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Barry Strike, Partner

Specializing in alcohol beverage law since 2001, Barry Strike was a partner at a San Francisco law firm before, well, striking out on his own with Strike & Techel. He represents wineries, distillers, breweries, importers, and a wide variety of retailers—including restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, and off-sale retailers. Barry has drafted and negotiated every kind of industry agreement under the sun for both suppliers and retailers. He has unique expertise in labeling and trademark registrations, and has registered literally hundreds of trademarks for beverage clients.

Prior to specializing in alcohol beverage law, Barry practiced civil litigation, representing clients in a variety of contract and intellectual property matters. Barry draws on his litigation experience in his representation of clients in administrative actions brought by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). In his spare time, Barry makes wine in his garage—though he maintains he’s quite a bit better at his day job.

Barry is admitted to practice in the State of California.

Hinman & Carmichael, LLP: Partner, Alcoholic Beverage Law and Trademark Law
Sideman & Bancroft; Associate Attorney, Civil Litigation and Trademark Law
B.A., James Madison University, 1984
J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law, 1995, Highest Honors, Member, Golden Gate University Law Review

International Wine Law Association (AIDV), Board of Directors, U.S. Chapter

Speaking Engagements:
“Recent Alcoholic Beverage Litigation in the U.S. – Consumer Protection?” International Wine Law Association Annual Conference, October 2015
“Trademarks in the Wine Industry,” Intellectual Property Section, American Bar Association Annual Conference, April 2015
“What Governmental Organizations and Regulators Can Assist Players in the Wine Sector?”, International Wine Law Association, October 2013

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Kristen Techel, Partner

Kristen enjoys working on all types of alcoholic beverage law issues, but is especially interested in the legal issues surrounding internet sales models, direct shipment of alcohol, and emerging business models. Other areas of expertise include advertising, promotions, marketing, social media, licensing, regulatory compliance, tied-house issues, alternating proprietorships, and more.

Kristen was born and raised in Napa and worked the foiling machine at a winery on weekends, where she made a name for herself with her consistently wrinkly application. Luckily, she realized that her interest in the industry would be better served with a law degree, and now makes up for her past by ironing out wrinkles of an entirely different kind.

Kristen is admitted to practice in the State of California.

Hinman & Carmichael, LLP
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
B.A., UCLA, 2000, Phi Beta Kappa
J.D., UC Berkeley School of Law, 2003, California Law Review

Northern California Super Lawyers® “Rising Star” 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Chambers USA: Ranked Lawyer in Food & Beverage: Alcohol, 2016, 2017
National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, Executive Committee, 2016-2018

Speaking Engagements:
"The Digital Age - Roundtable on New Technologies Impacting the Industry," CLE Wine, Beer and Spirits Conference, San Francisco, April 2018

"Hot Topics in Alcohol Regulation," National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, Denver, June 2017
“Where we are Today, and Where we are Headed,” National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals Annual Conference, October 2015
“Breakout Session on Off-Premises Retail Delivery,” National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals Annual Conference, October 2015
“Technology Trends and the Implications for Alcohol,” Northern Regional Meeting of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, September 2015
“Best Practices for Communication with Alcohol Regulators,” National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, June 2015
“Advertising Wine on Social Media: Too Regulated to be Worth It?”, ShipCompliant Direct, May 2015
“Social Media & Regulatory Compliance”, Family Winemakers of California Webinar, January 2015
“Regulatory Hurdles for DTC, Social Media, and Third Party Sales Channels, ” Unified Symposium, January 2015
“Using Geographic Terms”: IP Issues in the Food & Beverage Industries, October 2014
“Social Media and Its Impact on the Global Wine Market”: UC Davis Wine & Spirits Law Academy, September 2014
“Marketing and Selling Wine Online: Opportunities and Speed Bumps”: Seminar Group Best Practices in Winery Operations, March 2014
“Licensing and Regulating Internet Retailing”: NABCA Annual Symposium on Alcohol Beverage Law & Regulation, March 2014
“Current Issues in Advertising and Marketing”: State Bar of California Agribusiness Committee, December 2013
“Third Party Providers: Unlicensed Participants in a Licensed Industry”: CEB Wine Law Forum, November 2013
“Third-Party Marketing: The Regulatory Landscape You Need to Know”: ShipCompliant Direct, June 2013

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Kate Hardy, Partner

Kate grew up in the Australian wine industry and has excellent knowledge on a wide range of alcoholic beverage industry matters. She typically advises producers and retailers who operate in the U.S. market, but her matters also range across international jurisdictions. Her work primarily focuses on issues such as importing, customs and labeling, licensing, advertising and promotional strategy, distributor relations and contracts, franchise law, tied house compliance, corporate structure, regulatory advice and liaison with state and federal authorities. Prior to her focus on alcoholic beverage law, Kate gained experience in a wide variety of legal practices including intellectual property, trade practices, property, environment and planning, and water resource.

Before arriving in the U.S., Kate worked in Paris with the International Organization of Wine and Vine (OIV) and speaks fluent French and Italian. Kate is delighted to work in a country still impressed with effects of a nationwide Prohibition, and loves collecting original prescription forms for alcohol remedies from the era. She claims she has never come across a wine (or beer) bottle that she couldn’t open.

