Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

 





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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Amid constant upheaval in the digital economy, Sutherland guides industry leaders through technological and regulatory uncertainty to achieve success.

In the digital economy, companies can’t afford to fall behind. Every business has been affected by the rapid evolution of technology, the move to cloud computing, digital commerce and other developments that were inconceivable just a few short years ago. Sutherland helps clients across industries thrive in the digital age. Our integrated, full-service national law firm guides clients through the whole spectrum of issues, including multiple service components, tax, intellectual property, outsourcing and implementation, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and financing.

Our preeminent Tax practice helps clients navigate digital transactions and services that most current tax laws fail to address. Our Outsourcing practice represents customers in outsourcing transactions that use technology, cloud computing and other innovative solutions to more efficiently run their business. Our Intellectual Property lawyers understand the complexities of digital solutions, and many have degrees in electrical engineering and computer engineering. Our Technology and E-Commerce Team is well versed in the business and legal issues affecting companies engaged in technology transactions and electronic commerce.

We represent companies of all sizes, from promising start-ups to established domestic and international companies, and in all industries. To provide the most value to our clients, our lawyers stay on the cutting edge of the business and legal issues that they face. We believe our value as a legal and business adviser lies in our ability to support the growth of our clients. This approach means that we get deals done.

Why Sutherland
At the leading edge of m-commerce. As mobile commerce and the “mobile wallet” gain traction across the United States, Sutherland helps clients obtain and use the technology they need to make m-commerce systems work. In close association with our IP group, our e-commerce lawyers are paving the way for our payment processor clients to gain and keep market share in this new industry segment.

Courtroom experience. Creating digital economy tools requires significant investment and resources, and companies often face litigation over some of these issues and developments. When our clients face legal challenges, Sutherland possesses substantial litigation experience and our attorneys are comfortable explaining cutting-edge technologies to both judges and juries.

Educate, advocate and impact on tax matters. Companies in the digital economy often grapple with antiquated tax laws. To best advocate on our clients’ behalf, Sutherland has formed the Digital Goods Coalition, a network of clients actively educating legislators and tax authorities, advocating for clear statutory exemption of digital goods and impacting legislative and regulatory efforts across the country.

Developing partnerships. Our relationships with our digital economy clients all contain one element – a spirit of partnership. We know how to foster their development and success by becoming thoroughly familiar with their businesses and their goals.

Nuts and Bolts
With the strength of a full-service, national firm, Sutherland guides our clients through all the issues raised in the digital economy, including:

  • Technology and E-Commerce 
    • Electronic payments transactions, electronic payment networks and payment card processing and systems
    • Purchases and sales of portfolios of credit card processing contracts and related assets
    • Strategic relationships involving parties engaged in the payment card industry
    • Analyzing issues related to introducing new types of payment products
    • Implementing mobile commerce products and services, including establishing relationships among various application and infrastructure partners to implement m-commerce products and services and among various commercial customers of m-commerce products and services.
    • Analyzing issues and implementing solutions related to stored value cards, including structuring arrangements to address “breakage”
    • Sophisticated technology and intellectual property licensing arrangements related to e-commerce businesses
    • Web hosting and application development contracts specific to products and services offered over the Internet
    • Familiarity with the patent and intellectual property landscape related to payment cards, electronic payments and related financial services products
    • Advising on the implication of banking and financial services laws and regulation to bank and non-bank financial services companies
       
  • Intellectual Property
    • Patent prosecution and counseling
    • Litigation experience, including multi-patent, multi-district disputes
    • E-Commerce and branding disputes
    • Trade secrets misuse and unfair competition
       
  • Corporate and Technology Transactions
    • Licensing and other technology transfer
    • Development, manufacturing and sale, whether individually or with others, of new technology and products
    • Joint ventures and research and development agreements
    • Capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and securities compliance
       
  • Tax
    • Planning opportunities
    • Controversies and litigation
    • Financial statement issues
    • Policy and legislation
       
  • Outsourcing and Implementation
    •  Developing and executing a negotiation strategy and tactical plan
    • Defining, documenting and negotiating business, services and software solution requirements with suppliers
    • Ensuring clients obtain market-consistent pricing and receive timely and proper performance from suppliers throughout the term of the arrangement
    • Overseeing software compliance audits, privacy and security and software as a service (SAAS) transactions

Take Action
As the pace of technology speeds up, our lawyers partner with our clients to anticipate and adapt to changes, whatever industry they operate in.

Selected Experience
Sutherland guides First Data through its work in launching Google Wallet.
Sutherland represented First Data, a global payments and e-commerce industry giant, with its participation in the launch of Google Wallet. Google Wallet is an innovative mobile commerce technology that gives customers an android-based virtual wallet, enabling them to Tap and Pay at the point of sale using their cell phones.

Sutherland provides general patent advice to leading payment processing service and technology provider.
Sutherland serves a leading payment processing service and technology provider to financial institutions by providing patent counseling and worldwide patent prosecution services. Our guidance covers patent portfolio strategies, technology and intellectual property licensing and third-party patent issues.

