Christopoulos Law Group, LLC

Litigation & Trade Practice Counseling for the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry

Enforcement & Trade Practice Counseling

Nationally Based Trade Practice Counseling

CLG counseled a small import company from formation and obtaining its federal-basic permit, to licensing it as a wine importer in all 48 contiguous states. CLG has assisted this company in protecting its intellectual property, developing import agreements and agreements for its distribution network.

Brand Acquisition

CLG represented an Illinois beer distributor in acquiring multiple beer brands from another Illinois distributor. In handling this matter, CLG’s knowledge and insight into ongoing litigation involving the beer brands not only prevented his client from being exposed to any claims but also in obtaining proper releases from all interested parties.

Franchise Agreements

CLG represented several wine importers and beer distributors in developing their distribution agreement so as to fully protect their rights under the Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act. The firm’s actions have resulted in fair payments to distributors in termination cases.

Happy Hour Compliance

CLG developed a program for a national retail client to review and confirm compliance with Illinois Happy Hour law requirements. CLG used its experience to ensure that all consumer promotions were in compliance with the Trade Practice Rules in Illinois.

Over occupancy claims

CLG has successfully defended multiple over occupancy matters, including one recently where the Fire Battalion Chief testified that one particular room, but not the entire establishment, was over occupancy. CLG obtained a full dismissal of the charges from the Local Liquor Control Commission.

Sting operations

CLG has successfully defended multiple liquor to minor “sting” operations. In one case, the Local Liquor Control Commission found against CLG’ client, but on appeal, CLG proved that the Commission had used an inadequate method of proving age and brought into question whether the undercover operative was using fake identification to effectuate the sting. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission reversed the local commission’s finding of a substantial fine along with a 3 day suspension.

Tavern-Restaurant Claims

CLG recently obtained an order of reversal in charges alleging that a properly licensed business was operating illegally as a tavern without a tavern liquor license. While the Local Commission initially found against the licensee, the City of Chicago Liquor License Appeal Commission reversed the Local Commissions findings based on a lack of evidence to support the charges.

Application Matters

The City of Chicago recently denied an application for Consumption on Premise-Incidental Activity Liquor License. The City presented 22 witnesses against the applicant, including police officers, the Alderman for the ward, and several lawyers & judges living in the area. CLG was successful in succeeding on the merits by challenging the City’s evidence as speculative and unfounded.

Commercial Litigation

Commercial Lease Disputes

CLG has handled multiple commercial lease disputes involving the Industry to completion. In one case, the Landlord claimed that the client made changes to the premises which violated its lease. The matter proceeded to trial and the client prevailed, including obtaining over $200,000 in legal fees from the Landlord.

Franchise Litigation

CLG recently represented a distributor in obtaining a favorable settlement against an importer for improperly terminating the distributor. The importer terminated the distributor’s rights to distribute a long standing brand. The new importer failed to recognize the Illinois Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act requirements and appointed a different distributor. CLG obtained a favorable settlement without filing suit.

Partnership Disputes

CLG has handled multiple partnership disputes, including one involving a lock out from a small, closely held company. The client was locked out based on false allegations, and CLG was able to force the majority owners to sell the company to the client after CLG uncovered improprieties in the company.

Breach of Fiduciary Trust

CLG, along with co-counsel, the Loizzi Law Firm, obtained a substantial settlement in a case against four trustees who misused the funds of a disabled beneficiary. CLG and the Loizzi Law Firm took on the case after several lawyers passed it up. While the terms of the settlement are confidential, the beneficiary received enough funds to support him for his long term care.

Acquisitions and Commercial Real Estate for the Beverage Alcohol & Hospitality Industry

Nightclub Purchase

CLG successfully negotiated a bid and purchase of troubled nightclub assets out of receivership. It also renegotiated the lease and then successfully relicensed the establishment. It successfully defended mechanic’s lien claims, as well as state and city tax claims.

Purchase of Distributor Assets

CLG successfully formed a new wholesale wine distributor and successfully negotiated and closed the purchase of assets for the newly formed distributor. CLG further provided counseling on properly structuring the distributor.

Bringing Deals to Clients

CLG recently introduced two clients which lead to the purchase of the real estate and business at a popular Wrigleyville Irish Pub. CLG negotiated the deal which was complicated by the ownership of the real estate and business through a European owned company.