Retail and Leisure

protecting your brand

Mobile phones are re-defining the retail and leisure industries, our clients are continually looking for us to advise them in relation to technology, intellectual property, communications and data protection in order to stay ahead of their competitors.

The worldwide retail and leisure sectors are continuously evolving and going through enormous changes as consumers move away from traditional buying methods towards online shopping. At the coal face of this seismic change is mobile technology and social media, the move away from the traditional store to online shopping and of course then there is the question of demographic shifts in the population.

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Adams Law deals with both contentious and non-contentious matters in the Retail & Leisure sectors. Our highly skilled solicitors act for retailers, hoteliers, hotel chains, hotel developers, restaurateurs, wholesalers, investors, private equity firms, venture capital firms, franchise holders and franchisees in Ireland and abroad.

Retail and leisure clients require advice on a broad range of disciplines. We specialise in the following areas of Retail and Leisure law:

  • E-commerce
  • Employment
  • Corporate
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Franchising
  • Information technology
  • Intellectual property
  • International
  • Investment and management
  • Joint ventures and co-operations
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Project finance
  • Real Estate
  • Regulatory/compliance and data protection
  • Reorganisation and restructuring
  • Tax

Adams Law advises some of the world’s best-known brands, including high-street retailers, international leisure companies, luxury brands and food & beverage businesses.  

Intellectual Property

In the on-line world of retail and leisure, the protection of your brand is absolutely key to the continued success of your business. Our solicitors are experts in the protection, enforcement and exploitation of intellectual property rights, including patents, trade-marks, copyright, designs, know-how and confidential information.

Successful brands do not happen by themselves. Of paramount importance to every business is the protection of their brand, products and ideas. It may be a compliment to be copied but the consequences on your business can be significant. Businesses are All companies and businesses, whether small or large, will trade under a brand or have ideas or products that require protection in order to prevent third parties from copying them. Obtaining protection also enables those companies and businesses to realise the full commercial benefit of their intellectual property assets.

We are a full service intellectual property practice providing the following:

Protection – trade mark and design portfolio management including registering national and international trade marks and designs

Enforcement – enforcing all intellectual property rights and developing effective anti-counterfeiting and parallel import strategies

Exploitation – drafting and negotiating licences, assignments, distribution agreements, franchise agreements and agency agreements

Our expert lawyers will guide you through the process every step of the way. Best of all you can be confident that you can control costs and work within an agreed budget.

Employment & HR

At Adams Law, one of the most significant areas that we advise of retail and leisure clients on is employment law. A whole range of issues arise for retail and leisure businesses during the working week. Some of the areas that we have advised on recently are:-

  • Employment contracts.
  • Redundancies and unfair dismissals.
  • Zero hour contracts.
  • Minimum wage, working time and Sunday working.
  • Fraud and theft.
  • Disciplinary and grievance matters and procedures.
  • Working conditions.
  • Negotiating with Unions.

Construction

Whether you are building a hotel, a shopping centre or a mixed use development, we have been involved in advising clients in relation to all aspects of the construction process. Some of the services we provide are:

  • Construction and building contracts.
  • Collateral warranties, guarantees and bonds.
  • Financing Agreements.
  • Tendering and procurement.
  • Terminating contracts.
  • Risk management.
  • Dispute resolution.
  • Health and safety.
  • Insolvency issues.
  • Agreements for leases, leases and licences.

Regulatory

The regulatory team deals with all aspects of regulatory compliance including environmental law, health & safety and trading standards.

We advise retailers on regulatory compliance; audit their policies and procedures in order to ensure that they are fit for purpose; advise and represent them with regard to regulatory offences and defend clients who end up being prosecuted following interview.

Restructuring & Insolvency

This team combines experience in contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters from business restructuring and turnaround to complex fraud investigations and asset clawback proceedings. The current economic climate can create opportunities for businesses to consolidate and emerge from the recession stronger and with potentially greater market share.

We can review your terms and conditions and supply chain and advise on ways to protect your business against the current market turmoil.  We can consider and advise on the impact to your business with regard to any insolvency related issues with customers, suppliers or other third parties.

The team acts for insolvency practitioners, companies, directors, individuals, financial institutions and other stakeholders in relation to the complete range of formal and informal turnaround and insolvency processes.

We commonly advise on a wide range of issues, including landlord/ tenant issues, business disposal or acquisition, retention of title, security reviews, enhancement and enforcement, debtor recoveries and directors duties.