Sutherland advises leading online retailer about state tax issues.
Sutherland provides state tax advice and consulting to an online retailer on the taxability of their goods and services across the United States.


 
 
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

New CFTC Rules Provide Broad Enhancement of Protections for Customers of FCMs - But at a Cost
, November 15, 2013
On October 30, 2013, in a 3-1 vote, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or the Commission) approved final rules that significantly strengthen the protections afforded to customers of futures commission merchants (FCMs). “Enhancing Protections Afforded Customers and Customer Funds...

Georgia Supreme Court Declines to Review Decision Regarding Limitation-of-Liability Clauses in Customer Contracts
, November 08, 2013
This week, the Georgia Supreme Court denied a request to review a divided Georgia Court of Appeals decision with potentially far-reaching consequences for companies that do business in Georgia and rely on limitation-of-liability clauses in their customer contracts. Monitronics International v....

California Strengthens Data Privacy and Breach Notification Laws
, October 15, 2013
At the end of September, California passed two new amendments to existing data privacy laws aimed to protect California consumers. The first focuses on the collection of personal information and requires companies engaged in such practices to disclose whether they honor web browser “do not...

New TCPA Rules Take Effect for Telemarketing Calls
Wilson G. Barmeyer,Thomas M. Byrne,Lewis S. Wiener, October 15, 2013
Significant regulatory changes are taking effect under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) on October 16, 2013, due to a revision of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) TCPA rule. The amended rule will now require that consent be in writing for autodialed or prerecorded...

PCAOB Offers Guidance for Accounting Firms and Accountants Preparing Written Statements of Position
Samuel J. Casey,Patricia A. Gorham,Kurt Lentz,Amelia Toy Rudolph, September 26, 2013
On September 19 and 20, 2013, the American Law Institute presented its annual course, Accountants’ Liability: Managing Risks in a Changing Environment. One highlight of the conference was a Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) panel presentation featuring Claudius B. Modesti,...

An Ode to the Actuaries: Tax Court Concludes that Acuity’s Loss Reserves Were “Fair and Reasonable”
, September 12, 2013
On September 4, the United States Tax Court issued its opinion in Acuity v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2013-209. In brief, the court concluded that Acuity’s reserves for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses for 2006, as used by the company in computing “losses incurred”...

After Four Years of Increased Activity, FINRA’s Sanctions Are Dropping in 2013
Andrew M. McCormick,Brian L. Rubin, September 10, 2013
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) 2013 fines and disciplinary actions are on track to fall well short of 2012’s totals. During the first half of 2013, FINRA reported $23 million of fines in its monthly Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions publications. In contrast, during the...

New Final Regs on Use of Differential Income Stream in Evaluating Cost-Sharing Arrangements
, September 04, 2013
On August 26, 2013, the United States Treasury Department issued new final regulations under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 482. The new regulations provide guidance on the “income method” for determining taxable income in connection with cost-sharing arrangements (CSAs) entered...

Litigation Update on 14 Patronage Capital Cases in Eight States
Benjamin C. Morgan,James A. Orr, August 29, 2013
Since 2009, at least 14 cases have been filed against electric cooperatives over patronage capital (or capital credits) in eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. Sutherland has previously issued Legal Alerts regarding these...

CFTC Issues Highly Anticipated Harmonization Rules
, August 15, 2013
Today, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) provided long-awaited clarification and relief to investment advisers that are registered with the CFTC as commodity pool operators (CPOs) and/or commodity trading advisors (CTAs). The CFTC issued final rules to harmonize certain compliance...

An End-User’s Guide to the CFTC’s Final Cross-Border Guidance
, August 09, 2013
Last month, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued final interpretive guidance with respect to the cross-border application of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s (Dodd-Frank Act) requirements for swaps (Final Guidance). This Legal Alert...

Ready or Not: Lost Securityholders, Uncashed Checks and Dormant Accounts
, August 09, 2013
In the dog days of August, it would be tempting to put aside challenges created by new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules. But we all know that would be a mistake. Instead, attention needs to be paid now to new rules requiring searches for lost securityholders and persons holding...

Georgia Court of Appeals: Fine Print Too Small to Save Limitation-of-Liability Clause in Home Security Contract
, August 01, 2013
A decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals has potentially far-reaching consequences for companies that include limitation-of-liability clauses in their customer contracts. In Monitronics International v. Veasley, the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld a $9 million jury verdict against an alarm...

MTC's Annual Meeting Update: Financial Institution Apportionment; Sales Tax Model Nexus Statute
, July 25, 2013
During the Multistate Tax Commission’s (MTC) Annual Conference and Committee Meetings in San Diego on July 22, 2013, the Income and Franchise Tax Uniformity Subcommittee (I/F Subcommittee) discussed its effort to redesign the financial institution apportionment rules. In addition, the Sales...