Retail & Consumer Products

Whether you’re a consumer product manufacturer, a retailer, or a trade association, product testing lab, or investor, we understand the challenges facing your business — from the effects of globalization, changes in demographics, to the impact of deflation, distribution, and industry consolidation. Whatever issue you’re grappling with, our team has the insight, deep knowledge, and experience to create a solution that works for you.

Business Transactions
If it’s a business transaction you’re involved in, our attorneys can prepare the legal documents to protect licenses, patents, and trademarks as well as represent you in a variety of financial transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, public offerings, joint ventures, and strategic alliances, and debt and equity financings. We also have substantial experience in licensing.


Consumer Product Safety
We specialize in representing companies and industry groups before the Consumer Product Safety Commission and other regulatory bodies. We also provide seasoned advice to ensure your product is in compliance with federal, state, and international regulations as well as guide you through product recalls and other product issues.


Bankruptcy & Reorganization
If you’re wrestling with cash flow or credit issues that might trigger insolvency, reorganization, or bankruptcy, our team can provide you with comprehensive, creative, and cost-effective representation involving the most complex proceedings. We have extensive experience guiding debtors, creditors, investors, manufacturers, and retailers through turnaround, sale, dissolution, and reorganization.


Employment & Immigration
We handle a wide variety of employment and immigration matters for consumer product manufacturers and retailers. Whether it’s developing employment policies, handling complicated issues involving employee relations, or preparing compensation and benefits packages for your employees and managers, our attorneys can steer you in the right direction. We can also help you secure visas for your skilled employees.


Intellectual Property
When the issue involves protecting your brand, our Intellectual Property attorneys cover all the bases. From trademark prosecution, to licensing and distribution agreements, to protective services for designers and retail manufacturers, our focus is on protecting you and your product.


Litigation
Our strategic services are focused on reducing and managing your risk of product litigation. We can negotiate liability and insurance coverage for your product, advise you on product labeling, protect your interests before regulatory agencies, and educate your workforce on prevention issues. If a product liability claim does land you in court, our seasoned litigators have extensive experience representing clients in complex federal, state, and international proceedings involving product recalls, personal injury, and consumer fraud.


Privacy & Data Security
Achieving your business objectives may seem like an enormous challenge in light of today’s rules and regulations regarding privacy and data security. That’s why our attorneys are trained to help you identify and manage the risks. We can assist you in developing and implementing policies and best practices that comply with the growing body of federal, state and international privacy regulations. Our services also include conducting privacy audits, performing gap analyses, and managing the investigation and resolution of privacy and security breaches.


Public Relations & Government Relations
Whether you’re a consumer product manufacturer, a retailer, or a trade association, you may want some help if and when the media come calling. We provide strategic communications consulting through our affiliate, ML Strategies, LLC. Our services can also help you in a variety of other areas, including successfully promoting a ballot initiative, effectively advocating for legislative change, strategic planning, and assistance in successfully navigating project-related development and environmental issues.


Real Estate & Development
When you need legal help with a real estate transaction or project financing, our team of experienced attorneys can offer you skilled representation on site location planning, zoning, leasing as well as sale and leaseback strategies. Our relationships with developers, landlords, lenders, and investors can help you quickly and efficiently execute your real estate strategy.