Debt Recovery

Unfortunately no matter how robust your own credit control processes are, you will more than likely encounter individuals or businesses who fail to pay on time.

As a specialist debt recovery team we have the expertise, technology and experience to provide a complete collections service from pre legal through to enforcement and if necessary, insolvency.

Cases can be monitored by you through our secure web based extranet meaning that you can have instant access to the current position on your debts day or night.  In addition, regular management information can be provided to support any internal needs, audits or regulatory requirements you may have.

Quite simply, our aim is to try to ensure recovery of your debt quickly, transparently and at least cost to you.

Fast Food Retail

Our fast food team has specialist knowledge and understanding of the fast food restaurant industry, including the specific requirements of fit out and commercial seating in food courts, large shopping centres and motorway service stations. This expertise enables clients to capitalise on their property portfolios, whether they are large retail chains or start up businesses.

We advise many types of business on the property, regulatory and commercial issues that are specific to the fast food retail sector. We act for fast food restaurants and retail chains including Burger King, Wagamama, Turtle Bay and Las Iguanas; and motorway service station owners Extra MSA.

Corporate & Commercial

Our wide range of skills and experience enables us to provide tailored and commercial advice for each of our retail & leisure clients. Whether you are expanding an established business or setting up your first company, our goal is to ensure transactions proceed smoothly in order to save you time and help you to generate profit.

We work with our clients in:

  • Business and company acquisitions, disposals and reorganisations.;
  • Regulatory and constitutional affairs including directors’ duties, responsibilities and liabilities.
  • Board and shareholder disputes.
  • Strategic planning and the establishment and termination of joint ventures.
  • We also assist with UK and international terms of business, ecommerce, supply, distribution, warehousing, agency, outsourcing and similar agreements.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

When a dispute arises you need lawyers who are technically excellent, who understand the retail business and who can provide commercial, cost-effective solutions to the issues facing you. Our retail & leisure team provides legal expertise and the commercial understanding required in difficult times. Team members have been seconded in-house to retail clients to enhance their commercial understanding of the retail business.

We see our relationship with you as a collaborative partnership with the sole strategic aim of achieving a commercial resolution to your problem, either through the court system or through alternative forms of dispute resolution such as mediation and arbitration. Our clients recognise our expertise in complex, high value commercial disputes.

Our team consists of members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, trained mediators and adjudicators. We also have Solicitor Advocates and Barristers who regularly appear as advocates before the higher courts and other tribunals.

Planning & Environment

The planning team has a wide range of experience on all retail & leisure issues, from stand alone stores to town regeneration projects. The team is renowned for its proactive approach in situations where retailers often face tight deadlines and speed of response is crucial.  Our aim is to make the process from inception to planning consent and beyond as smooth as possible.

The team regularly advises retailers on the following:

Planning policy – advice on national, regional and local policy and how it might affect plans for development

Planning applications and appeals – advice and assistance in connection with planning applications and on entering into Section 106 and 278  agreements, appeals and judicial review

Planning and environment problems – our clients often come to us to resolve planning and related problems, enforcement issues, compulsory purchase matters and environmental concerns

Real Estate

Property is one of the highest fixed costs for a retailer. It is not, however, a retailer’s raison d’être and the way in which we work with retailers reflects this. We work hard to secure terms which are important to our retail clients and do not nit-pick over matters with which they are not concerned.

On acquisitions, we understand that timing is key. A delay in completing a transaction could eat into any rent free period which a retailer has been given; it can affect recruitment and cause warehousing problems when stock is not moved into a store. Whether you are acquiring, developing or disposing of stores or dealing with management of your portfolio, we will project manage the legal issues to help deliver the result your business requires.

As a national firm, we are capable of assembling a sizeable team to deal with large scale projects such as company reorganisations and portfolio acquisitions.

Our real estate team works hand in glove with our market leading Property Litigation team to provide a seamless service to retailers.

RECENT HIGHLIGHTS OF WORK;

  • Advising major food retailer and cloths retailer in all aspect of their business including leasing if units in mixed use developments, acquisition of properties, employment law issues, health and safety issues, corporate law issues and commercial contracts.
  • Leasing of a group of commercial properties from a receiver for a leisure company.
  • Sale of a site for the construction of a hotel for €10M.
  • Sale of a hotel group for a sum in excess of €450M
  • Development of a hotel and golf resort worth in excess of €40M.
  • Advice to a pension fund in relation to the acquisition of retail and leisure investments in excess of €100M.
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Lisa Webb

Senior Associate

lwebb@adamslaw.ie