Read our Article in Chief Executive Magazine!

Stairs_to_successIncreasingly, companies are finding the need for increased executive monitoring of their supply chain operations.  Frequently, however, chief executives don’t know how much attention they should be giving their supply chains, or how to get relevant information.  We had the opportunity a couple weeks ago to sit down with Chief Executive magazine to discuss how corporate executives should monitor and guide their companies’ supply chain operations.  The resulting article, “6 Tips for Solving Supply-Chain Problems Before They Become Crises” is at the link.  Enjoy! Continue Reading

Commercial and IP Developments Update – May 2016

As we’ve previously posted for the month of April, here are the legal updates of key commercial and intellectual property developments across Mainland China, Hong Kong and the US.  Topics covered this month include textile recycling in China, Registered Designs Ordinance and Rights of Third Parties to Contracts in Hong Kong, and state and federal legislation in the US affecting manufacturers.  The update can be accessed by clicking the document below.

May 2016 Legal Update link


Vermont Leads Nation in Requiring GMO Labeling; How Has Industry Responded?

Toxic_AppleIn July 2016, Vermont’s Act 120 will take effect, requiring food manufacturers that sell into the state to indicate on food labels whether their products are made using genetic engineering.  The new law, which was enacted in May 2014, was precipitated by a growing GMO labeling movement that now has gained traction in at least 37 states and that is fueled by the lack of scientific certainty concerning the health effects of genetically modified food. Continue Reading

Guest Post: Tax Issues in the Supply Chain

The following is a guest post from Linda Pfatteicher, a Partner in our San Francisco office.  Linda concentrates her practice in international tax and operational structuring, cross-border mergers, acquisitions and post-acquisition integration, and international tax controversies.

As a company sources materials and those materials then flow through the company’s internal supply chain, tax issues can arise, including risk of corporate tax in jurisdictions where the company has no legal entity, transfer pricing inefficiencies for intercompany transfers, and indirect taxes.  The time to identify opportunities to maximize tax efficiencies in the supply chain is often when changes are being made to the supply chain for other reasons as this provides a solid business purpose to support the changes.


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New Food Safety Rule Requiring Sanitary Practices in Transportation

Flickr user FDA Photos FDA Inspector

Flickr / U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The Food and Drug Administration has finalized six of the seven major rules that implement the core of Food Safety Modernization Act.   (See previous posts here and here.)  Finalized on April 5, 2016, the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule builds on the previous five rules: (1) preventive controls rules for human food; (2) preventative controls rules for animal food; (3) Produce Safety rule; (4) Foreign Supplier Verification program rule; and (5) Accreditation of Third-Party Certification rule.  The seventh rule will focus on mitigation strategies to protect food against international adulteration and is expected to be finalized later this year. Continue Reading

Why Tech is the New Thai Seafood

Technology hardwarePreviously we posted on a growing litigation trend in response to the use of trafficked labor in the Thai seafood industry and how we can expect a similar response with recent reports on Congolese mining practices for cobalt, which is used in batteries.  In her article in the Bloomberg BNA Electronic Commerce & Law Report entitled, “Is Tech the New Thai Seafood, and What Does This Mean for Electronic Supply Chains,” Sarah Rathke discusses how the tech industry is now a target of the growing awareness of trafficked and child labor in supply chains and what’s next for tech companies.

The article can be read here.


Legal Blacksmith: How to Avoid and Defend Supply Chain Disputes, featured on SupplyChainBrain podcast

Headphones and LaptopSarah Rathke and Rosemary Coates were guests on a recent podcast episode with SupplyChainBrain discussing their new book Legal Blacksmith: How to Avoid and Defend Supply Chain Disputes.  Sarah and Rosemary chatted about key points found in their helpful guide to understanding supply chain operations and the law that applies, including building the relationships between buyers and suppliers, minimizing risk during the contracting phase, and what to do when legal disputes arise.

The podcast, hosted by Bob Bowman, Managing Editor of SupplyChainBrain, can be downloaded or streamed here.

How to Work with NGOs on Supply Chain Issues

Globe-In-HandsRecently, an online article caught our attention.  Published on, the article is entitled, “Dutch Govt ensure sustainable garment production and textile supply chain,”.  It discusses The Netherlands Government’s recent efforts to bring together textile industry participants, trade associations, and interested NGOs to work together to encourage sustainability efforts and good working conditions in that industry.  This effort is a voluntary agreement, not a law, and the Dutch government has yet to secure funding.  Still, the initiative demonstrates the extent to which supply chain issues are no longer merely organizational or business issues, but now involve the complex confluence of business, industry, law, social policy, human rights, politics, and international relations.  The increase in supply chain transparency regulations are evidence of this fact, but supply chain realities go far beyond transparency laws in many instances. Continue Reading

Quoted in Corporate Counsel Article Discussing the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015!

A few posts ago, we posted an article on H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.  As predicted, President Obama signed the Act into law last week, which gave us an opportunity to talk with Rebekah Mintzer of Corporate Counsel Magazine on an article about the Act that she was working on. Continue Reading