Unmanned Aircraft Systems / Drones

As the use of unmanned aircraft systems – drones – continues to expand into the commercial sector, they promise to change the way we use airspace in our everyday lives across a broad spectrum of industries. Lawmakers and regulators currently are still working to finalize rules specifically governing this emerging area. Meanwhile, our attorneys already are helping clients draft their UAS policies to comply with expected Federal Aviation Administration regulations, obtain exemptions for commercial use and establish intellectual property protection for their UAS technology.

We are here to help clients early in the process – even before existing rules and regulations are hardened into law – in order to save them time, money and confusion. Our attorneys understand the science and politics behind the technology, and actively monitor the rulemaking process and the agencies that will govern the industry, all with the goal of meeting the business-focused needs of our clients.

Who are our UAS clients?

Any large company may develop a need for our counsel in the UAS arena. We offer legal assistance to companies that design, manufacture, operate − or consider operating − drones in the commercial space. In addition, we advise companies wishing to obtain FAA exemptions so that they may utilize drones in their commercial operations. We have extensive experience in industries in which drones will increasingly be used and developed: transportation, power facilities, ports, pipelines, food and agriculture, educational research institutions, and communications and broadcasts. From disaster response to monitoring of critical infrastructure, UAS technology will add value to businesses across many varied sectors.

Areas of Focus

Legal issues surrounding this market are rapidly developing, and we have the experience and resources to assist clients in virtually any area relevant to the UAS industry, including:

  • regulatory compliance and enforcement
  • land use and airspace rights
  • intellectual property law
  • privacy matters and cybersecurity
  • employment law (UAS licensing and certification issues)
  • government contracts
  • export controls for drone manufacturers
  • insurance law and risk management
  • tort law and personal injury

Already lengthy, the list of legal areas touching the UAS industry will continue to expand as the industry evolves. Likewise, our UAS team will continuously adjust strategies and expand resources to help our clients meet their legal challenges and achieve their business goals.

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