Food & Beverage

CSG combines business, legal and regulatory experience to help food and beverage companies protect, defend and expand their businesses with innovative solutions and strategies for responding to the challenges and opportunities of a fiercely competitive marketplace.

Our attorneys understand the industry holistically, providing sophisticated advice at every stage of development to a broad range of U.S. and international food and beverage clients. From startups to multinational corporations, our clients include manufacturers, processors, importers and distributors, food additive and nutritional supplement producers, restaurants, 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 provides us with the broad insight to lead clients 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’ strategic distribution relationships, including structuring manufacturing and distribution agreements. CSG also offers representation of established franchisors, as well as businesses, 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 within the food and beverage industry, helping companies file for and protect their patents, trademarks and copyrights. In addition to our IP prosecution capabilities, our experienced litigators assist clients in a full range of IP-related disputes, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, infringement, licensing, domain name, opposition and cancellation and unfair competition cases. We are regularly called upon to help resolve trademark disputes before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the USPTO, as well as other tribunals such as the World Intellectual Property Organization.

As part of any transaction’s due diligence, CSG’s IP team evaluates patent and trademark portfolios and counsels clients regarding the best use of resources in order to build and maintain IP portfolios. Clients of all size and type benefit from this analysis and counseling, which results in stronger and more focused IP portfolios.

Product Liability/Consumer Fraud

Understanding the unique challenges facing food and beverage companies involved in contamination allegations, CSG’s product liability attorneys 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. As part of our defense of consumer class actions against food and beverage companies, we actively track labeling claims, settlement valuations and judgments.

Employment

CSG’s employment group provides experienced counsel to help clients navigate the complex maze of federal and state employment laws and regulations, with substantial experience in the food and beverage industry. Our attorneys represent management in all employment-related matters, including wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour issues and other business-related torts. In addition, we work with employers in connection with the development and implementation of employment policies, training programs and other workforce management issues.

Liquor Licensing

Traversing the alcoholic beverage control law terrain can be complex and overwhelming. CSG’s liquor licensing professionals provide comprehensive legal solutions for all tiers of the alcoholic beverage industry. We have extensive experience representing restaurants, bars, packaged goods stores, hotels, stadiums and wholesalers, working with clients to obtain, sell, renew or transfer licenses and permits. Our attorneys also report changes in existing retail alcoholic beverage licensed premises and the corporate structure of a licensee resulting from mergers, acquisitions, business reorganizations, additions of new principals or other entity changes.

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 in order to mitigate risk, obtain regulatory approvals and implement remedies.