Food and Beverage Industry

LEADERSHIP: Daniel W. McDonough and William A. Scari Jr.

Food and beverage companies face unique challenges, and they need advisors who know their industry to navigate these challenges. Pepper Hamilton LLP’s Food and Beverage Industry Group can help.

Our lawyers understand the new and important issues faced by food and beverage companies today — from false advertising and labeling to franchising to recalls and product safety to commercial agreements — and we work with our industry clients to address these issues and achieve their business goals.

Our clients encompass a wide variety of industry players, including food producers and processors, consumer packaged goods companies, food equipment manufacturers, restaurants and “fast food” outlets, convenience stores, supermarkets, franchisors and franchisees, food safety companies, and industry trade associations.

Our services for these clients range from day-to-day business concerns to industry-specific issues, including the following:

Corporate and Transactional

Pepper’s multidisciplinary Food and Beverage Industry Group is able to assist clients both nationally and internationally with all of their corporate needs. We handle a wide range of matters, including purchases and issuances of public and private securities, tax issues, bankruptcy, reorganization, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, initial public offerings, private placements, and debt service. We also advise on general transactional matters, such as agreements for distribution and supply, copacking agreements, commercial contracts, joint ventures, and real estate transactions.

Business Counseling, Licensing and Regulatory Guidance

Our lawyers understand the food and beverage industry and offer tailored business advice to meet our clients’ unique needs. We provide counsel on intellectual property licensing, patent prosecution, trademarks and other brand protection; employment matters, labor relations and employee benefits; and family/succession planning and estate planning.

We also have experience in the various regulatory schemes affecting food and beverage companies. Pepper’s lawyers advise on consumer regulatory issues, including food/ingredient safety concerns, OSHA and other food-manufacturing issues, issues related to the Food Safety Modernization Act and product recalls, and labeling and marketing practices, as well as environmental compliance and permitting issues.

Franchise Issues

When restaurants, fast food outlets or other industry clients wish to franchise, Pepper works with them every step of the way — from initial planning to enforcing franchise agreements. We assist clients with all transactional aspects of establishing franchises, including drafting and negotiating agreements and making disclosures. And, when business does not go as planned, we represent food and beverage clients in franchise-related litigation matters.


Pepper works with our food and beverage clients to mitigate the risk of litigation. When litigation is unavoidable, however, our lawyers represent clients in both federal and state court on issues including false or deceptive advertising claims, consumer complaints, termination actions, consumer fraud matters, recalls and other general commercial litigation matters.

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