Network Firm News

Friday, January 31, 2014

Akerman today announced that it has expanded its services for domestic and international clients within all three tiers of the alcohol industry, including national alcohol retailers, domestic and foreign alcohol suppliers, and alcohol importers and distributors with the addition of shareholders Robert Lewis and Marbet Lewis, and associate Valerie Haber. The team brings a wide range of experience in laws governing alcohol and other regulated products.

Robert Lewis will serve as chair of Akerman’s expanded Alcohol Beverage Industry Group. He has over 20 years of experience, including serving in law enforcement by working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as a Special Agent to the State of Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. Robert Lewis has represented clients in a wide variety of issues, including alcohol licensing and structuring, alcohol trade practices, complete business permitting, state and federal investigations of alcohol industry members and other enforcement defense actions, litigation, land use and zoning processes, state and local government lobbying, and commercial leasing, among others.

Marbet Lewis focuses her practice on the laws governing the alcohol industry and the manufacture, importation and sale alcohol beverage products. She represents clients in all aspects of alcohol and business licensing, national alcohol licensee mergers and acquisitions, trade practices, contracts, alcohol product advertising and review of marketing agreements, and regulatory compliance guidance. She works with domestic and foreign suppliers, wholesalers, manufacturers and a broad range of retailers, including nightclubs, bars, movie theater companies, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and national pharmacy chains.

Haber focuses her practice on the laws governing alcohol, tobacco, and other regulated products. Her experience includes alcohol beverage compliance analysis, zoning and land use review and approval process, commercial litigation, and assisting clients with alcohol beverage licensing across multiple industries, including entertainment, hospitality, and retail.

"Akerman’s expansive platform and leading reputation across the Americas attracted our team to the firm," said Robert Lewis. "Our clients frequently need a full-range of services and experience that extend beyond their borders. Akerman's known strengths in transactions and disputes involving corporate and real estate matters, and depth in the hospitality and restaurant industries, will significantly expand our reach and provide our clients with an array of new services."

Akerman’s Alcohol Beverage Industry Group is fully-integrated across a national platform, working seamlessly with the firm's lawyers and government affairs professionals to serve clients. The team offers multi-jurisdictional experience, advising alcohol suppliers, importers, wholesalers, real estate developers, alcohol retailers, and other key stakeholders in matters involving real estate and land use, M&A, administrative litigation, regulation, intellectual property, and tax.

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