The retail industry is as broad and diverse as the customers it serves and the products it delivers. Brick-and-mortar superstores, online retailers and niche players alike need effective advisors who understand the complex legal and business environments in which they operate.

Throughout our history, McGuireWoods has been a legal team of choice for retailers. Our retail team includes experienced lawyers based in cities across the United States and in Europe. Many of our partners have decades of experience serving as outside counsel to regional, national and international retailers whose products and brands are household names in North America, Europe and around the world. Our clients include grocery, big-box and discount chains; high-end and specialty clothing, home improvement, electronics, jewelry and specialty home goods stores; franchisors and franchisees; as well as companies that sell products or have business models that cross sectors, such as restaurants, pharmacies, automobile dealerships, and telecommunications, media and entertainment companies.

McGuireWoods provides retailers with proactive advice on legal issues that affect them directly and indirectly. Our primary focus is on building client relationships across engagements, and sharing best practices seamlessly and transparently across service lines and with the retailers we serve. Our goal is to be true business partners with our retail clients, helping them gain a competitive edge. We recognize that efficiency is paramount, and do not rely on our clients to train advisers about their business or their concerns. We allocate resources and lawyers effectively and work hard to ensure that every member of our team understands our clients’ specific business goals and broader economic challenges.

We understand the often-thin profit margins that predominate in the retail industry, and work closely with clients to develop effective, innovative legal solutions that can provide security in an unpredictable marketplace. For example, our real estate team regularly works with clients to negotiate sales, purchases and leases of commercial and retail space, including anchor sites in shopping malls, and helps negotiate covenants, restrictions and noncompetition agreements that protect our clients’ interests while promoting industry growth.

In its annual list of “Best Law Firms,” U.S. News & World Report includes McGuireWoods as a National Tier 1 firm in the category Land Use & Zoning Law and among the top national and local firms in Real Estate Law. In Europe, McGuireWoods also ranks in the Legal 500 for Real Estate in both Belgium and the United Kingdom.

Similarly, our restructuring and insolvency team, recognized by Law360 as one of the largest in the country, has represented creditors, creditors’ groups and debtors through the successful resolution of large-scale bankruptcies and workouts in the consumer electronics, clothing and other sectors. Our finance lawyers have negotiated syndicated revolving and term facilities with letter of credit subfacilities (including investment grade as well as secured, asset-based ones), cross-border facilities, receivables securitizations, synthetic leases, sale-leasebacks and private placements, among other financings.

Almost all retailers have experienced an increase in wage and hour challenges. Whether it be classification, overtime, or meal and rest break issues, retailers at every level have been named as defendants in class action lawsuits that, if not defended and managed properly, can be costly to defend and resolve. Our wage and hour team has successfully defended these lawsuits in states across the country for retailers big and small, and knows how to minimize the exposure that can often result from these cases if not handled properly.

Because retailers are focused on protecting their margins and seek to minimize their non-operational spending, we also offer a robust selection of alternative fee structures for many of our services.

In addition to the areas noted above, we provide coordinated, industry-focused counsel in the following legal disciplines:

  • Antitrust/competition law
  • Commercial contracts and litigation
  • Corporate transactions and securities
  • Corporate governance
  • Data privacy and e-commerce
  • Environmental regulatory and compliance
  • Fair trade practices
  • Intellectual property
  • International trade
  • Labor, wage and hour, employment and employee benefits
  • Product safety
  • Real estate (acquisition, sale, leasing and financing)
  • Restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy
  • Tax policy, including working with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Congress and retail trade groups to address:
  • Tax planning, including:
    • Effective rate management
    • Transactional taxes
    • Gross receipts taxes
    • Nexus issues
    • Cloud computing taxability concerns
    • Global supply chain tax issues
  • Tax controversy

We work closely with our affiliate, McGuireWoods Consulting, to represent the interests of retailers before state and federal legislative and regulatory bodies. These experienced public affairs and government relations consultants have helped draft and win approval for numerous tax-related and other legislative proposals that have helped promote the interests, and address the concerns, of retailers across the country.

We invite you to take a closer look at our team, examine our credentials and test our capabilities. For many of our retail-industry clients, McGuireWoods is ideally positioned to help them achieve their business objectives.



    Supermarket chain

    Representation of a public company operating a regional supermarket chain in negotiations with vendor and institutional customer contracts with software and technology infrastructure providers, pharmaceutical cooperatives, product suppliers and financial services providers; and drafting hedging and swap contracts to maintain stability in raw materials pricing and supply.


    Regional supermarket

    Represented regional supermarket in all aspects of recall of ground beef containing salmonella. Interfaced with regulators, advised client on public relations matters, resolved claims and defended lawsuits leading to favorable settlements.


    Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Wins Summary Judgment in Gluten Discrimination Suit

    Representation of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in a gluten discrimination case that generated national media attention. A Norfolk federal court granted summary judgment on the grounds that CWF was not required to modify its “no outside food” policy when a patron wanted to consume his own food inside the establishment. The court found that CWF provides adequate alternatives, including gluten-free meals, for customers with special dietary needs.


    RCG Ventures Acquires Shopping Center in North Carolina

    Representation of RCG Ventures in its acquisition of Harnett Crossing, a 189,143 square-foot shopping center in North Carolina.


    RCG Ventures Acquires Michigan-based Shopping Center

    Representation of RCG Ventures in its $14.2 million acquisition of Oak Brook Square, a 152,073 square-foot shopping center in Michigan.

Team Leaders

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