Restaurant

Providing Results Through Industry Expertise

JMBM understands the fast-paced and competitive nature of the restaurant industry. Our attorneys have represented the legal needs of the restaurant business for decades, acting as trusted advisors and rigorous advocates for all aspects of a company's business. Our experience includes representing the full spectrum of restaurant types including international, national and regional chains; upscale, top-tier establishments; chef's restaurants; casual dining; quick service restaurants and stand-alone facilities in hotels, malls and stadiums.

Our restaurant clients count on us for a full range of legal representation including:

  • Real estate transactions
  • Trademark issues
  • Labor negotiations
  • Financing, restructuring or bankruptcy
  • Franchise issues
  • Taxation
  • Litigation

Corporate Services

Our corporate attorneys are experienced in a variety of matters pertinent to the restaurant industry, including:

  • Debt and equity financing
  • Purchase and sale
  • Operating issues
  • Credit card issues
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Licensing issues
  • Entity formation
  • Formation and dissolution of partnerships
  • Expansion through private syndications
  • Institutional joint ventures
  • Public offerings
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Going private transactions
  • Supplier and distribution arrangements
  • Stock option plans
  • Insurance coverage issues
  • Securities issues

Franchises

JMBM's corporate lawyers have represented numerous organizations in developing, evaluating and negotiating franchise programs and brand agreements. We have also negotiated countless franchise arrangements on behalf of franchisees. Additionally, JMBM actively represents various franchisors in bankruptcy cases pending throughout the United States.

Real Estate and Land Use

Our real estate and land use lawyers represent the needs of restaurants day in and day out and advise on a full range of real estate issues, including:

  • Commercial leasing
  • Acquisitions and sales
  • Lease negotiation and administration for developers and tenants
  • Ground leases, subleases, other leasehold financing documents
  • Landlord disputes
  • Regulation of real property use, permitting and development
  • Code compliance
  • Construction contracts including tenant improvements
  • Complex loan documentation and finance
  • Eminent domain and inverse condemnation
  • Title insurance and mechanics lien issues
  • Environmental issues
  • Abstracting lease portfolios
  • ADA counseling and litigation
  • Portfolio management
  • Chain-wide roll-outs and store closures

Intellectual Property

JMBM's intellectual property attorneys are experienced in the process of identifying, protecting, defending, maximizing and enforcing intellectual property rights for restaurants. We regularly handle a full range of intellectual property issues for our clients, including trademark, copyright, trade dress, trade secrets, licensing, patent, Internet domain names, advertising, and related litigation.

Labor and Employment Law

JMBM's labor and employment lawyers work closely with restaurant clients to develop proactive compliance and dispute resolution strategies. Our goal is to find solutions that minimize disputes with employees and maximize strategic advantage if litigation is necessary. When controversy is unavoidable, we are effective advocates, having handled hundreds of jury trials, administrative trials and appeals before courts and administrative agencies nationwide. We are experienced in a full range of employment and labor law issues and provide counseling and litigation expertise in the following areas:

  • Wage and hour disputes
  • Management representation in collective bargaining – including multi-union, multi-location talks
  • Family Medical Leave Act
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Trade secrets and non-competition agreements
  • Responses to grievance and arbitration actions
  • Management of reductions in force, drug testing, discipline proceedings and strikes
  • Representation in NLRB proceedings

Food Service Issues

JMBM has extensive experience dealing with all aspects of the California state and local legislative and regulatory issues which affect retail food service operations. This includes such areas as the application of sales and hotel taxes to retail food and beverage operations, alcoholic beverage licensure and regulation, retail food sanitation and safety requirements, application of laws such as Proposition 65 to food and beverage operations, and accessibility related issues. The Firm is continuously monitoring food service trends and developments, and it is involved in the formulation of California public policy, related to retail food operations.

Taxation

At JMBM, tax and business counseling blend seamlessly. Our tax lawyers understand business concerns and work closely with colleagues in the Firm’s corporate and real estate groups to ensure the tax efficiency of organizational and transactional decisions. We frequently play the lead role in negotiating and drafting transactional documents, partnership agreements, LLC operating agreements, shareholder agreements and buy-sell agreements. We also advise on the tax consequences of mergers, acquisitions and dispositions. We assist clients in designing and implementing executive compensation programs, such as nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements and stock options. We assist our clients with all state, personal and corporate income tax issues, real property tax assessments, state sales and use taxes and employment taxes. When tax controversies arise, we are experienced in appearing before the Internal Revenue Service, the Franchise Tax Board, the State Board of Equalization and the Employment Development Department in connection with audits of federal and state income taxes, state sales and use taxes, and employment taxes.

Litigation

The JMBM litigation group represents restaurants as both defendants and plaintiffs. We represent the needs of restaurants in a wide range of issues including:

  • Unfair competition and business practice claims
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defense
  • Landlord-tenant disputes
  • Partnership disputes
  • Construction litigation
  • Eminent domain and inverse condemnation
  • Mechanics lien claims
  • Bankruptcy, workouts and restructuring
  • Class action defense
  • Labor and employment law issues

Troubled Real Estate Assets, Workouts, Restructuring and Bankruptcy

Our lawyers are experienced in evaluating both the financial restructuring and bankruptcy implications of a full range of business and real estate transactions. Our lawyers are at home in all Federal and State courts (and routinely appear in bankruptcy cases throughout the United States), arbitrations, mediations and judicial references. Our services include:

  • Loan workouts in and out of bankruptcy
  • Representing lessors in bankruptcy cases concerning timely payment of rent, going out of business sales and closing guidelines, and lease designation rights
  • Buying and selling troubled assets in and out of bankruptcy
  • Out of court workouts, liquidations and corporate dissolutions
  • Representation of Chapter 11 debtors
  • Assumption or rejection of executory contacts and unexpired leases in bankruptcy
  • Disposition of intellectual property licenses and software agreements
  • Relief from the automatic stay and offset issues in bankruptcy
  • Negotiating, preparing and confirming Chapter 11 plans for both debtors and creditors
  • Negotiating and documenting cash collateral orders and debtor-in-possession financing for both debtors and creditors
  • Defense of bankruptcy related litigation such as preference or turnover actions
  • Representation of franchisors in bankruptcy cases

JMBM's restaurant industry group is experienced in all the critical aspects of the restaurant business. We understand the industry and we are committed to our clients’ success.