DAVID J. SCHWARTZ
EVP, general counsel, and corporate secretary, Toys ‘R’ Us
With some 1,500 stores in 34 countries, Wayne, N.J.-based Toys “R” Us Inc. is one of the world’s leading
toy and baby products retailers. The company operates
more than 580 toy stores in the United States and 670
internationally, as well as 250 Babies “R Us stores.
Toys “R” Us operated as a public company until July
2005, when it was acquired by Bain Capital Partners
LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Vornado
Realty Trust for $6.6 billion.
Toys “R” Us employs about 90,000 people, takes
in $11 billion in annual revenues and last year ranked
No. 171 on the Fortune 500 list.
LEGAL TEAM AND OUTSIDE COUNSEL
General Counsel David J. Schwartz has tried to
create a mini-law firm by organizing his 10 lawyers into
practice areas. They include two employment and labor
attorneys, one intellectual property attorney, two real
estate attorneys, one litigation and regulatory attorney
and four corporate and commercial attorneys—that
last category including Schwartz himself. Several lawyers assist in the company’s overseas subsidiaries.
“If you ask me what’s the single thing Toys ‘R’ Us
tries to do the most, the answer would be to delight
the guest,” he said. “So from the mundane point of
a lawyer, if the head of advertising calls you about
the project, they should be delighted and treated as
if you were still in an outside law firm and needed to
win their business.”
TOYS ‘R’ US
Baker & McKenzie
Toys “R” Us has used Simpson Thacher & Bartlett of New York as its primary corporate law firm,
regarding transactions such as the company’s sale
Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon of Chicago has
provided litigation counsel, most notably during
the lawsuit the company filed in 2004 against
Amazon.com Inc. alleging breach of exclusivity provisions in their 10-year agreement regarding online
sales. Last year, a judge ordered the companies to
sever their partnership, allowing Toys “R” Us to establish its own online store.
The company has used Schwartz’s old firm, New
York’s Anderson Kill & Olick, for litigation; Bryan Cave
for intellectual property and regulatory work; Jackson Lewis for employment work; and Sills Cummis
Epstein & Gross of Newark, N.J., and Hackensack,
N.J.-based Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard
for real estate work.
“I function as a lead negotiator in our important commercial transactions, which could be
license agreements, promotional matters, product
Fulbright & Jaworski; Morgan,
Lewis & Bockius; Reed Smith;
Wildman, Harrold , Allen & Dixon