The market for alcohol beverage and non-beverage products is unique. To stay on top, legal, regulatory and transactional advice in this market must combine focus and sophistication, and must be dispensed by lawyers with in-depth experience in this sector. And when it comes to experience, few law firms can match McDermott’s alcohol team.
We represent many of the top US companies in the industry and dozens of multinational corporations worldwide. For nearly ten years, Chambers USA has recognized McDermott as a Band 1 Food and Beverages (Alcohol) national practice, and lead partner Marc Sorini is the only lawyer given the distinction “Star Performer” in this category.
Our alcohol regulatory and distribution lawyers represent clients in the full spectrum of US and international matters. We are adept at addressing the legal and regulatory aspects of operating in this complex market, including issues such as licensing, permitting, production, product formulation, taxation, trade practices, transportation, distribution, labeling, advertising and marketing of alcohol beverages. We also possess a deep understanding of the regulation and distribution of alcohol for non-beverage purposes such as flavor, extract and soft drink concentrate production, fuel alcohol (ethanol), as well as hospital, laboratory and industrial uses. The combination of our deep knowledge of the industry along with the strengths of McDermott’s M&A practice makes us a natural choice for advising clients with their transactional strategy and deal needs.
Our extensive work on high-stakes issues and our long history advising major suppliers have given us a deep, comprehensive understanding of industry best practices. Our lawyers and staff are very active before the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and work closely with control authorities in almost every state. We also have broad experience with the regulation of beverages by US Customs & Border Protection and the US Food and Drug Administration. We understand the objectives of regulatory officials and apply this knowledge to effectively and efficiently advise our clients, including many of the best-known corporations and trade associations.
We are in close communication with key trade associations and government groups, and work with them to provide legislative and policy support to our clients. When commercial, criminal and class action disputes involving antitrust, intellectual property and other issues arise, our litigators take rapid action to maximize the likelihood of success, whether through negotiated settlements, at trial or on appeal.
Advertising: Our Alcohol Regulatory & Distribution Group routinely counsels clients on the advertising requirements of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state alcohol control authorities and attorneys general, as well as voluntary industry advertising codes. Our lawyers screen advertising across all media for compliance with government statutes, regulations and policies, and, when needed, conduct litigation risk analysis under the Lanham Act and similar laws. Our professionals have vast experience, having represented clients in federal unfair competition litigation, TTB permit actions, FTC investigations and state administrative proceedings arising from the advertising of alcohol beverages. We work across practices with our Intellectual Property, Media & Technology Group to provide comprehensive advice on all aspects of preparing and implementing marketing, promotional and advertising concepts.
Antitrust and Trade Regulation: We have aided alcohol beverage companies successfully with their antitrust legal needs. From completing complex mergers to responding to government investigations—in the United States and in Europe—as well as providing advice on litigation arising from antitrust claims, we are skilled in all facets of antitrust and competition law. Our lawyers counsel clients on matters related to antitrust litigation, merger and acquisition analysis and defense, antitrust issues and consumer protection. Our team, which has many members with prior experience working in government and for regulatory agencies, represents clients in civil antitrust litigation in the United States in courts at the federal and state levels, and before the FTC and the DOJ. We also represent parties before the European Commission, the Bundeskartellamt in Germany, the Autorità in Italy and the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission in the United Kingdom.
Corporate, Securities and Financing: McDermott’s corporate lawyers possess extensive experience representing companies active in the alcohol industry. Our M&A lawyers have demonstrated success leading critical acquisition-strategy transactions and the related financing, handled by our skilled finance lawyers. For publicly traded companies, we provide ongoing governance and securities advice to ensure compliance with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Keen to help clients focus on their business, we provide day-to-day general counsel support, as well reviewing, drafting, and negotiating contracts and agreements with suppliers and distributors along with third parties for advertising and marketing.
Customs and Border Protection: We assist international and domestic clients with a wide range of customs matters that affect the importation of alcohol beverages into the United States. These matters include country of origin and marking, tariff classification and dutability, valuation and pricing, drawback, bonded warehousing and use of foreign trade zones. McDermott lawyers also have prepared customs compliance programs for many clients in a variety of industries. We have advised and represented clients before the US Customs and Border Protection on issues involving port entry procedures, customs protests, binding ruling proceedings and enforcement cases.
