Lawyers Robert F. and Marbet Lewis, who started the alcohol beverage industry law practices at Greenspoon Marder, have opened their own firm, LewisFox, with Coral Gables attorney Alexander F. Fox.
Marbet Lewis is the only woman name partner in Florida at a firm with an alcohol industry practice, according to a LewisFox spokesman.
Robert and Marbet Lewis were most recently shareholders at Greenspoon Marder, where Robert Lewis was the alcohol industry practice co-chair along with Louis Terminello. The Lewises left with five paralegals and three government consultants.
Robert Lewis said he and his wife helped recruit and transition Greenspoon’s alcohol industry practice in 2015, which still has five lawyers in Florida. The duo helped design the bar in the Greenspoon lobby when it launched its Miami office.
Terminello now chairs the alcohol beverage industry group at Greenspoon Marder, according to a firm spokeswoman who provided no further comment about the Lewises’ departure. The practice at Greenspoon also still includes shareholders Jim Rauh in Miami Beach and Michael Martinez in Tallahassee. Their two associates will also remain with the firm, Marbet Lewis said.
Prior to joining Greenspoon Marder more than two years ago, the Lewises were partners at Akerman. Marbet Lewis has also been a partner at GrayRobinson and an associate at Holland & Knight.
Fox was an assistant state attorney for two years before leading his own Miami criminal defense firm, which he started in 2001. He has represented large auto dealers, corporations, corporate executives of hedge funds, and nightclub and bar owners.
The three partners have worked together on legal matters related to the alcohol beverage industry law since 2003, providing counsel to companies that make, distribute and retail alcoholic beverages. Marbet Lewis said the attorneys will continue to represent Florida Beer Co. and Ansa McAl, as well as many of their retail clients, which include movie theaters.
“Government relations go hand in hand with licensing approvals for any regulated product, so a shared practice that leverages our legal knowledge benefits our clients,” said Fox. “Aside from initial legal representation, our goal is to educate our clients on highly regulated areas and effectively guide their ongoing compliance efforts.”
Marbet Lewis advises suppliers, hospitality, restaurant, entertainment and alcohol industry clients on regulatory licensing, asset purchases, mergers and acquisitions, and regulatory compliance. She has extensive experience with lobbying efforts, licensing matters, enforcement action defense, alcohol-related land use and zoning, and administrative litigation.
Robert Lewis has spent more than 26 years in the alcohol industry, including serving in law enforcement and as a special agent with the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. He continues to counsel foreign and domestic clients at all tiers of the alcohol beverage industry on regulatory guidance, government relations, M&A, and licensing and permitting matters.
“Our goal is to focus on personal attention to clients and their overall business objectives with diverse fee structures,” Marbet Lewis said. “Our practice model has shifted to more long-term proposals and project development rather than billable-hour files.”