Food & Beverage

Our food and beverage practice is made up of corporate and litigation attorneys with significant experience who help our clients with creative and practical solutions to legal issues that arise in the restaurant industry. On the corporate side, our attorneys have a deep bench of experience with startup business entity formation (including corporations and limited liability companies), raising capital to start or grow the business (equity and debt financings), employment agreements, partnership arrangements, mergers and acquisitions (buying and selling businesses), real estate matters (including buying and leasing real estate space), trademark protection, franchising and licensing deals, and tax structuring. Our experienced litigators efficiently handle a wide range of litigation (and pre-litigation) matters including contract issues, trade secrets, employment, and other business disputes. Our practical and solutions-focused approach helps our clients to anticipate problems and risks before they emerge, and address them as efficiently as possible.

Our clients include restaurants of all sizes, food, beverage, and supplement producers, alcohol distributors and importers, franchisors, growers, supermarket chains, and wellness and nutrition companies.

We are a member of the California Restaurant Association.

Our capabilities relevant to our food and beverage practice include:

  • Navigating employment issues, including employment agreements, wage and hour disputes, employee/independent contractor classification, and tip pooling
  • Real estate negotiations, including leasing and purchase agreements
  • Brand protection and intellectual property issues, including trademark, copyright and trade secret protection
  • Advising clients on the best corporate entity to use to achieve their goals
  • Equity and debt financings
  • Counseling on compliance with applicable federal and state regulations
  • Franchising and licensing arrangements
  • IPOs (taking private companies public)
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Partnership matters, including resolving disputes
  • Stock option plans
  • Counseling on insurance coverage
  • ADA-related advice
  • Litigation arising out of food labeling and advertising claims
  • Class action defense
  • Counseling on mechanics lien claims
  • Unfair competition and business practice claims
  • Represented clients with respect to restaurant space leases
  • Represented restaurants in connection with equity and debt financings to raise money to start and expand their business
  • Represented restaurant and quick service food clients in licensing negotiations
  • Represented restaurant clients as outside general counsel
  • Counseled restaurant clients on music licensing issues
  • Counsel restaurant clients on day-to-day operating issues
  • Revised employee handbooks, offer letters, and employment contracts to facilitate compliance with state and federal laws for clients in the restaurant, wellness, and retail industries
  • Represented Chefs in connection with negotiation of executive employment and consulting agreements
  • Represented Chefs/Owners in connection with restructuring of ownership agreements
  • Represented Chefs in connection with talent agreements
  • Counseled restaurants and owners in connection with management agreements
  • Counseled restaurants regarding compliance with food labeling regulations
  • Represented organic beverage company in connection with distribution and sales commission agreements
  • Represented clients in connection with the sale of business and joint ventures
  • Represented holistic wellness and supplement company in handling embezzlement investigation and employee termination
  • Counseled sports nutrition company in handling franchise issues to avoid litigation
  • Defended founder in a dispute with his partner over the percentage ownership to a Sports Bar
  • Defended Fortune 500 company in food mislabeling class action involving sodium content disclosures