A. Christopher Young
A. Christopher Young is a partner in the Philadelphia office of Pepper Hamilton LLP and chairman of the Franchise, Distribution and Marketing Section of the Commercial Litigation Practice Group. His trial practice, in federal and state courts, involves many substantive areas, including antitrust, admiralty, franchise disputes, commercial disputes, insurance and products liability.
Mr. Young has represented large petroleum refining and chemical companies in admiralty, toxic tort, antitrust, business, commercial and franchise disputes. He also has represented freight forwarding companies, life, health and disability insurers, building equipment manufacturers, a security alarm company, internet companies, health care companies and software manufacturers in a variety of business and commercial disputes. Together with other members of Pepper, Mr. Young has built a strong relationship with clients and has advised them on risk management, contract negotiations, alternative dispute resolution options and litigation matters.
Mr. Young is trial counsel in a number of commercial disputes, including the defense of a security alarm provider against class action claims brought by a nationwide class of dealers; the defense of a franchisor sued for its refusal to consent to the assignment of a franchise agreement; the defense of a franchisor against a franchisee’s declaratory judgment claim seeking to terminate its franchise agreement; and the prosecution of trademark infringement damages claims on behalf of a franchisor against its franchisees.
Among other things, Mr. Young has:
- obtained summary judgment for a petroleum marketing company dismissing claims for below cost sales in violation of Florida’s Motor Fuel Marketing Practices Act and Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. NJN Systems, Inc. v. Sunoco, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27026 (M.D. FL. 2015)
- defended a petroleum marketing company against a competitor’s attempt to enjoin its rebranding of 35 retail stores in Virginia. BP Prods. N. Am., Inc. v. Southside Oil, LLC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176286 (E. D. Va. 2013)
- challenged a fire district’s enactment of a municipal ordinance making it the exclusive provider of fire alarm monitoring services on antitrust, constitutional and state law grounds. ADT Security Services, Inc. v. Lisle-Woodridge Fire Prot. Dist., 724 F. 3d 854 (7th Cir. 2013); 672 F. 3d 492 (7th Cir. 2012); 799 F. Supp. 2d 880 (N.D. Ill. 2011)
- sought to enjoin the termination of a trademark licensing agreement under the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act on behalf of a petroleum refiner. Suncor Energy (USA), Inc. v. Phillips 66 Company, (D. Colo. 2013)
- defended convenience store owners and operators against a competitor’s claim they violated the below cost sales provision of Pennsylvania’s Cigarette Sales and Licensing Act
- obtained summary judgment for two corporate healthcare executives on fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims arising out of a failed Merger Agreement. Olympus Managed Health Care, Inc. v. American Housecall Physicians, Inc., 853 F. Supp. 2d 559 (W.D. N.C. 2012)
- obtained emergency interim relief under the Optional Rules for Emergency Measures for Protection of the American Arbitration Association requiring a terminated distributor of a medical device manufacturer to return customer records. In the Matter of the Arbitration Proceeding Between Draeger Safety Diagnostics Inc. and New Horizon Interlock, Inc. (Dallas, Texas 2011)
- obtained a directed defense verdict in a class action seeking $700 million in damages for breach of contract claim by a nationwide class of current and former dealers of ADT Security Services, Inc. Advantek Pro, Inc. v. ADT Security Services, Inc., Arapahoe County District Court, Colorado (2010)
- defended a corporation against breach of contract claims arising out of a Stock Purchase Agreement in an arbitration proceeding governed by the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association. In the Matter of The Arbitration Proceeding Between Occitan Investments Ltd. and Olympus Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (Washington, D.C. 2009)
- defended a security alarm company through trial against breach of contract claims brought by one of its authorized dealers. RS&I, Inc. v. ADT Security Services, Inc., Arapahoe County District Court, Colorado (2009)
- brought a claim against a tug boat and its owner to recover for damage to the river water intake system of a coal fired electric power plant. Exelon Generating Co., LLC v. Vane Line Bunkering Co., 2008 WL 2188333 (E.D. Pa. 2008)
- brought a claim against a strip coal mine operator to recover remediation costs incurred when it stuck an underground gasoline pipeline. Sun Pipeline Company v. Mallard Construction Co., Northumberland County Court of Common Pleas, Pennsylvania. (2008)
- defended to dismissal a breach of warranty claims against a manufacturer of children’s furniture. Simplicity, Inc. v. MTS Products, Inc., 2006 WL 924993 (E.D. Pa. 2006)
- defended consumer fraud claims brought by New Jersey Attorney General related to motor fuel pricing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
