Marc E. Sorini concentrates on issues facing the alcohol beverage industry, with a particular focus on the supplier tier and non-beverage alcohol users. He heads the Firm’s Alcohol Regulatory & Distribution Group and is recognized as one of the leading lawyers in his field. Additionally, he focuses on the legal cannabis industry to provide clients with regulatory and investment guidance in the ever-growing, rapidly-evolving industry.
Marc represents companies that require focused counsel from a lawyer with in-depth experience in the specific laws regarding cannabis, alcohol and in beverage industry best practices. His work also spans a number of traditional areas of legal practice that affect beverage and cannabis companies, including the following:
Corporate, such as drafting and negotiating distribution and co-pack agreements and handling the alcohol regulatory and due diligence aspects of industry transactions
Food and beverage, such as counseling on product formulation matters, representing companies in potential product recall situations
Legal cannabis, such as guiding companies on the federal risks associated with producing or co-packing cannabis-infused beverages
Agribusiness, such as representing suppliers in evaluating the implications of processing industrial hemp products
Government affairs, such as testifying at legislative hearings, preparing legislative and regulatory proposals, and participating in rulemaking proceedings
Litigation, such as handling investigations by government alcohol regulatory authorities and representing companies in disputes with distributors
Intellectual property, such as reviewing and clearing advertising and labeling under alcohol beverage laws, voluntary industry codes, and false advertising principles
Tax, specifically federal and state excise tax matters
Marc has represented alcohol beverage suppliers before federal and state courts, the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB, formerly the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, or ATF) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state alcohol beverage control agencies. He advises clients on compliance with the regulations and policies of the TTB, FTC, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Marc also advises companies in the chemical, flavor and extract, energy, health care supply, soft drink and other industries on federal and state regulation of non-beverage alcohol. Marc often brings his in-depth knowledge to bear in legal projects involving many other practitioners, working with transactional deal teams from McDermott and other firms, litigation teams in commercial disputes or government investigations, subject matter specialists in food, agriculture, international trade and other areas, and a network of local lawyers and professionals skilled at handling the state and local zoning and licensing issues that arise in this industry.
Marc speaks frequently at national industry events, including the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCSLA) annual conference, the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA) Legal Symposium, and The Brewers Association’s Craft Brewers Conference. Marc also co-chairs Continuing Legal Education (CLE) International’s Wine, Beer, and Spirits Law Conference. Marc frequently writes on legal issues affecting the industry, including as a regular contributor to Artisan Spirit Magazine and The New Brewer.
Marc was the recipient of the Edward Tamm Award for Georgetown’s best student note and was an editor for The Georgetown Law Journal. After law school, Marc clerked for the Honorable Susan H. Black of the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Representing the buyers on the alcohol regulatory and distribution aspects of numerous significant industry transactions, including recent deals such as the acquisition of Pabst Brewing Company by entrepreneur Eugene Kashper, the acquisition of Kosta Browne Winery by J.W. Childs Associates, the acquisition of Boulevard Brewing Company and Firestone Walker Brewing by Duvel Moortgat N.V., and the acquisition of Vermont Hard Cider by C&C Beverages; has also represented sellers in transactions
Counseling clients facing potential product recall and product tampering incidents; recent work has included several nationwide recalls involving defective bottles, a nationwide recall involving an undisclosed allergen, and illegal tampering of products already in the market
Counseling clients on all aspects of their US route-to-marker; recent work has included preparing and negotiating several national importation agreements, counseling acquirers on post-acquisition re-alignment of their distribution networks, and advising and supporting litigation teams in proceedings brought by distributors against suppliers over termination decisions or decisions not to approve proposed transferees
Advising clients on how the complex interaction between TTB, FDA and state alcohol regulations, the Lanham Act and state false advertising statutes, voluntary industry codes and other considerations that affect product labeling and advertising; recent work has included assisting the litigation teams in several false advertising class actions, counseling clients with new product launches and providing advice on product re-formulation to meet labeling marketing objectives
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
US District Court for the District of Colorado
US District Court for the District of Columbia