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Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Corporate Partner

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Kilpatrick Townsend’s Native American Affairs Practice Group consists of attorneys and legislative specialists whose practices focus principally on representing tribes and tribal organizations. We provide comprehensive legal services, public policy advice, and counsel to tribal governments, tribal organizations, and other entities. Our attorneys are guided by the central principle that tribal communities have a fundamental right to self-government and we work diligently to strengthen the government-to-government relationship between tribes and the United States for the Native Nations we represent. We are committed to preserving, promoting, and protecting tribal sovereignty and self-determination for Indian Nations.

We represent tribal clients in matters involving the expansion, enhancement, and protection of tribal sovereignty; the enforcement of the trust responsibility; holding the U.S. accountable for commitments both treaty-based and statutory; the protection of land and natural resources; federal recognition; labor relations; renewable energy development; gaming; and financing of tribal projects. Our team routinely leverages the depth of attorney industry and practice knowledge found throughout the firm to best serve our tribal clients.

  • Tribal Finance

Our attorneys have worked with literally hundreds of governments – tribal, municipal, and state – to attain traditional and tax-exempt financing for economic and other development projects. We understand that tribal governments face unique challenges accessing capital and credit which require innovative approaches from professionals with a proven track record in providing safe and secure means to finance projects. We have developed a strong multi-disciplinary team approach that focuses on providing broad-based legal advice for complex finance transactions. We recently represented a tribe and its gaming authority in the successful, innovative $310 million comprehensive casino refinancing that was recognized as “Deal of the Year of 2014” by the Native American Finance Officers Association.

We also represent tribal clients in the following areas:

  • Gaming. Our attorneys have experience assisting tribal casinos with all aspects of regulatory compliance and contract reviews. We also represent tribal governments with respect to Class III gaming compact negotiations and the negotiation and execution of management contracts.
  • Litigation.  Kilpatrick Townsend is unrivaled in litigation success for tribes and individual Indians. Our experience includes the representation of tribal clients in tribal courts, state courts, federal courts, and before various state and federal administrative agencies. 
  • Labor & Employment.  We represent tribes in a wide variety of employment related matters, including employee benefits issues, related tax issues, health and safety matters, and the development and implementation of a tribal code.  We have experience representing tribes before the National Labor Relations Board, defending tribal sovereignty, and counseling tribes on campaign strategies prior to and during elections.   
  • Government Relations & Strategic Policy Advice.  Our attorneys and registered lobbyists have the broad experience to provide tribes with unparalleled services in their interactions with Congress and the Administration. We possess exceptional tools and personnel to provide the strategic policy advice and legal services our tribal clients require to achieve their advocacy goals.
  • Water Law.  We have extensive experience helping tribes secure, preserve, and beneficially use their water rights. Our attorneys have represented tribes in high profile litigation, advised tribes on strategies related to rights under federal and state law; assisted tribes to ensure off-reservation users do not adversely affect quality for tribal water sources; and provided government-to-government consultations on behalf of our clients with federal executive branch agencies.
  • Environmental.  Our attorneys have extensive experience in treaty rights, environmental and land use issues related to Indian lands and frequently represent clients on such issues with respect federal and various state laws and regulations. We work closely with tribes to coordinate strategy in matters involving agricultural burning, solid waste, claims for resource damages caused by contamination, and revisions to tribal law to address environmental concerns.


Catherine F. Munson, Partner

Washington, DC

T 202.824.1434


Rob Roy Smith, Partner

Seattle, WA

T 206.224.2868