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Nancy J. Sterling, APR

Nancy J. Sterling, APR

ML Strategies - Senior Vice President, Strategic Communications

Representative Experience

  • Advised dozens of clients with respect to drafting their social networking policies.
  • As general counsel to a leading appliance manufacturing association, negotiated and drafted the amendments to the Consumer Product Safety Act and the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act.
  • Counseled a public international beverage company on department-wide restructuring of wage payment and employee classification practices, ensuring compliance with state and federal wage / hour laws.
  • Designed and implemented a global, tax-advantaged management incentive plan for an international apparel company.
  • Engaged by CVS to formulate its due diligence program, including preparing due diligence requirements; selecting, interviewing, and training consultants; and developing and negotiating a master consulting services agreement.
  • Handle all patent and IP litigation for a leading running apparel and shoe company.
  • Manage the entire intellectual property portfolios of numerous consumer product companies, ranging from apparel, hair care, cosmetics, electronic goods, beverages, sporting goods, children’s products, and many others.
  • Manage the entire intellectual property portfolio of a major shoe and apparel company.
  • Ongoing consumer privacy advice (online and offline) to a manufacturer / supplier of nontoxic household products.
  • Ongoing representation of a privately owned global sports and athletic apparel company including successful outcome of an international arbitration regarding a distribution agreement.
  • Received an extremely favorable arbitration award on behalf of a global manufacturer. We were retained to initiate arbitration against another manufacturer when it defaulted on its contract obligations. We filed the claim and sought damages of $18.2 million. Our team received a statement of decision awarding our client $18.3 million in damages, plus $3.7 million in interest and attorneys fees.
  • Represent CVS in its environmental matters, including assessing remediation costs and allocating liability among sellers, landlords, and other third parties, as well as managing property remediation through state regulatory programs.
  • Representation of a national discount clothing retail chain in Chapter 11 issues, including divestiture of surplus real estate, going concern Section 363 sales of assets and leases, and assignment and assumption of real estate leases.
  • Represented a national retail pharmacy chain in its sale-and-leaseback transactions involving more than 2,300 of its retail properties in 30 states with a value in excess of $10 billion, including serving as real estate counsel to the pharmacy in the largest retail sale-and-leaseback transaction in the nation’s history, involving 340 retail stores with a value of $1.5 billion.
  • Represented clients in dealing with numerous issues arising out of employees’ use of social networking sites, including advising a client on an employee’s Internet campaign supporting the legalization of marijuana and advising a client on an employee’s postings about being a witch and recruiting others to participate in a witch’s coven.
  • Represented retail companies in Chapter 11 proceedings.
  • CEO of a global consumer products company in negotiations with respect to the individual’s employment agreement and bonus arrangements.
  • CEO of a national supermarket chain in negotiations with respect to the individual’s employment, bonus, and equity agreements in connection with the supermarket chain’s restructuring and subsequent acquisition.
  • Representing a national retail pharmacy chain in connection with a national consumer agency investigation of gift cards and whether they comply with state and federal laws on how gift cards are marketed.
  • Successfully represented a California-based distributor of eyewear frames in a patent infringement case. In 2007, our client was sued for purportedly infringing two patents for magnetic clip-on eyewear. We were granted summary judgment by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, which dismissed the case, and in 2010, the federal appeals court upheld the lower court’s dismissal of the lawsuit.
  • Successfully represented a number of clients with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues, including the following: Advised a manufacturer in connection with FCPA issues related to its distributorship agreement in India; advised a large, multinational corporation contemplating a cross-border acquisition on FCPA issues arising in the due diligence performed by a Big 4 consulting firm (we analyzed the findings and assisted the client in fully evaluating the acquisition opportunity); and represented a technology company in conducting FCPA due diligence for a proposed merger, with a specific focus on issues relating to a distributorship in China.
  • Successfully represented an apparel company in obtaining a jury verdict of infringement over copyright and trademark rights used in connection with apparel.
  • Successfully represented a consumer products company in a trademark jury case.
  • Won a decisive victory for the leading manufacturer of indoor tanning lotions against a website that was selling its tanning lotions online in violation of the company’s distribution agreements and federal trademark law. After a five-day trial, a jury in the Eastern District of New York returned a $6 million verdict against the online company and found in favor of our client on its claims for tortuous interference with contract and trademark infringement.

Representative Clients

  • CVS Health Corporation
  • Gillette (Procter & Gamble)
  • H.B. Day Co., Inc.
  • Nestlé Waters North America
  • Panera Bread
  • Reebok

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