Distribution: We have extensive experience representing companies in all aspects of alcohol beverage distribution, a critical component to the alcohol industry. We offer a broad array of services, including contracts and agreements, establishing and managing distribution networks, e-commerce activities, and assisting clients in assessing the legal and monetary effects that mergers, acquisitions and other reorganizations may have on their distribution networks. In the event of a dispute, we leverage our litigation team with experience handling alcohol distributor and broker terminations in states with and without alcohol beverage franchise laws, along with issues of cause, rights to new products and brand extensions, obligations of successor brand owners, disapproval of proposed changes of wholesaler ownership and other recurring distribution issues.
Excise Taxation: Alcohol beverages are subject to a complicated variety of excise and occupational taxes. We draw on our experience with issues involving federal and state excise and occupational taxes to we counsel clients on methods for minimizing excise tax exposure such as the 5010 credit for distilled spirits and the requirements for successfully avoiding tax payment on exported beverages and industrial alcohol products. In addition, we represent companies in excise tax issues arising from audits and investigations by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and routinely handle proposed TTB tax assessments and adjustments arising from audits, and often negotiate offer-in-compromise settlements.
Food and Drug Administration: One of the most critical regulatory challenges facing the alcohol industry is maintaining compliance with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Our lawyers understand the FDA’s impact on the industry and advise on the relevant legal issues to ensure compliance and avoid disruption to business operations. We advise on the regulations and policies affecting the production, labeling and distribution of alcohol beverages, including the standards for food ingredients and food contact substances, labeling of wines containing less than 7 percent alcohol by volume and the registration and record-keeping requirements of the Bioterrorism Preparedness Act of 2002.
Government Strategies: We advocate before legislative bodies and regulatory agencies at the federal and state levels, and provide legislative strategy and support services on initiatives before the US Congress and state legislatures across the country. Our alcohol industry clients include large and small companies and industry coalitions and organizations. We represent clients’ interests involving rulemaking proceedings conducted by federal agencies, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), and state regulatory agencies. We maintain close ties to the leadership teams and key decision-makers in the US Congress, the White House, and federal agencies and departments.
Import and Export: We advise US importers and manufacturers from around the world on all aspects of the importation and exportation of alcohol beverages and products. This includes the laws, regulations and policies of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), formerly US Customs. We represent clients on TTB policies that allow the export of alcohol beverages and products without payment of the federal excise tax on such products. We also have represented companies in criminal proceedings, permit actions and audits arising from export activity. Additionally, McDermott’s international trade group supports our alcohol industry clients, thereby offering the full strength of the Firm’s knowledge and experience handling import and export issues and ensuring minimal disruption to supply and business operations.
Intellectual Property: The intellectual property (IP) lawyers at McDermott counsel numerous alcohol beverage companies on their IP needs, protecting the integrity of some of the industry’s most celebrated trademarks. We offer comprehensive services, covering portfolio management, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, copyrights and, when needed, litigation to protect and pursue prosecution of violators of protected IP assets. We have experience negotiating licensing transactions along with establishing brand identity policing programs. Our Firm has represented clients in trademark and trade dress infringement suits in federal courts throughout the United States, obtaining temporary restraining orders, preliminary and permanent injunctions and damages against infringers and importers of illegal counterfeit goods.
Labeling: We routinely work with companies to develop labels that meet their marketing goals and comply with all US federal and state requirements and guide clients through the intricate process to obtain a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). In addition, we advise on and assist clients with meeting the labeling requirements of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the agency with primary labeling jurisdiction over low-alcohol wines and ciders. In the event of an enforcement action, we have experience handling COLA revocation proceedings, permit actions before TTB, investigations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and proceedings before the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau.
Non-Beverage Alcohol: In addition to our extensive alcohol beverage practice advice, we often counsel clients on the regulatory issues arising from the non-beverage use of alcohol. Whether used as fuel, in manufacturing, for flavorings and foods, or in medical supplies and research, federal law and the laws of some states impose little-known tax, permit, bond and change-of-ownership requirements on companies handling alcohol. Working in tandem with skilled alcohol beverage consultants on retainer with the Firm, our lawyers counsel non-beverage alcohol producers and users in the requirements of all applicable laws. Our team has experience in responding to Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) audits and investigations, administering regulatory compliance audits and implementing corrective action based on the results of such audits.
