Spiritus Law

Marbet Lewis

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Practice Areas

Regulatory Licensing & Compliance

Alcohol

Tobacco

Firearms

Cannabis

Food & Non-Alcohol Beverage

Regulated Product Advertising & Marketing

Enforcement Violation Defense

Litigation

Business Transactions

Career

Marbet Lewis has focused her practice on the laws governing the alcohol industry and the manufacture, importation, and sale of alcohol beverage products since 2004. She represents clients in all aspects of alcohol and business licensing, alcohol licensee mergers and acquisitions, negotiation of asset purchase agreements and required alcohol use provisions, license transfers and licensing due diligence, trade practices, alcohol product advertising and review of marketing agreements, importation agreements, label approvals, and regulatory compliance guidance. Her experience also includes enforcement action defense and administrative litigation, zoning and land use due diligence and approval processes, and state and local government regulatory compliance, which includes drafting municipal code ordinances and amendments as well as assisting with redistricting and development of entertainment overlay districts.

Marbet also assists clients with additional business permitting including obtaining business tax receipts, building permitting, certificates of use and occupancy and other related operational permits, as well as representing various entertainment, hospitality, and alcohol industry clients during the zoning approval process, including representation before zoning boards for approval of variances, special exceptions, and use nonconformity issues as well as representation for zoning appeals cases. She has assisted with transfer of business and operational permits required as part of large asset acquisition transactions and merger of national retailers including hotels and entertainments venues such as movie-theaters.

She works with domestic and foreign suppliers, wholesalers, manufacturers and a broad range of retailers, including nightclubs, bars, movie theater operators, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and pharmacy chains.

Professional Memberships

Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Member

American Bar Association, Administrative Law Section, Member

National Association of Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Attorneys, Member, 2007-Present

National Association of Licensing & Compliance Professionals (NALCP), Member

The Florida Bar, Administrative Law Section, Member

The Florida Bar, City, County, and Local Government, Member

Publications

Is This the Summer of Spiked Seltzer?, by Kinsey Gran, TheStreet, June 2018, https://www.thestreet.com/lifestyle/food-drink/is-2018-the-year-of-spiked-seltzer-14629200

Tied-House Laws, by Marbet Lewis, Leisure & Hospitality International, April, 2018, http://www.lhimagazine.com/sections/columns/2276-tied-house-laws

Pay-to-Play Schemes to Receive More Scrutiny from Department of Treasury, by Marbet Lewis, Food Newsfeed, April, 2018, https://www.foodnewsfeed.com/fsr/expert-insights/pay-play-schemes-receive-more-scrutiny-department-treasury

Marbet Lewis profiled in she Boom, Where Women Connect and Prosper, March, 2018, http://sheboom.com/marbet-lewis/

Reclining Seats and Premium Cocktails: New Obstacles for the Remodeled Movie-Theater Industry, by Marbet Lewis, Sound & Picture, March 2018, https://soundandpicture.com/2018/03/reclining-seats-and-premium-cocktails-new-obstacles-for-the-remodeled-movie-theater-industry/

Marbet Lewis profiled in Attorney at Law Magazine's Talk of the Town section, February, 2018, https://spirituslaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/02-20-2018-Talk-of-the-Town-Attorney-at-Law.pdf

LewisFox Partner Marbet Lewis Named Brand Ambassador for Women of the Vine & Spirits, http://southflorida.citybizlist.com/article/461276/lewisfox-partner-marbet-lewis-named-brand-ambassador-for-women-of-the-vine-spirits?undefined.mjjo.mjjo

Pay to Play, by Marbet Lewis, Artisan Spirit, The Magazine for Craft Distillers and Their Fans, Fall 2017, https://issuu.com/artisanspiritmag/docs/artisanspirit_issue020_web/40?ff=true

Three-tier system think piece: Let’s steer away from post-Prohibition fears and reconsider our regulatory schemes, Craft Brewing Business, by Marbet Lewis, July 2017, https://www.craftbrewingbusiness.com/featured/three-tier-system-think-piece-lets-steer-away-post-prohibition-fears-reconsider-regulatory-schemes/

With Whole Foods, Amazon Gets a Lot of Beer, and Headaches, commentary by Marbet Lewis, Bloomberg Law, Antitrust & Trade Report, July 2017.

Obama Administration Eases Shipping, Cargo Transit Restrictions, by Johannes Walker, commentary by Marbet Lewis, Cuba Standard.com, October 2016,

Alcohol Industry Consolidation and Regulatory Concerns, by Marbet Lewis, Financier Worldwide, July 2016, https://www.financierworldwide.com/alcohol-industry-consolidation-and-regulatory-concerns#.WdZObEEpCEc

NCSLA, Northern/Southern Regional Conference, “Control from a Different Angle,” 2014.

