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The Fashion Forward Firm

Top row, from left: Ron Abrams, Gina Bibby, Jeffrey Kobulnick, Philip Bonoli, Deborah Greaves, Nicholas Rozansky and Joseph Rothberg Bottom row, from: Mark Brutzkus, Michael Bernet, Sheri Broffman, Michael Weisberg and Susan Robbins | Photo by © Laurel Hungerford

Brutzkus Gubner at the center of apparel and textile deals

By The Brutzkus Gubner Fashion Team

For over 40 years, Brutzkus Gubner Rozansky Seror Weber LLP has been the go-to, full-service law firm for small to mid-tier companies in the consumer product, apparel, and textile categories. From fashion-forward start-ups to $300 million multi-generational entities, the Brutzkus Gubner law firm assists apparel and fashion industry clients on many fronts. From intellectual property matters, including copyright, trademark, and patents to corporate and employment issues, the firm is well-known in the industry for representing clients during all phases of a lifecycle, including start-up, mergers, acquisitions, litigation, and wind downs.

“From inception, our number one goal is to devise the most economically feasible strategies for our clients while protecting them along the way,” said Mark Brutzkus, a founding partner. “It is a great benefit to be able to call on Steve Gubner and his team to represent an apparel and fashion client when it is a creditor or needs to explore reorganization.”

The firm’s clients include leading men’s, women’s and children apparel makers; outerwear, surfwear, swimwear, and intimate manufacturers and retailers; piece good suppliers; showrooms; dye houses; denim washhouses; laundries; overseas factories and industry personnel. The firm helps clients evaluate and assess deals; and review and draft documentation within the framework of their business plans. Brutzkus Gubner has an established commercial lending transactional and litigation practice representing factors and commercial lenders, and the firm’s attorneys understand the ins and outs of apparel industry financing.

“We are also forward thinking,” said Gina Bibby, chair of the firm’s Fashion Technology Practice. “Technology continues to revolutionize how businesses in the fashion industry operate. From e-commerce platforms to supply chain modernization technologies, such as robotics and blockchain, to the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence to evaluate consumer demand and provide apparel fit solutions, to 3D-printed apparel, wearables and smart fabrics, the convergence of fashion and technology presents unique legal challenges requiring knowledgeable counsel.”

Brutzkus Gubner attorneys have been advising Silicon Valley start-ups and other early stage companies, fashion and design brands, apparel manufacturers and retailers on legal matters involving the convergence of fashion and technology. Jeff Kobulnick and the firm’s IP attorneys also work to protect their clients’ intellectual property by advising on copyright and trademark availability and assisting throughout the domestic and international registration processes. Deborah Greaves works with the firm’s clients on brand protection and, when necessary, will prosecute violators to prevent copyright or trademark infringement, and defend clients in proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), and in state and federal courts.

When representing a licensor in a transaction, the firm determines the viability of long-term relationships, the availability of capital to build the mark, and opportunities to judiciously deliver on sales and production schedules. Further, the firm has in-depth experience representing manufacturers and other corporate employers in the performance and review of employment and compensation agreements, policies and procedures, state and federal compliance manuals, wage and hour claims, and employer and joint liability issues.

“Most businesses at any phase will have disputes,” said Nick Rozansky, chair of the firm’s Litigation Practice. “When that happens, we do all we can to resolve the matter sensibly, preferably out of court and with a business solution that makes sense. Sometimes that is not an option, and when an early resolution is not possible for whatever reason, we are fully prepared to bring the full weight of the courts and the remedies they afford our clients. Because we are usually representing a client from inception, it is our goal to immediately employ preventative strategies in an attempt to avert any devastating litigation down the line.”

The firm adopted the tagline “Your Counsel Matters” In 2012.

“We listen to our clients. They have great ideas, they want to counsel us, and it is our job to hear them out, and then collaborate with them to pursue the most legally responsible course of action. Sometimes they are angry, and they need to vent, and during those times we need to counsel them on the most responsible path,” Brutzkus said.

Recently, the firm successfully represented an apparel brand owner in its strategic global trademark registration and enforcement of multiple intellectual properties. It also represented a start-up apparel company in IP strategy and registration, corporate formation and governance, license agreements and employment related agreements.

More notably, in Pereira v. Kendall Jenner Inc.,the firm represented the defendants in a copyright infringement case in which photographer Al Pereira sued the exclusive licensee of the Kendall + Kylie brand for copyright infringement, alleging that the defendants made unauthorized use of his photo of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. on a T-shirt because the defendants superimposed Jenner’s face onto a vintage t-shirt already bearing the plaintiff’s photo. The firm successfully defended one jean manufacturer over label placement, and prosecuted another manufacturer when a competitor misappropriated its design.

The firm’s attorneys are active in the community. Nick Rozansky was co-honoree for the fundraising gala for National Jewish Health in New York, which is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Deborah Greaves helped to launch Loyola Law School’s Fashion Law Program and serves as an adjunct professor, teaching courses in “Fashion Law Business Transactions” and “Retail & Fashion Law.” Brutzkus himself is a former past president of the City of Hope Apparel Industries Group, which raises funds for the cancer treatment center, and an active member and leader of several apparel industry associations and philanthropic organizations.

“Many of our attorneys are former bankers, accountants, business owners and professionals, who call upon years of experience to formulate a client’s best course of action,” said Kobulnick, chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. Kobulnick is an active leader within the International Trademark Association (INTA). He is a past national chair of its Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition Committee, is the current chair of the Competition’s newly formed Los Angeles region, and has served as a project team leader for INTA’s Pro Bono Committee.

“Aside from doing everything in our power to help clients, the firm’s leadership encourages us to give back to the community whenever we can,” he said. “In my opinion, that’s what sets us apart.”

Brutzkus Gubner
21650 W Oxnard Street, Suite 500
Woodland Hills, California 91367
818-827-9000
www.bg.law

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