Chadbourne’s multi-disciplinary approach to working with global products manufacturers around the world has placed at the forefront of significant and groundbreaking matters across a variety of product categories. Our network of 10 international offices and contacts with local counsel helps Chadbourne serve consumer products companies in almost any jurisdiction.
Consumer products companies face constant legal challenges with the rise of globalization, increased regulation and the unrelenting pace of technological innovation. Chadbourne’s experience in sectors such as retailing, automotive, tobacco, cosmetics, clothing, electronics, durable goods, book publishing and computer software gives the Firm a distinctive perspective in addressing these issues.
Our litigation, products liability, and intellectual property practices work closely in defending the interests of global products manufacturers in suits, regulatory matters, and libel and crisis communications issues worldwide. Our corporate and antitrust lawyers are active in transactions across consumer products, such as joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions. Bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers have been involved in major cases in the clothing, automotive and food industries.
- Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring
- Capital Markets
- Intellectual Property
- Litigation and Arbitration
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Securities Compliance
- Antitrust and Trade Regulation
- White Collar Defense, Regulatory Investigations and Litigation
- Products Liability Defense and Counseling
- Consumer Products Safety
- Reputation Protection and Defamation Litigation
Advanced Marketing Services. Represented a member of the Official Creditors’ Committee in the Chapter 11 case of this leading global provider of customized wholesaling services to book retailers and major contract distribution service for select publishers, which shipped more than 100 million books worldwide each year.
Consumer Products Acquisition. Chadbourne represented the special committee of directors of Bed Bath & Beyond in its acquisition of buybuy Baby, a privately held retailer of infant and toddler merchandise.
Shareholder Dispute in Russia. Chadbourne provided legal advice to British American Tobacco in connection with litigation brought against the company's affiliates in Russia involving alleged violations of minority shareholder rights.
Sale of European Business Division. Chadbourne represented Newell Rubbermaid Inc. on antitrust and corporate matters in the sale of certain portions of its European Home Decor business to Hunter Douglas, a global manufacturer and marketer of window treatments and furnishings. The multi-country transaction included the Newell Rubbermaid businesses in Portugal and the Nordic, Central and Eastern European regions, except for operations in Poland and Ukraine where antitrust regulatory approval was required.
Shareholder Litigation. Chadbourne is advising and representing major international tobacco companies in a shareholders action brought in Russia.
Joint Venture Dispute. Chadbourne is advising a consumer products company in an arbitration at the International Arbitral Centre of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber arising out of a joint venture dispute.
Polish Products Liability Counseling. Chadbourne successfully defended Gallaher Polska and other cigarette manufacturers in Poland in litigation involving potential claims of personal injury alleged to have resulted from cigarette smoking.
Acquisition of Distilled Spirits and Wine Brands. Chadbourne represented Fortune Brands, Inc. through its Jim Beam subsidiary, in the purchase of distilled spirits and wine brands from Pernod-Ricard S.A. for a total purchase price of $5.2 billion. Following an acquisition by Pernod-Ricard S.A. of all the outstanding shares of Allied Domecq plc pursuant to a Scheme of Arrangement under the laws of England, Chadbourne acted as U.S. counsel to Fortune Brands in the acquisition from Pernod-Ricard of certain of the Allied Domecq subsidiaries. The brands owned by these subsidiaries included Maker's Mark bourbon, Sauza tequila, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Teachers Scotch whisky, Clos du Bois wines and many other brands. We also represented Fortune Brands in separate $2 billion and €800 million capital markets offerings to finance the acquisition.
Underwritten Securities Offering. Chadbourne represented Fortune Brands, a global consumer products company, in its sale of $2 billion of debt securities in an SEC registered offering. The securities consisted of $750 million of 5 1/8% notes due 2011, $950 million of 5 3/8% notes due 2016 and $300 million of 5 7/8% notes due 2036. Barclays Capital Inc., Credit Suisse, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., JPMorgan Securities Inc. and LaSalle Financial Securities Inc. acted as joint book-running managers and BNP Paribas Securities Corp., Rabo Securities USA, Inc. and Wachovia Capital Markets, LLC acted as co-managers for the offering. In addition, in January 2006, Fortune Brands issued debt securities totaling €800 million (approximately $1 billion) in a transaction exempt from registration under Regulation S of the Securities Act.
Employee Benefits Advice. Chadbourne has advised Avon Products, Inc. on various employee benefits and executive compensation matters, including for example advice with respect to pension, 401(k) savings, equity, other bonus, deferred compensation, supplemental savings and pension, and welfare benefit plans.
