The retail industry is highly visible, fast moving and unpredictable. It reflects upturns and downturns in the national economy, with direct effects on labor, merchandise, real estate and a host of other concerns. And, as with any other industry populated with large corporate presences, levels of governance and regulation have grown steadily in the past decade.
All of these factors — plus ever-present pressure on the bottom line — have increased retailers’ requirements for skilled and responsive legal counsel. Meeting the needs of today’s successful retailer requires law firms with experience far beyond traditional retail matters.
Diverse Retail-Related Legal Experience
Lane Powell’s Retail Law attorneys work with some of the highest-profile retailers in the industry. The Firm has more than 25 attorneys skilled in diverse legal areas dedicated to its retail clients and who regularly handling matters such as:
- Brand management, including expanding, strengthening and protecting client brands through trademark and copyright work. Lane Powell attorneys also provide advice on advertising, anti-counterfeiting and licensing issues.
- Channel management, providing legal advice and counsel on franchise, e-commerce, and distribution matters from some of the most respected franchise attorneys in the nation.
- Infrastructure management, including guiding retail clients on human resources, ERISA and labor management, tax matters, real estate and information technology sourcing with an effective focus on the retail industry.
Lane Powell’s attorneys also provide assistance to retail clients on matters as varied as corporate governance, environmental and land-use issues, and real estate. A clear understanding of the retail industry’s legal needs and a knowledgeable handling of client interests have established Lane Powell’s long-standing reputation for excellence in retail law.
An Array of Notable Retail Clients
Lane Powell’s retail clients include Nordstrom, Home Depot, Cutter & Buck, and many other leading names in the industry. General categories include:
- Specialty apparel retailers
- Luxury apparel retailers
- Department store retailers
- Big box/Large format stores
- Off-price chain stores
- Retail pharmaceutical stores
- Outlet centers
- Gourmet groceries
When general counsels of Fortune 500 companies were asked to name their “Go-To Law Firms®” for 2008, Nordstrom named Lane Powell, citing Lane Powell’s work in labor and employment, corporate transaction and litigation. Fewer than one percent of U.S. law firms are recognized as “Go-To” firms. Nordstrom also selected Lane Powell in the 2007 survey compiled by Corporate Counsel magazine.
Offering Supporting Disciplines
Lane Powell’s Retail Law attorneys help clients achieve transparent and accountable management, both of which are key to corporate integrity, brand preservation and consumer loyalty. Retailers frequently look to Lane Powell for advice on mergers and acquisitions, debt finance, corporate governance and retail tax strategies. Lane Powell also:
- Advises on strategic combinations and divesting of under-performing brands and product lines.
- Provides extensive dispute-resolution experience with the IRS and state and local tax authorities.
Lane Powell attorneys are active in retail trade associations, where they remain current on emerging issues and how others in the industry are handling them.
A Record of Successful Action
Lane Powell’s experienced trial lawyers have successfully represented retail clients in brand and intellectual property litigation, class actions, employment claims, product liability claims and labor disputes. Among recent cases Lane Powell has successfully defended for clients are:
- Patent cases for specialty apparel retailers.
- Trade dress and trade secret claims for specialty apparel and consumer product retailers.
- A false advertising/unfair business practices class action, based on mislabeled consumer products for a major retailer.
- E-coli and salmonella food liability claims for several restaurants.
- A Consumer Product Safety Commission claim involving an apparel retailer.
- Numerous class action and collective action wage/hour claims, including claims for off-the-clock work, overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, and alleged misclassification of exempt vs. nonexempt status for several big-box retailers and department stores.
- Claims of race discrimination by retailer employees.
- Anti-trust claims for alleged price-fixing by cosmetics and shoe retailers.