Permitting and Licensing: We routinely assist alcohol beverage companies and non-beverage alcohol producers in obtaining government licenses and permits, maintaining those approvals through ownership changes and reorganizations, and defending against threatened license and permit suspension and revocation actions by regulatory authorities. At the federal level, we have extensive experience in the application process for basic permits, brewers’ notices and bonds. We also handle state licensing matters for the supplier and retail tiers of the industry. Our counsel includes advising clients on the impact of ownership changes on existing licenses and permits, and assisting in obtaining government approval of such changes. We possess first-hand knowledge of non-traditional entities and arrangements, including alternating proprietorships, joint marketing entities, in-transit warehousing and electronic retailing.
Product Formulation: Many alcohol beverage products cannot be sold until the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) reviews and approves their ingredients and formulation. Our professionals counsel producers on product processes and formulation, helping them to comply with the law and maximize tax, marketing and distribution benefits affected by product formulation. We advise on a range of alcoholic beverages, including flavored malt beverages, formula wines, distilled spirit specialties and other non-traditional products. Our staff routinely submits formula applications, statements of process and pre-import analysis requests to TTB and works diligently to address TTB concerns in order to facilitate timely approvals.
Regulatory Development: For more than a decade, McDermott’s alcohol regulatory team has been involved in almost every significant federal regulatory initiative concerning alcohol. We have prepared numerous comments on proposed regulations and initiated new rulemaking on behalf of clients. Through our constant interaction with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state alcohol control agencies, we stay abreast about the issues that concern the industry’s regulators. Drawing on this high level of knowledge, we identify issues before they arise and continuously expand the institutional acumen that is crucial to responding to regulatory initiatives.
Tax: McDermott’s tax practice is among the best at advising clients on their tax needs. We provide clients in the alcohol industry with comprehensive tax services ranging from tax structuring for M&A transactions to federal tax planning, addressing state and local tax issues and transfer pricing related to client’s activities that cross borders. Our work also includes tax and corporate restructuring and reorganizations to maximize tax benefits and opportunities. When needed, we represent clients’ interests during audits and controversies, and have a track record of defending programs and strategies challenges by the taxing authorities.
Trade Practices: We advise alcohol beverage companies on how to meet their promotional goals within federal and state trade practice laws, regulations and policies. Our lawyers have extensive experience dealing with Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) conventions, including the federal laws and regulations concerning tied house, commercial bribery, exclusive outlet and slotting fee policies. We have addressed trade practice issues arising under state law throughout the United States and have represented many clients accused of violating trade practice laws and regulations at the federal and state levels. Whether the issue is negotiating a settlement or offer-in-compromise with the government, participating in proceedings before state alcohol control authorities, litigating a trade practice action or defending against a criminal indictment, McDermott combines civil and criminal litigation with extensive alcohol beverage regulatory experience to protect our clients’ interests.
Fuel Missions. Knock Down Barriers. Shape Markets.
