Direct Selling & Multi-Level Marketing

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Foley’s Direct Selling and Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) practitioners are not new to the representation of the industry. Our robust team has over 40 years of experience and we bring offerings to the Direct Selling/MLM industry across several disciplines, including those listed in the Foley “Related Services” section below. 

We have been at the forefront of product, income, and pyramid scheme claims, including successfully defending our client Neora in its historic victory over the FTC. On September 28, 2023, after a more than 7-year battle (3 years of investigation and 4 years of litigation), Foley obtained a complete victory for leading direct selling company Neora and its founder Jeff Olson, following a two-week federal court trial in Dallas, Texas. The court denied the FTC’s requested relief on all 5 of its claims: pyramid, income, product, agency, and means & instrumentalities claims. This is the first time that a direct selling company has ever defeated the FTC’s pyramid scheme claims in a court trial. It is also the first significant victory of its kind since Amway’s 1979 administrative law defeat of the FTC. Foley’s FTC Team Co-Chair Ed Burbach, who led the Foley team representing Neora from the beginning, attributed the win to the firm’s interdisciplinary team from 8 Foley offices and the excellent testimony of Neora executives Jeff Olson, Deborah Heisz, Amber Olson, and Sandra Davis, and the support of Neora’s General Counsel Gail Lane.

Leading industry publication The Direct Selling News reported described the win as “Historic.” As summarized by the Direct Selling Association in its amicus brief, had the FTC been successful in pursuing its new and vague “overemphasis on recruiting” test, it would have had “a profound impact on the state of the law and negatively impact[ed] operations of a sizeable portion of the United States economy.” AmLaw named the lead Foley trial partners as “Litigators of the Week” in the U.S. Read more about the win here.

Our history of representing Direct Selling/MLM industry clients includes:

  • Investigations, including those that involve State AGs or the FTC, FDA, BBB, and other consumer groups
  • Compensation plans
  • Policies and procedures
  • State and Federal compliance
  • Trademark and patent
  • Data privacy
  • Class action litigation
  • Labor & Employment
  • Tax