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Food/Beverage Services and Hospitality


Horwood Marcus & Berk understands the unique opportunities and challenges facing clients in the always evolving and competitive food and beverage industry. Leveraging the experience of several of our practice areas–such as business planning, finance, estate and wealth protection planning, state and local tax, litigation and real estate, HMB attorneys work with a wide variety of food and beverage industry clients on various matters including sales and supply-chain, business succession planning, financing and capital structures, acquisitions and exit strategies, federal and state tax matters, trade secret protection and risk mitigation.

In addition to our nationally-recognized state and local tax practice that advises many international Fortune 500 food and beverage companies, HMB serves as outside general counsel to numerous privately-held food and beverage companies including growers, manufacturers and distributors of fresh and packaged food products and food ingredients, manufacturers and distributors of food service equipment and supplies, hospitality and catering firms, restaurants, distributors of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, vineyards, farmers and farmers markets, food and beverage transportation companies and private equity firms investing in food and beverage businesses.

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Our attorneys have recently successfully handled a variety of complex legal matters for our food and beverage industry clients including:

  • Structuring the sale of an ownership stake in a leading distributor of fresh produce to a strategic investor
  • Sale of a controlling interest in a large commercial bakery to a private equity firm
  • Counseling a leading supplier of ethnic food products with respect to a product tampering claim
  • Counseling a leading bakery ingredient manufacturer with respect to the theft of trade secrets by an employee
  • Counseling a value-added fresh produce distributor with respect to ownership and management succession planning
  • Assisting a leading fresh herb provider with the separation of farming and distribution operations in anticipation of the sale of the business
  • Negotiating food service contracts on behalf of a leading hospitality company
  • Structuring a management equity plan for a leading manufacturer and distributor of bakery products
  • Negotiating leases for award-winning Chicago restaurants
  • Successfully resolving a multi-million dollar dispute between a wine and spirits distributor and an international spirits manufacturer
  • Representing the owner of a large retail liquor chain to a private-equity buyer
  • Successfully settling litigation involving the buy-out of feuding family shareholders of a leading supplier of natural ingredients to food processors

HMB lawyers are passionate about the food and beverage business and are actively involved with and supportive of our sustainable food and agriculture initiatives including Chicago’s Green City Market and the Environmental Change Institute of the University of Illinois.

500 West Madison Suite 3700
Chicago IL 60661

Phone: 312-606-3200 Fax: 312-606-3232
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