- compelled arbitration of a wrongful death claim based on an arbitration clause in a consumer contract and defended the claim in an arbitration proceeding administered by the National Arbitration Forum. Peltz v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 367 F. Supp. 2d 711 (E.D. Pa. 2005)
- defended a disability insurer against first party benefit and bad faith insurance practices claims
- defended to dismissal libel and slander claims against an Italian Public Television Broadcaster. D’Onofrio v. Il Corriere Della Sera, 373 F. Supp. 2d. 555 (E.D. Pa. 2005)
- defended to dismissal a petroleum marketing company against a nationwide class of franchisees seeking compensation for alleged bad faith pricing. Callahan v. Sunoco, Inc. (R&M), 2004 WL 1119936, 58 Fed. R Serv. 3d 638 (E.D. Pa. 2004); Callahan v. Sunoco, Inc. (R&M), 2005 WL 994615, 57 UCC Rep. Serv. 2d. (E.D. Pa. 2005)
- enjoined a petroleum distributor from changing the brand of its 15 Charlotte, North Carolina retail stores. Sunoco, Inc (R&M) v. LSAA, Inc., 2005 WL 2076412 (W.D. N.C. 2005)
- defended to dismissal and through appeal a bad faith pricing claim brought against a large petroleum marketing company by 12 of its franchisees. Tom-Lin Enterprises, Inc. v. Sunoco, Inc. (R&M), 349 F.3d 277 (6th Cir. 2003)
- defended through arbitration a freight forwarding company against a claim that it was liable for the acts and omissions of its Indonesian agent for its alleged failure to pay Indonesian import taxes. In the Matter of the Arbitration Proceeding Between Alstom Power, Inc. and BDP International, Inc. (New York, 2003)
- brought a claim in Delaware Chancery Court to determine the person entitled to the corporate offices of Chief Executive Officer and President of a Delaware corporation. (2003)
- defeated a franchisee’s suit seeking to enjoin the termination of a franchise agreement under the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act. NSY, Inc. v. Sunoco, Inc. (R&M), 218 F. Supp. 2d 708 (E.D. Pa. 2002)
- defended a petroleum refiner and marketer through trial and appeal against price discrimination claims under the Robinson-Patman Act and open term bad faith pricing claims under the Uniform Commercial Code. Schwartz v. Sun Company, Inc. (R&M), 279 F. 3d 900 (6th Cir. 2002)
- defended to verdict and through appeal a breach of contract action on behalf of a disability insurer involving the definition of accident versus sickness in a disability income policy
- dismissed multiple bad faith insurance claims based on ERISA preemption.
Mr. Young also has spoken on topics in which he has been engaged as a trial attorney including:
- “Special Industry Relationship Statutes: PMPA, Auto Dealers, Beer Distributors and Heavy Equipment Dealers,” American Bar Association, 37th Annual Forum on Franchising, Seattle, Washington (2014)
- “Franchises or Not: the Blurred Line Between Licensing and Franchising,” Franchise Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Philadelphia, PA (October 1, 2014)
- “How to Start, Maintain, and End Distribution Relationships, including Whether to Arbitrate or Litigate,” Pepper Hamilton LLP’s Annual Antitrust CLE Program, Philadelphia, PA (December 2013)
- “Constructive Termination Claims After Mac’s Shell,” Pepper Hamilton LLP’s Franchise and Distribution Update, Philadelphia, PA (April 2011)
- “United States Franchise Laws’ Impact on a Franchisor’s Real Property Rights,” ALMA Conference, New York, NY (January 2009)
- “A Tough Assignment: Obligations that Survive the Assignment of Petroleum Franchise Agreements and the Sale of Real Property,” Petroleum Marketing Roundtable sponsored by the Petroleum Marketing Committee of the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, Austin, TX (October 2008)
- “Ethical Considerations in Multi-Party Settlements,” LexisNexis Innovative Defense Strategies and Drug and Medical Device Litigation Seminar, Scottsdale, AZ (March 2004)
- “Litigating the Open Price Term Case,” Petroleum Marketing Attorneys Meeting, Washington, D.C. (March 2001).
Mr. Young co-wrote several articles including, “Internet Commerce and Exclusive Sales Territories: The UCC’s 20th Century Passage of Title Solution to a 21st Century Problem,” Volume 41, No. 2, Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal (Fall 2008), “Sixth Circuit Rejects Bad-Faith Pricing Claim” published in May 2004 by Martindale-Hubbell, and “Marine Insurance Survey, A Comparison of the United States Law to the Marine Insurance Act of 1906,” which was published in the Tulane Maritime Law Journal, Volume 20 (Winter 1995).
Mr. Young was selected for inclusion on the 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list.
Mr. Young is a member of the American and Philadelphia Bar Associations and a proctor member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States. He is a member of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising and co-chaired the Petroleum Marketing Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER) from 2009-2013. In addition, he chaired the Franchise Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association from 2007 through 2013. His involvement in the community is extensive, serving on the board of governors of the Ports of Philadelphia Maritime Society and the board of directors of the Seamen’s Church Institute of Philadelphia and South Jersey from 1996 through 2009.
B.A. 1983 Denison University
J.D. 1989 Tulane University School of Law
Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York