Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sutherland helps water and wastewater companies, investors and governments negotiate deals, and navigate legal, environmental and regulatory issues.
As the pressure intensifies to address global water and wastewater management requirements, Sutherland advises leading water and wastewater companies, investors and governmental entities in addressing challenges unique to their industry, particularly with respect to the acquisition and disposition of assets, project financing, private equity investment, construction, operation and maintenance of water-related infrastructure and the development and licensing of new technologies. We help clients understand and take advantage of today’s global water and wastewater market by resolving environmental issues and managing infrastructure and procurement needs, including issues arising in such rapidly developing areas as hydraulic fracking.
Our attorneys are backed by colleagues across the firm who provide experience in diverse legal matters impacting the water industry, including corporate; securities; finance; arbitration and litigation; construction; international; intellectual property; employment; federal, state, local and international tax; Native American water rights and resources; riparian rights; and water sourcing and sales.
Sutherland plays an integral role in helping entities develop today’s water and wastewater industry. Our industry knowledge and legal skills enable us to provide timely, relevant legal advice delivered in clear business language.
Deal experience. Our team has been involved in significant acquisitions and dispositions of water and wastewater enterprises, and in projects involving all parts of the water and wastewater cycle, including fracking. We effectively structure and close complex transactions, with an unrelenting focus on getting deals done.
Regulatory experience. Our highly experienced team includes many lawyers with regulatory experience, such as a former general counsel for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. We give clients unique insight into environmental matters arising under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Remediation, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and other state and federal statutes.
Courtroom savvy. We always strive for efficient and prompt resolution of disputes. But when that is not feasible, we are veteran litigators, and have taken substantial water and wastewater-related issues into courts and before domestic and international arbitrators.
Global reach. We understand the difficult legal systems our multinational clients face, and the mandates they must abide by. We regularly counsel clients on export controls, legal structures and international business practices, and we advise on privatization and concession programs in both common and civil law jurisdictions.
IP knowledge. Sutherland's intellectual property attorneys routinely work with evolving water and wastewater technologies. We craft licensing agreements and resolve complex disputes and can address all our clients’ other IP issues and needs.
Government work. Our clients hold major contracts with the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal, state and local government agencies. We have helped clients successfully complete privatizations in the United States, Africa and Latin and South America.
Broad client base. We represent a range of industry participants, such as private companies, utilities, manufacturers, homebuilders, independent power producers, Native American tribes, investors and lenders.
Nuts and Bolts
Sutherland’s Water and Wastewater team guides clients through all the legal and strategic issues they face, including:
- Creditors’ rights
- Employee benefits
- Federal, state and local government contracts
- Infrastructure and construction
- Intellectual property
- International and cross-border transactions
- Joint ventures and corporate structuring
- Litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Native American water rights and resources
- Private equity investment
- Privatization and concession agreements
- Project finance and development
- Public and tax-exempt financing
- Riparian rights, water sourcing and sales
Industry knowledge and legal skills enable Sutherland to provide timely, relevant legal advice in clear business language to clients looking to succeed in the water and wastewater industry.
Sutherland counsels United States Filter Corporation on nearly 150 M&A deals.
Sutherland served as primary U.S. mergers and acquisitions counsel for United States Filter Corporation, which at the time was the world's largest and fastest growing water and wastewater management company. Sutherland completed more than 150 acquisitions and dispositions for this client over a 15-year period.
Sutherland represents Culligan International in its franchise divestiture initiative.
Sutherland advised Culligan International Corporation in its 2011-2012 divestiture of bottled water franchises in over 20 states pursuant to 25 separate transactions.
Sutherland counsels Siemens AG on acquisition of water treatment company.
Siemens AG engaged Sutherland for representation in its acquisition of a designer, engineer and manufacturer of water treatment process equipment used by the oil and gas industry.