Cozen O’Connor: Kelly, Gary

Gary R. Kelly

Of Counsel

Pittsburgh

(412) 620-6508

(412) 275-2390

Gary joined the firm following a 19-year career at General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) where he functioned as GNC’s chief litigation strategist and worked closely on a daily basis with GNC’s Human Resources and Franchising Departments. 

For almost two decades, Gary coordinated GNC’s defense of everything from relatively minor slip and fall matters to significant “bet the company” securities class action and wage and hour litigation. He actively managed GNC’s litigation docket which frequently consisted of well over 50 active matters.  Notably, Gary was also a significant contributor of negotiated regulatory settlements with the New York Attorney General (in 2015) and the U.S. Department of Justice (in 2016).      

Gary advised GNC HR on all employee relations matters involving policy development, discipline and discharge, sexual harassment, discrimination, benefits and a myriad of wage and hour issues. In that role, Gary settled literally hundreds of employment-related lawsuits and claims, successfully defended GNC’s interests at trial and resolved several multimillion-dollar class or collective action wage and hour matters.

In the franchise arena, Gary provided critical franchise litigation, registration, and operational advice to the GNC’s franchise executive team. On an almost daily basis, he advised management on franchise registration, disclosure, default and termination matters, as well as the full range of franchise contract administration issues. Gary coordinated GNC’s defense of approximately 75 franchise lawsuits, negotiated the settlement of three franchisee class actions that sought over $50 million in damages, and designed strategies that have significantly reduced the number of franchisee lawsuits brought against GNC. 

Gary graduated cum laude from Duquesne University School of Law. During law school, he also worked as a member of the faculty at Robert Morris University (RMU) in Pittsburgh. He earned his Bachelor of Science from RMU and a Master of Arts in industrial relations from St. Francis University. 

News

Cozen O’Connor Continues its Pittsburgh Expansion with the Addition of Veteran Litigators Laura L. Reinhart and Gary Kelly

March 18, 2019

The firm welcomed Reinhart, who defends Union Pacific, CSX Transportation Inc., and other major transportation companies in Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)-related litigation; and Kelly, who served as general counsel at health products behemoth General Nutrition Corp. (GNC) — to its fast-growing Pittsburgh office.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Duquesne University School of Law, J.D.
  • St. Francis University, M.A.
  • Robert Morris University, B.S.