About Claire

Claire guides retail and non-retail food and beverage alcohol businesses through the complexities of state and federal regulation, finding thoughtful solutions to both legal and business challenges. Clients such as grocers, restaurants, hotel operators, e-commerce retailers, entertainment venues, and beer, wine, and spirits producers seek Claire’s counsel on state and federal liquor licensing strategies, tied house compliance, trade practice regulation, and promotional advertising and sponsorship assessments. Claire makes it a priority to build strong connections with state and federal regulators, consultants, and trade associations and leverages that network of relationships to help clients overcome regulatory obstacles.

Complementary to her regulatory compliance work, Claire’s practice includes a range of other services such as drafting and negotiating commercial contracts, providing subject matter expertise on food and beverage industry transactions, handling a wide variety of non-liquor business and operational permits and licenses, and defending against alleged administrative violations.

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Alcohol Beverage Licensing and Regulatory Work

  • Coordinated the process for obtaining spirits sales privileges at over 60 locations on behalf of a national grocery store chain.
  • Served as local licensing and regulatory counsel in Washington and Oregon for a national e-commerce retailer of alcohol, food, and other consumer goods.
  • Represented a global coffee retailer in obtaining liquor licenses nationwide.
  • Counseled a multinational retailer on consumer marketing programs related to alcohol.
  • Represented an international hotel operator in seeking state liquor licenses in multiple states.
  • Advocated on behalf of an age restricted living community before the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board in connection with seeking a liquor license for a multi-use area.
  • Regularly performed 50-state survey research to determine the permissibility of alcohol advertising promotions, production and distribution of private label alcohol, and the direct shipment of wine on behalf of retail and non-retail liquor licensed companies.
  • Assisted a global e-commerce retailer in obtaining a liquor license for its mobile application-based grocery delivery service and its brick and mortar cashless and checkout-free shopping experience.
  • Represented a convenience store management company in obtaining state liquor, lottery, tobacco, and over-the-counter medicine sales licenses at multiple stores in multiple states.
  • Handled multiple producer licensing and regulatory compliance matters for a large brewing company and its subsidiaries.

Food Regulatory Work

  • Represented a big-box retailer in product labeling and advertising matters — including labeling claims related to nutrition, safety, country of origin, and environment — to ensure compliance with Food and Drug Administration, Customs and Border Patrol, and Federal Trade Commission regulations.
  • Renegotiated vendor contracts on behalf of a national cheese and dairy product processing company.
  • Counseled food processors, farms, alcohol manufacturers, warehouses, and other businesses on the legal requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act.
  • Assisted food processors in managing recalls and market withdrawals, responding to regulatory agency warning letters or enforcement action, addressing consumer complaints, or threats of litigation.
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Honors & Activities

  • Associate Member, National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals
  • Member, Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys & Consultants
  • Associate Member, National Conference of State Liquor Administrators
  • Associate Member, National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association
  • Allied Member, Washington State Hospitality Association
  • Secretary, Green Plate Special, April 2015–April 2019
  • Business Development Chair, Washington Women Lawyers, King County Chapter, January 2015–January 2016
  • Member, Operations and Technical Affairs Committee, Northwest Food Processors Association, 2012–present
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • Presenter, “From Mash to Market: A Primer on the Law of Spirits,” Young Lawyers Division Meeting, King County Bar Association, Seattle, WA, April 24, 2019
  • Presenter, “A Primer on the Food Safety Modernization Act for Wineries,” Business of Wine Seminar, Portland, OR, June 6, 2018
  • Presenter, “FDA’s Final Rules Regarding Nutrition Labeling and Serving Sizes,” Operations and Technical Affairs Committee Meeting, Northwest Food Processors Association, Portland, OR, September 20, 2016
  • Presenter, “Trademark Basics: Protecting Your Brand,” Be the Entrepreneur, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, June 15, 2016
  • Presenter, “U.S. Consumer Protection Law: Focus on Food Labeling Litigation,” 2015 Global Legal Forum, Korea Legislation Research Institute, Seoul, South Korea, November 13, 2015
  • Presenter, “Overcoming the Wage Gap: Panel Discussion,” Diversity Week, Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, WA, February 25, 2015
  • Presenter, “Beef vs. Beer: Breweries & the Food Safety Modernization Act,” Young Lawyers Division Fall Conference, American Bar Association, Portland, OR, October 10, 2014

Related News & Publications

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