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. Christopher 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. Christopher consults on the impact of strategy variants globally and their potential pricing implications and product lifecycles. Christopher 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.
Prior to joining the firm, Christopher was a partner at a national law firm.
- Named a “Rising Star” by New England Super Lawyers (2011-2018)
- "Mitigating Antitrust Risks With DOJ-FTC Pandemic Guidance," Law360, 31 March 2020
- “Disfavored Retailers Turn Up Volume On Robinson-Patman,” Law360, 20 February 2018
- “Price Check: Uncertain Outcomes In Advertised Price Cases,” Law360, 29 June 2016
- “Behind The Curtain: Technical Advisers In Complex Cases,” Law360, 27 May 2016
- “What To Expect From 7th Circ. In Robinson-Patman Case,” Law360, 16 March 2016
- “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
- Mentioned, "GOOGLE LLC: Sandofsky Appeals FCRA Suit Dismissal to 1st Cir.," Class Action Reporter, 5 October 2021