Food & Beverage

CSG combines business, legal and regulatory experience to help its food and beverage clients protect, defend and expand their businesses with innovative solutions and strategies for this fiercely competitive marketplace.

We understand the industry, providing sophisticated advice at every stage of development to U.S. and international food and beverage clients. From startups to multinational corporations, among our broad range of clients are manufacturers, processors, importers and distributors, food additive and nutritional supplement producers, restaurant, bars, liquor stores and manufacturers and distributors of alcoholic beverages.

To help clients address their most critical legal issues, our team draws upon CSG’s considerable cross-functional experience in all matters facing the food and beverage industry. This collaborative approach gives us broad insight and repeatedly leads to swift and successful results.

Corporate/Transactional/Distribution

CSG draws on the extensive experience of our corporate attorneys to structure and execute mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and debt and equity financing transactions for our food and beverage clients. Our practice encompasses strategic and private equity transactions, representing clients in virtually every role of the deal, including, acquirers, sellers and targets, lenders, financial advisors and investment banks, as well as special committees, audit committees and boards of directors. The firm is also well versed in advising purchasers of financially distressed businesses, in addition to its unique experience negotiating equipment lease agreements.

Our attorneys routinely provide industry-focused counsel in all phases of our clients’ product development and strategic distribution relationships, including structuring co-development and collaboration agreements, and manufacturing, supply and distribution agreements. CSG also represents franchisors and franchisees seeking to penetrate and grow their presence in the marketplace through franchising.

Intellectual Property

Protecting intellectual property assets is vital to establishing and maintaining brand value. Our intellectual property attorneys have extensive experience in the food, beverage and hospitality industry, helping companies clear, file for, license and protect their trademarks, service marks, copyrights, trade dress, trade secrets and patents. In addition to our IP clearance, prosecution and licensing capabilities, our experienced litigators assist clients in a full range of IP-related disputes, including trademark, service mark, copyright, trade secret, patent, licensing, domain name, and unfair competition matters. Our clients include some of the most highly acclaimed restaurants, bars, nightclubs, chefs, hotels and Fortune 500 companies.

Product Liability/Consumer Fraud

We understand the unique challenges facing food and beverage companies involved in product liability and consumer fraud issues, including those regarding contamination allegations. CSG’s product liability attorneys regularly guide clients through the legal, business and public relations landscape facing them in times of crisis. When litigation becomes the only option, our attorneys prepare complex, multifaceted defenses in single and multi-plaintiff actions in state and federal courts. We are intimately knowledgeable of current consumer class actions, labeling claims, settlement valuations and judgments involving food and beverage companies.

Employment

CSG’s employment group navigates the complex maze of federal and state employment laws and regulations, with substantial experience in the food and beverage industry. Whether you are in the hotel industry, a restaurateur, manufacturer, distributor, bar owner or operator, our attorneys can ensure that you are in compliance with federal and state laws to minimize the risk of litigation and enforcement actions. CSG’s employment lawyers are well versed in the unique application of wage and hour laws and rules applicable to this industry. They provide expert counsel to ensure that you protect your trade secrets and confidential information from employee misappropriation, limit competition from key employees and can assist you to implement legally compliant policies and practices. When litigation cannot be avoided, our attorneys represent the food and beverage industry in all employment-related matters, including wage and hour litigation, wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, enforcement of restrictive covenants, retaliation and other business-related torts. Our team can also navigate any employer in the food and beverage industry through an audit or investigation by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Labor, Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service and their state counterparts in New York and New Jersey.

Liquor Licensing

State and local alcoholic beverage control laws and regulations can be complex and overwhelming. CSG’s liquor licensing professionals provide comprehensive and understandable legal solutions for all tiers of the alcoholic beverage industry. We have extensive experience representing restaurants, bars, packaged goods stores, hotels, stadium owners and wholesalers to obtain, sell, renew or transfer licenses and permits. Our attorneys also handle expansions of licensed premises and the reporting obligations related to changes in the corporate structure of a licensee resulting from mergers, acquisitions, business reorganizations, additions of new principals or other entity changes. Our liquor licensing team also advises retail licensees with compliance and trade practice guidance and provides advice and representation regarding Alcoholic Beverage Control violations at both the municipal and state levels.

Real Estate

CSG’s real estate attorneys possess a diverse background that encompasses the acquisition, sale, financing, leasing and management of virtually every type of real estate asset, including restaurant, hotel, gaming, entertainment, office, retail, industrial and mixed-use properties. Our transaction-oriented practice is equipped to take on the full spectrum of real estate matters facing our food and beverage clients at every phase of the real estate cycle, including negotiating development, acquisition and sale agreements, drafting and negotiating leases and obtaining financing. We also work with clients to obtain land use and zoning approvals, perform due diligence investigations and negotiate design, engineering and construction contracts.

Environmental

Our environmental group advises its food and beverage clients on various industry-related issues, including industrial crisis management, regulations and product liability risk assessment. The firm regularly partners with our clients’ business and legal teams to identify gaps, risks and best practices, handling any significant environmental enforcement matter that may arise. Our transactional experience allows us to work with clients during the contracting through due diligence stages to mitigate risk, obtain regulatory approvals and implement remedies.