Industries

Nonprofit &
Tax Exempt Organizations

There is something inherently incredible in our American society, where individuals can organize themselves within a corporation that is dedicated to a charitable mission, that has no stockholders, and that is designed to exist in perpetuity as a pillar of support within our society.  Nonprofit organizations touch each of us every day, enriching our lives and our communities, caring for the underprivileged and the elderly, they teach our children, and they provide societal infrastructure and support where government does not.  

We are inspired by our clients, by the individuals who work for a greater good, and by the volunteers who discover that in service to community they find self-reliance, leadership, and often, meaning in life.   In every aspect of our legal counsel, we are dedicated to be good stewards to nonprofit organizations and to provide legal support to your mission to the best of our ability.  

We have organized our firm to serve as an external office of general counsel for nonprofit organizations, working to scale our services to meet your budget, while assisting you to prioritize your organization’s legal needs.  We approach our representation of nonprofit organizations with the goal to advance internal controls, good governance, and effective legal management of the specific charitable enterprise.  

Our interest and support of the nonprofit sector includes representation of universities, colleges, and schools; university foundations; arts organizations; performance halls; museums; jazz, wind and symphonic orchestras; research institutes; spiritual centers; religious organizations; free medical clinics; retirement communities; trade associations; private foundations; venture philanthropy funds, and many others.

Our work includes:

• Counseling on governance design, board optimization, the CEO/ Board relationship, and conflict resolution;

• On-going advancement of internal controls and preservation of institutional knowledge;

• Leadership succession planning, hiring, and removal;

• Formation of nonprofit organization and preparation/ submission to the IRS of applications to be recognized as tax exempt pursuant to IRC sections 501(c)(

• All manner of general contract work;

• Tax, nonprofit, and 501(c)(3) opinions, and assistance with federal tax reporting, form 990 disclosures, and audit responses;

• Drafting and work with charitable trusts, CRATs, CRUTs, and CLATs;

• Assist and support development officers, planned giving, major gifts, endowments, sponsorships, scholarships, and fundraising;

• Compensation opinions and the establishment of the rebuttable presumption of reasonableness,

• Investigating and advising on excess benefit transaction violations, private inurement violations, and instances of potential financial impropriety;3), (4), and (6), and group exemptions;

• Assist in bargain sale transactions and in-kind gifts;

• Consultation and advice regarding unrelated business income tax;

• Provide national state charitable registration to fundraise;

• Managing probate issues and filing of creditor claims on a national basis;
Venture philanthropy;

• Issues affecting organizations recognized as tax exempt pursuant to IRC section 509(a)(3).

Universities Supporting Foundations & Affiliates

Drawing from our background to provide legal services to nonprofit organizations, a core focus of our firm is to serve nonprofit foundations that are established to support universities, colleges, academic medical centers, health systems, and institutions of higher learning. Our clients include endowment foundations, research foundations, alumni associations, athletic booster clubs, real estate foundations, physician practice plans, and many more affiliated entities.  

We counsel maintenance of a positive relationship, based in trust, between each foundation and the institution for which it is dedicated to support.  Trust enables the foundation to exist as an independent and separate organization, and thus, increase its effectiveness and ability engage in joint ventures and partnerships; facilitate financing of facilities, fund endowed chairs and programs; provide compensation support; engage in fundraising; assist in the acquisition, license, and sale of property; and participate in advanced, collaborative asset protection strategies, all for the benefit and dedicated to the purposes of the institution.

Our work includes:

• Counsel of complex asset protection strategies across university enterprises, with the use of nonprofit organizations, LLCs, affiliates, charitable trusts, and other vehicles.

• Issues related to the affiliation of a foundation to its university;

• Addressing and responding to Freedom of Information Requests;

• Advice and counsel regarding the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act;

• Assistance with SACS accreditation;

• Assistance with FERPA issues;

• Assistance with state procurement issues;

• Assistance of investment committees with drafting, implementation, and evolution of investment policy statements, spending policies, operating reserve policies and other policies related to endowments, institutional, and other funds;

• Establishment of affinity programs for university alumni and members of athletic booster clubs;

• Establishing, amending, terminating, charitable trusts, endowments, quasi-endowments, discretionary funds, and institutional funds;

• Provide compensation opinions, opinions on the rebuttable presumption of reasonableness, and investigate and address excess benefit transaction violations and allegations of financial impropriety;

• Counsel of issues related to conflicts of interest;

• Consultation and advice regarding unrelated business income tax;

• Consultation on issues related to and negotiate sponsored research agreements, technology transfer and licensing agreements, and inter-institutional agreements;

• Tele-education and related technology;
Issues affecting organizations recognized as tax exempt pursuant to IRC section 509(a)(3).

