Check out the previous sessions from the 2024 CPG Legal Forum this past February.

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.

The content includes sessions on the following topics:


    General Sessions

    Business Track

    Litigation Track

    Regulatory and Legislation Track

    Roundtable Sessions: Ask the Experts


    A View from the Top: Courtside with Neal Katyal

    Speaking: Neal Katyal, Paul Saunders Professor at Georgetown University, and former Acting Solicitor General of the United States and Partner, Hogan Lovells LLP

    Consumer Brands is honored and thrilled to welcome Neal Katyal, Paul Saunders Professor at Georgetown University and the former Acting Solicitor General of the United States, as the keynote speaker for the 2024 CPG Legal Forum. Considered among the top U.S. Supreme Court advocates in history and having recently argued his fiftieth case before the high Court, Neal has extensive experience in matters of constitutional law, corporate matters, intellectual property, securities, criminal and employment law. A Partner with Hogan Lovells, Neal will discuss a holistic approach to leveraging legal acumen as an advocate in high-stakes litigation and as a trusted advisor to drive results for his clients whether for corporations, legislatures or on behalf of the United States.

    A Fireside Chat with Rachel Brand: Leveraging Legal Acumen for Leadership

    Speaking: Rachel Brand, Executive Vice President of Global Governance, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Walmart Inc. 

    Moderated by: Karen Wilson Thissen, General Counsel and Secretary, General Mills Inc.

    In a fireside chat moderated by Karen Wilson Thissen, General Counsel of General Mills, Rachel Brand will provide perspectives and insights from her varied career leveraging legal acumen for leadership and results. Whether serving as the United States Associate Attorney General (the first woman to do so), an Associate Counsel to the President at the White House, Chief Counsel for Regulatory Litigation at the US Chamber of Commerce, or serving as the Chief Legal Officer to the largest company in the world based on employees and revenue, Rachel has developed a holistic perspective at the intersections of law, policy, business and work culture. CPG Legal Forum attendees will hear Ms. Brand’s insights on navigating challenges, managing risks, actively seeking out innovative approaches to legal strategies for their companies, and finding balance.

    Appellate & Supreme Court Landscape

    Speaking: Mark Perry, Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

    Veteran appellate and Supreme Court advocates discuss the key cases being considered by the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court bring along potential implications for advertising and marketing practices and other issues that may shape CPG shifts on agency deference to the First Amendment.

    Motivating Optimal Performance 

    Speaking: Risa Mish, Professor of the Practice of Management at Cornell University

    Among a leader’s most important responsibilities is to create the conditions that make possible the best performance by their team members. Most people recognize that motivation is a key driver of performance; however, leaders sometimes struggle to choose the right combination of approaches and tools to motivate all team members. “Why,” they wonder, “do some team members excel with enthusiasm, while others seem to perform below their capability – even though I’m providing the whole team with the same resources and opportunities?” This program builds on the central premise that not all individuals are motivated by the same things; to the contrary, some may be demotivated by the identical prompts that others find motivating. This session prepares leaders to assess whether sub-optimal performance is actually due to a lack of motivation, or to other root causes; and (2): learn how to create conditions that help bring out the best in the people who work for us so that we can engage and retain our top talent.

    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.

    Effective Governance: Increasing Board Awareness of Compliance Matters in a Business Never as Usual Environment

    Speaking: Lillian Hardy, Partner, Hogan Lovells LLP
    Jill Louis, Partner, Perkins Coie LLP
    Kristy Meringolo, Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer, The Hain Celestial Group
    Stacy Papadopoulos, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Consumer Brands Association

    The role of the GC and corporate lawyers has long rested on providing sound counsel on a range of reporting responsibilities, but with product recalls and additional ESG scrutiny over the last few years, portfolios continue to expand. This session will explore lessons learned for the CPG industry in management risks on mission critical issues, documenting critical oversight and monitoring efforts and how to implement and maintain best practices, especially with increased stakeholder activism and an active plaintiff’s bar.

    In the Crosshairs: The CPG Litigation Review

    Moderated by: Ani Gulati, Chief Litigation Counsel, General Mills, Inc.
    Cortlin Lannin, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
    Dean Panos, Partner, Jenner and Block LLP
    Charles Sipos, Partner, Perkins Coie LLP
    Angela Spivey, Partner, Alston and Bird LLP

    While Ben Franklin’s quote says “in this world nothing is certain except death and taxes,” he was born before the advent of litigation facing the CPG industry, where it seems that the creativity of plaintiffs assures more challenges. Our panelists will provide a holistic review of litigation facing the industry’s product sectors. 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

    Moderated by: Joseph Aquilina, Senior Director & Associate General Counsel, Consumer Brands Association
    William Cole, Partner, Amin Talati Wasserman, LLP
    Perlette Jura, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
    Laura Kim, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
    Arianna Scavetti, Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

    Commitment to sustainability and promotion of environmental benefits is a unifying aspect of the CPG industry while also presenting unified challenge. This session will discuss how to approach sustainability claims given litigation and reputational challenges, a pulse check on potential updates to the Federal Trade Commission Green Guides, sorting out climate science, public nuisance allegations and how to implement a protective yet innovative approach to novel environmental claims.

