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vineyards at a winery in mclaren vale

Wine

Our global wine sector knowledge and industry specific expertise is unrivalled. We are the firm of choice for wine businesses

We’ve got a dedicated wine team – people working in the wine industry all day, every day.

How we can help

We are Australia’s principal wine law team – no other firm in Australia has our depth and diversity of experience and expertise in wine law.  We have worked with the Australian wine sector for decades; locally, interstate and overseas.  Our understanding of the sector is unparalleled, but we know that it is critical that we also understand our clients’ specific business issues and commercial needs.

We act for wineries in all major viticultural regions of Australia. We also have foreign wine industry clients.

Our diverse client base includes some of the biggest beverage alcohol companies in the world, through to a large number of SME’s and a whole mass of small family wine businesses. As well as wineries, we also act for growers, suppliers to the wine sector, research bodies and national, state and regional wine industry associations.

We will work closely with you to help you achieve your business goals, with strategic, tailored and commercially relevant advice and documentation.

Finlaysons Wine Group provides a complete range of commercial legal services to a wine business of any nature or size. Our services include business structuring, mergers & acquisitions, capital raising, grape supply, wine supply, processing, bottling and distribution contracts, competition & consumer law issues, vineyard and winery sales, land divisions, water issues, intellectual property, workplace and occupational health & safety, tax, finance, succession, new product development and labelling. We are particularly experienced in wine business due diligence – you will receive a rigorous report because we know what to look for and where.

Although we are based in Adelaide, we are very much a national practice. We come to you when you want to see us.

Finlaysons is an active member of the Australian wine community.

We have been running the Finlaysons Wine Roadshow for nearly 30 years – visiting winemakers and grape growers on their own patch to provide practical, legal and commercial advice on critical business issues affecting the regions. We support the development of the sector through membership, sponsorships and working relationships with peak industry associations – collaboration in pursuit of continuous progression of the sector.

We are also the proud donor of 3 Vines to The Barossa Cellar – a regional wine museum that is the only facility of its kind in Australia. The Barossa Cellar represents a significant community investment in the future of the Barossa.  Learn more here.

Key services

  • Business structuring
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Capital raising
  • Joint ventures
  • Grape and wine supply, distribution, processing and bottling contracts
  • Liquor licensing
  • Intellectual property, including foreign trade mark and domain name registrations and geographical indications
  • Employment law
  • Tax (including WET, GST and stamp duty)
  • Occupational health, safety and welfare
  • Environmental and planning law, including winery waste management and climate change
  • Trade practices, including packaging, consumer protection, competition law and market-related issues
  • Dispute resolution (particularly grower, processing and distribution contract issues and brand infringement)
  • Succession planning

Experience

    • Acting in relation to the sale and purchase of the Katnook business in Coonawarra
    • Acting in relation to the sale and purchase of the Knappstein Wines business in the Clare Valley
    • Acting in relation to the sale and purchase of the Deakin Estate wine business in the Murray Darling region
    • Advising in relation to the revision of the Australian Wine Industry Code of Conduct
    • Representing two wine clients in relation to their dealings with Wine Australia over label integrity issues
    • Advising various wineries concerning COVID-19 issues, including those relating to workplace management and force majeure
    • Advising various wineries in relation to bushfire/smoke taint related issues, including in relation to their dealings with the ACCC over relevant clauses in grape supply agreements
    • Advising on and documenting a number of contract processing and bottling arrangements recently
    • Assisting a number of clients to negotiate and document new distribution arrangements, and terminate existing agreements, both domestically and in various export markets including China, the UK and the USA
    • Assisting a major winery to negotiate and document a major logistics contract
    • Advising a South Australian winery on the tax aspects of introducing an international investor
    • Advising numerous clients across Australia with respect to wine equalisation tax audits
    • Advising wineries on contracts for the acquisition, installation and maintenance of major “direct to consumer” IT platforms
    • Advising various clients in relation to the development of innovative new “wine products”

    Advising a number of family wine businesses concerning their succession planning

Our Wine Experts

Practice Head
will taylor wine lawyer
Will Taylor

Partner

mathew brittingham tax lawyer
Mathew Brittingham

Partner

Andrew Williams
Andrew Williams

Partner

Lisa Calabrese
Lisa Calabrese

Partner

Gavin Cragg
Gavin Cragg

Partner

kirsten gordge
Kirsten Gordge

Partner

Lan Lam IP lawyer
Lan Lam

Partner

Michael Butler tax lawyer
Michael Butler

Partner

Will Snow Finlaysons
Will Snow

Partner

kyra reznikov lawyer
Kyra Reznikov

Special Counsel

Nikki Owen lawyer
Nikki Owen

Special Counsel

Austin Wakeham property and construction lawyer
Austin Wakeham

Special Counsel

Ned Hewitson, Finlaysons Lawyer
Ned Hewitson

Associate