Minority and Women's Business Program Development
As the oldest continuously operated African-American law firm in the country, Neal & Leroy, LLC (“Neal & Leroy”) is familiar with the needs and advantages of a diverse workplace. We have developed expertise in working with government and private firms in drafting legislation, regulations, ordinances, diversity statements, and other mechanisms to satisfy governmental and diversity business goals.
We counsel and advise our clients regarding MBE/WBE/DBE diversity programs. Our attorneys assist clients in developing, implementing and reviewing diversity programs. Our attorneys have advised clients on establishing MBE/WBE/DBE goals and appropriate methods to ensure compliance in the implementation of its diversity programs. We have also advised clients on how to integrate diversity programs into their business operational goals, including work place operations, professional services, vendor/supplier and construction contracts and utilization. Finally, we have assisted clients in the development of marketing materials featuring their MBE/WBE/DBE diversity programs.
We assist our clients in obtaining MBE and WBE certifications from the City of Chicago and other certifying agencies, and advise our clients on how to work with, assist agencies as well as community organizations to identify qualified minority consultants and contractors.
KEY REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS
- Public and Private Clients
Neal & Leroy represented minority-owned and women-owned clients, advised them concerning the MBE and WBE certification process, and worked with them in developing contacts and contracts with principal contractors or governmental entities. In this context, we often advise clients and negotiate contracts on their behalf. We represent municipal clients in court, demonstrating the advisability and propriety of governments’ diversity goals and guidelines. In representing public agencies, we also have developed programs to increase diversity on public construction projects including MBE/WBE programs, and equal employment opportunity programs to increase utilization of minority and female laborers, apprentices and journey-workers.
- Chicago Zoological Society
Neal & Leroy served as legal counsel to the Chicago Zoological Society ("CZS"), which operates Brookfield Zoo in evaluating and improving its MBE/WBE/DBE diversity programs. We advised CZS on setting MBE/WBE/DBE goals and targeted methods to ensure compliance with its MBE/WBE/DBE diversity programs. We have advised CZS on how to integrate their diversity program requirements into their business operations, by incorporating the diversity program requirements into vendor/supplier, professional services, and construction contracts. We counseled CZS about its various marketing materials discussing their MBE/WBE/DBE diversity programs. Finally, we revised CZS bidding procedures, qualification forms, policies and contracts.
- City of Chicago
Neal & Leroy served as legal counsel to the City of Chicago in managing its MBE/WBE Compliance Program for all procurement at the City of Chicago’s O’Hare International and Midway Airports including resolving multiple disputes, claims and compliance matters. Also, at the request of the City of Chicago’s Chief Procurement Officer, we drafted new terms and conditions for the MBE/WBE compliance in the City’s contract templates.
- Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority
Neal & Leroy represented the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (“MPEA”) in developing and drafting the MBE/WBE Compliance Program for the $850 million design-build construction of the West Building of the McCormick Place. We also developed and drafted the MBE/WBE Compliance Program on behalf of the MPEA for the custodial care and maintenance, and the food service contract for the McCormick Place and Navy Pier.
- County of Cook
Neal & Leroy served as legal counsel to the County of Cook in the defense of their minority and women-owned business set-aside ordinance in a challenge brought in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by the Builders Association of Greater Chicago.
- Chicago and State of Illinois Municipal Authorities
Neal & Leroy served as legal counsel to the Public Building Commission of Chicago and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, reviewed disparity studies for compliance with MBE and WBE goals, and drafted new minority and women business initiatives.
We also currently serve as a legal consultant in the review of disparity studies conducted on behalf of the State of Illinois Central Management System.
- Government Contracting
Neal & Leroy has significant experience with the development and defense of programs designed to afford opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses in contracting and in the expansion of diversity in the award of government contracts.