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Trade Associations

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©2024 Keller and Heckman LLP

Trade associations play a critical role in representing thousands of companies whose products and services are essential to the nation’s, as well as global, economic vitality. They represent industry interests in Congress, at government agencies, with public interest groups, before the courts, and with the media. Trade associations are often at the forefront of helping their members manage public and government scrutiny that may harm their businesses and their reputations. To accomplish their goals, they must manage their daily operations and member relationships like any other complex organization. In addition, they are charged with ensuring that members combine forces where they can while avoiding issues that are subject to complex antitrust requirements. Often, industry groups also create educational and charitable arms to assist in advancing industry objectives. Keller and Heckman works closely with many of the trade associations that represent our clients’ interests. This gives us an even greater understanding of the business and legal challenges our clients face and, in turn, a greater ability to support our clients’ business objectives. 

Our trade association clients range in size and scope from single issue coalitions to associations with large budgets and diverse members. We have served these clients for decades, providing subject matter expertise, advocating for policy and regulatory changes, and helping them manage their organizations. Our attorneys and scientists work with associations representing most of the industries we serve including oil and gas, utilities, plastics, chemicals, packaging, toys, food, consumer brands, electronics, public safety, and transportation. As a result, we help associations and their members understand and address a diverse array of health and safety, advertising and marketing, privacy, data security and other issues.

Keller and Heckman understands that trade associations must make a difference for their members to be successful. We have an extensive history of helping them do that by:

  • Serving as outside general counsel or as special counsel to advise on specific regulatory and public policy issues
  • Ensuring they comply with the antitrust laws and other regulations affecting trade associations
  • Advocating before legislative, regulatory, and judicial bodies by preparing comments on proposed regulations, representing them in proceedings, preparing testimony on proposed legislation, and drafting and advising on legislation
  • Advising them on industry-related federal, state, and international public policy issues
  • Keeping members abreast of new US and global legislative and regulatory developments 
  • Assisting in the development of standards and certification programs 
  • Structuring joint research and development projects
  • Advising on corporate governance, incorporation matters, and contract negotiations, and trademark protection programs 
  • Counseling on liability and insurance matters
  • Assisting with responses to third-party subpoenas and handling litigation or claims
  • Implementing privacy and data security programs and evaluating legal risks of e-commerce activities
  • Developing trademark protection programs, including processes to maintain the integrity of association-sponsored certification programs  
  • Forming, providing technical support for, and advising coalitions of industry representatives on specific regulatory issues or cooperative testing and research initiatives

Industry associations and their members all over the world have turned to Keller and Heckman for decades. We are proud to be viewed as a trusted advisor and problem solver for organizations whose members, from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses to start-ups, require legal counsel with a deep understanding of their industries and the regulations that affect them.