Napa lawyer sets up specialist legal firm for wine acquisitions

A former in-house lawyer for Duckhorn Wine Company is launching a Napa-based legal practise to advise wine companies on the acquisition and disposal of wineries and wine brands.

Alicia Cronbach has launched Cronbach Law Group PC to help wine companies navigate the complexities of ownership transaction.

Lawyer Alicia Cronbach, who specialises in winery transactional law and was the first in-house attorney at Duckhorn Wine Company, has launched Cronbach Law Group PC, which she says fills a gap in the market for expert legal advice to help wineries, brokers and law firms navigate the complexities of ownership transaction.

Cronbach said the industry was going through a very active period of wineries and brands changing hands but currently there were no firms dedicated to this complex and fast-paced area of expertise.

“Given the many layers of complexity, it can be overwhelming for law firms and in-house attorneys to navigate successfully through the acquisition process,” she said.

“Because we concentrate on transaction law, we take pressure off client workloads when it comes time to buy or sell a winery or brand.”

“Our experience and competency allows us to prepare wineries, law firms and brokers with guidance related to permitting, distributor contracts, naming rights (beyond trademarks), buyer due diligence, seller preparation of the data room, and assessment of material issues in winery transactions.”

Prior to setting up the new firm, Cronbach spent two years at Duckhorn Wine Company as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel where she directed the company through its integrations of Kosta Browne and Calera. Prior to this she spend nine years at Treasury Wine, during its integration of the Diageo’s wine business, which included more than 50 wine brands, including Beaulieu Vineyard, Sterling Vineyards and Provenance, and 4 sites. 

Sarah Spiller has been appointed as the firm’s director of integration strategy.

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