We frequently joke that, after 400-500 years, we lawyers really do catch on! Catch on to what? Look around and you will notice that economic activity is largely organized by industry. Departments and groups in law firms, by contrast, often reflect law school classes rather than the industries they purport to serve. After 400-500 years (actually, in 1988, for us), our Retail Group really did catch on — we departed from the traditional law firm structure and focused ourselves first and foremost on the industry that is our passion — retailing.
What can we do for our retail clients? Our service is focused on you, your customers, your stores, your challenges, and your opportunities. We deliver our service in a direct and personal way. We know that our retail clients put a premium on our responsiveness and efficiency. The quality and depth of our services reflect our years of fun and experience with retailers (collectively, well more than 150 years!).
Our practice reflects the diverse and successful nature of our retail clients. A sample of our experience base is described below.
RETAIL LEASINGAs a result of the success and vision of our clients, our retail leasing practice extends to every major U.S. market. Our client base reflects the diversity of retailing, from small, single-store startups to international chains. To illustrate the breadth of our practice, consider that
Our clients have included:
REPRESENTING FRANCHISEESVirtually all retailers, especially franchisees, make more progress in leasing negotiations if they focus on a strong letter of intent ("LOI"). We often assist franchisees with their LOI's, which pave the way for a much more successful lease negotiation.
A lease is not only one of a franchisee's largest obligations, but also one of a franchisee's largest (and most strategic) assets. A franchisee's lease is a platform for the business and a key asset (especially when a franchisee has an opportunity to sell!)
A franchisee's lease should not only satisfy lease-related requirements and objectives of the franchisor, but should allow the franchisee to achieve its own strategic objectives.
We assist franchisees with these leasing services with the same experience, insight and strategies that we bring to bear for large retailers. We offer a suite of payment options, including a variety of fixed fee services.
STORE CLOSURES/DOWN-SIZING/LEASE RESTRUCTURINGWe have extensive experience with efforts by retailers to re-configure their businesses. Members of our Retail Practice Group have closed stores or restructured leases for several hundred locations nationwide, including negotiations with many national retail landlords.
PURCHASE AND SALE TRANSACTIONSOur Retail Practice Group annually handles several dozen purchase and sale transactions throughout the country, especially in the retail context. These transactions vary in size from ownership of entire developments to single parcel transactions, but all are important to our clients so we give close attention to each deal.
LICENSINGSeveral members of our Retail Practice Group have considerable experience in licensing in the retail and telecom contexts. For example, we have handled national and international license arrangements, which touch the essence of their businesses, namely their valuable brands.
SALES AND ACQUISITIONSWe provide legal advice about the sale and acquisition of retail businesses, especially in connection with leasing and related operating issues. We have handled many large due diligence projects in connection with acquisitions and dispositions of retail chains and groups of stores, including obtaining consents, estoppels, and amendments in a timely and efficient fashion.
OPERATIONSWe represent and counsel retail customers about operations issues, vendor disputes, construction matters, liability issues, and promotional matters.
DISPUTE RESOLUTIONOur Litigation Practice Group has represented retailers in a large variety of disputes that have involved vendors, store closures, other lease-related issues, advertising and promotions, environmental issues, licensing, defective products, contractual disputes, and operating issues. In addition to traditional courtroom litigation, we encourage our clients to employ Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques, which (when effectively utilized) produce fair and efficient resolution of disputes.
CREATIVE BILLINGUnlike many law firms who talk about alternative billing arrangements (but, in fact, bill almost everything hourly), we have a huge amount of experience in fixed fee, blended fee, capped fee, limited scope and other alternative billing arrangements.
CONTACT USIf there is an opportunity for us to help you, please let us know. We would be delighted.
Please contact Tom James, Managing Member, at 206.438.5225 (tel); 206.438.5226 (fax); or , or any other member of our group. We look forward to hearing from you!
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OUR LAWYERSRobert K. Brown
Britt M. Ericson
Thomas S. James, Jr.
Robert J. Iff
Donald S. Kunze
James H. Lovell
Matthew A. Nyman
OUR PARALEGALSGlenda Ahn
Beth A. Pinkers
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