing programs.
  • Tax and Corporate Advice–We offer comprehensive tax services, including IRS administrative compliance, with advice customized to the needs of our trade association clients and their affiliated not-for-profit and for-profit entities. We work closely with our clients, providing both technical and practical assistance throughout their organizational life cycles, including guiding their initial formation, refining their existing operations for improved financial health, focusing on major strategic events and, ultimately, dissolving their activities.
  • Strategy and Planning–Kelley Drye counsels clients on technology-related issues and conducts strategic planning exercises, including strategies for protecting valuable trademark assets and managing privacy and data security compliance obligations.
  • Politics and Legislation–We provide an array of legislative services to advance clients’ interests, as well as assistance with lobbying legal compliance and political action committee activities. Additionally, we update our trade association clients on developments of particular interest to their members.
  • Regulatory Advocacy–Ultimately, the Executive Branch of government will implement laws that Congress enacts. How an agency administers a law can be almost as important as what that law actually says. We work with association clients every day that are attempting to ensure clear and reasonable regulations and other agency action.
  • Litigation–We resolve difficult disputes while holding the line on runaway costs. The firm’s lawyers thrive on winning tough cases, leveraging the benefits of technology and talented associates to maximize efficiency.
  • Day-to-Day Counseling–Our attorneys serve as general counsel to many trade association clients and deliver day-to-day general legal advice, including guidance on issues ranging from employment matters to contract negotiations.
  • Management Services–We offer a range of on-site management services, including general staffing, budgeting, meeting and trade show planning, government relations and strategic advice. This has proven to be an economical alternative for many smaller groups by limiting or avoiding costs for employee benefits, rent and other overhead expenses.
Team Members
  • Represent two associations of North American companies that operate electric arc furnace steel plants, accounting for over seventy percent of domestic steel production on matters including compliance, litigation and governmental relations. Provide environmental and antitrust monitoring of meetings and communications, as well as counseling on member data exchanges.
  • Represent an association of the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies on antitrust matters ranging from specific industry committee compliance issues and routine compliance to regulatory and governmental investigations. Provide antitrust monitoring of meetings and communications, as well as counseling on member data exchanges and statistical analyses reporting. Also advised on industry formulation of advertising practices in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Serve as general counsel to an association of manufacturers of drug therapies derived from human plasma, on matters ranging from routine compliance to governmental investigations. Provide counseling on standard setting, lobbying, health care reimbursement and the operation of U.S. and European data exchanges. Defended association in Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigations stemming from both member company mergers and allegations of industry-wide coordination.
  • Represent a consumer and manufacturing coalition in obtaining favorable amendments to the fuel waiver provisions of Section 211(F)(4) of the Clean Air Act.
  • Represent copper and brass manufacturers on a wide variety of organizational, legislative and regulatory issues, such as obtaining groundbreaking public health” registration for Antimicrobial Copper Alloys under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) program.
  • Organize and manage the Manganese Interest Group to address development of revised health standards for manganese.
  • Represent U.S. stainless steel companies and workers in obtaining antidumping and countervailing duty orders on a broad cross-section of stainless steel products.
  • Develop self-regulatory guidelines for food industry organizations with respect to product-marketing practices and claim substantiation.
  • Participate in federal and interstate compact commission rulemaking and regulatory proceedings for fishing industry groups from Maine to Alaska.
  • Represent coalition of ship owners in connection with legislative efforts to limit spread of invasive aquatic species via ballast water.
  • Represent agricultural interests in unfair international trade investigations before various U.S. government agencies, including the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Commerce Department.
  • Represent a metals-recycling coalition in the development of regulations to prevent radioactively contaminated scrap metal from entering the commercial scrap supply.
  • For nearly two decades, Kelley Drye formed and represented a trade association representing one of the most valuable U.S. fisheries on all regulatory and litigation matters.
  • Advise a national association of health care professionals on antitrust and advertising issues, as well as related litigation matters.
  • Represent one of the oldest trade associations in the U.S. (representing American tanners and suppliers since 1917), on environmental and antitrust matters, trade and trade promotion, litigation and governmental relations.
  • Serve as general counsel to a national association of apparel retailers on general organizational, nonprofit tax, antitrust and lobbying issues.
  • Assist a group of competitive local exchange providers in negotiating interconnection agreements.
  • Counsel trade associations on a broad range of communications issues such as interconnection, Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI), the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), truth-in-billing, privacy, 911, Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), broadband and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) policy, net neutrality and open access policies, numbering, number portability, mobile roaming, addressability and signaling, building access and pole attachments.
  • ·Manage an informal coalition of competitive telecommunications providers and trade associations, in advocacy before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding access to high-capacity facilities to serve businesses.
  • Advocate for equipment vendors and services providers before the U.S. Congress in support of various broadband stimulus proposals.
  • Represented the outdoor-power–equipment industry in securing permanent tariff cuts in overseas markets during the most recent round of multilateral trade negotiations. Also represented the same industry in challenging proposed European legislation and standards that deny access to U.S. exports of outdoor-power–equipment products.
  • Represent a for-profit subsidiary of a petroleum industry association with its general operations regarding the reporting and sale of renewable identification numbers pursuant to EPA regulations.
  • Assisted trade associations in their merger or consolidation with other associations.
  • Represent a major trade association in connection with the Endangered Species Act listing and litigation matters.