Beer, Wine & Spirits

Frantz Ward represents industry participants of all sizes, including breweries, wineries, distributors, and retailers. From startup craft breweries to the industry’s largest players, our experience as trusted counsel sets us apart. We understand the complex issues facing the alcoholic beverage industry.

The alcoholic beverage industry is unique, and we understand that. We have significant experience in connection with the Ohio three-tier distribution system and the Ohio Alcoholic Beverages Franchise Act. We have handled numerous cases under the Franchise Act at both the trial and appellate levels including cases in the Supreme Court of Ohio and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. We have counseled manufacturers and distributors on Franchise Act issues, and negotiated and drafted distribution agreements for industry members.

Many of our clients turn to Frantz Ward to assist them in beginning their journey. Our attorneys have advised clients on choice of corporate structure, helped to incorporate entities, drafted operating agreements, and have assisted in entity name selection. Clients have trusted us with their difficult insurance and liability issues, formation and separation issues between owners, and zoning/permit/regulation issues. We have helped clients navigate through the nuances of the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau regulations, the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control regulations, and vendor and supplier contracts.

Nationally-recognized for our skills in management-side employment defense, we help our clients get to work. We have drafted employee handbooks, advised startup breweries concerning non-compete and other employment agreements, and have defended clients against wage and hour claims. We have vast experience handling ADA accessibility claims. We regularly counsel clients on risk avoidance and regulatory compliance, including under the Affordable Care Act, OSHA, and other safety concerns.

Whether behind the scenes or in the courtroom, Frantz Ward helps clients protect what is theirs. We have represented clients facing personal injury, premises liability, and claims of alleged over-service under the Ohio Dram Shop Act. We also help clients protect their intellectual property, including brand name and product name selection, registration and protection of designated trademarks, defense of trademark infringement claims, and the negotiation of trademark co-existence agreements.

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