• Print
  • Email

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

LeClairRyan’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) team is a national practice comprised of veteran attorneys who represent UAS manufacturers and operators, including government entities and civil operators, in the myriad of issues related to unmanned aircraft systems. We combine our understanding of the practical aspects of the UAS industry with our familiarity with emerging UAS law to help our clients achieve their business objectives, while minimizing risk, difficulties, and expense.

Our distinctive strengths include:

  • Aircraft certification
  • Regulatory guidance
  • Operation guidelines
  • Transactional matters
  • Risk management
  • Intellectual property and technology
  • Insurance
  • Litigation

Our team is unique in that not only do we have the comprehensive skill set necessary to address all issues facing UAS manufacturers and operators, but members of our team are also commercial-rated pilots and flight instructors. We have been working with manufacturers and entities using unmanned aircraft systems as well as state and federal governments on UAS matters since 2006. In addition, one member of our team is credited with obtaining the first jurisdiction-wide certificate of authorization ever issued by the FAA, paving the way for public entities across the nation.

Members of our team regularly present at UAS-related conferences organized by federal government agencies, trade groups and professional associations, including:

  • U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice Applied Technologies Conference
  • Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
  • Airborne Law Enforcement Association
  • Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
  • National Sheriffs’ Association
  • New York Sheriffs’ Association

Representative matters:

  • Assist public entities in obtaining certificates of authorization
  • Assist manufacturers and aircraft operators on certification issues
  • Develop risk management programs for unmanned aircraft system manufacturers and operators
  • Assist operators in the development of FAA-complaint training programs
  • Draft operating procedures in compliance with FAA regulations
  • Assist manufacturers and end users in obtaining insurance to cover unmanned aircraft systems activities
  • Address liability issues arising out of the operation of public aircraft
  • Draft lease agreements for unmanned aircraft systems
  • Draft memoranda of understanding related to shared use by government agencies
  • Advise clients on matters related to privacy concerns associated with the operation of unmanned aircraft
  • Educate law enforcement personnel on various regulatory requirements


  • 410.224.3000