Sessions

CPG Legal Forum helps protect your brands and mitigate risk.

The CPG Legal Forum is curated by experts in the CPG industry and covers household, personal care, food and beverage, dietary supplements, pet food and OTC products. Concurrent sessions are divided into three areas: regulatory and legislation, litigation and business operations (includes navigating ESG, advising corporate boards and helping leverage legal acumen for a brand’s success).

The content* includes sessions on the following topics:

Keynotes

    • Leveraging Legal Acumen for Leadership
    • Expert Perspectives: Making Your Case from the 13 to the 9
    • The Road to 1 First Street NE

General Sessions

    • Fireside Chat with CPG General Counsels
    • In the Crosshairs: CPG Litigation Review
    • A Sustainable Path for CPG Green Claims
    • Keep Your Friends Close, but Plaintiffs’ Counsel Closer

Business Operations Track:

  • Legal Considerations for E-Commerce and the CPG Industry
  • CPG Cyber and Privacy Issues Unwrapped
  • Above Board: Governance Best Practices for the CPG CLO
  • Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: The Role of Private Equity in the CPG Industry

Litigation Track:

  • Prop 65: The Nation State of California
  • May Contain Traces of Claims       
  • Legs to Stand On: Highlight Reel of Standing Issues in CPG Litigation
  • Survey Says, Expert Needed

Regulatory & Legislation Track:

  • Packaging Sustainability
  • Federal Trade Commission: Competition and Consumer Protection Issues for the CPG Industry
  • Toxicants, Chemicals and Law, Oh My
  • Major Questions on Congressional Deference and Regulatory Agencies – the world after EPA v. West Virginia

Roundtable Sessions: Ask the Experts 

*Content is subject to change

Keynotes:

Leveraging Legal Acumen for Leadership

Chief legal professionals are often tasked with shaping many aspects within a company, ranging from compliance to culture. Hear perspectives from the 82nd Attorney General and Senior Counsel at Covington & Burling, Eric Holder, on how to leverage legal acumen for leadership. As the nation’s former chief legal officer, Eric will discuss winning strategies for litigation, regulatory, public policy as well as emerging social issues and provide practical insights CPG professionals can take back to their companies.

Expert Perspectives: Making Your Case from the 13 to the 9

Cases being considered by the 13 US Courts of Appeal and US Supreme Court bring along potential implications for advertising and marketing practices and other issues that may shape CPG.

Mark A. Perry, Co-Head of Weil’s Appellate practice and a member of the Firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation practice, will provide his perspective on cases on the docket and what they could potentially mean for CPG. He is a veteran U.S. Supreme Court advocate and legal strategist who focuses on complex business cases in trial and appellate courts around the United States.

The Road to 1 First Street NE

Mike Davis will provide an overview of Supreme Court innerworkings, including selecting candidates, vetting, nominating, and confirming justices to 1 First Street NE. Mike Davis, the former Chief Counsel for Nominations to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, is the founder and president of the Article III Project. Davis has served in all three branches of the federal government, including for President George W. Bush, the Justice Department, House Speaker Newt Gingrich and current Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Davis also led the outside support team for Justice Gorsuch’s successful confirmation to the Supreme Court.

General Sessions:

General sessions are designed to capture the essence of legal issues that affect the whole of the industry with captivating perspectives from company general counsels, legal approaches to ESG, curating acumen and intelligence from litigation and providing perspective from plaintiffs.

Fireside Chat with CPG General Counsels

This panel of new CPG industry general counsels and rising in-house stars will discuss the learning curves they faced in their respective companies. Whether they were already a seasoned in-house attorney, or this was their first exposure to the industry, this group will discuss the unique challenges and opportunities, what keeps them up at night and the next gen CPG legal priorities.

In the Crosshairs: CPG Litigation Review

We may be tired of saying we live in an unprecedented time, but the amount of litigation facing brands in the food and beverage and dietary supplement industry is incredible. From class actions on a range of flavors, ingredients quality and quantity claims and litigation trends from the last year to more novel challenges for food companies on environmental issues, there are a vast array of issues fueling the class action and plaintiff’s’ bar appetites. Don’t miss your seat at the table to hear about trends in filings, active jurisdictions, ingredient and labeling vulnerability, notable rulings and settlements.

A Sustainable Path for CPG Green Claims

Commitment to sustainability and promotion of environmental benefits is a unifying aspect of the CPG industry though there continues to be shades of gray on appropriate standards. This session will discuss how to approach sustainability claims, potential updates to the Federal Trade Commission Green Guides, lessons learned from other industries such as textiles and fashion, vetting potential environmental impact and sorting out climate science, public nuisance allegations, preventative measures, best steps with carbon footprints, the SEC climate change disclosure proposed rule and how to leverage the legal department to shoulder reputational challenges.

Keep Your Friends Close, but Plaintiffs’ Counsel Closer

Plaintiff’s attorneys will discuss their approach to the CPG industry, class plaintiffs, common threads, and jurisdictional issues. Our panelists will cover a variety of topics and discuss trends within each of these areas, as well as discuss litigation that is being brought on the class action front and on behalf of organizations. This session will encompass all CPG product sectors and is a can’t miss.

Business Operations Track:

As nearly every business action carries legal implications, CPG lawyers are constantly providing a range of advisory counsel, whether it’s for product innovation, market expansion, managing risk, advising company leadership on governance or ensuring compliance.

