Food & Beverage

Overview

To be successful, businesses in the food and beverage industry need to be ready to respond quickly to ever-changing consumer tastes, logistical challenges, and an evolving regulatory landscape. Blank Rome’s Food & Beverage lawyers have deep experience counseling food and beverage manufacturers, distributors, brand owners, and retailers, as well as the developers, suppliers, logistics businesses, and other service providers across the industry.

We offer our clients a team of industry-focused attorneys with intrinsic sector knowledge and extensive experience across various practice groups. Our lawyers help food and beverage companies manage risk and support business growth while navigating issues such as advertising and packaging regulations, supply chain risk, trademark registration and enforcement, and product recalls. Our attorneys can also provide insight into emerging trends and best practices.

How We Can Help

Blank Rome’s attorneys take a multidisciplinary approach to help food and beverage businesses meet their objectives by combining the skills and knowledge of an integrative team across multiple practices and offices. Among the services we perform for clients in this industry are:

Corporate Transactions and General Counsel Services

Blank Rome’s corporate and M&A attorneys understand that effective transactions require meticulous attention to detail and an awareness of business needs and the industry itself, as well as a comprehensive strategy to bring all the pieces together and successfully complete the deal.

Blank Rome’s team of experienced dealmakers and M&A attorneys close more than 160 deals annually. These range in size from tens of millions to billions of dollars, with the majority consisting of middle-market deals ranging from $25 million to $500 million. Our corporate attorneys offer sound and practical legal and business advice, from day-to-day management and strategic planning to critical capital raises and transformative joint ventures and partnerships.

Examples of matters our corporate and transactional attorney team has handled for food and beverage industry clients include:

  • Mergers, acquisitions, and dispositions
  • Venture capital financing
  • Debt financing
  • Joint ventures and strategic partnerships
  • Contract negotiation playbooks and form supply and vendor agreements
  • Distribution agreements; brokerage agreements
  • Co-packing Agreements; manufacturing agreements
  • License agreements
  • Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements
  • Corporate governance and best practices
  • Outside general counsel services
Litigation and Americans with Disabilities Act Litigation and Counseling

With more than 300 litigators across 15 offices, Blank Rome doesn’t just provide a deep bench and broad experience. We also bring insight drawn from decades at trial with our team of former prosecutors, former judges, and seasoned trial attorneys. We bring knowledge built on deep industry experience, across dozens of industries, including litigation on behalf of and against government agencies and regulators.

Our litigation team is practical and aggressive, committed to minimizing the business disruption that litigation can cause, while getting your case to trial or settlement with an efficient approach that maximizes your outcome.

Blank Rome has provided representation and counseling to various companies in the food and beverage industry with respect to their compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), along with similar state and local statutes, rules, and regulations. Our attorneys have counseled clients with regard to their physical locations as well as their websites, mobile apps, and other “digital properties.” We have also advised clients on providing braille menus for blind customers, colors, color contrast, and/or lighting on signage in restaurants, and on best practices for reducing the risk of such claims and lawsuits. For digital assets, we have defended clients in the industry in website accessibility lawsuits brought under the ADA, California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, New York’s Human Rights Law, and similar laws throughout the United States.

Product Liability and California’s Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”)

Having represented clients in hundreds of product liability cases across a range of industries, Blank Rome’s product liability litigation attorneys know the ins and outs of defending our clients’ interests. We vigorously defend manufacturers, designers, distributors, and individuals against product liability and mass tort suits, including toxic tort and various environmental disputes, accidents and incidents, and claims involving food and drugs, as well as other forms of product liability litigation. Clients engage us in distinct suits, large complex litigation, multidistrict litigation, and class action lawsuits, as well as to serve as national counsel on multiple related cases.

Our dedicated Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”) team is well known across California, having handled dozens of Prop 65 cases throughout the state. Our attorneys support businesses in the food and beverage industry, among various other industries, and navigate the significant reach and regulatory complexities of California’s Prop 65 and help them comply with Prop 65’s strict labeling and packaging rules. With decades of experience, our Prop 65 team has notable experience representing businesses in the food and beverage industry who receive complaints or are sued under Prop 65 and similar laws on the grounds that their products lack necessary warnings.

Intellectual Property and Branding

Blank Rome’s Intellectual Property team works closely with food and beverage industry clients to both protect the name and integrity of their brand and to ensure they distinguish themselves from the broad competition in their markets. Our intellectual property attorneys are dedicated to helping clients develop, protect, strategically manage, and maximize the value of their intellectual assets.

Our team manages the trademark portfolios of many companies in the food and beverage industry, including those who supply products to well-known grocery and gourmet stores. We not only assist with registering and renewing such trademarks but also in enforcing them, including, when necessary, filing lawsuits or commencing other types of proceedings against individuals and companies who infringe on our clients’ trademarks. We also assist clients with agreements to license their trademarks to other parties.