Nationally and locally, the Hardwick Law Firm attorneys have represented numerous Class One and short-line freight railroads, transit authorities, airports, and port authorities. With this experience, the Hardwick Law Firm knows how to strategically advise its transportation clients on matters large and small, whether moving persons or freight. Our attorneys handle complex financings, day-to-day business issues, regulatory compliance, service delivery arrangements, and industrial and real estate development projects — all with a transportation bent, and whether shipper or industry, rider or provider, supplier or manufacturer, public or private.
From structuring the financing and real estate components for a multi-million dollar intermodal rail facility or distribution center, negotiating a complex, a multi-party intergovernmental transit agreement or simply drafting a rail track, car lease, or facility usage agreements, the Hardwick Law Firm Transportation Practice Group attorneys have developed skills to expertly handle the many legal disciplines that touch transportation matters. The Firm’s attorneys are able to quickly develop and solidify critical business relationships, and understand the regulatory framework in which transportation issues are often resolved. In all cases, we keep our eye on the ball by finding ways to structure deals that make sense and accomplish our clients’ objectives, on a cost effective basis.
Attorneys within our Transportation Practice Group have been recognized on a national, state and local level as transportation leaders, one specifically by Chambers USA, a recognized international attorney review publication, Best of the Bar, by Thomas Reuters as Kansas/Missouri as Super Lawyers, and by Missouri Lawyers Weekly, in connection with a nomination for Lawyer of the Year for the State of Missouri. The Firm’s attorneys collectively have more than two decades of highly-valued experience.
- Legal counsel for over 12 years, first as assistant general and then outside general counsel and corporate secretary, to oldest functioning freight terminal in the United States which manages the largest volume of freight rail traffic in the country and accommodates passenger rail on its infrastructure. Representation required working understanding of the sophisticated laws and issues peculiar to the rail industry, including governmental regulations and mandates, federal preemption of state and local laws, public-private partnerships and funding vehicles, insurance, indemnity, and risk management. Some matters required advocacy before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board and coordination with transportation related labor unions.
- Expert legal counsel to Class One railroads in the negotiation and drafting of multi-party, sophisticated development agreements for facilities and large-scale distribution centers served by multiple railroads west of the Mississippi. Agreement required working knowledge of applicable Federal Railroad Administration regulations and rules and recommendations promulgated by the American Association of Railroads applicable to liability, car hire, demurrage, and safety.
- Extensive experience representing numerous industries served by rail, taking lead on structuring, negotiating and drafting of agreements unique to each such industry, including such things as railcar leases, facility leases, car storage agreements, private crossing agreements, transportation easements, and industrial track leases. Industries included short-line railroad, salt mining operator, aggregate mining company, energy company, grain distributors, and commercial livestock operation.
- Outside special counsel to the Port Authority of Kansas City, Missouri on riverfront development initiatives.
- Complementing our experience in the freight transportation sector, the Hardwick Law Firm Transportation Practice Group attorneys also have extensive experience representing transit authorities:
- 10 years of service as a Commissioner and later Chairman of the Board to the Kansas Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) leadership role in numerous bond financings used to expand passenger transit services and infrastructure, as well as leading and directing components of voter-approved sales tax levies. Led transit policy at federal and state level, and secured funds for federal transit projects, including 3/8 cent sales tax for regional transit initiative. Negotiated labor contacts and advised staff on day to day transportation issues.
- Bond counsel for Chicago Transit Authority, St. Louis Metro, and the Missouri Department of Transportation on numerous and substantial transit and highway funding transactions.
- 5 years representation of KCATA on general real estate matters, including negotiations and drafting of commercial leases and intergovernmental cooperative agreements needed for public/private partnerships and funding initiatives.
- For well over a decade, Hardwick Law Firm attorneys have been engaged as critical partners in all types of matters requiring transportation expertise. Samplings of the types of transportation-related transactions in which the Hardwick Law Firm attorneys have been involved, both freight and transit related, include:
- Lead underwriter’s counsel in the collective issuance of $259,940,000 City of St. Louis, Missouri, Airport Revenue Bonds for the redevelopment of Lambert – St. Louis International Airport. Transactions required familiarity with various Federal Aviation Administration regulatory constraints.
- Primary legal counsel to municipality developing 1,000 acre rail transload facility. Collaborated on strategy for development, and negotiated and drafted documents to address regulatory, real estate, rail development, haulage, rail switching, rail maintenance, and related rail service needs.
- Bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel to the Missouri Department of Transportation to pilot state road bonds secured by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).
- Facilitated mass transit sales tax appropriation bonds involving the Bi-State Development Agency of Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District and the KCATA for transit improvements and initiatives.
- Assistant counsel on development of $100M rail facility “flyover” projects which required coordination with federal and local governments and bi-state collaboration for facilities bond issues. Representation mandated expertise in negotiating and documenting public-private partnerships, funding, and private development agreements that involved condemnation, special zonings, rail corridor easements and licenses, and numerous other transportation related land use issues.
- Special counsel to massive Kansas and Missouri industrial mining operations to formalize complex shipper and haulage agreements utilizing third-party rail carriers, as well as multi-party transportation easements.
- Lead attorney in negotiations with Amtrak on extended term infrastructure use, development, and service agreements related to the provision of passenger rail service. Negotiations included coordination with federal and state transportation departments.
- Sole legal counsel on multi-million dollar rail development and relocation project requiring negotiation and drafting of agreements involving State highway system and mainline railway corridor.
- Represented railroad as lead legal counsel on acquisition of existing railroad right-of-way corridor encumbered with in excess of 40 industry leasehold interests and industry service agreements. Prepared all documentation required for closing, including purchase agreement, financing agreements, and notices of line sale required by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.
- Co-bond counsel to the Chicago Transit Authority on an innovative financial structure designed to raise monies through the issuance of capital receipt revenue bonds, and special tax counsel to the CTA in the issuance of certificates of participation in which the proceeds are used to finance the costs of acquiring 200 New Flyer buses.
In the course of these representations, the Hardwick Law Firm has developed a reputation for expertly handling government negotiations and contracting, as well as transit funding programs, issues and requirements. No matter the mode, the Hardwick Law Firm Transportation Group attorneys are skilled in conceptualizing and implementing innovative commercial solutions to accomplish the revenue and cost objectives of its transportation clients.