Pooja S. Nair is a business litigator and problem solver with a focus on the food and beverage sector. She advises food and beverage clients, including restaurant groups, mid-market food brands, and food manufacturers on a comprehensive range of issues, including employment, trade secrets, partnership disputes, contract negotiations and intellectual property. Additionally, Pooja focuses on finding creative, long-term solutions to the business problems affecting companies of all sizes and industries, from startups to publicly traded entities. She combines litigation experience with a strategic perspective, so that legal decisions make business sense.

She has published extensively on business law and food and beverage legal issues for publications including Law360, Daily Journal, Eater, California Lawyer, Food Dive and Bloomberg BNA, and has had been quoted or referenced by The New York Times, the Motley Fool publication Millionacres, MSN Money, Los Angeles Times, Yahoo! News and Reuters. She also writes a bi-monthly column for Modern Restaurant Management on legal developments affecting restaurants.

Prior to joining ECJ, Pooja practiced at TroyGould, where she was the head of the Food and Beverage practice group. She also spent five years at Foley & Lardner focused on white collar criminal defense and internal investigations.

Pooja is active in the community and serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Music and Arts School, the Harvard Club of Southern California, and the Inner City Law Center. She is recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as both one of the “Most Influential Women Lawyers” and a “Minority Leader of Influence."

Pooja is passionate about history and appeared as a legal historian on the Travel Channel show Lost Secrets in 2019.  She has spoken on Alexander Hamilton’s legal career and Aaron Burr’s treason trial at NerdNite events in Los Angeles and Oakland, as well as at Federal Hall, Hamilton Grange, the Museum of American Finance and Morris-Jumel Mansion.

Representative Matters

Business Litigation

Obtained verdict of over $1 million after two-week jury trial in a real estate elder abuse matter.

Obtained successful respondent’s verdict after six day restraining order trial.

Obtained verdict of $5.5 million after two-week jury trial in a breach of oral contract and theft by false pretenses case.

Represented client a five-week jury trial in an investment fraud matter and obtained a verdict of $20.3 million.

Negotiated $900,000 settlement agreement to resolve contract dispute between food exporter and large customer.

Represented client in litigation involving contract and patent issues related to T-cell immunotherapy technology.

Represented client in complex litigation involving antitrust, breach of contract and patent claims. Successfully excluded multiple experts in Daubert motions.

Food and Beverage Practice

Advised multiple clients in responding to false advertising class action lawsuits and demand letters, in both state and federal court.

Advised restaurant clients on obtaining workplace restraining orders on behalf of employees.

Negotiated dispute between restaurant and chef over ownership of menu items.

Advised restaurant client on trade secrets dispute involving craft cocktail recipes.

Counseled multiple restaurant and consumer package goods clients on obtaining trademarks and protecting their intellectual property.

Negotiated separation of business partners in LLC for multi-location restaurant.

Counseled restaurant client on music licensing issues.

Represented sports nutrition company in handling franchise agreement issues to avoid litigation.

Employment Issues

Counseled clients in the mortgage, restaurant, pharmaceutical and beauty industries in best practices for handling internal complaints from current and former employees to comply with state and federal law. 

Represented holistic wellness company in handling embezzlement investigation and employee termination.

Revised employee handbooks, offer letters and employment contracts to ensure compliance with state and federal laws for clients in the restaurant, fitness, wellness and retail space.

Internal Investigations

Representation of pharmaceutical company in extensive internal investigation into internal complaints regarding drug development to ensure compliance with federal and state law.

Represented financial advisor company in handling internal fraud investigation and subsequent employee termination.

Representation of pharmaceutical company in extensive internal investigation into internal complaints regarding drug development to ensure compliance with federal and state law.


Conducted neutral internal investigations for multiple employers to resolve employee complaints for harassment and discrimination.

Advised startup clients in the food and beverage, wellness, and technology industries regarding employee issues, venture capital financing structure, and corporate formation issues.

Counseled food and beverage startup client on exit of co-founders to avoid litigation.

Advised multiple startup clients on financing options.

Honors & Affiliations

Honors & Recognitions

Minority Leaders of Influence, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2020, 2021 &2024

Southern California Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2017- 2024

Los Angeles Times B2B Publishing, City National Bank- Next Generation Award, Finalist, 2023

Women’s Leadership Awards, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2022 

Women of Influence: Attorneys, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2019 & 2022

Best Lawyers in America, One to Watch & Women in Law, 2021 & 2022

Top Women Attorneys, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2020

Community & Professional

Harvard Club of Southern California, Board of Directors

Los Angeles Music and Art School, Board of Directors

Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society, California Chapter President

Media & Events

Client Alerts

Blog Posts


Speaking Engagements



J.D., Harvard Law School 

B.A., University of California, San Diego, magna cum laude


  • California
  • Best Lawyers 2021 - Nair
  • JD Supra_Readers' Choice Top Author
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