From the Earth and Table Law Reporter blog:
Food, Beverage and Hospitality
Since its inception, Lane Powell has been proud to represent the hard-working individuals and businesses who service our food, beverage and hospitality businesses. With a rich history of representing agricultural, natural resource and consumer-oriented industries effectively and efficiently, Lane Powell is able to provide and apply the highest caliber of skill and talent to all of your food, beverage and hospitality legal needs.
“Earth and Table” — Lane Powell’s food, beverage and hospitality law blog — will provide periodic reports and updates regarding legal issues of interest to those working in the food, beverage and hospitality trades. We actively track and report on cases and legislative developments impacting those whose livelihoods involve feeding, hosting and serving the public.
Your Go-To Class Action Law Firm. Many food misbranding cases nowadays are brought as class action lawsuits. Lane Powell lawyers are some of the most experienced class action defense counsel in the Pacific Northwest. They can help tailor your class action strategy to best serve your company’s strategic needs and goals.
Product Safety and Regulatory Compliance. Food product safety is paramount in the food, beverage and hospitality industries. With the advent of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011, the increasing enforcement of complex Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) regulations, and the issuance of final regulations governing “functional foods,” “nutraceuticals” and dietary supplements under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, the pace of state and FDA regulatory enforcement can be expected to quicken as this decade unfolds. We can assist you in navigating an ever-increasing maze of state and federal food law regulations.
Intellectual Property. Tremendous value now resides in the reputation and brand of food, beverage and hospitality products and services. What were once considered food and beverage commodities are now trademarked, copyrighted and sometimes even patented brands and products.
Lane Powell’s intellectual property lawyers provide full service trademark, trade dress, copyright and patent legal advice, e-commerce and Internet services, licensing, and even the implications of gift certificates to protect and enhance your company’s brand portfolio. Our seasoned commercial and intellectual property litigators can readily protect and defend your company from those who might seek to poach on your market success or make unfair and misleading claims about your company’s products or services.
Insurers. Lane Powell lawyers have enjoyed some unique success in triggering coverage under Commercial General Liability and advertising injury insurance policies. Other insurance avenues, such as policies covering the conduct of board members, can also provide a means for funding a defense against unexpected lawsuits in these litigious times.
When “bad” news hits, the adverse business and reputational implications can be immediate and devastating. We have in-depth experience working with insurers, publicists and others whom you may need to contact in the event of a business crisis.
Criminal Defense. Should any state or federal regulatory actions include criminal investigations, Lane Powell’s white collar criminal defense lawyers may be called upon to help you and your company. We have one of the strongest white collar criminal defense practices in the Pacific Northwest. Their knowledge and former experience as federal prosecutors will prove invaluable in the event you are facing criminal exposure in federal or state food contamination or adulteration enforcement actions.
Forming, Financing and Franchising. Launching and financing your food, beverage and hospitality business ventures can be difficult, even in robust economic times. Lane Powell lawyers represent a number of banking and private capital businesses and can assist you in forming and financing your business entities. If you are interested in franchising, our experienced lawyers can help you navigate and comply with franchising laws as either a franchisor or franchisee.
Immigration and Employment. The nuts and bolts of running any food, beverage or hospitality business includes handling the myriad immigration, employment, and wage and hour law issues that are a fact of life for companies whose livelihoods are based on providing food, beverage and hospitality products and services. We handle these kinds of services for some of the premier companies headquartered in the Pacific Northwest, including Starbucks and Nordstrom.
Hospitality and Restaurateurs. Lane Powell represents a host of restaurateurs and understands their business demands and challenges. We have helped any number of acclaimed restaurants in the Pacific Northwest successfully form and manage their operations.
Our attorneys have experience analyzing leases and credit structures, negotiating terms of purchase and helping secure financing. The Firm’s taxation experience helps ensure maximum tax benefits as part of the acquisition, especially in complicated city-center scenarios. Lane Powell attorneys also are skilled in innovative trends gaining popularity in the restaurant and hotel industries, such as hotel-to-timeshare conversions, hybrid hotel/condominium developments and restaurant/hotel shared-location agreements.
