bottles of juice on a conveyer belt

A Strong Link in a Complex Chain

From milk alternatives and kombucha tea to cold-pressed juices and craft beers, the beverage industry has exploded with new products that reflect changing consumer tastes, incorporate health and wellness benefits, and feature eco-friendly bottling. Today’s market presents vast opportunities for new-comers and competitive challenges for traditional beverage companies. Regardless of the beverage type, all producers must address a multitude of local, state and federal requirements to get and keep their products on the market.

Saul Ewing attorneys help manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages address these challenges by providing holistic legal support up and down the supply chain with a practical approach to helping them manage successful business operations. We advise on matters in a variety of areas, including:

  • Regulatory and statutory requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and compliance with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and state and local laws and regulations related to:
    • Product development
    • Claim substantiation
    • Labeling
    • Distribution
    • Transportation
    • Promotion
    • Registration
    • Reporting
    • Recalls 
  • Corporate
    • General corporate – business formation, commercial agreements, governance, import/export matters, and expansion into new markets
    • Financing – debt and equity capital raising transactions
    • Mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and strategic alliances
    • Investments by private equity funds, venture capital funds, wealth funds, strategic investors and family offices
    • Tax – domestic and international tax planning and Internal Revenue Service inquiries and disputes
  • Real Estate, including the purchase and sale of land, financing, development, land use rights, zoning, appeals, and leasing
  • Construction, including the development of facilities for businesses in the U.S. and abroad
  • Environmental, including project permitting, defense of enforcement actions and other matters before state, local, regional and federal environmental authorities, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Labor and employment, including employment applications and agreements, employee handbook/policy requirements, collective bargaining agreements, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Occupational Safety and Health Administration matters
  • Intellectual property, including matters related to patents, trademarks, licensing, trade dress, joint development agreements and merchandising
  • Employee benefits and executive compensation
  • Cybersecurity and data privacy
  • Immigration, including employment-based visas
  • Estate planning, including business succession planning
  • Litigation, including supply chain disputes, government investigations, nuisance claims, unfair and deceptive trade practice claims, advertising and labeling disputes, wage and hour litigation, and beverage safety litigation and class actions
  • Bankruptcy and restructuring 


Key Contacts
Jonathan A. Havens
Ruth A. Rauls
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For a selection of our beverage-related representations, click here.

  • The importer and U.S. marketer of a brand of tequila in its establishment as a new business entity, which included assisting on the purchase of an interest in the company by a limited liability company and the related financing.
  • A North American beverage distributor in property acquisition, land use, construction documents, and leasing in connection with a 250,000 square-foot facility in Tampa, Florida.
  • A Pennsylvania winery in an investigation of the impact of a soybean oil crush plant adjacent to the winery’s property
  • A New Mexico dairy farm as counsel to the Chapter 11 Liquidating Trustee in prosecuting avoidance actions and insider litigation, generating more than $1 million in proceeds for creditors.
  • The importer and U.S. marketer of a brand of tequila in the facilitation of the importation of the product from Mexico, negotiations and agreements with distributors, and international tax planning.
  • A craft whiskey company in connection with conversion into a Delaware limited liability company and development of its operating agreement.
  • A craft brewery in rendering general corporate advice relating to capital formation and corporate and intellectual property matters.
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