    CPG and The Golden State: Prop 65

    Moderated by: Jackie Welch, Vice President, Litigation,
    The J.M. Smucker Company
    Jeff Margulies, Partner, Norton Rose Fullbright US LLP
    Trent Norris, Partner, Hogan Lovells LLP
    Will Wagner, Counsel, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
    Jasmine Wetherell, Partner, Perkins Coie LLP

    In this discussion, panelists will address several topics related to Prop 65, California’s unique toxics labeling regulation, including updates on current and past cases and filing trends, notable settlements, First Amendment challenges in light of 2023’s ruling in Wheat Growers and what’s next on the horizon for the CPG industry.

    Business 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.

    Antitrust & The CPG Industry: Is Winter Coming?

    Speaking: Rachel Adcox, Partner, Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP
    Bill Stallings, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
    Ryan Tisch, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery

    The past year was one of the most active on antitrust with a new proposed rule on HSR Filings and proposed merger guidelines from FTC and DOJ. The complexity of these proposals has put a chill on deals just as the merger environment was heating up post-pandemic. Our panel will walk through current M&A related developments, considerations for labor markets as well as supply chain and discuss ingredients for an effective antitrust program.

    A Chat on Cyber, Privacy & AI

    Moderated by: Mark Danis, Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, The Clorox Company
    Jonathan Cohen, Partner, K&L Gates LLP
    David Saunders, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
    Andy Serwin, Partner, DLA Piper US

    Consumer data and privacy bring forth legal issues that have gone from evolution to revolution in nanoseconds. This session will explore the latest challenges around privacy, cyber and data security, must-know coverage issues and the rise of AI and what it means for CPG companies.

    Advertising and Marketing Claims Vetting

    Moderated by: Kelly Foos, Associate General Counsel, Post Holdings
    Jeffrey Greenbaum, Partner, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC
    Miriam Guggenheim, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

    Our faculty will discuss practical strategies on how legal can work synergistically with other company constituents on product development strategy, advertising claims and promotional practices, including vetting and translating substantiation, consulting relevant laws and recent holdings and managing product disclosures.

    E-Commerce and CPG: Brand Integrity Challenges for the Cloud, Consumers and the Courts

    Moderated by: Martha Motley, Partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
    Allison Buchner, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
    Colleen Devanney, Partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
    Joe Wheatley, Senior Corporate Counsel,
    Amazon Services LLC

    Our panelists examine regulatory and legal challenges associated with e-commerce including product disclosure compliance, advertising copy online versus on pack, brand integrity and counterfeits, AdTech and dark patterns and how the metaverse is shaping consumer engagement, as well as regulatory activity on e-commerce issues at FDA.

    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.

    Playground or Battleground: Examining Jurisdictional Trends in CPG Litigation

    Moderated by: Sarah Langstedt, Senior Counsel, Litigation,
    Mondelēz International
    Rebecca Johns, Senior Associate, King & Spalding LLP
    Jane Metcalf, Partner, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

    Tyler Young, Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

    There’s luck of the draw and there’s luck of the judge and jurisdiction. Our expert panelists review motion to dismiss and Court of Appeal ruling trends in historically active jurisdictions, as well as more novel federal jurisdictions, D.C. Superior Court’s transformation into a haven for NGO’s and state courts where plaintiffs are more active.

    Being Resolute at Pre-Suit 

    Speaking: Cortlin Lannin, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
    Matt Orr, Partner, Amin Talati Wasserman, LLP
    Ron Rothstein, Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP
    Erik Swanholt, Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP

    As demand letters are often an initial pre-litigation step, our faculty will explore practical strategies for pre-suit dynamics while profiling some common trends from NGOs and the plaintiff’s bar, when to consider settlement and evaluation of going the distance in litigation.

    UDAP Gotta be Kidding Me! Trends on the Reasonable Consumer Standard

    Speaking: Bethany Lukitsch, Partner, BakerHostetler
    Steven Swaney, Partner, Venable LLP
    Trent Taylor, Partner, McGuireWoods LLP
    Claudia Vetesi, Partner, Morrison Foerster LLP

    This session survey how the reasonable consumer standard has developed with waves and churn of UDAP cases, with insights on consumer perception surveys, use of experts to interpret findings, labeling considerations with a focus on food and beverage, personal care, household cleaning and pet food.