Environmental Indemnification. Chadbourne provided representation regarding a post-sale environmental indemnification dispute against the sellers of a large manufacturing company.
Spin-off and Merger. Chadbourne represented Fortune Brands, Inc. in the spin-off of its ACCO World Corporation office products unit and subsequent merger of ACCO with General Binding Corporation.
Employee Benefits Advice. Chadbourne has advised United Retail Group's Board of Directors' compensation committee on senior management compensation issues.
Pulp and Paper Mill Litigation. Chadbourne has represented Pulp Mill Holding in various sets of litigation with respect to its ownership of a minority stake in Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case. Chadbourne acted as counsel to the Creditors' Committee in the successful stand-alone reorganization of the United States dairy operations of Parmalat, a market leader in the processing, packaging and sale of fresh milk to retail customers. The resolution of this case involved numerous major cross-border issues, including a complex settlement between the United States debtors and the Italian administrator of Parmalat's international operations.
Sale of Shares. Chadbourne represented a Polish investor in the sale of its stake in one of the leading Polish alcohol producers, as well as a personal care products manufacturing company in Poland.
Employment Matters. Chadbourne advised Liggett-Ducat, one of the largest Russian cigarette manufacturers (owned by Gallaher Group plc), on employment matters.
Sher Distributing Company. Represented the Official Creditors’ Committee in the Chapter 11 liquidation of this regional book distributor.
Spiegel, Inc./Eddie Bauer Inc. Represented the Official Creditors' Committee in the successful stand-alone reorganization of this well-known retailer in which Chadbourne implemented a reorganization strategy that resulted in unsecured creditors receiving full recovery on claims and where the Eddie Bauer business was preserved and reorganized for the benefit of all constituencies.
Crown Books Corp. Represented the Official Creditors’ Committee in the reorganization and subsequent liquidation of this major regional bookstore chain.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case. Chadbourne was lead bankruptcy counsel for Harvard Industries, Inc., a publicly traded Tier I and Tier II manufacturer of automotive parts engaged in the business of designing, engineering and manufacturing components for original equipment manufacturers producing cars and light trucks, in its Chapter 11 case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey.
Employment Matters. Chadbourne provided Avon Products, Inc. with advice on delayering/restructuring.
Cross-Border Acquisition. Chadbourne represented Gallaher Group in its acquisition of Liggett-Ducat for $390.5 million, including the assumption of $56.4 million in debt, which at the time was one of the largest acquisitions in Russia by a foreign company outside the oil and gas industry. We conducted extensive due diligence, ensuring compliance with Russian antitrust and environmental laws and registration procedures.
Sunstar, Inc. Representing Sunstar, Inc., a major Japanese consumer products company, in a long-running federal court litigation in Chicago concerning the Japanese trademarks for “VO5” hair care products. The case involves novel intertwined issues of Japanese and U.S. trademark law.
Product Liability Litigation - Pakistan. Chadbourne advised and assisted local counsel in defending a major international tobacco company in product liability litigation claiming personal injury brought in Pakistan.
Employee Benefits. Chadbourne has advised Timex Corporation on various employee benefits and executive compensation matters, including for example advice with respect to pension, 401(k) savings and other bonus plans and employment and separation agreements.
Structured Financing for Major Consumer Products Company. Chadbourne represented Fortune Brands in a structured financing involving a series of derivative transactions and a private placement of $250 million debt securities through a special purpose UK subsidiary.
Securitized Lease Financing. Chadbourne represented U-Haul Corporation, a major North American equipment rental company for the securitized lease financing of warehouse facilities in numerous jurisdictions for $300 million.
Antitrust-Related Dispute Over Intellectual Property. Chadbourne is defending SAP America, Inc., a major producer of sophisticated business software, against an antitrust counterclaim asserted in a lawsuit commenced by SAP to protect its trade secrets from improper misappropriation.
New York Post. Represented the Official Creditors’ Committee in the Chapter 11 of one of the oldest daily newspapers in the US. Chadbourne, on behalf of the committee, pushed the company to seek out a buyer to ensure the greatest possible recovery for unsecured creditors. The case culminated in the sale of the Post to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
The New York Daily News. Represented the Official Creditors’ Committee in the Chapter 11 of one of the most widely circulated daily newspapers in the US, which was forced into bankruptcy following the collapse of its owner, Maxwell Communications. We worked to stabilize the business, cut costs and press for an immediate sale. The newspaper was ultimately preserved as a going concern through a sale to Mort Zuckerman.
