Food, beverage and hospitality

We have forged a strong reputation as expert advisors on legislation relating to the sale and supply of alcohol and food.

  • Summary
  • Work highlights
  • People
  • Publications

Our team has experience advising on a range of commercial matters affecting manufacturers and retailers of food and beverages, and the hospitality and alcohol industry.

Our advice spans environmental and resource management issues, licensing, food standards and labelling, trade law for exports, and intellectual property and promotions. We advise on competition and other commercial considerations, as well as public health and recall issues.

We provide pre-publication clearance advice on all aspects of advertising as well as clearance and competitor review advice on composition, vintage and labelling requirements for all food and beverage products. We advise food, wine and liquor importers on New Zealand market requirements.

Our team has a deep working knowledge of legislation such as the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, the Wine Act, the Food Act, the Commodity Levies Act, the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, the Advertising Standards Authority Codes, the Fair Trading Act, Smoke Free Environments Act and the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).

In particular, we have extensive experience advising on the revised Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act and the newly introduced Food Act, and regularly advise our clients on liquor licensing requirements. The majority of these clients are within the highly competitive New Zealand hospitality and food and beverage industries as well as contractors to a range of entertainment venues .

We assist clients with the regulatory requirements (in particular resource consents) when establishing, expanding or renewing facilities such as bottling plants, processing factories and when securing associated rights to natural resources or to enable discharges.

Among our clients are food and beverage manufacturers and retailers and members of the hospitality industry, along with many New Zealand winemakers and grape growers, as well as their representative body NZ Winegrowers, to whom we provide advice on national planning and strategic issues, as well as commercial matters.

NZ Winegrowers
Advisor to NZ Winegrowers where we continue to work with the representative body of winemakers and grape growe rs on many strategic and operational resource management and environment issues. 

Our work has included:

  • representing at Council and Environment Court hearings in relation to plan changes affecting the industry, more recently in the Marlborough and Hurunui Districts,

  • acting on a Commerce Commission investigation and providing proactive advice expected amendments to the Commerce Act,

  • providing advice on industry policies such as water abstraction and allocation, and a nationwide approach to RM planning,

  • providing advice on a Code of Conduct for Directors, and

  • restructuring and rules of association advice.

Guidelines on the wine industry

Advised on the development of ground-breaking planning guidelines for the wine industry to enable a nationwide approach to resource management planning and assist district and regional councils to address winegrowing resource management issues.

Asahi Group acquisition
Advised Asahi on the N​ew Zealand law aspects of the NZ$1.5 billion acquisition of Independent Liquor, Asahi's largest ever acquisition.

Frucor sale to Suntory
Advised Danone on the sale of the Frucor Beverages Group business (New Zealand's second largest non-alcoholic drink company) to Suntory of Japan for in excess of NZ$1.45 billion.

Frucor acquisition of Simply Squeezed
Assisted Frucor Beverages to obtain Commerce Commission clearance for Frucor to acquire 100% of the Simply Squeezed business.

Goodman Fielder restructure
Provided legal advice to Goodman Fielder regarding the restructure of its New Zealand franchises.

Pernod Ricard investigation
Successfully assisted Pernod Ricard in an investigation by the Commerce Commission into whether or not it could retain a number of key brands acquired in its acquisition of Allied Domecq. The brands had previously been the subject of a divestment undertaking.

Simply Squeezed prosecution
Provided advice to Simply Squeezed on the prosecution by the Commerce Commission for the alleged contravention of the Fair Trading Act, which followed an investigation into the composition and labeling of its juice products.

Ingham’s investigation
Successfully assisted Ingham’s with an investigation by the Commerce Commission into whether a consumer promotion contravened the Fair Trading Act.

Frucor investigation
Assisted Frucor in responding to enquiries from the Commerce Commission regarding the composition of its beverage products.

Labelling issues for Montana
Advised Montana, New Zealand's largest wine producer and exporter, on diverse issues over many years, including acting for the company's independent directors on the fiercely contested takeover bid by Allied Domecq and Lion Nathan, on competition issues and on the new Geographical Indication framework and US and EU vintage labelling rules.

Pepsi, Frucor, Coca-Cola litigation
Successfully defended PepsiCo and Frucor Beverages against claims by Coca-Cola that they had infringed Coca-Cola’s intellectual property rights. Trade mark infringement, passing off and breaches of the Fair Trading Act were alleged.

Liquor licensing
Advising various winegrowers and hospitality industry clients on all aspects of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, including contractors for New Zealand’s major entertainment venues.  This includes applying for on, off and special licenses and renewals, conditions of those licenses and the best way to structure licensing arrangements, as well as restrictions in the new legislation on promotions and implications for internal and external advertising.

Advising the New Zealand Tomorrow Project (backed by Brewers’ Association, Distilled Spirits Association and New Zealand Winegrowers) on the Cheers! website and on application of changes in legislation to the treatment of minors under the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

Providing general liquor licencing advice to Marisco Vineyards in Marlborough.

Excessive noise and smoke-free advice
Advice on excessive noise and smoke-free environments requirements, including the use of designated smoking areas which are covered for rain protection.

Promotions advice
Regularly assist wineries, hospitality venues, supermarkets, and food and beverage manufacturers and distributors with managing consumer promotions and advertising campaigns that involve alcohol and other fast moving consumer good (FMCG) products. This includes company arranged social club raffles. Clients we have assisted with this work include Independent Liquor, Foley Family Wines, Fisher & Paykel, Frucor, Goodman Fielder, Cadbury, Unilever, and Ingham’s. We regularly work with publishers and media clients to ensure all advertising is compliant with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act and applicable industry codes.

Advising The Entertainment Book on the promotional restrictions that apply to the sale and supply of alcohol as it relates to the purchasing and use of the Entertainment Book.

Advising DFS Australia on the promotion restrictions under the new legislation in relation to their physical space within the airport.

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  • Andrew Beatson

    Partner Wellington
  • Dean Alderton

    Partner Auckland
  • James Cooney

    Partner Auckland
  • Alan Ringwood

    Partner Auckland