An international spirits company on all aspects of intellectual property, advertising law and regulatory compliance for brand-related websites, multimedia marketing campaigns and brand promotions, many featuring well-known musicians and artists
Multiple alcohol beverage companies in every recent FTC industry-wide investigation into the marketing and advertising of alcohol beverages and industry self-regulation efforts, resulting in no penalties
A brewer in all regulatory and advertising law aspects of its national sweepstakes and other brand promotions
A multi-state retail chain on entertainment-based promotions such as poker tournaments and charity fund-raising events
An international spirits company in its successful defense against TTB charges that several print and web-based advertisements are in violation of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act
Antitrust and Trade Regulation
A global brewer conglomerate with the successful negotiation with a large Mexican brewer, resulting in one of the largest divestitures in history, ensuring approval of its $20 billion merger, creating the third largest brewer in the United States
A global drinks company in the FTC’s review of its acquisition of a major competitor, creating one of the world’s largest alcohol beverage businesses
Several large spirits companies in their successful defense in federal court litigation for alleged violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and securing a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of all antitrust and other federal claims against our clients, removing them from the case
A wine supplier in the UK Competition Commission’s investigation of the groceries sector, responding to information requests and making submissions to the commission
Multiple alcohol beverage companies in HSR filings and other government defense of antitrust reviews of their merger and acquisition activities
A national US-based trade association on the competition aspects of its programs and activities
A large Belgium-based brewing company in its acquisition of a large American craft beer company
Constellation Brands in winning dismissal of antitrust claims challenging its $4.75 billion acquisition of the entire US business of Grupo Modelo S.A.B. de C.V., brewer of Corona-brand beer and related brands, from Anheuser-Busch InBev
A manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded alcohol beverages in Ireland and the United Kingdom in its acquisition of a US-based hard cider company
One of the largest wine companies in the world in establishing a joint venture with one of the largest food companies in China
An international spirits company in the acquisition of a significant US-based alcohol beverage manufacturer and importer, handling all aspects of the transaction, including corporate, tax, regulatory and antitrust issues
A client in the acquisition of an off-premise retail chain, managing all aspects of the transaction and using the collective regulatory experience of Firm members to obtain approvals for license transfers or new licenses in numerous states
The acquirer in the largest wine industry acquisition in history, successfully consummating a headline-making deal
A US regional brewer in the acquisition of a new East Coast production source through the purchase of assets out of bankruptcy
A client in the acquisition of a bankrupt on-premise retailer, developing a new corporate acquisition vehicle and counseling the client on state licensing and regulatory requirements
An international alcohol beverage supplier on the use of foreign trade zones and customs bonded warehouses to facilitate the duty-free transport of alcohol beverages among international markets
Several clients on country-of-origin issues related to the production, bottling and marking of alcohol beverage products imported into the United States
Numerous clients on tariff classification issues related to the importation of specially packaged alcohol beverage products
Multiple clients with drawback claims relating to the import and export of beverage and non-beverage alcohol products
A large beer importer on all distribution and regulatory aspects of a major restructuring driven by the addition of significant volume to its business in the United States, and on integrating hundreds of beer wholesalers into the importer’s distribution network, all without the cooperation of the prior importer
A brewer in its successful defense of a wrongful termination action brought by a wholesaler in state court by defeating the wholesaler’s request for injunctive relief under the state beer “franchise” and common law claims
A global drinks company in restructuring its entire wine and distilled spirits distribution system in the United States, achieving significant consolidation objectives and economies of scale; the restructuring set a new standard for wine and spirits distribution in the United States
A wine importer and its foreign supplier in their defense against a wholesaler’s state franchise law action, securing the wholesaler’s voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit based on the strength of our clients’ potential counterclaims
A distilled spirits importer in successfully securing the Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of a federal court action brought by a terminated wholesaler dissatisfied by the importer’s failure to halt termination before the state regulatory agency
A wine supplier in its defense against a distributor’s damages claim of $200 million arising out of the distributor’s assertion that its exclusive distribution rights in Canada were wrongfully terminated
A large wine supplier in a state administrative proceeding arising from the winery’s decision not to sell a newly acquired brand to the brand’s previous wholesaler, reaching a favorable settlement allowing termination without any payment to the wholesaler
A multi-plant brewer in successfully disputing several significant proposed excise tax assessments, persuading the TTB to abandon its proposed assessments and to re-examine its policy toward the reporting issues in question
A client in securing more than $4 million in federal excise tax credits after one of the largest alcohol beverage market withdrawals in US history
