Press Release October 22, 2014

Goodwin’s Higher Education Practice Provides Interdisciplinary Expertise on a Single Platform

Goodwin Procter is pleased to announce the creation of its Higher Education Practice Group, which draws upon the firm’s longstanding experience representing higher education and research institutions. The firm works with higher education clients in a broad range of areas, including corporate governance, transactional work, 501(c)(3) and tax matters, investment management, government investigations, litigation, real estate, energy, intellectual property, planned giving, ERISA, and labor and employment. The Higher Education Practice Group brings together an interdisciplinary team of more than 40 attorneys to serve these organizations from a single platform.

Goodwin attorneys are intimately familiar with the unique circumstances and needs of higher education and research institutions. Some of America’s leading schools have engaged the firm to advise on:

  • Sensitive governance matters, including presidential transitions and restructuring of boards of trustees and senior administrative teams;
  • Crisis and reputation management, including providing counsel, strategy and hands-on leadership to senior administrators and boards of trustees with respect to highly sensitive matters, legal obstacles, public relations, and regulatory and political issues;
  • Investment Office activities, including the review and negotiation of private equity, venture capital and hedge fund and other investments, and fiduciary and regulatory compliance; and
  • Management of leading innovation technologies, obtaining federal and state grants, and structuring joint ventures, sponsored research arrangements and private investments, including highly regulated advanced technology partnerships with national laboratories and the departments of energy and defense, among others.

Goodwin’s deep experience advising institutions of higher education includes:

  • On behalf of the board of trustees of Roxbury Community College (RCC), conducting an independent investigation of allegations that the College had failed to investigate and report alleged sexual assaults on campus; examining specific allegations of financial mismanagement; and evaluating the College’s policies and procedures concerning campus security and sexual harassment.
  • Successfully representing Harvard University in federal litigation alleging violations of the federal False Claims Act in connection with work done by Harvard personnel under contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development to advise the Russian Federation on the privatization of the former Soviet economy.
  • Counseling Emerson College on the selection, acquisition, development, and permitting of its Los Angeles Campus, an iconic architectural achievement in Hollywood, as well as negotiating the design and construction contracts and assisting with construction administration and close-out.
  • Representing long-time client Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in negotiating gift, endowment and licensing agreements, and advising on intellectual property issues, in connection with a gift by explorer and filmmaker James Cameron of the innovative submersible “Deepsea Challenger.”

For more information, please contact Higher Education Practice chair Susan Abbott at 617-570-1787.