Food and Beverage Law



You've worked hard to become a brand leader in the food space or you're working hard to get there, yet there are challenges at every turn. Consumers are often fickle and their tastes change rapidly, even as they increasingly demand healthy and wholesome products. At the same time, brand owners face an increasingly hostile regulatory and class action landscape. Competitors fighting for market share and scarce shelf space may also become increasingly aggressive with respect to their own claims or in comparison to your products.

Venable's Food Law Practice has an unmatched breadth and depth of experience to help you successfully navigate these challenges. Regardless of the difficulty, we have likely advised on similar issues and can help you confidently deal with (or avoid) the problem, and bring our decades of combined practical experience – in addition to our technical knowledge – to any new situation you may face. We recognize that your company's risk tolerance is a key factor in determining its legal strategy, and we bring this sensibility to each matter. Our team is large and diverse, which means that you’re getting a lawyer who lives and breathes the very issue on which you need advice, rather than a generalist who tries to pivot from one type of issue to another. Whether you are a food manufacturer, service establishment, or a food retailer, we can help.

Services

Litigation

Class Actions – As much as you might want to avoid litigation, you sometimes find yourself in a food fight. We'll help make sure you come out on top. We've dealt with and understand all of the major players in the class action arena and can help you obtain an early dismissal, quietly arrange a favorable settlement, avoid class cert, or fight to the bitter end, depending upon the circumstance.

Bringing Everyone to the Table – Often you're fighting battles on multiple fronts. We understand the challenges and opportunities this can bring. We've represented multiple companies simultaneously facing federal and state regulatory actions and class action litigation and helped them achieve results that avoid liability, duplicative monetary relief, or excessive attorneys' fees.

Lanham Act – Sometimes the battles with your competitors need to move from the shelves and airwaves to the courts. We've represented parties in many of the seminal Lanham Act cases, so not only do we know the law – in many instances we helped make it. Our experience gives you the upper hand, not only in arguing your case but also in moving quickly and efficiently to stop a harmful competitive marketing campaign dead in its tracks.

Food and Drug Administration

Our FDA team is equipped to help you:

  • Navigate nutritional labeling issues
  • Audit your GMP practices
  • Avoid hot button health-related claims while still communicating relevant and useful information to consumers
  • Respond to FDA warning letters
  • Design clinical studies
  • Work with top science experts

Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau, National Advertising Division

Our FDA and FTC/NAD teams overlap and work closely together to:

  • Navigate substantiation for food-related health claims
  • Get to the bottom of what consumers think about your claims or those of your competitors
  • Appear before the NAD – We have been there as much as or more than any other firm
  • Help you locally – We have a former attorney general and assistant attorney generals in our practice, and we deal regularly with their former colleagues and local district attorneys on issues such as claim substantiation, slack fill, and product testing

Additional Services

Of course, many of the challenges and issues you face are not unique to food, and we've got you covered there as well:

  • Sweepstakes and promotions
  • CARU and COPPA
  • TCPA
  • Social media and native advertising
  • Transactions
  • Green claims
  • Product origin claims
  • Comparative claims