The company is the entity being sued, so the legal team are acting as their defence, so that is all correct. But that legal team will have been appointed by the insurance company and fully directed by them throughout.I may be misreading this, but the article clearly refers to the company's legal defence, and mentions it was a case they fought all the way.
Going by what you are saying, then they must not have had the proper insurance in place? Otherwise how did they appoint a legal defence?
It appears to be contrary to the clauses of a Starbucks franchise, as per your comment.