EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 5, Issue 2 - Page 82

TOP ATTORNEYS IN SPECIALIZED FIELDS Fortune 100 companies, trade associations and nonprofit organizations. The Hill has repeatedly named him as one of the “Top Lobbyists.” Prior to joining Akin Gump, Bates served as legal counsel and chief of staff to current Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. In this role, he worked on a wide range of issues, including appropriations, agriculture, health care and tax. For the past two years, Bates has represented IIUSA, a trade association composed of EB-5 regional centers, in the halls of congress working to ensure that the EB-5 program is extended and ultimately reformed and reauthorized by congress. HUNTER BATES Partner Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP H unter Bates is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and co-leader of the firm’s public law and policy practice. He has more than 20 years of law, policy and advocacy experience. Bates combines his knowledge of policy, process and key players to provide strategic advice and advocacy on behalf of a wide range of clients, including 81 EB5 INVESTORS M AGAZINE WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE OF THE EB-5 INDUSTRY LOOKS LIKE? The EB-5 industry’s future is bright if congress achieves reforms and long- term reauthorization. Long-term reform should include a balanced approach to TEAs giving urban and rural areas a legitimate shot at competing for the program’s limited visas. A meaningful, workable differential and well- defined TEA criteria is key. Expanded visa capacity is also critical to ensuring viability for this economic development program. One way to expand visa capacity is to revive the program’s original intent by not counting immediate family members toward the overall limit. A reformed, reauthorized EB-5 program can help communities achieve much-needed growth in jobs, infrastructure and the local economy. WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? There are three trends that I would point to. First, we continue to see the SEC pursue pure fraud actions against regional centers for Ponzi scheme-type activity. We also continue to see regulators go after lawyers for receiving transaction-based compensation. And lastly, we are now starting to see, for the first time, investor suits against regional centers and projects related to disclosures, or lack thereof, in offering documents.