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General Corporate and Business Advice
Godfrey & Kahn has a diverse and deep client base, ranging from multinational publicly traded and privately held companies to middle market and family-owned businesses. Our clients rely on their attorneys at Godfrey & Kahn to serve as outside general counsel to provide an array of business, financial and legal advice to help them manage and grow their operations and to identify, manage and reduce risk. Whether advising in-house counsel or acting as a client's outside general counsel, our goal remains the same—understand our clients' businesses and strategic objectives, and work with them to find and implement solutions that will help them be successful and reduce risk.
We assist our clients in every stage of their development including:
- Choosing and organizing their business entities as "C" or "S" corporations, limited liability companies or partnerships
- Establishing and managing corporate governance policies among the owners through the drafting of charter documents and stockholders, buy-sell, operating and partnership agreements
- Addressing director and officer liability, indemnification and insurance concerns
- Drafting employment and executive compensation agreements, equity incentive plans and benefit and compensation plans
- Reviewing and negotiating lease, distribution, licensing, franchise, outsourcing, e-commerce, technology transfer, media advertising, marketing, sale, non-competition, confidentiality, supply and other commercial agreements
- Managing shareholder relations
- Designing, implementing and completing ownership and management transition plans
- Managing and negotiating ongoing contractual relations with domestic and international customers, suppliers, distributors and sales representatives
- Reviewing and negotiating loan and credit and note purchase agreements with lenders and other capital providers
- Managing foreign, federal, state and local government and regulatory affairs
- Facilitating domestic and international import/export transactions
- Assisting with business expansion and diversification
- Addressing the legal aspects and risks of operational strategies
- Providing other day-to-day advice on general legal concerns
In addition to this array of general corporate counsel services, our attorneys regularly advise foreign subsidiaries of our United States-based business clients, assist them in establishing a variety of joint venture and technology transfer relationships, and counsel them in their acquisition of foreign operations and companies. We also provide legal and business advice for an increasing number of foreign clients seeking to make direct investments in the United States.
Our attorneys also routinely serve as directors, secretaries and business advisors to the boards of directors, management and other decision makers for our clients.