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Kramer Levin Launches Unmanned Aircraft Systems Practice Group

December 18, 2013

In light of the increasing use of drones for commercial purposes, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP has launched a practice group dedicated to providing counsel to clients in this rapidly growing industry. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Practice Group is a multidisciplinary team of Kramer Levin attorneys who are versed in the legal complexities of the nascent commercial drone revolution.

Emerging commercial drone technology presents a number of economic opportunities, as well as the prospect of enhanced worker safety in hazardous conditions, humanitarian benefits in search-and-rescue and disaster missions, and environmental advantages through improved agriculture, energy and infrastructure management. Kramer Levin's new practice will provide sophisticated and creative problem-solving approaches in this uncharted legal territory.

"Unmanned aircraft technology will define the next century in countless industries in the United States and will present new legal challenges in a number of areas including regulatory policy, aviation law, property rights, and intellectual property law, to name a few," said Paul S. Pearlman, Kramer Levin's Managing Partner. "As the definitive leaders in this field, we saw an opportunity to formalize a practice area led by informed attorneys who can advise clients in a wide range of industries."

The firm is currently representing Raphael Pirker, the world's foremost civilian "drone" pilot, in the first federal case ever involving the operation of commercial drones in the United States. Kramer Levin attorneys also regularly advise individuals, corporations, venture capital firms, educational institutions and robotics developers worldwide on the use of unmanned aircraft technologies in commercial, educational, public interest and scientific applications.

"The landmark case we are litigating will have enormous regulatory and economic implications for the industry's future," said Brendan Schulman, special counsel at Kramer Levin who has two decades of hands-on experience with unmanned aircraft and understands how the technology works and how to apply it safely and effectively. "This is a game-changing moment for forward-thinking businesses, and we are here to assist our clients navigate legal issues so they can become the next decade's pioneers in their industries."

In addition to Mr. Schulman, the new practice area will include attorneys from a number of existing firm practice areas including corporate, environmental law, litigation, intellectual property, insurance, government relations, and regulatory issues.

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