Examples of Our Work

Congressional Procedure and Politics

As lead counsel to a coalition of non-profits active internationally, including CARE, Red Cross and Oxford University, we successfully opposed IRS tax regulations that would have discouraged charitable giving for international relief, environmental and development projects; we directed the legislative effort to enact tax provisions encouraging such donations. And we successfully led a separate legislative effort to enact banking law that encourages “debt for development” and “debt for nature” swaps.

As counsel to corporate entities concerned with the availability of export finance and investment insurance, we constantly monitor the authorization and appropriations debates affecting the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), as well as related proposals such as the President’s proposal to reorganize and combine a number of trade-related agencies. We also monitor the performance of those agencies themselves, and any initiatives they take that may affect our clients’ interests.

Both non-profit and for-profit organizations have an interest in Congressional developments regarding sanctions that are imposed on various regimes in the world.  Businesses over the years have been concerned with sanctioned imposed at various times on Libya, Iran, Burma and other nations. Likewise, humanitarian and other non-profits that seek to do good work regardless of national boundaries also must work within the constraints of U.S. sanctions laws. We regularly follow legislative developments, as well as Treasury actions, that alter those sanctions and may affect both for-profit and non-profit clients.

International Finance, Sovereign Debt and Capital Flows

For the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, one of the premier advanced institutions for scholarship in Washington, we led a high-level working group of government officials and private investment experts that studied international finance and capital market trends leading up to the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis. The work of that group was the basis of Hager’s book, Limiting Risks and Sharing Losses, published by Johns Hopkins Press. Perhaps regrettably, many of the recommendations in that study remain pertinent to the sovereign debt crisis of Greece and other European countries today.

Issues of currency valuation, limits on foreign direct investment and related capital flow controls all have impacts on businesses in every sector. While we are not investment advisors, we do follow closely all legislative developments that may affect investment and trade decisions, such as Congressional attention to China’s currency valuation, the vital issues of the yen-dollar relationship and the future of the Euro, as well as sovereign debt resolutions in differing cases like Argentina and Greece. We also track limits on investment in both developed and emerging markets, including the COFIUS process that governs foreign investment in the U.S.

U.S. Foreign Policy and Foreign Aid

As outside counsel to non-profit organizations such as The Asia Foundation, a U.S. non-profit active in democratic and free-market institution-building throughout Asia, we provide strategic advice on augmenting financial resources as well as legal compliance advice. Examples of complex compliance issues include the current evolving requirements for “partner vetting” which place burdens on NGO’s to insure that no U.S.G. funds are inadvertently transmitted to individuals with questionable connections, in the context of the ongoing concern for terrorist activities in many emerging countries that are recipients of U.S. aid. Other examples include compliance with AID “branding” requirements to insure that AID and the U.S.G. get proper credit among recipient populations for our aid contributions.

As a legal advisor to several law reform projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia, we have developed curricula for training judges in economic decision-making,  advised on projects for the provision of legal services to indigent individuals in developing countries, including China, and lectured to groups of lawyers and judges on the U.S. legal system.  For the Mansfield Foundation, one of the leading non-profits devoted to improving U.S.-Asia relations, Hager wrote the book, The Rule of Law: A Lexicon for Policy Makers.  His work has been the basis for a series of follow-on conferences and studies throughout Asia addressing the progress in numerous nations toward achieving a genuine “rule of law” in their societies.

Energy and Environment Policy

Under contract to the Agency for International Development (AID), we traveled throughout Francophone West and Central Africa to conduct a legal analysis of environmental protection laws in that region. We assessed environmental conditions and pollution sources, examined enforcement realities and needs, and made recommendations to AID about new environmental protection initiatives needed in that African region.

Having developed an expertise in the regulation of nuclear power generation while working with the Congress in the 1980’s, Hager has continued to monitor the nuclear power industry in the U.S. and globally. We advise our clients about Congressional initiatives that will affect the industry, including prospects for government financing, the status of the national laboratories and other research initiatives, the ongoing debate over nuclear waste disposal and shifts in political opinion from trends and events such as global warming and the Fukushima nuclear accident in the spring of 2011.

Transportation Policy

For clients with financial interests in Amtrak, passenger and high-speed rail projects in the U.S., we closely monitor and report on the Congressional debate over Amtrak funding, high-speed rail finance and related issues of transportation policy. Given the partisan fracturing over high-speed rail and the disputes over the Federal vs. the States’ role in high-speed passenger rail, we follow both Federal and State government developments carefully.

Regulation of Financial Services

As advisors to major banking and financial services companies in the U.S., Japan and Europe, we provide regular, periodic analysis of legal and regulatory developments that affect trade and investment strategies in the United States and in emerging markets. The unfinished work of regulatory changes required by the new Dodd-Frank law is a current client  preoccupation, but predicting the next iteration of Congressional mandates for the U.S. financial services sector, and the impact of those regulatory changes on non-U.S. financial institutions, is our emerging challenge.

On behalf of one of the largest non-U.S. insurance providers globally, we provide specific regular analysis of insurance-related legislation, including the flood and catastrophic insurance debates, crop insurance, terrorism (TRIA) insurance issues, the Price-Anderson Act governing nuclear accident liability and the full range of other tax and regulatory policies that affect global insurance companies.

Regulatory Dispute Resolution

As legal counsel to a non-profit organization engaged in a dispute with a Federal agency, we achieved a resolution of the issue which resulted in our client having slightly over one million dollars of additional resources available for its work, per year, for the foreseeable future. This required persuading the agency of the validity of our legal theory regarding the valuation of certain assets available to the client.