Indian

Client and Industry Challenges

Snell & Wilmer attorneys have been significantly involved in Indian law issues throughout the western United States for over 75 years. We understand that Native American Indian tribes and the businesses they work with face unique challenges and opportunities, including issues involving sovereign immunity; natural resource and environmental protections; financing and developing hotels, retail centers, casinos and other types of infrastructure and utilities; and a wide range of state and federal regulatory concerns.

Clients We Serve

Snell & Wilmer's Indian Law attorneys have served a broad array of clients over the past 75 years. We have represented a variety of Indian tribes, tribal organizations and Indian-owned enterprises. We also have represented casinos and gaming organizations, resorts and recreational businesses, development and management companies, financiers, gaming vendors and others doing business on Indian lands.

Our representation has involved both Indian and non-Indian clients in their affairs and transactions, along with Indian tribes throughout the country. We offer our clients an interdisciplinary mix of attorneys with experience not only in Indian law, but numerous other areas such as litigation, utility and water law, natural resources, finance, employment and general business law. Services offered by the Indian Law team include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Administrative matters involving, among other agencies, the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the National Indian Gaming Commission
  • Consultation on legislation and regulations involving Indian tribes
  • Environmental, agricultural, water, mineral and other natural resources matters
  • General representation of business matters on Indian lands
  • Litigation, negotiation and counseling in areas of federal Indian law dealing with tribal water rights, land and boundary claims, gaming, development of tribal business organizations
  • Negotiating and preparing casino management contracts and collateral agreements under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
  • Operation and development of tribal utility organizations
  • Pro bono representation of Indians and Indian interests, including support of Indian economic development and self-sufficiency programs

Why Clients Select Us

Respect and Commitment: We understand and respect the complex history, issues and evolving federal, state and tribal laws and policies that affect Indian tribes and the businesses with whom they work. We know that every tribal government and every region of Indian country is different. We strive to offer solutions tailored to the legal needs of each of our clients.

Dynamic, Comprehensive Service: With more than 400 attorneys in nine locations throughout the western United States, we have the depth and breadth of experience necessary to offer our clients a dynamic range of services that are sensitive to the complex and often subtle differences in tribal and state laws and regulations. Our Indian Law attorneys regularly call on the diverse talents and experience of their colleagues to effectively and efficiently handle complex matters involving, for example, tribal business and finance, environmental issues, government relations, land use and development, energy and utility, gaming, water, and federal and state tax issues.

Experience

Snell & Wilmer's Indian Law Practice is an interdisciplinary mix of attorneys with experience in Indian law and in numerous other areas including litigation, gaming law, utility law, natural resources, water law, general business, agri-business, real estate, condemnation, rights of way, legislation, regulatory agencies, construction, telecommunications, taxation, finance, employment law, gaming law, and environmental law. Examples include:

  • Negotiation, and counseling in areas of Federal Indian Law dealing with economic development, private and public financing, acquisition of business entities, Tribal water rights, land and boundary claims, development of Tribal business organizations, gaming, commercial leasing, development of Tribal codes, ordinances, and regulations, Tribal courts, tax issues, and drafting and advocacy of federal and state legislation
  • Administrative matters involving, among other agencies, the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Indian Gaming Commission, and state and Tribal regulatory authorities (including licensing and compliance issues)
  • Negotiating and preparing casino management contracts and collateral agreements under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
  • Environmental, agricultural, water, mineral and other natural resource matters
  • Operation and development of Tribal utility organizations, and interface with public utilities on Indian lands
  • Litigation in state, Tribal and federal courts
  • Structuring and documenting credit facilities secured by gaming assets, natural resources or leasehold property
  • Developing and documenting joint ventures and leases between Tribes, tribal enterprises and their developers
  • Pro bono representation of Indians and Indian interests, including support of Indian economic development and self-sufficiency programs

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