• Share
  • Email
  • Print

Christopher S. Finnerty

Partner
+1.617.261.3123
Fax +1.617.261.3175

Christopher Finnerty is a partner in the firm’s Boston office and in the global brand equity and strategic distribution team representing clients in antitrust, internet strategy, retail price maintenance and distribution matters. He focuses his practice in the design and implementation of resale price maintenance strategies focusing on limiting online price erosion and gray market disruption in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia for manufacturers. For the past 15 years, the brand equity team at K&L Gates has worked exclusively with product manufacturers designing and implementing innovative and effective distribution strategies that anticipate and combat the global gray market in order to support retail pricing goals. Mr. Finnerty and his team have worked hand in hand with over a hundred of the world’s largest and most recognized corporations, designing go-to-market price strategies representing the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in products. Mr. Finnerty consults on the impact of strategy variants globally and their potential pricing implications and product lifecycles. Mr. Finnerty routinely litigates antitrust actions involving monopolization, exclusive dealing, and unfair trade practices.

The K&L Gates global brand equity and strategic distribution team has been the market leader in the development of optimized, global, go-to-market designs which encompass the realities of cross-border trade, ensure compliance with local regulatory regimes, and account for the bespoke goals and challenges of each manufacturer and its products in several distinctive ways:

  • We focus on strategy and actual results as opposed to simply compliance and non-impactful takedown numbers, with a view to delivering significant and measurable returns on investment for clients in terms of marketplace control, price stabilization and brand value.
  • We comprise a fully integrated team of dynamic, creative distribution architects across five continents with proven experience in designing multi-region price preservation and online marketplace strategies.
  • We are recognized as thought leaders who are not afraid to make difficult judgment calls in regions where the laws remain unclear or involve greater potential risk. We are constantly evolving our cutting-edge proprietary know-how and ideas, which have proven highly effective in achieving our client’s objectives.
  • We are pragmatic and flexible, designing structures and mechanisms reflective of partner sophistication, numbers and existing business sensitivities, in order to facilitate project buy-in, implementation and management. These include, for example, developing highly simplified retailer terms and/or basic registration mechanics (as opposed to full-scale authorization) where these are considered more workable.
  • Finally, we assist in all aspects of a brand and price strategy: from deep-dive diagnosis and strategy design, through communication strategy, execution and implementation mechanics, company and partner training and guidelines, to monitoring and enforcement (with targets and tracking) for long-term value and accountability.

For these reasons, we are trusted by some of the world’s most successful brands to advise on highly complex pricing questions and network design. These range from high-tech and high-fashion brands where authorized reseller and pricing strategies have been commonplace for some time, to “branded commodity” manufacturers where more creative legal solutions and careful communication strategies might be required.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Finnerty was a partner at a national law firm.

Achievements

  • Named a “Rising Star” by New England Super Lawyers (2011-2018)

Additional Information

Publications
  • “Experts: Global Price Maintenance Requires More than MAP Policy,” Quoted by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, Vol. 24, No. 3, March 1, 2015
  • “Consumer Product Marketing, Advertising, Distribution and Sales Law,” Suffolk University Law School, Advanced Legal Studies, March 23, 2012
  • “A Swing at Infringement,” New England In-House, November 1, 2011
  • “Boston lawyers secure judgment vs. SEO company in golf-club case,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, October 7, 2011
  • “Roger Cleveland Golf Company, Inc. v. Prince,” Landmark IP Litigation Series, October 4, 2011
  • “Business as Usual,” Corporate Counsel, May 2011
  • “Toys R Us settles lawsuit over Web Price Pressure,” Internet Retailer, March 29, 2011
  • “Ignorance no longer Bliss for ISPs,” Managing Intellectual Property, March 28, 2011
  • “Web Host Liable for Contributory Infringement,” National Law Journal, March 17, 2011
  • “Court Holds SEO Responsible for Sales of Counterfeit Goods,” Internet Retailer, March 15, 2011
  • “State Law Targets ‘Minimum Pricing’,” Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2009
  • “Maryland Prohibit Manufacturers from setting Minimum Retail Prices,” Internet Retailer, March 28, 2009
  • “How the Supreme Court Fractured Online Pricing,” Internet Retailer, October 30, 2008
  • “Resale Price Maintenance and Long Term Distribution,” Industry Week, August 20, 2007
  • Global Distribution engagements, 2017-present
  • EU-based Fortune 500 Medical Devices and Consumer Electronics Manufacturer: designed distribution, online, and retail pricing policy in: North America (U.S. and Canada), Europe (European Economic Area, Switzerland, and United Kingdom), APAC (Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand), and Middle East (United Arab Emirates and Turkey).
  • U.S.-based Consumer Electronics Manufacturer: North America (U.S. and Canada), South America (Brazil), Europe (European Economic Area, Switzerland, and United Kingdom), Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Russia and Belarus), APAC (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, China, India, Australia, and New Zealand), Middle East (Israel and Turkey), and Africa (South Africa).
  • EU-based Consumer Electronics Manufacturer: North America (U.S. and Canada) and China
  • U.S.-based Fortune 500 Consumer Electronics Manufacturer: North America (U.S. and Canada) and Europe (European Economic Area, Switzerland, and United Kingdom).
  • China-based Food Supplement Manufacturer: North America (U.S. and Canada) and China.
  • U.S.-based Fortune 500 High Tech Manufacturer: North America (U.S. and Canada) and Europe (European Economic Area, Switzerland, and United Kingdom).
  • U.S.-based Skin Care Manufacturer: Europe (European Economic Area, Switzerland, and United Kingdom), Russia and China.
  • U.S.-based Pet Products Manufacturer: Europe (European Economic Area, Switzerland, and United Kingdom), China, and Australia.
  • U.S.-based OTC Supplement Manufacturer: North America (U.S. and Canada) and Europe (European Economic Area, Switzerland, and United Kingdom).
  • EU-based Luxury Goods Manufacturer: North America (U.S. and Canada) and Europe (European Economic Area, Switzerland, and United Kingdom).
  • Middle East-based Home Appliances Manufacturer: Europe (European Economic Area, Switzerland, and United Kingdom).
  • U.S.-based Fuel Additive Manufacturer: North America (U.S. and Canada).
  • EU-based Fortune 500 Food Product Manufacturer: Europe (European Economic Area, Switzerland, and United Kingdom).
Litigation Matters of Note
  • Represented GN Netcom, Inc., a Danish-based global technology manufacturer, in civil antitrust litigation involving unfair competition and monopolization claims under the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act.
  • Represented defendant Nortek Security and Control, LLC in civil antitrust litigation alleging claims of tortious interference, corporate bribery, unfair competition and price discrimination under the Robinson-Patman Act.
  • Represented Ping Europe Limited, a manufacturer and distributor of custom golf products, on appeal before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal in landmark online resale restrictions case.
  • Representing Roxul Inc., the North American division of the world’s largest stone wool manufacturer, in civil antitrust litigation involving unfair competition and monopolization claims
  • Savant Systems v Crestron Electronics, Massachusetts, Federal District Court. Confidential Settlement, represented plaintiff in Sherman Act litigation for monopolization.
  • Bose Corporation v. Zavala, Massachusetts Federal District Court (2012) - $14 million verdict against counterfeiter
  • Roger Cleveland Golf Co. Inc. v. Prince, South Carolina Federal District Court (2011) - $770,000 jury verdict against SEO Company for their contributory acts of counterfeiting
  • Bose Corporation v. Bahar, et al., Massachusetts Federal District Court (2011) - $2.2 million judgment in favor of Bose Corporation resulting from defendants’ sale of counterfeit products