Recognized worldwide as a leader in providing comprehensive representation to the alcoholic beverage industry on state, federal and international commercial and administrative matters.
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Wine, Spirits and Malt Beverages

What We Do

  • KalikLewin provides comprehensive representation for the alcoholic beverage industry, advising clients on international, US Federal, State and local regulation, legislation, excise tax and permit requirements, as well as product development, distribution, marketing, importing and exporting, drawback and corporate organization. The firm has represented clients before the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and various States Attorneys General and state and local alcohol control authorities. KalikLewin has also represented alcohol beverage clients at the European Commission and before several foreign regulatory bodies.
  • We have served as an advisor to global wine and spirits industry members in crafting international agreements, including the US-EU Bilateral Agreement on Trade in Wine, the World Wine Trade Group’s (WWTG) Mutual Acceptance Agreement on Oenological Practices, the WWTG’s Labeling Agreement, and the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The firm currently represents the industry on issues before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CODEX), the International Office of Vine and Wine (OIV), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the European Union and its member countries. KalikLewin’s professionals have decades of experience navigating the legal framework governing the production, distribution and sale of wine, spirits and malt beverages in the U.S. and around the world, allowing them to take a comprehensive, strategic approach to representing alcoholic beverage clients.

How We Help Clients

  • Product Development, And Regulatory Approvals – The firm regularly assists clients in the regulatory and commercial issues in the development of wine, wine specialty, malt beverage and distilled spirits products. With the firm's expertise in Federal and state statutes and regulations and excise taxes, it is able to successfully negotiate with government authorities to ensure formula and label approval and guide the client through distribution of the product.
  • Permits, Tax Reporting and Audits - KalikLewin assists clients with all federal state and local permit applications and tax payment filings. We will counsel clients on what to expect in regulatory audits and conduct preventative audits to uncover recordkeeping or tax payment problems.
  • Federal and State Trade Practice Defense – KalikLewin represents clients in defending allegations of trade practice violations at both the Federal and State level.
  • Federal Trade Commission and State Attorney Generals – KalikLewin assists clients in responding to requests or allegations related to inquiries or subpoenas by the Federal Trade Commission and State Attorney Generals related to alcohol beverage issues.
  • Petitions and Rulemaking – We represent clients in seeking regulatory changes, opposing proposed rulemakings, responding to audit compliance allegations and fines. KalikLewin has successfully represented clients before TTB and State Authorities in response to trade practice violation allegations, and also provides assistance in developing formulas for alcoholic beverage products to ensure that the product's marketing complies with applicable labeling and excise tax requirements.
  • Import, Distribution and Licensing Agreements – At the marketing and distribution stage, the firm has the unique ability to assist clients with both international and domestic commercial distribution strategies. Our lawyers negotiate licensing, distribution, import, contract production and other commercial agreements on behalf of our clients. With its extensive relationships within the alcoholic beverage industry, both in the government and private sectors, KalikLewin can provide clients with the best possible distribution opportunities in its global, industry-wide network, while ensuring that client distribution and marketing activities comply with applicable legal requirements. On an international level, the firm assists alcoholic beverage clients in the negotiation and drafting of import agreements, international distribution agreements, and joint venture agreements, and advises clients on international franchising, distribution termination and import requirements for their products, including both TTB and U.S. Customs regulatory requirements.
  • Alcohol Beverage Policy – KalikLewin’s professionals have been involved in drafting U.S. federal laws and regulations governing the production, labeling, taxation and distribution of alcoholic beverages, as well as in drafting international treaties and agreements governing the same. The firm offers its clients the unique ability to take a multi-disciplinary approach to alcoholic beverage issues – working to ensure compliance with the law, while maintaining the knowledge and relationships to effect (or block) changes in the law when necessary to protect clients’ interests. Please see our Legislative and International Policy and Treaty Negotiations sections for more information.

Representative Achievements

  • Representing high-end American wine producer in responding to Federal Trade Commission order to file Special Report in connection with the Commission’s compilation of data and information concerning alcoholic beverage sales, marketing and distribution (May-June 2012).
  • Representing multiple producers of flavored malt beverage products in successfully negotiating scope of discovery requests, production deadlines and confidential treatment of responses in investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and multiple State Attorney Generals (2011-2012).
  • Successfully negotiated favorable offer in compromise with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on behalf of a licensee regarding alleged violations of the tied house “slotting fee” provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (May 2011).
  • Serve as Counsel to the Tequila Bulk Producers Alliance regarding the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury with respect to the implementation of the Agreement between the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Secreteria de Economia of Mexico on Trade in Tequila (December 2005).
  • Represented licensee in negotiating a license to produce Hardrock-brand vodka and negotiated distribution agreements for the Brand (2010-2011).
  • Restructured, redrafted and established standard national distribution agreements for several malt beverage producers.
  • Represented flavored malt beverage client before the State of Michigan Liquor Control Commission.