Product Liability Litigation in Argentina. Chadbourne is advising, and, as international coordinating counsel, is assisting local counsel in the defense of, a major international tobacco company in more than 100 individual products liability lawsuits and actions to recover medical expenses paid by third-party payors brought in Argentina.
Antitrust Litigation Related to Price-Fixing. Chadbourne represents Cascades Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of sanitary tissues, in more than 40 antitrust class-action lawsuits that have been filed in state and federal courts around the nation alleging price-fixing of tissue paper products sold to schools, hospitals, prisons, hotels, restaurants, factories, and other large-scale purchasers of their products.
Lawsuit Over Planned Acquisition. Chadbourne obtained dismissal, on behalf of Hechinger Company and various Hechinger officers and directors, of a stockholder class action alleging breach of fiduciary duties arising from the planned acquisition of Hechinger and Builders Square (a subsidiary of Kmart Corporation) by Leonard Green & Partners, LP.
Freedom of the Press Challenges. In connection with nationally publicized litigation between Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation and its former executive, Jeffrey Wigand, Chadbourne represented Brown & Williamson in freedom of the press challenges that went up to the New York Court of Appeals (New York's highest court) concerning Brown & Williamson's subpoenas to CBS Inc. for unaired video outtakes from a 60 Minutes interview of Jeffrey Wigand.
Spin-off of Tobacco Company. Chadbourne represented Fortune Brands in the spin-off of Gallaher Group plc, the UK's largest tobacco company, to Fortune Brands, Inc. shareholders.
Violation of FTC Labeling Rules. Chadbourne represented Tanzara International, Inc., an importer and seller of women's garments, in a matter concerning Federal Trade Commission (FTC) labeling rules, in which we obtained a consent decree and civil penalties substantially below those typically imposed for such labeling rules violations.
Hostile Tender Offer Litigation. In Moore Corp. Ltd. v. Wallace Computer Services, Inc., Chadbourne represented Moore Corp. Ltd. in a Delaware federal court action seeking to compel Wallace to accept Moore's $1.3 billion hostile tender offer. Moore subsequently completed a takeover of Wallace in a negotiated merger.
Investment in Consumer Goods Factory. Chadbourne provided advice on the debt/equity financing of a multinational consumer products company's investment in a consumer goods factory in Russia.
Potential Anti-Competitive Sale of Tobacco Company. Chadbourne represented The American Tobacco Company in an injunctive action brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that challenged the sale of The American Tobacco Company to British American Tobacco Industries as potentially anti-competitive. Following an eight-day preliminary injunction hearing in federal district court, the FTC voluntarily withdrew from adjudication the underlying administrative case it had filed against the sale and later agreed to a consent decree permitting the sale.
Environmental Clean-up and Compliance. Chadbourne obtained an award of $34 million for Moen Corporation, a leading manufacturer of faucets and other plumbing fixtures, in a dispute with Moen's former owner over responsibility for environmental cleanup and compliance costs at Moen's current and former facilities.
Attempted-Takeover Fraud Claims. Chadbourne represented American Brands, Inc. (now Fortune Brands) in connection with a series of securities fraud class actions and shareholder derivative actions that arose out of American Brands' successful defense against an attempted takeover by E-II Holdings, Inc. When American Brands later acquired E-II and then subsequently sold off E-II's various holdings, we represented American Brands in three actions brought on behalf of the holders of E-II's debt securities charging the company and others with claims under the debt indenture, for fraudulent conveyance and for securities fraud.
Office Products Acquisition. Chadbourne represented American Brands, Inc. in the acquisition of ACCO World Corporation (which included the divestiture of certain office products assets on a fix-it first approval basis by the Antitrust Division) and the acquisition of Ofrex Group Limited in the United Kingdom (which included entry of a consent decree with the Antitrust Division regarding the divestiture of a U.S. office stapler manufacturer).
Tobacco Industry Antitrust Matters. For many years, Chadbourne represented the American Tobacco Company in trade regulation matters before the Federal Trade Commission and with respect to antitrust matters before the Department of Justice. For example, we were involved in the negotiations with the FTC leading up to the entry of a consent decree with respect to Carlton cigarette advertisements in 1994.
Ed Smith has been advising Chadbourne’s large publicly held corporate clients since 1967. His experience covers mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, spin-offs, capital market transactions and other corporate transactions and advice.
Mr. Smith also advises on executive compensation...
Bill Cavanagh specializes in corporate, partnership, private equity and international tax matters. He advises a broad array of U.S. and multinational clients on a wide variety of U.S. and cross-border tax issues. In recent years, he has worked extensively with clients in structuring and...
