Transportation and Transportation Infrastructure

Venable's comprehensive understanding of the needs of companies in the transportation industry and the priorities of governments and agencies enables us to provide skilled, insightful advice to private- and public-sector clients, public-private partnerships, and trade associations on roadway, sea, rail, and air transportation.

Venable's transportation and transportation infrastructure attorneys operate at the intersection of government and commerce. Our multidisciplinary approach draws upon the firm’s depth of experience in multiple areas of transportation law to fully address client issues. We represent a diverse group of clients, including airlines, automobile manufacturers and suppliers, trucking companies, railroads, ports, freight forwarders, logistics providers, maritime companies, and emerging transportation technology companies.

Venable provides astute counsel to clients on a full range of legal, regulatory, environmental, and legislative and policy concerns. We go beyond helping clients meet compliance obligations—we enable them to participate in the regulatory and legislative process and understand the agencies that make the rules. Our transportation attorneys provide a full spectrum of legal services to our clients but maintain core strengths in the following practice areas.


We have the technical knowledge and experience required to lobby issues at the federal level on behalf of the transportation industry, as well as the ability to call upon the experience and judgment of former members of Congress, senior staff members, and former regulatory agency attorneys who comprise our legislative and government affairs team. Venable attorneys have assisted transportation clients in various industries in every aspect of federal government affairs, including policy formation; research and analysis; direct advocacy; legislative drafting; congressional testimony and preparation of committee report language; fly-in coordination; and coalition building. Our breadth of experience in Washington allows us to bring creative solutions to our transportation industry clients and successfully advocate on their behalf before relevant congressional committees, including House Transportation and Infrastructure, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committees.


Our transportation attorneys maintain strong relationships with the regulatory agencies that affect the transportation industry, including the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, Surface Transportation Board, Federal Maritime Commission, Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. These relationships are bolstered by our experience helping clients to navigate regulatory compliance and enforcement issues in the transportation space.

We also have specific experience in aviation regulatory and commercial matters affecting the air transport industry, with an emphasis on both direct (e.g., passenger and all-cargo) and indirect (e.g., air freight forwarders, third-party logistics providers) carriers. Venable’s work, in part, includes counseling express cargo carriers in route authority proceedings before the U.S. Department of Transportation and hazardous materials enforcement actions, and assisting with general regulatory compliance issues involving foreign indirect air carriers. Venable has also assisted aircraft operators, airports, and commercial real estate developers in responding to the entire gamut of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulatory activities, including rulemakings, investigations, and enforcement actions.

International Trade

We cover the entire range of issues and procedures involved in importing goods into the United States—entry procedures, tariff classification, duty preference programs, country-of-origin marking and labeling, protests, assessment audits, and prior disclosures. Clients also rely on Venable for our deep understanding of the complex U.S. trade regulations governing exports. Our experience also includes guiding companies in their compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), and the anti-boycott laws. Most recently, Venable’s attorneys provided compliance-related counsel to a leading foreign-based international ocean and multimodal transport provider, on matters that affect international trade and commerce, such as compliance with evolving U.S. export controls and economic sanctions and related U.S. legal and regulatory requirements, as governed by the Maritime Commission, and the Departments of Justice, Commerce, Treasury, and Transportation.


Our Environmental attorneys have represented national and international transportation, shipping, and distribution companies (including ground and air carriers) with environmental planning, day-to-day compliance (including matters pertaining to large infrastructure and development projects), defense of enforcement (both civil and criminal) concerning their distribution facilities (including fueling, fleet maintenance, and warehousing operations), environmental liabilities associated with their shipping/distribution operations, and compliance with fuel/engine/emission standards for mobile sources.

Most recently, we worked with a manufacturer of trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles to help it comply with regulations concerning the import of vehicles and engines into the United States, including certification of engines under applicable Clean Air Act standards. Venable has also won significant environmental battles in court and before administrative agencies, enabling transportation infrastructure projects to be built, such as Utah’s Legacy Parkway, Alaska’s rail extensions to port and inland facilities, midwestern intermodal facilities allowing the efficient handling of interstate commerce, and midwestern highway/rail relocations to address flooding and other transportation impediments.

Public-Private Partnerships

Venable has advised private-sector clients as well as public agencies in the development of public-private partnerships in transportation infrastructure, including bridge, highway, port, rail, and transit projects. Notably, we advised a major developer of P3 projects in the successful negotiation of a public-private partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation to finance, construct, maintain, and operate State Highway 130 Segments 5 and 6 and on the negotiation of a Comprehensive Development Agreement with TxDOT for the Interstate 69 corridor. The Venable P3 team brought together the expertise from the finance, construction, and regulatory practice groups needed to get the job done.

Venable's comprehensive understanding of the needs of companies in the transportation industry and the regulatory and policy priorities of governments and agencies enables us to provide skilled, insightful advice to private- and public-sector clients, public-private partnerships, and trade associations. Whether the project or matter involves roadway, sea, rail, or air transportation, Venable can help you understand and address all the accompanying policy, regulatory, and legislative issues.

Public Policy Focus

  • Legislative advocacy
  • Appropriations and federal grants
  • State and local government counseling
  • Government contracts
  • Regulation and enforcement

Government Experience

More than two dozen Venable attorneys experienced in transportation and transportation infrastructure matters, including several who have served in government positions, such as

  • U.S. Secretary of Transportation
  • Counselor to the Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation


  • Global Law Experts, Transport Law Firm of the Year, Washington, DC, 2014, 2016