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Food & Beverage Litigation

Our Food & Beverage Litigation team handles some of the industry’s most critical commercial and consumer disputes arising from alleged false claims and anticompetitive practices, food and beverage technology, product safety and regulatory oversight.

In these controversies, which arise all over the globe, we represent clients as:

  • Defense counsel – in individual civil, commercial and criminal matters, in class actions, and multidistrict and multijurisdictional litigation, as well as in the role of coordinating counsel in national, regional and cross-border consumer actions
  • Plaintiffs’ counsel – prosecuting commercial claims on behalf of food and beverage clients – as well as entire industries – to enforce their rights and to obtain relief against competitors
  • Advisory counsel – assisting clients with regulatory and customs petitions, investigations, and subsequent civil and criminal litigation

This diverse experience gives us broad insight and perspective into winning strategies. Moreover, our familiarity before many regulatory agencies around the world that govern food and beverage products, as well as relationships we have developed with other counsel on both the plaintiff and defense side, give us an added edge in courts of law. We also partner with public advocacy groups and industry experts to creatively mitigate or enhance client exposure in the court of public opinion.

Why Choose Us

  • Representing clients in high-profile lawsuits, such as the now pending Western Sugar Cooperative, et al. v. Archer Daniels Midland Company, et al., Case No. 2:2011cv03473, US District Court for the Central District of California; we represent a consortium of sugar farmers and other producers and their trade association against corn processors and their trade group in a Lanham Act case alleging false advertising of high fructose corn syrup as a natural product equivalent to sugar
  • Significant experience representing global food and beverage companies in cross-border litigation, particularly non-US companies in the US – the most litigious country for the industry
  • Successful class action and MDL experience representing food and beverage companies throughout the US and in aggressive, plaintiff-friendly states, such as California and Florida
  • Experience handling highly publicized litigation and working with the press and public advocacy groups
  • Ability to promptly address disputes and investigations as they arise around the world, including investigations by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and other similar regulatory agencies
  • Appreciation of the fine line that often separates regulation from litigation and the strategic perspective to have a matter decided in the forum that is best suited to the issue at hand, or to handle related litigation and regulatory matters on coordinated, parallel tracks

We defend and prosecute claims presenting a range of commercial and consumer products controversies, including class actions, mass actions and MDL proceedings, such as:

  • False claims, misleading advertising and deceptive marketing
  • Trademark, trade dress and labeling issues
  • City-, state- and country-specific laws related to food prohibitions and failure to notify or warn, including European regulatory challenges and California Prop. 65 disputes
  • Food science and technology challenges and disputes, including patent disputes
  • Food safety and food security claims, including contaminated food, tainted food, food terrorism and food poisoning
  • Wrongful death and other criminal charges
  • Price-fixing, anticompetition and antitrust issues
  • Market risk evaluation
  • Regulatory enforcement actions, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actions and assertions by the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus
  • Regulatory and government investigations, including Food Safety Modernization Act-related investigations
  • Food recalls, market withdrawals and corrective action programs
  • Import, export customs challenges and litigation
  • Theft of trade secrets and other proprietary intellectual property
  • Indemnity and insurance issues
  • US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and UK Bribery Act investigations and litigation
  • Related shareholder litigation

We also work closely with clients’ public relations and crisis communications teams.

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