Ice Miller provides practical, comprehensive advice and legal services to plastics businesses nationwide.
From labor and employment to corporate counseling, from creditor rights to patent protection, and from antitrust counseling to mergers and acquisitions, our clients receive tailored advice specific to their needs and business.
Like the targeted focus of our plastic company clients, we measure our success by meeting the needs of our business clients quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. To achieve this objective, we call upon our years of experience and extensive knowledge of the plastics industry, the technologies used by industry members (including additive manufacturing/3D printing), and the issues and challenges faced and overcome by plastics companies to better understand our clients’ issues and help them achieve their goals. Ice Miller continues to provide innovative alternative fee arrangements, including fixed fee billings that allow our clients to better manage their cost structure. This commitment includes serving on trade association boards and developing legal resource programs tailored specifically to industry trends.
A few examples of the legal resource programs we have offered on a fixed-fee basis to our plastics industry clients include:
Review of confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements
Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) are important tools to protect business and manage risks. We offer a program that adds to our clients’ arsenal of risk management tools by reviewing and editing existing NDA’s or drafting original NDAs, if needed, for a fixed fee.
Terms and Conditions Analysis
Customers are increasingly requiring plastics processors to commit to their terms and conditions (T&Cs) in order to do business with them. When clients do so, they make commitments that have both short and long term effects. To help clients understand the full consequences of these commitments, eliminate surprises and minimize pitfalls, Ice Miller reviews and provides advice on T&Cs, providing confidence that the company is not unnecessarily agreeing to unduly restrictive conditions or needlessly giving up valuable rights.
HR Legal Resource Program
Human resources (HR) compliance is a necessity for any business in today’s legal environment. With the increased enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, and sexual harassment and antidiscrimination laws, a business that is unaware of its HR responsibilities is placing its future at great risk. Many plastics companies, however, do not have employees with the experience and knowledge to handle such complex issues, or the time to learn the laws and develop appropriate policies in relation to these laws, which change constantly. For a set annual fee, Ice Miller offers plastics companies HR and employment resources that provide those companies with the knowledge to correctly handle employment issues and minimize risk.
We often act as general counsel for plastics companies, particularly for middle-market molding businesses. In that role, we discern unique challenges in the plastic industry and plan for these challenges, provide access to various legal capabilities through a single point of contact, protect downside exposure in contractual relationships while recognizing bargaining strength issues with customers, and assist in divesting company of non-core business lines. We recognize that many plastics company issues tend to focus primarily on supplier and customer relationships and divesting the company of non-core businesses. With respect to the supplier and customer relationships, beyond simple legal advice, the value we add is an understanding of the unique issues facing our client and its industry (issues such as raw material costs and tooling design exposures). As a result, much like a true in-house attorney, we are able to provide guidance tailored to both the client’s legal and business needs. Some examples of the work we have done in this area are:
Developing form supplier and nondisclosure agreements;
Negotiating and drafting agreements with customers;
Providing advice on tooling and product design services and associated exposures;
Counseling on new business and product development;
Performing risk management training; and
Creating Intellectual Property Identification Protection Programs.
We also bring access to different practice areas to bear on a regular basis both to ensure all material business law issues are addressed within these commercial relationships and as the client’s needs extend into areas such as intellectual property protection, human resources and litigation. By knowing our plastic company clients’ business, we are able to quickly identify when additional skill sets need to be brought into play. In fact, our extensive knowledge of and experience with the plastics industry, the technologies industry members use and the issues faced and solutions implemented to overcome those challenges result in efficient representation and the ability to utilize alternative fee arrangements to create cost savings and successful results. The end result is that by becoming intimately familiar with our plastics industry clients’ business and understanding the plastics industry, we have positioned the firm to act as in-house counsel would for a larger business.