Group Purchasing Organizations and Member-Owned Associations

At Freeborn, our attorneys partner with group purchasing organizations (GPO’s) regularly to provide counseling, transaction and antitrust litigation support. From advising boards or steering committees that elect officers, to developing structure and governance, we have depth in every aspect of highly-functioning member-owned associations and GPO’s.  Often times we are brought in to develop, negotiate, and managing licensing arrangements and documentation required between the association and its members, including unique arrangements specific to the needs of the organization. We also manage and negotiate agreements on behalf of the associations for third-party vendors. 

Our advising goes beyond the traditional negotiations into federal and state regulatory issues these groups often face. In addition, we have global experience which these groups benefit from as we manage and protect them on a wide variety of issues as it extends beyond our U.S. borders.  Examples of our experience include:

  • Organized a buying group for retailers as a cooperative, working with the company chosen as its outside manager.
  • On behalf of a GPO in the transportation industry, handled antitrust issues and drafted all purchasing contracts.
  • Established a buying group for equipment dealers that included (1) its structuring, (2) drafting all corporate and purchasing documents, as well as employment and confidentiality agreements and (3) acting as its general counsel.
  • Counseled a prominent international consulting firm and its Fortune 50 client on the legal aspects of a joint purchasing venture in the automotive industry.
  • Advised numerous manufacturer clients on successfully dealing with GPOs.
  • Represented trade associations in structuring and implementing joint activities among their members.
  • Worked with service providers to identify and address the antitrust issues associated with the exchange of competitive pricing information.
  • Counseled multiple clients on establishing and conducting benchmarking studies, including the lawful gathering and dissemination of competitively sensitive information.
  • Advised a consulting firm and its private equity client on the structuring of a portfolio company’s expansion strategy that included, among other things, the implications of using a franchise or licensing model to unite disparate players.
  • Assisted a consulting firm with international data handling and privacy issues.
  • Served as outside general counsel for a private company medical device manufacturer, including the successful negotiation of numerous multimillion-dollar purchase and supply contracts with acute care hospital groups and their member-based GPOs throughout the United States and Canada.