Areas of Expertise


Restaurant, Bar, Alcohol & Hospitality


Hospitality law can take many forms, under many names: restaurant law, bar law, alcohol law. Whatever you call it, we've probably seen it before. From single fine-dining restaurants to multi-concept, multi-unit companies, we have a sweet tooth for starting and growing hospitality brands, both in Texas and across the nation.


New Businesses


Denney Law Group exists to put new companies on the map. Over the years we have collaborated with entrepreneurs to create hundreds of businesses, each with its own story. From the outset, we will listen to your goals and help you structure your entities accordingly. Whether you are self-funding, using debt, or seeking private equity investment, we know how to get your new business off the ground efficiently, allowing you to maximize your best potential for success.


We take pride in being more than paper pushers for our clients – because let’s face it: anyone can create a business entity.  Not just anyone, however, can act as trusted advisors to so many innovative and exceptional ventures. 


Intellectual Property


Trademark
For most businesses, there is no more important asset than the brand and related goodwill such business has cultivated with its customers. Denney Law Group can help you build and strengthen your brand and trademark portfolio by helping you identify, search, and clear the protectable elements of your brand; register and police your trademarks and trade dress; assist in domain name dispute resolution; and provide advice and counsel on trademark related transactions including:


- franchise agreements,
- coexistence agreements,
- trademark licenses and assignments,
- manufacturing and distribution agreements.


Trade Secret
Many businesses have valuable proprietary information operating as their "secret sauce," and consequently desire to protect such information. The majority of information and intellectual property, such as recipes, customer data, business plans, and financial records, is not subject to patent, copyright, or trademark protection, and as a result, should be kept confidential to remain protected. Denney Law Group can help you protect your company's trade secrets in a myriad of ways including by:


- assessing the best type of protection for your business's proprietary information,
- negotiating license agreements for the joint development of
- information and intellectual property,
- developing and drafting the confidentiality agreements, nondisclosure agreements, and policy manuals that you and your employees, partners, contractors, and consultants need.


Copyrights
Original works of authorship created by a business, such as menu designs, marketing materials, and webpages may be eligible for copyright protection. Denney Law Group can assist you and your business in obtaining copyright registration, managing your copyright portfolio, and providing advice and counsel on copyright related transactions including:


- joint development agreements,
- copyright licenses and assignments
- employment, contractor, and consultant agreements.


Private Offerings


Most of our clients are so new that bank money is not easily accessible. "Friends and family" (and friends of friends) tend to be the most common sources of seed capital out there. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't have proper documentation (in fact, it's a reason to be even more careful). Because no one wants to ruin Thanksgiving…


We educate our clients about, and guide them through the process of, obtaining seed and venture funding. You can't just download a business plan template from the internet and start raising money (well, you can, but you shouldn't) - and we can tell you why. We have assisted our clients in countless private offerings (aka private placements). If you're considering this as a funding vehicle, we can walk you through it.


Real Estate & Licenses


Real estate transactions are some of the most important a company must execute in order to start and grow a successful business. We understand this as a firm, and are happy to walk you through the process from start to finish. We have more than 30 years of combined experience negotiating and drafting all types of real estate documents, from retail and restaurant leases to property acquisitions/sales.


HR & Employment


Start-ups aren't known for having excellent employee documents, but the cost of not having such documents can be great. We will work with you to develop employee handbooks, employment agreements, required (but often overlooked) paperwork concerning employee compensation, restrictive covenants, and internal policies and procedures that reflect your company's unique culture.


We frequently counsel clients on the most common and pressing issues affecting executives and managers, including:
- Wage and hour matters, including issues relating to tipped employees
- Restrictive covenants/confidential information
- Employee discipline
- Advanced leave issues
- Discrimination and harassment claims
- Retaliation


Moreover, we often provide training in manager and corporate meetings on topics including unlawful harassment and discrimination, following federal employment laws, proper hiring techniques, and engaging progressive discipline.


When employee complaints arise, our firm has successfully represented employers in employee disputes before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Texas Workforce Commission.


And of course, if litigation occurs, clients can rely on our experienced litigators to achieve successful results. Our team has represented employers in state and federal courts involving a broad spectrum of employment-related issues, including, compliance with Title VII, Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code (the "Texas Commission on Human Rights Act"), the Fair Labor Standards Act, and claims for breach of contract, unfair competition, theft of trade secrets, and enforcement of non-compete agreements.


Franchising


Whether you are a growing business looking to expand your brand by developing a franchise program, or an entrepreneur considering your first franchise purchase, or a franchise group seeking a new brand for your portfolio, our firm can guide you. In addition to food and beverage, we have experience with franchises in industries as varied as education, automobile repair, gyms, and more.


Litigation


It's inevitable, really. Even small and growing companies can find themselves in litigation - either as a plaintiff or defendant. We have experience in a wide variety of litigation matters, including:


- landlord/tenant/guarantor disputes
- commercial litigation and breach of contract
- business divorce cases (owner/partner disputes)
- breach of fiduciary duty claims
- theft of trade secrets / enforcement of non-compete agreements and restrictive covenants
- tortious interference, business disparagement
- personal injury defense


TABC/TTB Licensing


We know permits. In fact, Mary Kirby, the firm's Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Coordinator, worked in permitting with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for 30 years before retiring and switching "sides." We can assist you in obtaining on-premise, off-premise, brewpub, brewery, winery, distillery, and various other types of permits, including TTB permits required for alcohol manufacturers.


As you know by now, we are a law firm, and lawyers will work on your application. We are not a "permitting service," which means we have legal and ethical obligations to ensure your application is done correctly and honestly. We don't cut corners. We will seamlessly integrate your alcohol permitting into your corporate and real estate work to ensure that you have your permit on time, when you need it.