Tribal Affairs

We provide strategic, multifaceted legal counsel to Native American tribes, tribal organizations and corporations, and affiliated entities. Working across complementary areas of law, we draw upon the collective experience of Gallagher & Kennedy attorneys to address specific issues unique to tribal governments and corporations on matters such as sovereignty, economic development, governmental objectives, initial organizational structuring, and complex transactions and litigation.


With years of experience working with Arizona’s Native American tribes and entities, we are keenly aware of the unique history and culture specific to tribal communities and work to integrate these customs into our professional relationship.

Our legal services include:

  • Cultural & Natural Resources Protection
  • Federal Indian Law & Intergovernmental Relations
  • Administrative Law & Litigation
  • Enterprises & Transactions


We work with tribal clients to address their immediate needs and develop effective long-term strategies to protect cultural and natural resources for future generations. Specifically, we assist tribal clients with issues regarding:

  • Natural resource management and preservation.
  • Regulatory requirements necessary to protect tribal air, water, and lands, as well as the development of programs to protect these important resources.
  • Water and mineral development.
  • Protection of cultural, historic, and sacred sites.
  • Development and operation of tribal utility organizations.
  • Interfacing with public utilities, including negotiating easements between tribes and the utilities.
  • Power purchase agreements.


We advocate before state and federal agencies, administrative agencies, legislators, and Congress to obtain funding and favorable legislation for tribal programs, as well as to preserve the status of tribes. Our representation includes: 

  • Tribal sovereignty, jurisdiction, and sovereign immunity.
  • Governmental appropriations.
  • Tribal codes, ordinances, and regulations, including tax codes.
  • Negotiation of cooperative agreements.

Click here to learn more about our government affairs practice.


Gallagher & Kennedy’s Native American litigation group has been involved in some of the most significant litigation in Arizona. Our attorneys are highly skilled in efficiently and effectively accomplishing our tribal client’s objectives both in and out of the courtroom. Specifically, our firm draws upon the extensive experience of its attorneys to help tribal clients with:

  • Representing legal interests in tribal, state, and federal courts.
  • Advancing tribal interests in legislative, judicial, and administrative proceedings.
  • Consulting on and protecting tribal sovereign immunity.
  • Advising in the areas of risk management, litigation avoidance, and alternative dispute resolution.

Click here to learn more about our administrative and regulatory law practice.


Serving as outside corporate counsel, we advise tribal clients on the vast array of legal issues relating to corporate, real estate, gaming, tax, and labor relations. This includes: 

  • Organizing and serving as counsel on matters related to formation, corporate governance, and operations for tribal-owned organizations.
  • Reviewing and drafting commercial business documents, including contracts for construction, sales, services, and independent contractors.
  • Developing, negotiating, and advising on joint ventures and leases between tribes, tribal enterprises, and non-tribal entities.
  • Aiding in the acquisition and use of trust lands.
  • Providing advice on zoning and other land use issues.
  • Negotiating casino management contracts and providing consultation on Indian gaming issues pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, including dealings with the National Indian Gaming Commission and state and tribal gaming agencies.
  • Providing advice on casino and tourism development, operations, and financing issues.
  • Protecting intellectual property.
  • Negotiating with state governments on tax collection agreements.
  • Analyzing the liability of tribes and their members for state and federal taxes.

Learn more about our corporate and business transactions practice and our tax practice.