Our final issue for 2018 takes a closer look into Transparency International’s new Defense Companies Anti-Corruption Index questionnaire and provides preliminary thoughts on the required sharing of highly confidential, competitively sensitive information. We identify current “hot topics” in the Aerospace and Defense industry and offer some helpful resources. We highlight the newly minted US-UK Open Skies air transport agreement bridging differences regarding airline ownership and control to enable the evolving US-UK transatlantic market to meet the growing demand for air travel post-Brexit. Finally, we invite you to join us on January 15 for our first Aerospace & Defense luncheon of 2019 on "Mitigating Supply Chain Risks in the A&D Industry."

As an industry built on innovation, A&D has traditionally been at the forefront of technological advancement. With defense budgets increasing and the commercial aerospace market booming, companies need new and better products capable of high efficiency and security to be able to gain market share in a highly competitive environment. This is occurring against the backdrop of a tense geopolitical environment, an increasing global population, and rising environmental pressures.

Technology & Digitization

  • Disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and 3D printing are revolutionizing the manufacturing processes
  • Evolving technologies such as drones and autonomous vehicles, cyber warfare, space-based weapons, and hypersonic missiles are at the forefront of product innovation
  • Cyber attacks are a growing concern, and cybersecurity is a growing opportunity for the sector as digitization ensures that production is now more dependent than ever on technology


  • A&D companies are putting in place sustainability governance mechanisms and are collaborating with governments to encourage knowledge sharing, technological collaboration, and financial partnerships
  • The industry is considering biofuel in order to curb CO2 emissions

Business & Economics

  • Cost optimization remains a focus as companies strive to cut costs and increase competitiveness
  • A&D companies are partnering with start-ups in order to adopt new technologies specific to the sector
  • Large equipment manufacturers are being cautious about increasing their R&D budgets due to uncertainties surrounding federal defense budgets
  • Significant M&A activity and consolidations are expected to continue
  • Brexit and the resulting uncertainly and disruptions to trade have the potential to significantly affect the UK A&D industry
  • US protectionist policies and tariffs will have an adverse effect on the US A&D industry
  • Geopolitical volatility is fueling global defense spending, particularly in APAC nations and the Middle East with expenditure expected to increase sharply in coming years.

Demographics & Social

  • As older workers with desirable science, technology, and engineering skills begin to retire, there is an insufficient supply of young, qualified employees
  • Increasing population and demand for travel drive demand for commercial aircraft

Investigations: Our global team is highly experienced in conducting internal investigations and represents A&D companies before enforcement authorities around the world, achieving best-in-class results. Anti-Corruption Compliance: From hospitality guidance to conducting due diligence on third parties, offset agreements and commercial transactions, we provide anti-corruption compliance advice that reflects an understanding of the real-life business issues faced by A&D companies based on our first-hand industry experience.

Trade Compliance: We assist A&D companies with global advice and advocacy on issues relating to export controls, customs, antiboycott laws, and trade sanctions, with experts who specialize in each subject matter area.

False Claims Act: With our industry knowledge and an experienced team of False Claims Act attorneys, we successfully defend A&D companies against qui tam and Department of Justice enforcement actions.

International Commercial: Relying on our global expertise in local law issues, we advise A&D companies on establishing and terminating international sales representative and consultant relationships, as well as teaming, joint venture and offset agreements.

Antitrust: With our global antitrust expertise, we assist A&D companies in all regions of the world with antitrust enforcement actions, civil litigation, merger control, and compliance.

Global Mobility: We help multinational A&D clients manage the diverse and high-impact risks arising in global mobility, from immigration compliance to labor and benefits issues.

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy: We assist the A&D industry on the full spectrum of global cybersecurity, data privacy, and information governance issues, including compliance counseling, incident response, crisis management, Board oversight, and litigation.

Global Perspective and Local Expertise. We work with a wide variety of clients in the A&D industry on matters that span the globe and have extensive real-world experience with the business and legal issues that matter to A&D companies. Our team includes the former Canadian Minister of National Defense, former regulators and prosecutors, the former top international lawyer for a leading global A&D company, and attorneys with extensive experience in emerging markets around the world, including the Middle East and Asia.

Our combination of diverse talent and experience enables us to anticipate issues before they arise, saving our clients money and, more importantly, saving them from time-consuming and costly mistakes. Our global expertise and industry experience make us the ideal law firm for clients in the A&D industry.

Innovative Technologies and Personal Touch. We use innovative extranet tools that provide litigation and investigation clients with visibility into how a matter is proceeding and enable clients to better manage scope and cost. At the same time, we recognize the importance of more personal meetings and benchmarking with industry colleagues and, to that end, host a monthly A&D luncheon in our DC office on a wide variety of topics important to A&D companies in the US and around the world.

Explore More Insight