Overview

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, startups and other businesses on a comprehensive range of issues, including employment, trade secrets, partnership disputes, contract negotiations and intellectual property.

Pooja focuses on finding creative, long-term solutions to the business problems affecting companies of all sizes, from startups to publicly traded entities. She combines litigation experience with a strategic perspective, so that legal decisions make sense on a business level.

She has published extensively on business law and food and beverage legal issues for publications including Law 360, Daily Journal, Eater, California Lawyer and Bloomberg BNA. She 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 and the Harvard Club of Southern California. In 2019, she was recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the “Most Influential Women Lawyers” in the city.

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

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

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

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.


Startups

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.


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.

Honors & Affiliations

Honors & Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America, One to Watch, 2021

Top Women Attorneys, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2020

Top Minority Lawyers, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2020

Most Influential Women Lawyers, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2019

Southern California Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, multiple years

Community & Professional

Harvard Club of Southern California, Board of Directors

Los Angeles Music and Art School, Board of Directors

Young Professionals Board, Los Angeles Music and Art School, Chair (January 2017-July 2019)

Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society, California Chapter President

Media & Events

Blog Posts

Publications

Speaking Engagements

Education

J.D., Harvard Law School 

B.A., Political Science and Government, University of California, San Diego, magna cum laude

Admissions

  • California
  • Best Lawyers 2021 - Nair
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