    Tools of the Trade: Leveraging Theory for Practice with Standing, Primary Jurisdiction and Preemption

    Moderated by: Georgia Man, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Kodiak Cakes
    David Biderman, Partner, Perkins Coie LLP
    Steve Blonder, Principal, Much Shelist, P.C.
    Dale Giali, Partner, King & Spalding LLP

    Our experts present a detailed overview of recent litigation highlighting consumer and NGO standing issues and how to leverage standing, preemption and primary jurisdiction.

    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.

    State Action: Complying with a New Environment of Packaging and Chemical Laws 

    Moderated by: John Hewitt, Vice President, Packing Sustainability, Consumer Brands Association
    Pete DePasquale, Vice President of Government Affairs,
    Keurig Dr. Pepper Inc.
    Kristine Kruger, Senior Counsel, Perkins Coie LLP
    Meshach Rhoades, Partner, Crowell & Moring LLP

    Packaging proposals centered on recyclability as well as chemical bans have created new compliance to-dos for CPG companies. This session will take a bicoastal view of proposals ranging from California to New York, encompassing operational considerations and claims.

    Consumer Protection Issues for the CPG Industry  

    Speaking: Gus Eyler, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
    Daniel Kaufman, Partner, BakerHostetler
    Christopher Leach, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
    Andrew Smith, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

    Given the size of the CPG industry, it has seen its share of issues with the FTC. Our experts impart their government service and private practice experience on how to navigate investigations and respond to inquiries.

    Supply Chain Transparency: Beyond the Food Traceability Rule

    Moderated by: Meredith Olearchik, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel – Intellectual Property, Marketing, Privacy and Food Law, Campbell Soup Company
    Sharon Mayl, Partner, DLA Piper US
    Jessica O’Connell, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
    Brian Sylvester, Partner, Perkins Coie LLP

    Product information is the currency of stakeholders, plaintiffs and consumers. This session will explore legal dynamics on product composition and ingredient traceability issues, including FDA Food Traceability Rule, tracking prohibited and restricted ingredients in cosmetics, how companies can leverage and foster information about suppliers and other supply chain stakeholders, legislative proposals on the horizon and state and federal advisories.

    The Periodic Table of Risk

    Moderated by: Mara Burr, Vice President, Regulatory and Technical Affairs, Consumer Brands Association
    Martin Hahn, Partner, Global Regulatory, Hogan Lovells LLP
    Lori Leskin, Partner, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
    Kate Spelman, Partner, Jenner & Block LLP

    This session will explore the legal and regulatory scrutiny of chemicals, including proposals on PFAS, benzenes, phthalates and other headline making chemicals, litigation and how to shore up defense around “toxic” claims.

    Roundtable Sessions: Ask the Experts 

    Our roundtable sessions will allow attendees to gain expert perspectives on nuanced legal affairs topics with actionable learnings for a variety of CPG companies.

    Battle of Wits?! Consumer Perception Surveys in CPG Litigation

    Sponsored by: King & Spalding

    Consumer perception and dueling experts have become an ongoing theme for the CPG industry and litigation landscape. Our experts explore the dynamics of conjoint analysis, how evidence of consumer interpretation plays out to decode motivation to purchase products and how these have shaped outcomes across a range of product sectors.

    Bringing Light to Dark Patterns

    Sponsored by: McGuireWoods

    As technology continues to evolve the way brands interact with consumers of CPG products, it’s imperative to stay a step ahead with how advertising models can create unique litigation risks. From auto-renewals, auto-ships, to nagging and trapping, our panelists will discuss so-called dark patterns of sales practices, including how these issues are being addressed by state and federal regulators.

    CPG and Competition: Antitrust Forecast for 2024

    Sponsored by: Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP

    Noted antitrust practitioners including a DOJ veteran sort out the FTC and DOJ’s efforts to reset legal standards for mergers; implications of supply chain consolidation and potential antitrust considerations; recent litigation; and actionable insights around competition and pricing issues in a post pandemic world.

    D.C. Superior: Jurisdictional Plaintiff’s Dynamite in a Small Package

    Sponsored by: Patterson Belknap

    The DCCPPA grants standing to non-profits, side stepping Article III jurisdiction and creating legal headaches on a range of issues for the CPG industry.

