Food and Beverage Industry
Briggs and Morgan has a depth of experience working with food related clients and a keen understanding of the complex regulatory environment which permeates the industry. We advise clients across the food industry, often as primary outside counsel responsible for the full spectrum of services. From food manufacturers and retailers to franchisee associations, we work closely with our clients to help them achieve their business goals.
Spanning the scope of food law, Briggs represents clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions; financing; joint ventures; employment, benefits and labor; product distribution; regulatory issues; labeling; intellectual property; environmental; and transportation. In addition, we have significant litigation experience, including product matters involving liability, food labeling issues, USDA inspection issues, personal injury, insurance disputes, class action, product tampering complaints, evaluating product recalls, The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), religious accommodation, race and national origin employment issues.
With a national presence, we work with companies of all sizes, from vertically integrated food production to grocery store chains. Some of these clients include:
- food processors, including poultry, meat, milk and cheese products
- wholesale companies
- agricultural producers
- dietary supplements
- ingredient manufacturers
- branded food companies
- online grocery and food delivery services
- restaurants and restaurant suppliers
- franchises and franchisee associations
- private label
- food service
In all areas, Briggs seeks to build upon our experience by staying abreast of, and making clients aware of, new developments in the industry. We understand the ever-changing scientific and market trends that drive the food industry and we strive to meet our clients’ needs at every level. In addition, we regularly offer educational opportunities for our clients, attorneys and industry professionals.
Our representative experience includes:
- Represented PepsiAmericas, Inc. in its merger with PepsiCo, Inc., a transaction involving the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of PepsiAmericas, Inc. and Pepsi Bottling Group. The transaction valued at $7.8 billion, created one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies.
- Represent a global cheese and nutritional ingredients group, with its North American acquisitions since 1989. Most recently, acted as lead counsel in their $315-million acquisition of a leading U.S. manufacturer of sports nutrition supplements. This transaction has given the client access to branded products in the fast-growing sports nutrition supplements market and expands the foreign company’s presence in North America. In the last three years, Briggs also acted as the client’s lead counsel in connection with two acquisitions in Canada and California respectively.
- Represent a regional grocery store chain and home delivery company as their principal outside counsel in matters including acquisitions, employment and class action.
- Successful defense of large food processors in FLSA “donning and doffing” (refers to putting on/taking off work gear) cases.
- Represented a large food processor in a multi-plant class action race discrimination and religious accommodation claim by employees.
- Obtained preliminary injunction against the state of Arizona for a large food processor prohibiting the imposition of state food package labeling requirements that are more onerous than federal law.
- Develop advertising, promotions and sweepstakes campaigns, and providing counseling on food law labeling on behalf of a large food company.
- Serve as counsel in the creation of national purchasing co-ops (or purchasing and distribution co-ops) for fast-food franchisee associations.
- Intellectual property counseling and patent prosecution for clients in consumer food products, food service products, food ingredients and dietary/nutritional supplements.
- Represent well-known restaurants and independent private restaurant entrepreneurs regarding securities, corporate governance and other business matters.
- Represented three restaurant chains in their initial public offerings (IPOs).
- Obtained a deferral for a food processor on the implementation of new MPDES phosphorus standards.