Coca-Cola's Head Global Food Lawyer John Packman to join DLA Piper

DLA Piper announced today that John Packman will join the firm's Food and Beverage sector as of counsel after 21 years of practice at The Coca-Cola Company, where he developed and led the company's global food law and advertising substantiation team. He will reside in the firm's Atlanta office.

While at Coca-Cola, Packman provided counsel not only to marketing and various other departments at corporate headquarters, but also to the company's business units around the world. He focused on ensuring the defensibility of advertising, labeling and other public communications about the attributes of new and existing ingredients and products, including their relationship to health.

He is intimately familiar with the intersection of the FDA's regulation of food with the laws that prohibit false and misleading advertising and that require claims to be adequately substantiated.

Packman also supported clients in ensuring the safety of the company's products and their compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. He counseled the company's Incident Management and Crisis Resolution team, which handled recalls.

In addition, he represented Coca-Cola on the legal committees of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the American Beverage Association, through which he has earned the respect and confidence of many of his peers in the industry.

"John brings a deep, first-hand understanding of the needs of companies navigating the complex regulatory environment of the food and beverage industry," said Stefanie Fogel, co-chair of the firm's Food and Beverage sector. "His years of experience and industry knowledge will enhance our global platform and ability to serve the world's leading brands in the full range of service areas they require, and in the practical way they expect, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the firm."

During his 35-year legal career, Packman also previously served as in-house counsel for the Quaker Oats Company and Mead Johnson, handling product claims and FDA-related issues.

Packman received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his A.B. from Princeton University, and he is admitted to practice law in Illinois and Washington, DC. He is not admitted to practice in Georgia but is applying for admission there as well.

Packman is the latest addition to DLA Piper's Food and Beverage sector, which has also recently added Matthew Gruenberg and Angela Agrusa in Los Angeles, Alva Mather in Philadelphia, and Amy Rubenstein and Scott Kapp in Chicago.