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K&L Gates Strengthens Consumer Products Industry Capabilities with Los Angeles Lawyer Additions

14 March 2023

Los Angeles - Global law firm K&L Gates LLP has added Ronie Schmelz as a partner in its Litigation and Dispute Resolution group, accompanied by Avril Love as counsel. They join K&L Gates’ Los Angeles office from Tucker Ellis LLP.

Schmelz has deep industry knowledge and extensive experience advising clients in the consumer product industry, particularly companies that manufacture, advertise, and market cosmetics, skin and hair care products, dietary supplements, personal care products, and household goods. She also has extensive experience as a litigator, with a particular emphasis on defending companies in consumer class actions.

Active in the beauty and personal care industries, Schmelz serves on the boards of Beauty Industry West, including chairing its Legal and Regulatory committee, and the Independent Beauty Association, where she is a member of the Government and Public Relations committee. She is also a frequent speaker at industry events, has taught Advertising Law at Loyola Marymount University Law School, and lectured on regulatory and litigation issues facing the cosmetics industry at the Fashion Institute of Design & Management and UCLA Extension.

Schmelz has committed herself to advising clients on litigation-avoidance strategies aimed at reducing the risk of regulatory and consumer challenges. These strategies include implementing best practices for compliance with regulations and standards enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission, and other federal and state regulatory agencies, as well as the National Advertising Division, advising clients on contracts and intellectual property protection, and implementing strategies to reduce exposure to consumer class actions. Schmelz also counsels on the implementation and execution of product recalls, responding to FDA Warning Letters, Prop 65 Notices of Violation, and MedWatch Adverse Event Reports.

Love works closely with Schmelz and brings additional experience advising clients on emerging data security and privacy issues, as well as on a myriad of trade issues, including those relating to country of origin, valuation, and classification. Love collaborates with internal marketing, IT, HR, and legal teams to develop, document, and implement privacy compliance regimes to meet increasing compliance obligations.

“We are excited to add Ronie and Avril to our Consumer Products team, which provides advice and counsel to many of the world’s leading brands on a wide range of disputes,” said Melissa Tea, a leader of K&L Gates’ global Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice. “Our clients will benefit greatly from their deep understanding of the unique challenges currently facing the industry.”

The arrival of Schmelz and Love follows the addition of nearly 160 new partners and of counsel to K&L Gates globally since the beginning of 2020. More than a dozen of those lawyers have joined the firm’s California offices, including fellow litigation partner Michael Stortz in San Francisco last month.

Christina Goodrich, managing partner of K&L Gates’ Los Angeles office, said: “Ronie is a highly respected industry leader in the consumer products sector and her and Avril’s practice and experience in FDA, food, and cosmetics align with the goals of the practice in Southern California and beyond. We are delighted to welcome them to our Los Angeles office.”

K&L Gates’ Litigation and Dispute Resolution group has the breadth, experience, and sophistication to successfully resolve matters ranging from simple commercial claims to complex multi-party, cross-border litigations, and arbitrations, helping to earn K&L Gates the distinction of Commercial Litigation “Law Firm of the Year” in U.S. News-Best Lawyers’ 2023 “Best Law Firms” report.

Lawyers in K&L Gates’ Consumer Products industry group help businesses keep track of a constantly evolving regulatory landscape and a myriad of new legislation and other policy changes in areas such as advertising and marketing, agribusiness, consumer beauty and aesthetics, luxury products and fashion, food and beverage, among others.

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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