Multiple malt beverage manufacturers concerning TTB’s flavored malt beverage rulemaking and state efforts to tax flavored malt beverages as distilled spirits
A US-based brewer in negotiations with TTB concerning excise tax audit citations, securing a result of no fines and a significant reduction in potential back tax assessments
A trade association with its legislative strategy, resulting in the US Congress passing a quarterly excise tax filing option for small alcohol beverage producers and importers
Food and Drug Administration
A US-based brewer on the food safety status of ingredients, processing aids and food contact substances used in the production and packaging of the company’s beer products
A leading producer of wines containing less than 7 percent alcohol by volume, on labeling issues
A winery in adjusting its record-keeping systems to meet the requirements of the Bioterrorism Preparedness Act of 2002
A trade association with its legislative strategy, which resulted in the US Congress passing a quarterly excise tax filing option for small alcohol beverage producers and importers
The Flavored Malt Beverage Coalition and several flavored malt beverage manufacturers with the preparation of rulemaking comments that contributed directly to TTB’s rejection of a proposed 90/10 compositional standard for flavored malt beverages
A trade association in a successful campaign to defeat the imposition of user fees for TTB services, coordinating activities with those of other national trade associations
The Flavored Malt Beverage Coalition in hearings before state legislative committees and regulatory agencies concerning proposals to reclassify flavored malt beverages as spirits
A coalition of concerned brewers before TTB in connection with the agency’s new alternating brewery proprietorship standards
An international joint venture of spirits producers in establishing brokering operations in US duty-free markets
An international alcohol beverage company on the logistical and tax benefits of using foreign trade zones to receive and re-export alcohol beverage products for delivery in foreign markets
Wine importers on new US certification standards for imported wines and on the trade and regulatory implications of the US/EU bilateral wine treaty
Several distillers and brewers before TTB after audits led to threatened tax assessments arising from record-keeping requirements for the export of alcohol beverage products
An alcohol beverage company with successfully obtaining refunds for harbor maintenance taxes on the grounds that such taxes on exports violate the Export Clause of the US Constitution
An international spirits company on myriad issues related to its product launches, including multinational, time-sensitive efforts to clear and protect new trademarks, and cutting-edge e-business work in the launch of multiple new web sites and comparative advertising
A multi-national alcoholic beverage in trademark, copyright and patent matters
An international wine company with the filing and prosecution of US and foreign trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings, worldwide selection, clearance and enforcement of trademarks
A German brewer in full-service trademark protection and enforcement matters
Numerous craft brewers in trademark protection and enforcement matters
Numerous alcohol beverage companies with securing label approvals from TTB for many cutting-edge alcohol beverage products such as malt beverages bearing spirits brand names, malt beverage and wine specialty products containing novel ingredients, low-carb and low-calorie alcohol beverages, and organic wines and beer
Numerous clients in regularly negotiating with TTB for approval of use-up requests for beer, wine and distilled spirits labels
A distilled spirits acquisition by rapidly obtaining TTB use-up approval for a distilled spirits brand when the seller failed to fulfill its warranty to hold and provide the buyer with a legally compliant inventory and all necessary government approvals
A large brewery in its successful defense in federal Lanham Act litigation, negotiating a very favorable out-of-court settlement involving no payment to the plaintiff and only minor labeling changes
An organic winery and a leading organic brewer on designing labels to meet the labeling standards of the National Organic Program administered by the US Department of Agriculture
A large winery in TTB COLA revocation proceedings, allowing the labels in question to remain in the market until superseded by intervening rulemaking
An industrial alcohol user facing numerous charges of violating federal regulations enforced by TTB and potentially devastating tax assessments and penalties, on matters that included the negotiation of a compromise with TTB permitting the client to continue operations and pay a small fraction of the assessed amounts
A soft drink producer facing tax assessments arising from the production of soft drink concentrates
A major US investment company in its acquisition of an alcohol fuel (ethanol) plant, including the voluntary disclosure of tax payment and reporting errors made by the plant’s prior owners
An agribusiness firm facing a substantial tax assessment due to a substantial loss of alcohol in a railcar spill
A major chemical company acquiring an industrial alcohol distribution business, assisting in securing both federal and state licenses and permits
A major pharmaceutical company facing scrutiny from the TTB over its use and recovery of SDA in its production processes
A US health care supplier on the federal and state law aspects of establishing itself as a national supplier of non-beverage alcohol to hospitals and laboratories
A flavor manufacturer defending its formulation and drawback procedures from scrutiny by TTB auditors
A flavor and extract manufacturer in obtaining lower annual state tax assessments based on distinctions under state statutes
A major pharmaceutical company in a voluntary disclosure involving the misuse of non-tax-paid alcohol at manufacturing and research facilities, negotiating a favorable resolution and avoiding a significant tax liability and permit action
