DLA Piper LLP (US)Goulston & StorrsPerkins Coie LLPSeyfarth Shaw LLP
Holland & Knight LLPMorgan, Lewis & Bockius LLPSeyfarth Shaw LLP
THE FIRM DLA Piper has over 20 offices in the USA and a notable global network which enables the team to serve the wide needs of top level clients in the retail industry. The group offers representation in corporate and finance deals and class action litigation. Retail-specific issues such as brand management, human resources and privacy are also covered, and the team is particularly well known for its expertise in franchising. The firm represents smoothie retailer Jamba Juice in development strategies that include franchising, licensing, enforcement and operational issues. Other clients include Porsche Cars North America, Cache and Home Depot.
Client Service "Always easily accessible for whatever problem I have."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The head of the retail practice is John Steel in the firm's Seattle office.
THE FIRM Greenberg Traurig has an established presence in the retail sector, and its real estate practice is often picked out as one of the finest in the industry. The group is involved in some of the largest flagship developments in New York and other key locations across the country, and represents national chains in their store expansion programs. For example, it has advised the wholesaler/owner on the opening of Costco's first store in Louisiana. The team's multidisciplinary capabilities extend to tax, employment, and logistics issues, and it has also managed IP enforcement and licensing for clients such as Ralph Lauren and Jennifer Lopez.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Warren Karp is the main contact.
THE FIRM This firm has been highly active in litigation, labor and employment and real estate matters in the retail area during 2011, while the team's abilities in financing are also noted by the market. With an impressive national and global footprint the team is able to act for clients such as Toys R Us in large-scale mandates. In other work highlights, it has represented a national retail store in a California wage and hour class action and the team is also active in ERISA and employee benefits issues.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Lyle Ganske is a key contact for retail matters.
THE FIRM This firm offers a broad base of transactional, operational and litigation services, all of which are utilized by its diverse retail clients. Areas of representation include financing, marketing, distribution and labor and employment. The firm's real estate practice is especially well regarded and the team is adept at negotiating lease agreements, zoning and regulatory considerations and environmental impact studies. In a significant recent matter the team represented EPN Group in its $1.4 billion sale of 47 shopping centers to a joint venture between Blackstone Real Estate Partners and DDR Corp.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Austin-based Jane Snoddy Smith is the key contact.
THE FIRM The retail group at Perkins Coie is seen as a first port of call for IP, e-commerce and technology work. The firm's head office serves a number of fellow Seattle-based organizations, including Amazon and Starbucks. It has also acted for Washington state giant Costco in its pursuit of price fixing claims against manufacturers of LCD panels and related products. Labor and employment, tax, litigation and transactional work are all key strengths of the firm, while the group has previously been engaged by Microsoft on corporate matters.
Client Service "It is a tremendous asset to be able to call on a wide variety of expertise and have the confidence that they are experienced professionals. Most importantly, they care as much as we do about the success of our organization. They are great team members."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kevin Hamilton in the firm's Seattle office chairs the retail and consumer products group.
THE FIRM This heavyweight corporate firm has a substantial presence in the retail sector, with a number of high-profile clients and headline-grabbing mandates. Recent work highlights include the group's successful representation of Walmart in the famous Walmart v Dukes sexual discrimination class action. The team's strength in corporate matters is also widely acknowledged. E-commerce is an important source of work and the firm has recently handled tax disputes for Amazon.com as well as being counsel for its purchase of Zappos. In the IP arena, the team has represented Apple in patent disputes and Gucci in anticounterfeit matters.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Lois Herzeca and David Wilf cochair the firm's fashion, retail and consumer products practice group.
THE FIRM This firm's broad roster of retail clients value the team's dedication to their interests. The group's strength in real estate matters is illustrated by its extensive leasing work for EDENS and its representation of CBL & Associates Properties on a $1 billion joint venture with TIAA-CREF for investment in shopping malls. The team's capabilities in bankruptcy issues are noted by the market, and illustrated by its advisory role to the Gordon Brothers Group in the liquidations of Filene's Basement and Rugged Bear. Litigation, franchise agreements, IP and e-commerce are also regular components of the representation which the firm offers to retail sector clients.
