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Gibbons Expands its Liquor Licensing and Alcoholic Beverage Control Practice


May 1, 2012

Gibbons P.C. is expanding its Liquor Licensing and Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) practice to cover a broader geographic region and offer additional services with new attorneys assigned to the team.

Gibbons for some time has been representing clients concerning New Jersey alcoholic beverage matters, including negotiation of purchase and sale agreements, transfers and renewals of existing licenses, objections to license transfers and renewals, and enforcement proceedings.

Given the fact that many licensees, such as supermarkets and restaurant chains, require licenses in multiple jurisdictions, Gibbons is expanding its practice into the New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania jurisdictions, where numerous clients have multi-state operations. The practice is also adding a government relations component, to emphasize Gibbons’ ability to advocate for clients and industry groups in support of or in opposition to proposed legislation and regulations throughout these various jurisdictions. The ABC Team at Gibbons also assists clients in drafting ABC-related municipal ordinance amendments and legislation seeking to change state alcoholic beverage laws.

“The expansion of our ABC Team allows us to provide current and future clients with the comprehensive assistance they may need to navigate this complex arena, not only in New Jersey, but in New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania,” says Howard D. Geneslaw, Co-Leader of the Team and a Director in the firm’s Real Estate Development practice group, whose practice came to encompass liquor licensing because it arises in connection with the land use and zoning approval process and involves interaction with some of the same municipal officials.

Adds Mark Conlan, Mr. Geneslaw’s Team Co-Leader, “We are fortunate to have a team that is poised to address clients’ highest level concerns with regard to their liquor licenses, whether those concerns relate to the purchase, sale, or transfer of existing or new liquor licenses; liquor license renewals; regulatory enforcement actions; or government lobbying.” Like Mr. Geneslaw, Mr. Conlan provides clients with the full range of ABC services, though as a Director in the firm’s Financial Restructuring & Creditors’ Rights Department, he is particularly experienced in handling liquor license sales and transfers related to bankruptcy cases.

Joining Mr. Geneslaw and Mr. Conlan on the ABC Team from the firm’s Government Affairs Department are David A. Filippelli and William J. Castner, Jr., both Directors in the firm’s Trenton office, just steps from the State House. Associates Jennifer P. Smith and Brett S. Theisen are also members of the Team.

The expanded practice builds on the firm’s broad experience with, and comprehensive understanding of, the relevant state and local regulatory laws and agencies that license, govern and regulate an establishment’s ability to serve or sell alcohol. Gibbons has strong relationships with liquor license brokers, as well as detailed familiarity with the marketplace and the complex, comprehensive regulatory scheme that includes statutory, administrative, and municipal law. Moreover, Gibbons attorneys have cultivated long-term working relationships in hundreds of municipalities through work in the land use and government affairs arenas. They developed strong familiarity with and insight into the state administrative system, as well as vital connections with many attorneys general, department heads, and other state employees.