Consumer Goods Food and Beverage Retail

Consumer Goods

DLA Piper's Consumer Goods, Food and Retail Sector team is recognized for advising many of the world’s leading organizations in the consumer goods, food and beverage and retail sectors. For businesses looking to expand into new product lines or territories, protect their brand and IP, understand the consequences of changing consumer spending habits, or comply with the regulatory regimes in all the jurisdictions where they have a presence, DLA Piper can help.

Food and Beverage

Companies operating in today's global food and beverage sector must adapt to an increasingly competitive environment and at the same time navigate an ever more complex array of industry-specific regulatory requirements. Understanding and complying with these requirements is an integral component of strategic growth, from R&D through to manufacturing, marketing and distribution.

With a global platform, on-the-ground presence in local markets and a dedicated cross-disciplinary focus on the food and beverage industry, DLA Piper is positioned to advise and partner with companies operating in this sector. We are the instigators of thought leadership and help shape the development of policy on issues integral to the industry.

We anticipate the development of key emerging issues and promptly advise on important issues affecting the industry, such as:

  • Balancing consumer choice, affordability and health and wellness
  • Risk management in globalized supply chains, including sustainability, provenance, obesity and food miles
  • Nutritional content and the development and use of innovative ingredients
  • Environmental impact, waste management and recycling
  • Global legislative and regulatory trends, such as testing, certification and labeling
  • Product liability, recall and class action litigation
  • International trade and antitrust and competition developments (including pricing, market segmentation and merchandising)
  • Advertising and, in particular, nutritional claims


Retail continues to undergo constant disruption. Consumers are becoming more powerful. Experiential shopping, shifting attitudes about shopping, redevelopment opportunities, the growing dominance of e-commerce, pop-up stores, off-price retailing and the need for supply chain improvements are major trends reshaping the retail industry.  To remain competitive, retailers are facing the need to significantly change.

In this competitive, swiftly evolving environment, sophisticated business clients want lawyers who understand their business, anticipate legal problems, know how others in their industry are addressing emerging issues, find out what regulators and accounting professionals think about those issues, and give efficient, business-oriented answers to a question the first time it is asked. DLA Piper believes that this ability to advise retail clients is only developed through extensive industry involvement, a sharp understanding of developing trends, and a determination to provide high-quality, seamless service.

Our firm's sector approach is critical to tackling the needs of retailers and is a key reason why retail companies seeking a strategic partner in the legal arena turn to DLA Piper.

Our Retail sector includes nearly 200 lawyers in North America with experience in diverse, highly relevant areas of practice. The sector team offers a matrix of services that retailers consider critical to their success:

  • Strategic advice: general corporate advice and outside general counsel experience
  • Brand management and protection: advertising, trademark, copyright licensing, anti-counterfeiting
  • Channel management: distribution, franchise, e-commerce, privacy
  • Corporate and finance: M&A, securities, debt finance, taxation
  • Cybersecurity, e-commerce, privacy and data protection: Helping businesses keep up with critical, fast-changing data protection laws and create, manage and maintain a secure cyber DNA in the face of escalating threats and legal requirements, in-house turnover and a shift in the duty of care
  • Franchising and distribution: We are the top franchise practice in the world. Many of the world’s largest and most innovative retailers, restaurant chains, hotels and service providers rely on us to help them establish franchise or related distribution systems and navigate their expansion into new markets
  • Government affairs: We have one of the top government affairs practices in the US, representing clients before governments and administrative organizations on a broad array of public policy, legislative, regulatory and administrative issues
  • Infrastructure services: human resources, IT sourcing, outsourcing
  • Employment: employment counseling and advice, defense and prosecution of bet-the-company litigation
  • Litigation: consumer class actions, brand/IP litigation, product liability • International needs: cross-border taxation, transactions, sourcing, branding
  • Real estate: leasing, land use and zoning, construction, warehouse and distribution facilities
  • Regulatory: packaging and labeling, permitting/licensing, product recalls, children’s products, California Prop 65, food, beverage, and alcohol retail sales, supply chain implications
  • Restructuring: reorganizations, distressed asset sales and purchases, restructuring analysis and alternatives advice
  • Tax: tax planning, structuring, audit defense both locally and globally
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