Client Service "They do a fine job for us - responsive, thorough and dependable."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Nancy Davids and Bill Dillon in Boston cochair the group. David Rabinowitz in New York is a key contact.
THE FIRM This firm's established strength in real estate proves an asset to its retail sector clients. The firm regularly receives mandates for construction and development matters, as well as acquisitions and disposals, leasing, and issues arising from recent trends such as 'pop-up' stores. Big-box clients include Target, for which the team provides land use and environmental counsel. The firm's retail disputes experience includes defending numerous product liability actions for Bridgestone Americas and acting in a patent infringement case for the apparel retailer Boston Proper.
Commercial Awareness "They have a deep bench - the experience goes deeper than just the partners we deal with. The breadth of knowledge of the firm is extraordinary."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Tara Scanlon is the main contact in DC, while the other group co-chair Deb De Luca is based in Fort Lauderdale.
THE FIRM Morgan Lewis' multidisciplinary retail industry group includes experts in transactional work, real estate, intellectual property and financing. The firm's specialist retail litigation practice proves invaluable to clients such as Toys R Us, for whom the firm successfully defended a gift card class action in California. The team also advises clients in labor and employment compliance and noncompete issues.
Commercial Awareness "There are challenges that are unique to retailers and a lot of firms just don't really pay attention to these issues. Morgan Lewis is way ahead of the curve."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Anne Marie Estevez in Miami and Gregory Parks in Philadelphia are the key contacts.
THE FIRM This firm's reputation as a market leader in the area of labor and employment sets it apart in an industry where such issues are of frequent concern. The group advises on all kinds of EEOC and wage and hour cases. Its litigation experience also extends to class actions, franchise and IP disputes, and claims of false advertising. The firm's broad capabilities in the retail sector are demonstrated by the diverse range of work it handles for big-box retail clients such as 7-Eleven, which has utilized the firm's expertise on both real estate and franchise matters.
Client Service "Enthusiastic and pleased to be of service to clients - a terrific work ethic."
Commercial Awareness "They take a very business positive approach - they protect you on the legal side but they always balance the business issues."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Lynn Kappelman is head of the retail industry group.
THE FIRM This corporate powerhouse remains an important player in top level transactional and financing matters in the retail sector. The team recently represented Barnes & Noble on the acquisition of IP assets following the bankruptcy of Borders. Finance highlights include representing JPMorgan on the extension of $1.5 billion of credit facilities to Macy's department store, and advising the underwriters of the IPO by Francesca's Holdings Corporation. The firm has also acted for Kraft Foods on its split into two separate public companies.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The main contact is Minh Van Ngo.
THE FIRM This firm is another New York heavyweight that is frequently seen on high profile deals involving retailers. Transactional highlights include representing Pepsi in its $5.8 billion acquisition of a 95% stake in Russian company Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, and advising GSI Commerce in its $2.4 billion sale to eBay. The firm is active in capital markets arrangements, as well as being involved in litigation, IP, trademark and licensing issues for clients such as Polo Ralph Lauren.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The key contacts for retail industry matters are David Caplan and Sarah Beshar.
THE FIRM The market sees this firm as a go-to outfit for litigation matters in the retail sector. The firm recently represented Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers and Hansen Beverage Co in a class action lawsuit alleging false advertising relating to 'all natural' ingredient claims. Beyond dispute resolution services, the firm's retail industry specialists are also involved in tax and regulatory compliance for clients.
KEY INDIVIDUALS David McDowell and William Stern are the main contacts.
THE FIRM This firm brings both corporate and contentious skill sets to the table and is well regarded in both spheres. The real estate and employment law departments also work with retail clients, and the firm has a strong copyright and trademark team that has represented top league fashion retailers.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Valerie Radwaner is a key contact.
THE FIRM This New Jersey firm is very active advising on the real estate activities of both tenants and landlords of retail properties. These include transactions, leasing, disputes and redevelopments for significant big-box retailers and globally recognized brands. The firm also houses bankruptcy, environmental and insurance specialists, as well as full IP, employment and litigation departments. The fashion, apparel and textiles group serves all the legal needs of clients in this sector.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The main contact is Jeffrey Newman.