Our Practice

Tribal Economic Development

One of the many satisfactions of representing Indian tribes has been the ability to help tribes with business and economic development. We have seen many tribes move from poverty to prosperity.  Many of our client tribes now have major economic enterprises. These include mineral production, factories, shopping centers, hotels, golf courses and casinos. For such projects, there is land to be purchased, loans and other financing to be negotiated, construction contracts to be negotiated and let, leases and other business arrangements to be made, employment contracts and policies to be drafted, disputes to be resolved, businesses to be bought and sold and managed. We advise and assist our clients on the entire range of legal issues involved in these activities.

Economic development involves creation of physical, financial, and legal infrastructure as well as a wide variety of business activities, including gaming and the development of natural resources. Finding the best way to structure, capitalize, and carry on the enterprise, addressing potential tax issues, negotiating and drafting agreements, seeing that they are audited and faithfully performed, resolving disputes, avoiding litigation – but litigating where necessary – have all been important parts of our work with our clients.

In addition, many of our Alaska Native clients have organized for-profit and not-for-profit corporations. For these clients we provide substantial counseling on corporate law issues, including: board governance; shareholder rights; corporate election issues, including proxy voting; business formation issues, including choice of the proper entity (corporation, LLC, LP, or LLP) and articles and bylaws drafting and review; corporate restructuring; executive employment issues, including employment agreements and internal investigations; insurance and liability issues, including insurance policy review, indemnification agreements, and risk assessments; commercial real estate issues; contract drafting and review; federal and state Native contracting preference programs, including the Small Business Administration's 8(a) program; and a wide array of other business counseling issues.