An industrial alcohol manufacturer’s recycling operations for non-merchantable alcohol beverages and the recovery of federal excises taxes by its supplying manufacturers
A brewer with product liability advice on a wide variety of subjects, including potential advertising liability, personal injury claims and industry-wide issues involving health and public policy
A brewer with the successful defense of a lawsuit filed by a trade association of Belgian brewers that objected to the client’s labels and packaging on certain products
An alcohol company in a distributor dispute—one of the largest cases of its kind—based on plaintiff allegations that our client had wrongfully terminated them as a distributor; after successfully defeating the motion for preliminary injunction, the case went to trial on the merits of multiple claims, including novel issues implicated in laws unique to the alcohol industry
An international distilled spirits producer in monitoring and participating in joint-defense responses to industry-wide class actions arising from allegations that industry advertising causes illegal underage drinking
A distilled spirits manufacturer in successfully defending through an arbitration against a brand owner seeking to terminate the manufacturer’s co-packing agreement, and in securing a large award for the client
The owner of a distilled spirits importer in cross-border litigation over control of the company following the death of the company’s co-owner
Numerous clients on the product liability and regulatory aspects of defective and damaged products, including product recalls involving the US Consumer Products Safety Commission, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Permitting and Licensing
A global spirits company in complying with the federal and state licensing requirements applicable to its acquisition of a US-based wine and spirits company
An international common carrier in state administrative proceedings alleging that the company’s inadvertent delivery of wine to an in-state consumer violated state law
A joint venture on the regulatory aspects of establishing an innovative joint sales and marketing entity to promote the products of two large suppliers
A purchaser of a large brewery in obtaining federal and state licenses in the extremely aggressive time schedule envisioned by the new owners, completing the complex licensing process in less than six weeks
Multiple large retail chains in reorganizing their corporate structures while minimizing the restructuring’s impact on existing licenses and permits
A client in establishing a novel branch warehouse by negotiating a first-ever interpretation of state statutes and regulations to allow the licensee to operate non-contiguous licensed premises
A flavored-malt beverage manufacturer challenging a state’s attempt to reclassify its products as distilled spirits; convinced the state to stay further proceedings and accept the status quo until legislation mooted the issue
A wine supplier in defense of federal and state proceedings arising from allegations that one of the company’s wine products did not qualify as wine under applicable federal and state statutory standards
A client in securing product formula and label approvals from TTB for numerous cutting-edge alcohol beverage products such as malt beverages containing novel ingredients, wine products containing non-grape spirits and low-calorie and low-carb alcohol beverages
A US brewer with securing federal approval of a new brewing enzyme
Numerous alcohol beverage companies on federal policies regarding the use of genetically modified organisms in the production of beer and distilled spirits
Multiple companies on federal and state policies toward the formulation of flavored malt beverage products
Numerous clients with drafting comments on federal rulemakings, including those on nutritional and ingredient labeling, use of the word “pure” in distilled spirit labeling and advertising, flavored malt beverages, organic labeling rules, health claims and health-related statements in labeling and advertising, changes to the mandatory government warning statement, other-than-standard wines, “plain language” malt beverage regulations and aggregate and misleading packaging
A coalition of companies in negotiations with TTB concerning its policy towards the use of alternating proprietorships between brewing companies
A large winery on the possible effects of a proposed new American viticultural area
Multiple brewers with the negotiation of a legislative compromise and draft legislation allowing for the continued operations declared illegal by state authorities, avoiding any disruption of operations or enforcement action by the state
A global drink company with the restructuring of its North American business to achieve tax benefits and flattening and simplifying the company’s organization
Numerous distilled-spirits importers with ongoing transfer pricing advice, including periodic reviews in light of acquisitions and changes in operations
An international spirits supplier in several cross-border asset transfers designed to streamline and strengthen the company’s intellectual property ownership and assure a tax-efficient structure
Multiple suppliers with establishing an innovative international sales and marketing joint venture to promote the products of two large suppliers
A spirits importer in an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office of alleged trade practice and pricing violations by alcohol beverage suppliers and wholesalers
A large spirits and wine supplier on the trade practice aspects of a substantial reorganization of its distribution system
A large alcohol-beverage importer with the development of a compliance manual to assist its employees in constructing legally compliant promotional programs
Numerous wine and beer suppliers in several investigations into alleged illegal payments to retailers via third-party marketing companies
A national wine and spirits supplier on the effect of federal law on proposed promotional discounting and rebate programs
A manufacturer in its successful defense against a state enforcement action arising from advertising payments to a retailer, securing a favorable settlement