Legal Considerations for E-Commerce and the CPG Industry

With ecommerce approaching 15 percent of all retail sales, and increasing adoption by smartphone-purchasing population, there continues to be unparalleled growth potential as well as legal considerations in the CPG space. Our panelists will take a look at the regulatory and legal challenges associated with e-commerce including consumer protection, advertising, navigate accessibility and ADA compliance, trademark issues as well as unauthorized sales, utilizing analytics to measure business strategy, customer reviews, how the metaverse is shaping consumer engagement and more.

CPG Cyber & Privacy Issues Unwrapped

Beyond the great products the industry offers, consumer privacy and company data are the most important tools of the trade. Whether you’re purchasing your product from around the world or around the corner, there are important privacy considerations all CPG legal professionals should be mindful of. Our experts will profile the latest developments in privacy law including the FTC proposed rulemaking, cross linking data, adopting measures to keep pace with the ever-changing data security landscape along with practical considerations for CPG companies.

Above Board: Governance Best Practices for the CPG CLO

As CPG companies continue to navigate challenges from supply chain, CSR and ESG, the General Counsel plays an increasing role to give top notch advisory support for compliance, ethics, privacy and business strategy. This session will explore reporting relationships, raising risk oversight, shareholder voting and control matters, performing due diligence, reporting on internal investigations and navigating company challenges. This session will also discuss proxy season and stakeholder activism.

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: The Role of Private Equity in the CPG Industry

Private equity plays a continually important role investing in and managing the assets of CPG companies of all sizes from start-up to middle market, to household names. Hear perspectives on unique operational and transactional dynamics CPG legal teams should be aware of.

Litigation Track:

CPG products are essential to consumers everyday life which means not every consumer will be happy and many plaintiffs lawyers are given creative ammunition. Our faculty will provide insights on filings and notable rulings, practical perspectives to hone litigation skills that are specific to CPG, navigating international disputes, litigation funding and more. 

Prop 65: The Nation State of California

In this discussion, panelists will address several topics related to Prop 65, including updates on current and past cases, first amendment challenges, short-form warnings, changes at OEHHA, and how Consumer Brands has engaged. The session will also offer reviews of past rulings, such as preemption, an overview of enforcement actions, the emergence of new litigants, and actionable strategies.

May Contain Traces of Claims       

This session will explore claims vetting for a range of CPG products: how substantiation helps brands prevail on motions to dismiss; ensuring coordination of counsel with marketing and product development teams; frequently litigated claims in the personal care and household cleaning; and a forecast on the FDA’s proposed rule on healthy and how it may shape claim development.

Legs to Stand On: Highlight Reel of Standing Issues in CPG Litigation

Our experts present a detailed overview of recent litigation highlighting consumer and NGO standing issues. Recent cases in the food and personal care space are profiled, states with private right of action, preemption, how the battle of Viking River Cruises v. Moriana will shape litigation in the CPG space.

Survey Says, Expert Needed

While litigation is as much a battle of wits, law and facts, consumer perception research and experts to sort through findings plays a critical role in making your case. This discussion will cover the latest learnings from key federal and state courts, design process and structuring survey questions to avoid bias and strategies for overcoming Daubert challenges with insights applicable regardless of product sector.

Regulatory & Legislation Track:

Given that CPG products are regulated by a variety of agencies, it’s essential to be up to speed to ensure compliance ensure that company can operate with a measure of regulatory certainty. From recalls, ESG, forthcoming legislation, our faculty will approach this track with comprehensive insights.

Packaging Sustainability

Packaging proposals centered on recyclability dominate state and federal affairs proposals and represent tremendous risks and potential. Hear about the action on Capitol Hill and in the states on issues what it means for the General Counsel’s office. This session will cover extended producer recyclability and new state and federal laws taking effect, as well as compliance considerations.

Federal Trade Commission: Competition and Consumer Protection Issues for the CPG Industry

While one of the smaller agencies in Washington, the FTC oversees a crucial insertion of business interests and consumer protection issues shared across the CPG industry. Our panel, which includes former FTC officials will discuss recent happenings at the agencies covering investigations, recent DOJ/FTC guidelines, mergers and marketing practices and how FTC policies will shape daily legal and regulatory considerations for the CPG industry.

Toxicants, Chemicals and Law, Oh My

Chemicals may compose the makeup of everything and present innovative potential for CPG products and packaging; as well as the potential risk for CPG companies and their legal departments. This session will explore the legal and regulatory scrutiny of PFAS, benzenes, phthalates and other headline making chemicals of the last year, detection strategies, site remediation, along with analysis of upcoming legislation and regulatory activity on these substances.

Major Questions on Congressional Deference and Regulatory Agencies – the world after EPA v. West Virginia

While the Supreme Court’s decision in EPA v. West Virginia is cited as a climate change decision it also upends decades of administrative law interpretation and Congressional deference. The case noting that “administrative agencies must be able to point to ‘clear congressional authorization’ when they claim the power to make decisions of vast ‘economic and political significance” many regs are vulnerable. This session will explore regulations where clear delegation may spell legal challenges including at the FDA, USDA, OSHA and beyond.

Roundtable Sessions: Ask the Experts 

On Friday, February 24, roundtable sessions provide attendees expert perspectives on nuanced legal affairs topics. Identified based on member discussions and tracking of legal affairs issues relevant to the CPG industry, the roundtables deliver actionable learnings and peer to peer exchange.  

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