Healthcare

The healthcare industry is undergoing a period of radical change, where healthcare providers are struggling within business models, subject to increasing economic stressors.  Health systems are trending towards population health management and are seeking new relationships and alignments beyond the traditional boundaries of care.  In the last decade, healthcare providers have been asked to make significant operational changes, most notably conversion to meaningful use of electronic health records in connection with the treatment of patients.  These electronic health records are now being exchanged and aggregated, resulting in the ability to benchmark healthcare providers and their delivery of services.  

The volume of emerging knowledge is improving lives in incredible ways and ushering us into the dawn of personalized medicine.  However, we believe these changes will increasingly drive and disrupt reimbursement and payment models, sometimes in unexpected ways, and we anticipate continued mergers, alignments, and transactions across the healthcare landscape. These changes will additionally present numerous ethical issues related to individual privacy rights and informed consent, often emerging quickly and with no meaningful legal framework in existence to address.  As we have seen, our government, laws, and regulatory bodies remain primarily re-active to emerging technology and alignments of services in the delivery of healthcare.

Our firm understands legal challenges facing pioneers in healthcare.  Our clients include health care systems and providers, institutes for research, health information exchange networks, and health IT vendors.  Our clients prioritize value on data-driven decision making, new relationships, and disruptive technology as a means to create efficiencies in the market and improve the delivery, effectiveness, and profitability of healthcare services.

Our work includes:

• Negotiation and establishment of joint ventures, alignments, and other configurations of providers on the continuum of healthcare;

• Establishment of healthcare entities, practice groups, and consortia;

• Development, governance, and administration of health information exchanges;

• Establishment, governance and use of clinical data warehouses and data exchanges;

• Acquisition, implementation and legal support related to telemedicine;

• Acquisition and/ or sale/ licensing of health technology (EHR, medical device, data sets, intelligence tools and analytics, etc.);

• Advising on issues related to HIPAA and other privacy laws, including breaches;
Assist in the implementation and addressing issues related to Electronic Health Records;

• Counseling on issues arising out or and in connection with the Common Rule, human subject research, and informed consent;
Counseling and assisting Institutional Review Boards;

• Provide legal support to clients that are recipients of or participating in governmental grants and programs from agencies such as HHS, NIH, NSF, and DOD;

• Drafting open source licenses and engaging in the open source of health information software, including research permission management systems and business intelligence tools;

• Assistance with issues related to and arising out of population health management.

Technology Companies
& Startups

In terms of technology companies, our core focus lies with computing, programming, cyber-security, and data. Our clients include numerous e-commerce agencies, software developers, data companies, IT security consultants, government contractors in cyber-security and software spaces, health IT licensors and licensees, medical device developers, and intangible holding companies.  We offer general and special counsel services with a core team that is agile and can organize responsively to meet your needs. We are often well-suited for start-ups as they grow and target milestones. We have taken numerous entrepreneurs to successful exits or achieve other meaningful goals.

Core strengths of our firm include e-commerce; health information technology; storage, organization, and mining of data; cyber-security; breach mitigation; data and privacy rights; the exchange of electronic health records for clinical care and research; data exchange governance; and data ethics, provenance, and privacy rights.

Our work includes:

• Entity formation, partnership and shareholder agreements;

• Contracting work, such as service agreements, license agreements, hosting agreements, software-as-a-service arrangements, business associate agreements, data exchanges and use agreements, as well as drafting terms of use, security and privacy policies for websites;

• Asset protection strategies;

• Mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures;

• Seed, private equity and venture capital investment, as well as SBIR and STTR governmental funding;

• Employment/ HR support;

• ERISA and Employee benefits advice and counsel;

• Non-qualified deferred compensation, SARS, Stock Options, SERPs, Etc;

• Identify and manage within defined budgets external counsel as needed for litigation and other more unique legal services.


SC Business & Residents

Based in South Carolina, we like to help our friends and neighbors, and represent all manner of South Carolina businesses. We additionally provide legal services to SC individuals for a variety of needs including wills, estate planning, probate, business formation, succession planning, contracts, and transactions.

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