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Industrial-strength solutions and coverage.

Industrial manufacturing is one of the largest and most competitive sectors of the global economy. Whether you manufacture agricultural machinery, construction and mining equipment, or fabricated and component products (including the raw materials that go into them), it’s paramount that your business has advisors who understand the high-risk environments in which you operate and can help you thrive amidst intense competition and market turbulence. Our industrials team provides business-savvy advice covering the full spectrum of strategic legal matters, with an eye toward helping manufacturers strike the right balance between innovation and risk.

Team Lead

Steven M. Crawford Profile Image
Steven M. Crawford


Louisville, KY

Industry-Focused Support

Serving as both national and regional litigation counsel, we help clients navigate the difficult terrain of product liability claims and product recalls, distressed supplier workouts, contract disputes and other complex litigation. We also work with clients to safeguard and grow their market share by leveraging strategic relationships and protecting their material, real property and intellectual property assets.

Additionally, we provide solution-minded counsel regarding labor and employment matters, environmental regulations, M&A and cross-border business transactions, tax incentives, government contracting and funding opportunities. Our insight into the regulatory overlay for industrial manufacturers (and their suppliers) helps clients maintain frictionless operations across a variety of markets.

Experience Highlights

Get a sense of who we are and what we’re capable of.

Labor & Employment

  • Lead trial counsel in a federal trial that resulted in a multimillion-dollar jury verdict against the United Steelworkers of America for misconduct that occurred in connection with a lockout at a steel mill.
  • Successful mediation of a case involving over 300 plaintiffs with exposure exceeding $500 million.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company before the United States Department of Labor in more than 40 wage and hour audits.
  • Served as lead negotiator and company spokesperson for Fortune 1000 corporations in collective bargaining negotiations for several industries and facilities involving international representatives of USW, UAW, UFCW, IBEW, and IAM. Negotiations included plant closings and relocation of work, modification in pay systems and fringe benefits programs and implementation of drug and alcohol testing programs.

Commercial Transactions

  • Represented public company in $17 million acquisition of specialty manufacturing business.
  • Represented consumer product company in $12 million venture capital financing.
  • Performed zoning-related due diligence work for multiple potential purchases of complex industrial properties.
  • Represented seller in partial recapitalization involving sale of 45% of equity in manufacturing parts and supplies distribution company to a PEG – enterprise value approximately $70M.
  • Represented machinery parts manufacturer in $20 million acquisition of metal component manufacturing company.

Product, Tort, and Insurance Litigation

  • National Fire Counsel for CNH Industrial (a global company specializing in equipment and services for Agriculture and Construction) – with successful defense trials in Iowa, South Dakota, Michigan, Louisiana, and several other states. Multiple cases represented by Frost Brown Todd on behalf of CNH Industrial have resulted in new law.
  • Represented Rolls Royce (helicopter engine manufacturer) in a wrongful death case at trial court, Indiana Court of Appeals, and Indiana Supreme Court. Writing for the first time on the issue of forum non conveniens, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s order of dismissal in favor of the defendants.
  • Organized a cross-functional corrective action team and successfully guided the retrieval of hundreds of thousands of surge protectors in the field and throughout a complex distribution network involving dealers, franchisees, and retail service providers on behalf of a global energy and services company; then, recouping the costs from the upstream suppliers.
  • Serve as product safety counsel to Fortune 500 American manufacturer of industrial machinery with global sourcing and distribution.
  • Defense of medical device manufacturer in litigation stemming from the placement of mesh for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse


  • Represent two separate large cap publicly-traded international manufacturing clients in management of numerous contaminated legacy sites and third-party sites throughout the United States. Project execution includes daily interaction with the clients, environmental consultants and regulatory agencies on the development and execution of eight-figure environmental investigations and remedial actions, use of state brownfield programs, citizen suits and Superfund litigation.

Global Services

  • Assisted defense article manufacturers with international trade compliance issues, including: (1) compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and registration hereunder; and (2) performing general export compliance audits and filing of Voluntary Disclosures for export violations.
  • Won on behalf of a United States seed producer, after two contested evidentiary hearings before an arbitration panel in Geneva, an award dismissing a 100 million euro claim by the client’s distributor in Greece.
  • Secured E-visas for employees of a Spanish manufacturer building factories in the U.S. during the pandemic by successfully arguing for and obtaining approvals of national interest waivers.

Supporting Evidence

Explore our latest insights on legal developments impacting your industry.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: A Look Ahead for the Automotive Industry

March 31, 2022 | Publications

President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law as one of his adminis...

Kentucky Enacts New Laws to Further Promote the Distilled Spirits Industry

March 30, 2022 | Blogs

Last week, the Kentucky General Assembly passed 2022 House Bill (HB) 500, which will boost Kentucky...

In the News:
Connected Vehicles & Automatic Decision-Making

Publication: Bloomberg Law

Publish Date: March 24, 2022

Authors: Jean Paul Yugo Nagashima

2022 West Virginia Legislature Expands Upon Alcohol Reforms

March 15, 2022 | Publications

In 2021, the West Virginia legislature passed sweeping reforms liberalizing existing alcohols laws i...

Map: "Louisville"
Kentucky Tax Talk: Inside Louisville’s New Tax Regulations

March 9, 2022 | Blogs

This article was originally published in Law360 Tax Authority. When the Louisville Metro Revenue Com...

Major Moment for Kentucky Manufacturers as Supreme Court Determines the Taxability of Machinery, Equ...

March 8, 2022 | Blogs

While the Kentucky General Assembly debates passing significant tax reform legislation during the 20...