Food & Beverage

McGuireWoods’ food and beverage team provides comprehensive services domestically and internationally on matters such as food safety and regulatory issues, litigation, and mergers and acquisitions. Chambers USA, the definitive guide to leading lawyers, ranks McGuireWoods’ food and beverage team one of the top practices in the country. We are nationally recognized on Legal 500 United States’ list of most recommended law firms for our “presence in middle-market private equity, particularly in the healthcare, food and beverage, and energy industries.” Our attorneys literally wrote the book Food Safety Law, which focuses on recalls, inspections and civil litigation.

The team counsels companies that produce, distribute, or sell food and beverages, as well as businesses that deal with those companies worldwide. We represent manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, distributors, processors, brewers, vintners, bottlers, packers, farmers, storage holders and brokers. We:

  • handle product recalls and litigate food safety cases;
  • defend consumer class action labeling claims;
  • provide regulatory compliance counseling;
  • assist with FDA inspections and respond to FDA Form 483s;
  • obtain land on which to build facilities;
  • investigate employee complaints, labor relations and OSHA concerns;
  • negotiate complex commercial agreements along the supply chain;
  • advise on antitrust concerns;
  • advise on air and water rights, permitting and state and federal environmental concerns;
  • assist with large technology and business process outsourcing transactions;
  • represent buyers and sellers in M&A transactions;
  • advise on business matters, such as corporate formation and structuring, intellectual property rights, employment, ERISA and data privacy; and
  • provide general securities advice.

Our practice draws resources from varied backgrounds to best support our clients in their specific industries. We have groups dedicated to representing the particular needs of companies in the retail, manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage sectors. Team members include former general and deputy general counsel at large domestic and international food enterprises, former state and federal prosecutors, and legal counsel at major financial institutions.

We advise clients on how to comply with rules set by agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We also represent businesses and individuals in FDA Office of Criminal Investigation (OCI), USDA and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) litigation.

Our multidepartmental and cross-functional team represents corporations in corporate regulatory compliance, commercial and supply chain negotiations, disputes, and litigation focused on food safety issues and corporate transactions. These include securities, financing, franchising, intellectual property, M&A, joint ventures, business reorganizations, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, immigration, labor and employment, employee benefits, supply chain, real estate, environmental, antitrust, sponsorships, and technology and outsourcing.

We also work closely with our wholly-owned subsidiary, McGuireWoods Consulting, whose members assist food and beverage clients with site selection; economic development incentives (including tax credits and grants); state and federal government relations; and building grassroots support for public policy objectives.