“The DOs and DON’Ts Of Mixing Movies and Mixology,” National Association of Concessionaires Show East Conference, October 21-24, 2013

“Be in Control! Don’t Let Your Alcohol Retail Business Control You,” Atlantic City Nightclub & Bar Convention, October 2008

“Party On! How to Keep Your Party Profitable, Safe and Legal,” Nightclub & Bar Beverage Retailer, October 9-11, 2006

Clients

Marbet’s clients include domestic and foreign alcohol and tobacco suppliers, importers, wholesalers, real estate developers, and a broad range of alcohol retailers, including large box retailers, national restaurant chains, national pharmacies, nightclubs, private clubs, national retail chains, bars, national hotel chains and national hotel management companies, restaurateurs, sports arenas, including MLB and NBA sport franchises, national movie theater companies, entertainment complexes and establishments, and other members of the hospitality and alcohol industry.

Work Highlights

Assisted with management agreement review and negotiations, and alcohol license and business permit transfers during and following a major real estate investment group’s first entry into the U.S. hospitality market with the $125 million purchase of a South Beach hotel. The Group worked to complete all business and alcohol license transfers simultaneously with transaction closing to avoid interruption in alcohol and amenity services.

Assisted with multi-jurisdictional and multi-use licensing and permitting in Florida following various hotel acquisitions including working with the Department of Hotels & Restaurants, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environmental Resource Management, Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, and the Federal Communications Commission for radio network frequency permitting.

Assisted with licensing and regulatory due diligence in preparation for a major cruise lines’ sale of assets for $3.025 billion dollars. The Group reviewed regulatory compliance issues and completed license filings prior to closing deadlines. Post-closing, the Group assisted with preparation of due diligence and licensing summaries for in-house regulatory counsel.

Assisted with analysis and review of promotional and marketing programs, complete business licensing and permitting for various sports team franchises, and arena food and beverage concessions, including drafting and negotiation of concession agreements and provided corporate and regulatory compliance guidance.

Drafted and analyzed management agreements for various third-party operators at luxury hotels and completed the licensing and permitting for the hotel’s multi-use amenities. The group’s members have also analyzed areas of liability concerns and provided operational regulatory compliance including review of social media advertising, manufacturer brand promotions, and special event sponsorships.

Provided regulatory guidance and due diligence of operating licenses and permits for various theater chain acquisition of assets including transactions over $240 million. The Group has transferred all alcohol licenses and operating permits simultaneously with closing to prevent interruption in alcohol service and provided post-closing compliance guidance.

Movie Theater Alcohol Licensing and Muvico Entertainment: Represented the national movie theater chain Muvico Entertainment as alcohol regulatory and licensing counsel in the sale of its theater chain and remained as licensing regulatory counsel for Buyer post-closing. Post-closing, the Group assisted Muvico Entertainment in disposition and sale of alcohol inventory and continued representation of Buyer for completion of business licensing and regulatory compliance issues. The alcohol industry team has extensive experience in movie theater licensing and industry mergers with its representation of various industry leaders, specifically in the areas of alcohol licensing, alcohol service integration and regulatory compliance guidance.

Robert and Marbet Lewis assisted with drafting and lobbying of changes to the City of Miami Beach Code of Ordinances to allow for alcohol sales at movie theaters and drafted proposed operational plan guidance for applicants.

Provided litigation defense against administrative enforcement and criminal allegations; managed corporate compliance regulatory filings; reviewed marketing and promotional programs for various nightclub and bar facilities.

Review of lease and purchase agreements for various ventures and new lounge/bar locations throughout Florida; review of marketing and promotional programs; review of on-site live entertainment liability and regulatory compliance issues.

Review and analysis of alcohol internet sales and direct to customer alcohol shipping issues; defense of administrative enforcement allegations; provided post-settlement regulatory compliance guidance.

Industry Sector Expertise

Marbet’s experience includes working with foreign and domestic alcohol industry clients on a wide variety of issues including alcohol licensing and structuring of alcohol service operations, alcohol trade practice analysis and consulting, defending regulatory enforcement actions as well as state and federal investigations of alcohol industry members, administrative litigation, land use and zoning analysis and approval processes, and state and local government lobbying efforts.

Awards

Rising Star

Super Lawyers

2018

Leading Individual

Chambers & Partners, USA

2018

Rising Stars Leadership Award

Daily Business Review

2017

Brand Ambassador

Women of the Vine & Spirit

2017

Education

St. Thomas University School of Law

Doctor of Law (JD)

2001 - 2004