The retail industry faces unique and evolving challenges given the advent of new technologies, shifts in consumer expectations, increased competition, the migration from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce platforms, and the changing regulatory environment.
Our Retail Industry Group is an interdisciplinary group of experienced attorneys across our practice groups with a particular focus and deep understanding of the important concerns facing the industry.
Our lawyers are trusted advisors to some of the most admired retailers in the world and assist them with a range of matters. We are adept at representing our retail clients in their most sophisticated transactions and litigation matters, guiding them through dramatic market changes and helping them navigate emerging and nuanced regulatory issues.
Our group is fully aligned with our retail clients and invested in their success. We provide our clients with information and analysis on the latest legal developments that affect the retail industry through frequent alerts, CLE programs and webinars, and are involved in key organizations, including the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC).
Our multidisciplinary group assists retail companies with legal services, including:
- Class Actions
- Corporate and Securities
- Customs and International Trade
- Employee Benefits
- Energy and Energy Efficiency
- Government and Regulatory Affairs
- Intellectual Property
- Labor and Employment
- Information Privacy, Security and Governance
- Real Estate
Given the large number of customers retailers deal with, they are often vulnerable to class action litigation, such as privacy class actions, consumer class actions and employment related litigation.
Our class action lawyers understand and appreciate the high stakes that are involved with class action litigation, as well as the unique impact class action litigation can have on retailers. We defend each action with careful, creative evaluation and strategic planning that addresses the case’s challenges and opportunities for success.
Corporate and Securities
Our mergers and acquisitions lawyers have represented retailers — both public and private companies — in a broad range of buy-side and sell-side transactions. We have handled large transactions valued at more than $1 billion, and are strong in middle–market mergers and acquisitions, with enterprise values ranging from $20 million to $750 million.
Customs and International Trade
Our group not only helps retail clients navigate the countless customs and international trade laws governing the importation of goods, but also works with clients to discover and comply with business opportunities created by existing and newly enacted trade agreements and duty preference programs.
Our employee benefits lawyers have an intimate understanding of the challenges retailers face in designing and administering employee benefits plans for their employees. We help retailers with all aspects of tax-qualified retirement plans; health, welfare and fringe benefit plans; executive compensation; ERISA litigation and fiduciary and ERISA governance issues.
Energy and Energy Efficiency
We have counseled retail industry clients with respect to technologies and measures promoting energy efficiency, such as solar hot water, cogeneration, building envelope, lighting and HVAC improvements. We have also represented developers and technology providers serving retail centers regarding new energy efficiency construction, energy efficiency retrofits and implementation of smart grid technologies. Our scope of work also involves development of wind, solar, biomass, tidal, geothermal, landfill gas, fuel cell and biofuel projects.
Government and Regulatory Affairs
We counsel retailers in areas that are subject to significant government regulation, including antitrust, appropriations, communications and intellectual property. We rely on our deep industry focus to represent retailers before regulatory agencies, analyze and advocate for the development of legislation and associated regulation, and, where necessary, litigate on our client’s behalf.
Our intellectual property lawyers understand that, in many cases, a retailer’s trademarks, trade names, and brands may be the “crown jewels” of the company. We advise retailers on ways to protect their global trademark portfolios and also counsel on copyright and licensing issues.
Labor and Employment
Our labor and employment lawyers help retail clients with the full range of labor and employment needs. We have successfully litigated hundreds of cases in state and federal courts throughout the country regarding a wide range of labor and employment issues, including discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, FMLA, wage and hour, privacy and whistleblower claims.
Information Privacy, Security and Governance
Our privacy lawyers help retail clients understand and comply with laws regarding the use and transfer of personal information. We provide practical advice and useful tools based on a thorough understanding of the business needs of the retail industry as a whole, as well as the individual retail client’s perspectives. Our lawyers provide a full range of services designed to meet retail clients’ privacy law needs, including auditing existing policies and procedures; advising on data collection activities; structuring outsourcing contracts; developing and implementing employment policies; protecting trade secrets; investigating data security incidents; and defending against privacy class actions.
Our real estate lawyers have a broad and varied commercial leasing practice, in which we regularly draft and negotiate major retail, office, and industrial lease transactions of varying sizes on a nationwide basis. We have extensive retail leasing experience, including regional and national rollout leasing programs for space in regional malls, mixed-use properties in both urban and suburban locations, neighborhood centers and flagship retail sites.