Andrew Coronios represents financial institutions and public and private companies in a wide spectrum of financing transactions, encompassing structured finance, securitization, asset-based and secured lending and unsecured credit facilities.
His extensive experience includes domestic...
Marjorie Glover is the chair of Chadbourne’s executive compensation and employee benefits practice group and of the Firm’s employment law department. Her practice focuses exclusively in the areas of executive compensation and employee benefits law, corporate governance and risk oversight and...
William Greason’s practice is largely devoted to the representation of public and private companies in a wide range of corporate and securities matters. Mr. Greason focuses on mergers and acquisitions in various industries and regions as well as US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-...
Thomas Hall is co-head of Chadbourne's commercial litigation practice and one of the firm’s leading trial attorneys (over 40 trials to verdict and arbitrations to award). Mr. Hall has extensive experience in a broad range of complex commercial litigation matters, including environmental, banking...
Charles Hord’s practice is primarily related to corporate and finance law. During his career, he has advised a number of companies and financial institutions concerning a broad range of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions involving both public and private companies, domestic and...
Clara Krivoy heads the Ibero-America Private Clients practice. Ms. Krivoy provides legal advice and support to individuals, families, family offices and their holdings having interests in Spain, Portugal and Latin America, as they maintain or look to establish a US, multi-jurisdictional or...
Sey-Hyo Lee is the Co-Head of Chadbourne's Capital Markets Group. Sey-Hyo Lee’s practice includes representation of corporate clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, divestitures, and public offerings and private placements of debt and equity securities. In addition to...
Talbert Navia is co-head of the Latin America practice and head of the private funds group. Talbert has extensive experience representing US and Latin America-based corporate and private equity clients in a broad range of areas, including public-private partnerships, mergers and acquisitions,...
Claude Serfilippi is an ex-officio member of the firm’s Management Committee and Co-Head of Chadbourne's Capital Markets Group. Claude has extensive experience in advising domestic and foreign clients and financial institutions in corporate and securities matters, including mergers and...
Michael Solomita is a partner in the Intellectual Property Group. Michael is a patent litigator who has successfully handled numerous litigations throughout the country in US District Courts and the US International Trade Commission. He has also successfully challenged the validity of many...
John Verrill is an English qualified solicitor who works in the London office. His practice centers on domestic and international insolvency work for creditors, debtors and insolvency and restructuring professionals.
Mr. Verrill is also authorized to act as insolvency practitioner by the...
Ayse Yuksel is the Managing Partner of the Istanbul Office, the head of the MENA/Turkey Corporate Practice Group, and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. She has extensive experience in a range of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments,...
Michael Bhargava’s practice focuses on complex commercial and appellate litigation, including False Claims Act litigation, defamation and First Amendment matters, false advertising litigation, FCPA investigations and litigation, regulatory agency enforcement matters and intellectual property.
Rob Colby is a member of the Firm’s corporate department, with over 25 years of experience representing both public and private entities in connection with acquisitions, dispositions, mergers, joint ventures, public offerings and private placements, and general corporate matters. Mr. Colby also...
Peter Hillman is both a general litigation and employment lawyer. In these respects, Mr. Hillman has advised management on a broad range of litigation avoidance/prevention measures in areas as diverse as discrimination, breach of contract, workplace torts, employee malfeasance, wrongful...
Richard Leder focuses on tax and has extensive experience in a variety of complex business transactions, both domestic and cross-border, including leveraged buyouts, corporate acquisitions, bankruptcy and insolvency restructurings, debt financings, and lease financings of airplanes, vessels,...
Bruce Sheffler’s practice focuses on products liability. He has participated in the defense of hundreds of complex products liability cases around the country, including class actions and other consolidated actions. He has also assisted in the defense of products litigation in a number of...
Mary T. Yelenick focuses her practice on complex products liability litigation; client risk-management; and compliance issues.
Michelle Leland is an associate and intellectual property lawyer with Chadbourne. Her practice focuses on patent litigation in various areas, including computer software and hardware, semiconductors, LEDs, wireless networking and pharmaceuticals. Ms. Leland has experience with patent litigation...
Luis Paternina focuses his practice on international arbitration and public international law. He represents companies, states and individuals in international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations conducted under the major international rules (ICC, UNCITRAL, ICSID, ICDR, LCIA, etc.) and...
Mr. Perez has extensive experience in corporate, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and private equity transactions in Spain and Latin America.
Maria Vorotyntseva advises clients on a wide range of issues related to their business operations in Russia. She is involved in transactional and corporate work, including M&A transactions and joint venture deals. Maria also has experience representing domestic and foreign clients in...