Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s Agribusiness and Food Practice is a leader in providing legal services for the agribusiness and food industries. Our lawyers have deep legal and operational experience in a myriad of “farm-to-fork” issues – from regulatory compliance, transactions and commercial finance, to commercial and product liability litigation and everything in between – and now have a broad international client base throughout the sector. We are leaders in representing producers, processors, suppliers, cooperatives, lenders and investors worldwide.

Industry Segments We Serve

  • Dairy and dairy-derived food ingredients
  • Beef, poultry, pork, eggs
  • Vegetable and fruit crops
  • Seeds and commodity crops
  • Packaged food and food ingredients
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Dietary and nutritional supplements
  • Crop chemicals
  • Ag biotech products and crop inputs (including “green” products for plant growth regulators, disease and pest control)
  • Food and feed grain trading, transportation and agricultural processing
  • Sugar, ethanol and biodiesel refineries
  • Animal feed and health products

Some examples of matters handled recently in these segments include

  • Regulatory issues, including environmental, FDA, USDA and antitrust
  • Domestic and international mergers and acquisitions
  • Commercial and venture financing
  • Commercial transactions
  • Joint ventures and licensing
  • Funded research and product development agreements
  • Formation issues for start-ups, such as venture capital, strategic investments, commercial agreements and intellectual property protection
  • Defense of consumer and commercial labeling claims

One Firm Approach

Although we work within a specialized area, group members have the full resources of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner behind them. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s more than 1,400 attorneys across the United States, Europe and Asia are linked by technology and our “One Firm” approach to get the job done right. We collaborate with attorneys in the antitrust, environmental, consumer regulatory (food labeling and safety), international, commercial finance, corporate finance, litigation and intellectual property areas to draw on experience and resources to produce successful outcomes and long-term business relationships.

Representative Experience

  • We represented Anglo Irish Bank in a workout and resolution of $450 million debt secured by a multi-state real estate portfolio.
  • We have represented a secured lender in enforcing its rights under a series of loans to a borrower in mid-Missouri. The borrower filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in St. Louis on the eve of our obtaining the appointment of a receiver in Missouri state court. We were successful in immediately converting the bankruptcy case to a Chapter 7 proceeding, including the appointment of a trustee following a contested first-day hearing. The trustee’s appointment led to the orderly liquidation of our client’s collateral, and we continue to enforce rights against the borrower’s guarantors in state court.
  • We represented the trustee for $2 billion of second-lien notes in the Chapter 11 case of Energy Futures Holding Corporation, a large electric utility company. Its case is the eight-largest bankruptcy case in U.S. history. The parties litigated the noteholders’ right to a make-whole premium to the court of appeals, and the noteholders ultimately settled for 100% of principal and interest, plus 87.5% of the make-whole.
  • We acted as Counsel to Delaware Trust Company as indenture trustee in the Chapter 11 case of Caesars Entertainment Operating Corporation in Chicago.
  • We acted for the syndicate of lenders on the restructuring and consensual refinancing of USD 125,000,000 senior ABL facilities provided to a UK based aviation specialist. We worked alongside financial advisers to the lenders, on a consensual options process and arrangements pursuant to which milestones for delivering a consensual refinancing were agreed and monitored.
  • Advised AFG National, one of the leaders of the Russian agriculture products market, on raising up to RUB 9bn from the Russian Direct Investments Fund and a number of Middle East.
  • For over 20 years, continuous comprehensive support for Mars Inc’s investment projects in different parts of Russia since the company entered the Russian market, including construction of seven plants in four Russian regions, major acquisitions (e.g., USD 23 bn. Wrigley acquisition, Royal Canin, Korkunov, etc.) and day-to-day legal issues.