Consumer Products

Know your customer. It is the first rule of the consumer products industry, and the same principle we apply when working with our clients. Each of our core practice areas at Hunton & Williams LLP includes lawyers with solid industry knowledge and experience counseling a deep roster of high-profile consumer products companies. We represent manufacturers and distributors of luxury goods, food and beverages, prestige cosmetics and skincare, toys, baby products, electronics, lawn and garden products, and more.

We deliver strategic guidance to help clients add value and solve complex business problems. We are also dedicated to providing quality service, and are consistently recognized for our efforts by clients and other industry players. Our firm and individual lawyers have earned M&A consumer goods/products deal of the year awards, have been named a top-ranked firm for privacy and data security, and are included on numerous lists of leading lawyers in the industry.

Through our Centre for Information Policy Leadership, we work with business leaders, regulatory authorities and policymakers to frame and create high industry standards to advance privacy and cybersecurity policy, law and practice. The Centre brings together more than 40 of the world’s largest consumer products firms, retailers, and technology companies to develop innovative approaches to privacy and information policy.

We form strategic partnerships with our consumer products clients to address their needs more effectively. These collaborative relationships focus on strategy, tactics and overall planning designed to achieve cost savings and efficiencies.

Representative Services:

Transactions & Governance

  • Capital Markets & Securities
  • Corporate Governance & Board Advisory
  • Global Privacy, Cybersecurity & Data Protection
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Outsourcing
  • Real Estate Development & Finance
  • Supply Chain Management

Litigation 

  • Bankruptcy & Restructuring
  • Class Actions & Multidistrict Litigation
  • Copyright Counseling and Litigation
  • Labor & Employment
  • Product Liability & Mass Tort

Regulatory Compliance 

  • Antitrust & Competition
  • Consumer Protection and Advertising Review
  • Customs & International Trade
  • Environmental
  • Food & Drug

Intellectual Property 

  • Patent Infringement
  • Trademarks, Trade Secrets

Representative Matters

  • Represented a Fortune 100 public consumer products company in connection with a $7 billion bridge financing facility and a $6 billion US registered public bond offering in connection with an $11.7 billion acquisition of a target public consumer products company.
  • Represented a leading global food and beverage company in a $7.8 billion acquisition of all outstanding shares of its two largest bottlers, creating one of the largest beverage companies.
  • Represented an international producer and supplier of high-quality foodstuffs in its $2.2 billion acquisition of a worldwide leader in the development and production of specialty ingredients from animal origin for applications in pharmaceuticals, food, feed, pet food, fertilizer and bio-energy.
  • Represented a Fortune 100 public consumer products company in a $3.5 billion unsecured revolving credit agreement.
  • Represented a public company consumer products retailer in negotiating a private label and co-branded credit card program agreement.
  • Represented a Fortune 250 global food company in a comprehensive $150 million information technology outsourcing transaction.
  • Assisted a major manufacturer and marketer of prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products with the development of its global privacy and data security program. Advised the client on implementing multiple data transfer mechanisms and associated compliance, employee privacy and HIPAA-related issues, and digital marketing and media compliance.
  • Assist clients in obtaining FDA approval of new products or line extensions of currently approved products.
  • Provide comprehensive crisis management counseling on numerous issues, including product tampering, counterfeiting, product recalls, government inspections and seizures, media attacks, food and drug practice assessment of product liability exposure, interactions with FDA officials, and assistance with media statements.
  • Represented a sun screen manufacturer in a proposed class action alleging that they misled consumers to pay more for higher-SPF sunscreen. The complaint said that by combining the high SPF values with claims of greater protection and a higher price, our client misleadingly implied that the allegedly premium products offered greater protection, even though products with SPF values over 50 don’t offer any additional clinical benefit than those with lower values. The judge issued an order granting summary judgment in favor of our client.
  • Represented an international consumer electronics manufacturer in a putative class action alleging defects in televisions.
  • Served as national coordinating counsel for a consumer chemical products manufacturer in connection with its benzene litigation. Developed and implemented a strategy for cases pending in, among other places, California, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. Implemented that strategy consistently across jurisdictional lines, managing local counsel, coordinating  discovery responses, and working closely with the company to ensure that its litigation strategy matched its corporate strategy and goals.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company in toxic tort litigation brought by more than 100 workers claiming significant personal injuries as a result of exposure to fluoride and arsenic. A bellwether trial lasted a month in Arkansas state court, resulting in a successful Daubert ruling limiting plaintiffs’ expert case and leading ultimately to the dismissal of all claims.
  • Represented a large cigarette manufacturer for more than 10 years in many “bet-the-company” cases, including cases brought by individual smokers, in class actions alleging a host of different legal theories, and in lawsuits filed by Attorneys General and the Department of Justice.
  • Represented a global aluminum producer in employment discrimination, harassment, disability, and general employment litigation.
  • Represent a global lawn and garden products manufacturer in labor and employment litigation.
  • Represent a global meat product producer in multiple donning and doffing cases.
  • Represented a national consumer products retailer in obtaining summary judgment, on the eve of trial, in a defamation and false imprisonment case involving detention of an alleged shoplifter.
  • Represented a national consumer products retailer in a single-plaintiff suit that claimed that the company discriminated and retaliated for exercising rights under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Statute. After a five-day trial, the district court judge granted our motion for directed verdict.