Lane Powell represents a number of high-profile restaurants – from nationally known chains to a number of acclaimed boutique eateries – as well as both national hospitality chains and individual hotels. Among them are Moe’s Southwest Grill, Restaurants Unlimited, Pollin Hotels, Holiday Resales, Inc., and Shell Vacations LLC. Recent restaurant and hospitality actions Lane Powell has handled include:
- Retrofitting hospitality facilities into city-center locations, typically with planning, permit and development issues in addition to frequent financial issues due to the expense of such development.
- Handling hybrid projects such as half hotel and half high-rise condominiums with accompanying real estate issues such as setback requirements and height limitations.
- Helping clients take advantage of various municipal allowances, bonuses and trade-offs by providing amenities such as childcare space in exchange for a larger overall allowable-development area.
- Negotiating long-term, shared-location agreements such as restaurants being located inside hotel facilities, helping clients avoid potential merger and acquisition issues, as well as franchising questions.
Community Food and Resource Conservation Involvement. Lane Powell lawyers participate in a wide range of activities that benefit and sustain the Pacific Northwest’s farms, waters and the quality of life enjoyed by the residents and visitors to this region. Among other things, Lane Powell’s lawyers serve on the board of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, are members of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and contribute regularly to nonprofit organizations that seek to cultivate jobs of culinary professionals, like the Seattle Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and to preserve this region’s natural amenities, such as Conservation Northwest.
Single Source for Legal Needs
With its wide selection of practice areas, Lane Powell offers its food, beverage and hospitality clients a single source for their legal needs.
The Firm brings proven legal proficiency to real estate, financing, public/private partnership, employment and franchise matters, to name a few. Clients have a single contact attorney for convenience and effectiveness.
Food, Beverage and Hospitality
Food, Beverage and Hospitality
The value that Lane Powell lawyers and staff can add to your business ventures stems from our following areas of legal experience and expertise.
- Represented seller in sale of Java Trading Co. (processor and wholesale distributor of coffee) to private equity buyer for approximately $55 million.
- Represented buyer in purchase of Essential Baking Company (processor and marketer of bread and other baked goods).
- Currently representing management in sale of Dave’s Killer Bread (manufacturer of bread products) to Flowers Foods for $275 million.
- Represented seller in sale of Harry’s Fresh Foods (manufacturer of fresh soups, entrees and sides) to strategic buyer for $85 million.
- Represented seller in sale of Golden Temple (manufacturer of tea and organic cereals and snack products) to a private equity-owned platform company for $72 million.
- Represented seller in sale of Cuizina Food Company.
- Represented seller in sale of Advanced H2O (private label bottled water) to private equity buyer for $30 million.
- Represented seller in sale of Pizza Blends (processor and marketer of frozen dough, pizza mixes, flour mixes and batters) to strategic buyer.
- We also do work for Reser’s, Kettle Foods, Cone & Steiner Grocers, Full Circle Farm (organic food home delivery), and Organically Grown Foods (the largest wholesaler of organic foods in the Northwest) among other food-focused companies.
- Recent cases litigated by Lane Powell include some of the largest fresh fruit and vegetable trademarks for agribusinesses in California. Indeed, the current leading cases in plant trademark and patents have been litigated to conclusion by Lane Powell lawyers. See Van Well Nursery v. MONY Life Insurance Company, 421 F.Supp.2d 1321 (E.D. Wash. 2006)(apple cultivar trademark claim dismissal) and 362 F.Supp.2d 1223 (E.D. Wash. 2005)(apple plant patent cultivar claim dismissal).
- Successfully defending Moe’s Southwest Grill – one of the fastest-growing franchises in the country with more than 250 Tex-Mex restaurants – against trademark infringement and dilution claims brought by Mo’s, a chain of Oregon seafood restaurants. Mo’s sought a nationwide injunction, but the judge granted a motion for summary judgment and dismissed all claims, allowing Lane Powell’s client to continue its expansion plans.
- Successfully representing several restaurants against e-coli and salmonella food liability claims.