    Household and Personal Care Products

    Sponsored by: Arnold & Porter

    Household and personal care products continue to occupy a major portion of the CPG industry. However, these product sectors have spurred ongoing legal challenges and compliance dynamics. From a varied list of claims from clean beauty to non-toxic, natural claims to the tension between product advancements and litigation risk, there are key legal and regulatory dynamics that brands and retailers need to be aware of.

    Insurance Issues in CPG Class Actions

    Sponsored by: Much Shelist

    The CPG industry regularly faces class action lawsuits, and companies regularly seek insurance coverage for these claims. This roundtable will discuss the challenges and obstacles to obtaining insurance for class actions, as well as where to look for coverage, and how to maximize the coverage for which your company or your client paid.

    On Blast: How Influencers and Media Deals May be Tagging Brands for Litigation Risk

    Sponsored by: BakerHostetler

    The CPG industry is no stranger to strategic partnerships for products and has been on the front lines of social media. This roundtable explores recent litigation and regulatory risk related to endorsements and testimonials, potential product claims exposure and how to ensure your brand won’t get put on blast.

    Optimizing Your Assets — The Role of Litigation Funding

    Sponsored by: Burford Capital

    Litigation can be a very expensive problem, whether it’s the pre-filing of a complaint, pleadings, discovery, motions, trial or an appeal. Brands and firms have increasingly turned to financing solutions to help manage expenses and deploy resources to ensure zealous advocacy.

    Packing Up for California: Exploring the Golden State Packaging Laws and Other State Proposals

    Sponsored by: Perkins Coie

    SB 54 and SB 343 have created new compliance duties as well as claims frameworks. Our speakers discuss finding ways through that maze.

    Pet Food Litigation

    Sponsored by: Norton Rose Fulbright

    As appetites for litigation continue to grow for plaintiffs and class action attorneys, many have used similar strategies for actions involving pets, including standards of identity to “natural” or “real” claims and novel terms like “biologically appropriate.” Experts will provide analysis of recent litigation, notable settlements, pet food and supplement labeling dynamics from the FFDCA, state labeling requirements and the Association of American Feed Control Officials.

    Privacy and Data Security

    Sponsored by: Kirkland & Ellis

    From data breaches to state privacy proposals, consumer packaged goods companies need to pursue holistic approaches to data security and handling of consumer data. Hear about litigation and regulatory traffic from both states as well as the Federal Trade Commission.

    Real Intel on AI

    Sponsored by: Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC

    This roundtable will cover how brands and advertising agencies are using generative AI tools, ownership and authorship issues, what AI means for common advertising agreement provisions and other key watchouts, including truth in advertising, unfairness, disclosures and more.

    Review of NAD and other Self-Regulatory Organizations

    Sponsored by: Covington & Burling

    From comparative claims by competitors to allegations of unsubstantiated ESG claims, industry self-regulation has created its own body of precedent which, while not legally binding, is crucial for the CPG legal community. As self-regulatory organizations continue to develop precedent on claim substantiation and ESG issues, what are the implications for brands?

    Risky Business? ESG Commitments

    Sponsored by: Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

    From setting new packaging goals to other environmental commitments, this session explores the litigation and media risks, newer sustainability terms such as regenerative and bio-based and how to craft copy and make good on forward-looking sustainability goals.

    Sales Practices Come at a Price

    Sponsored by: Amin Talati Wasserman

    Manufacturers and retailers need to be especially mindful of sales practice litigation — allegations around shrinkflation, how discounts are claimed, slack fill and number of servings per container, legal pitfalls of hidden fees, retail operations and POS issues and best practices for risk mitigation.

    Settlement Dynamics in CPG Litigation

    Sponsored by: Foley & Lardner LLP

    Money can’t buy you class, but in CPG class action litigation there are slew of factors in structuring settlements. Hear perspectives on lessons learned from notable settlements spanning numerous product sectors, administrators and administrative feasibility, among other factors.

    Total Recall: Navigation and Risk Mitigation Best Practices

    Sponsored by: Hogan Lovells

    Experts discuss legal and operational challenges of product recall issues in a complex CPG supply chain, RCA methods, strategies for business to business or business to consumer and communication plans, including UDAP litigation that results from recalls.

    Trademark and Lanham Act Litigation Round Up

    Sponsored by: Winston & Strawn

    From trademarks to misleading advertising, this specialized area that is part advertising law and part trademark continues to be an active area for litigation for CPG products, including recent high-profile actions in appellate cases as well as the Supreme Court. 

    Unwrapping PFAS in the CPG Industry

    Sponsored by: Alston & Bird

    There’s lots of fuss around PFAS given state restrictions on these chemicals in food packaging and the CPG industry being targeted in consumer class action labeling suits. This roundtable will discuss these developments and actionable risk mitigation strategies.


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