Food and Beverage

News & Insights




Representative Matters

  • Successfully represented coffee roaster and coffee house owner in trademark and copyright litigation with artist, with client obtaining all intellectual property rights to the relevant artwork.

  • Represented restaurant operator/developer in a 24 property sale/leaseback, and simultaneously closed $20,000,000 in loans secured by the assets of entities operating 63 fast food restaurants, including Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, T.G.I. Friday’s, Blaze Pizza, Old Chicago and Long John Silver’s.  

  • Represented Official Committees of Unsecured Creditors in In re Duke & King Acquisition, Inc. (Bankr. D. Minn.)

  • Represented Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in In re Giordano’s Enterprises, Inc. (Bankr. N.D. Ill.).

  • Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Wagstaff Minnesota, Inc. and worked closely with counsel to Wagstaff to maximize the value of general unsecured claims, including asset sales, investigating the security interests of Wagstaff’s secured creditors and efforts to avoid the potentially devastating impact of certain agreements between Wagstaff and KFC.

  • Currently representing the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of PRM Family Holding Company, LLC (“PRM”), a regional grocer located in Arizona with eleven supermarkets located in four Southwestern states.  Freeborn & Peters is working with PRM to analyze and vet the numerous PACA claims filed in the case and with PRM, its lenders and other parties-in-interest in developing a sale or restructuring strategy that will maximize estate value for general unsecured creditors.

  • Represents the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of R.T. Midwest Holdings, Inc., and assisted in the effective implementation of a sale-leaseback transaction that would allow the debtors to downsize and shed its real estate assets and secured indebtedness.  Despite the secured lender’s undersecured position, Freeborn was able to secure a meaningful distribution for general unsecured creditors.

  • Represents the franchisees of national restaurant concepts controlling more than 100 properties throughout the Midwest.

  • Represented multiple management groups involved in sales of portfolio companies from one private equity firm to another private equity firm, including sales of a leading supplier of mobile storage solutions, a manufacturer of snack products, a manufacturer of coatings for the printing industry and a provider of boiler room products and systems.

  • Represented a gourmet sandwich franchise in the sale of a minority interest to a San Francisco-based private equity firm.

  • Represented a large food manufacturer in negotiating an international joint venture with a food ingredient provider.

  • Structured a joint venture among major distributors of institutional kitchen equipment in creating a national purchasing consortium.

  • Counsel for a start-up company in successful efforts to establish an indoor urban farming operation with plans to raise the money needed to buy real estate, equipment and other materials necessary to fully roll out a sustainable program that will eventually have the indoor farming equivalent of 50 thousand tillable acres.

  • Represented major restaurant chain in successful efforts to reduce its operating costs across all stores located in Chicago by obtaining an express exemption from the City of Chicago's Individual Pricing Rule, which is applicable to retail food establishments.

  • Successfully defended a major food importer against allegations arising under the Plant Protection Act (PPA) wherein the client faced tens of millions of dollars in fines. The USDA ultimately dismissed the allegations without imposing any fines.

  • Represented a large distribution company in connection with its efforts to manage an FDA inspection and to prepare the necessary 483 response, corrective action plan, and a food reconditioning plan.  Ultimately, a state agriculture department adopted our food reconditioning plan, a model for handling large scale food adulteration matters.

  • Represented a food manufacturer in connection with its efforts to classify and manage a food safety recall event from start to finish. This engagement required Freeborn to help the client develop, implement and manage its recall process and to liaison with the FDA to ensure step-by-step regulatory compliance.

  • Counsel for a major food processor and helped them make internal financial changes that reduced their exposure to various agricultural liens by over $10 million dollars. This reduction in secured liability allowed the food processor to go back to its bank and negotiate an increase of its borrowing base by the same $10 million dollar amount.

  • Successfully moved to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds a breach of contract action brought by a client’s customer in federal court in Minnesota.

  • Lead counsel to multiple produce companies in successful efforts to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) in one of the largest produce industry bankruptcy cases in recent history.

  • Defended a foreign vodka manufacturing company in a trademark infringement claim resulting in settlement permitting clients to continue use of accused name. 

  • Defeated the plaintiffs’ motion for conditional certification in a Fair Labor Standards Act case, where the plaintiffs alleged a national policy of failing to pay for orientation, training and other hours at a quick-service restaurant chain.

  • Represented a regional natural foods grocery chain in its national expansion.

  • Represented a regional natural foods grocery chain in its national expansion.

  • Represented company in the acquisition of well-known Lincoln Park restaurant and bar, and the attached apartment buildings.  Negotiated the asset and real estate purchase agreement, loan documents and lease, and guided client through the municipal approvals including obtaining the licenses and permits required to operate a restaurant and bar.

  • Represents Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano, LLC, in its expansion from a successful regional upscale casual restaurant company into a nationally prominent tenant in lifestyle projects.