Transportation - Intersecting Opportunities

Morrison & Foerster’s Transportation Group Gives Businesses Direction in Navigating a Complex and Rapidly Changing Industry

Transportation impacts the lives of people and the livelihood of businesses on a daily basis. Through a vast network of supporting services, infrastructure, and equipment, the transportation industry moves people and goods from around the corner to around the world, whether by air, road, rail, sea, or pipeline.

Increasingly, these traditional modes of transportation — and the industry as a whole — are being transformed by technological innovations such as drones, autonomous vehicles, and clean technologies.

Morrison & Foerster’s Transportation Group stands at the crossroads of the developments and changes within the industry, giving clients the direction they need to navigate its twists and turns, including complex regulatory and legal challenges.

As one of the few firms to have a dedicated Unmanned Aircraft Systems Group, we are a destination of choice in helping businesses address the emerging regulatory and legal issues surrounding the commercial use of drones and unmanned aircraft systems.

Our transportation team also includes lawyers who have decades of experience working within the government sector on transportation issues.

The recent addition of Katie Thomson as a partner and chair of the Transportation Group expands our ability to advise clients on the opportunities located at the intersection of change and transformation.

Our New Transportation Chair

Katie Thomson joins the firm with more than 25 years of experience in government and private practice. For the last eight years, she has played a pivotal role in shaping national transportation law and policy, including as general counsel in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). She is the only person to ever serve in both of these roles.

As the DOT’s general counsel, Ms. Thomson had overall responsibility for its 12 subordinate agencies, including the FAA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and the Federal Transit Administration.

At the DOT, Ms. Thomson developed regulatory frameworks for autonomous vehicles, vehicle emissions, and unmanned aircraft. She was also involved in numerous high-profile policy decisions, including:

  • setting standards for vehicle safety and recalls
  • improving the safety of crude oil transportation
  • advancing U.S. aviation priorities overseas
  • moving forward regulatory priorities for autonomous vehicles
  • crafting new emissions standards for vehicle fleets, railroads, and shipping
  • instituting an international carbon dioxide standard for commercial aircraft
  • responding to the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme
  • establishing pipeline safety and hazardous materials transport regulation


Meet Katie Thomson

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