Kate currently holds admission to the Bars of California, New York and South Australia, as well as to the High Court of Australia.

Nixon Peabody, LLP: Senior Associate, Alcoholic Beverage Law
International Organization of Wine and Vine (OIV): Manager, Economy and Law Commission
Mellor Olsson Lawyers: Associate Attorney, Commercial Litigation
National Accreditation Authority for Translator and Interpreters: Paraprofessional French-English Interpreter, 2000
Université de Poitiers: Certificate of Initiation in French Law, 1999
University of Adelaide: Bachelor of Laws Degree with Honors, 1999, Bachelor of Arts in French and Italian, 1997

International Wine Law Association (AIDV), Board of Directors, International

Speaking Engagements:
“Paying the Price for Alcohol,” Central/Western Regional Meeting of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, September 2017
“Getting From Here to There, ” Central/Western Regional Meeting of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, October 2016
“Trade Practice Investigations: Industry Perspective,” NABCA Board of Directors Meeting, January 2016
“Why Was I Cited? Unravelling the Mystery of Common Violations”, Craft Beverage Expo, May 2015
“#Winerulz_Social Media Laws in the United States”, Wine Communicators of Australia/Australian Grape and Wine Authority Webinar, May 2015
“What Restrictions Are There in Wine Advertising & Communications?”, International Wine Law Association, October 2013

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Tom Kerr, Partner

Tom Kerr’s practice focuses on nationwide regulatory advice and counseling across all areas of the alcoholic beverage industry. He advises supplier and retailer clients on trade practice issues, distribution, promotions, advertising, marketing, and tied-house issues. Tom also specializes in advising third party providers and traditional industry members on alcohol e-commerce issues, including on direct shipping, retail delivery, subscription models, and other emerging industry practices.

Before joining Strike & Techel in 2011, Tom practiced commercial litigation at Holme Roberts & Owen LLP. There, he represented clients in a wide variety of practice areas, including intellectual property, antitrust, real estate, and general business litigation. Tom also got his first taste for the alcoholic beverage industry while at Holme Roberts & Owen, counseling spirits industry clients on promotional and trade practice issues.

When not consumed by alcohol beverage statutes and regulations, Tom loves exploring the outdoors of Northern California, listening to live music and cheering on all of his hometown Denver Colorado sports teams. He is also an avid traveler - ask him about his year-long adventure to South America, India, and Southeast Asia!

Tom is admitted to practice in the State of California.

Holme Roberts & Owen LLP: Associate Attorney
J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 2005
B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2000, Summa Cum Laude

Northern California Super Lawyers® “Rising Star” 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Speaking Engagements:
"Wine Labeling and Advertising", guest lecturer for Wine Law class at University of California Davis School of Law, Spring 2015

"Beyond Winery Direct Shipping: Emerging Issues in Direct Shipping and Alcoholic Beverage eCommerce," presenter for ShipCompliant DIRECT conference, June 2016

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Laura Collier, Partner

​Laura is a longtime member of the beverage industry, including experience working in wine & beer retail, wine distribution, and restaurants. Laura has experienced the challenges facing alcohol businesses firsthand, and she enjoys using her practical industry experience to help businesses with their legal needs. Laura represents a wide variety of alcoholic beverage businesses, including producers, importers, and retailers. Laura assists these businesses with federal and state licensing, regulatory compliance, drafting production and distribution contracts, and trademark guidance.

Prior to joining Strike & Techel, Laura founded The Spirited Lawyer, a food & beverage law firm assisting clients in North Carolina. Laura’s previous experience also includes practicing as an associate attorney at White & Case in Washington, D.C., where she practiced commercial litigation.

Laura is admitted to the bars of North Carolina, New York and the District of Columbia.

The Spirited Lawyer, Founding Attorney
White & Case LLP, Associate Attorney
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 2007
B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003

North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild, Advisory Member of the Board of Directors

Speaking Engagements:
“ABC Law: What’s New in 2017?,” North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild Conference, November 2017
“Making the Most of Your Brewery’s Retail Sales Privileges,” North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild BrewSmart, Seminar February 2017
“Top 10 Legal Pitfalls for Small Breweries and Wineries,” MyLawCLE, January 2017
"2016-2017 ABC Regulatory Update," North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild Conference, November 2016
"Granholm v. Heald: The Commerce Clause and NC Alcoholic Beverage Laws," Mecklenburg County Bar CLE, June 2016
"Current Issues in North Carolina's Brewery & Distillery Industry," North Carolina Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Section Annual Meeting, March 2016
"ABC Law: What's New in 2015?," North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild Conference, December 2015
“Alcohol Beverage Lawyers: Let’s Talk About Each Other?,” Northern/Southern Regional Meeting of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, October 2015
“Food Truck Law: Mobile Food Business Regulations & Best Practices,” MyLawCLE, August 2015
“The ABCs of The ABC,” North Carolina Bar Association Brewery Law CLE, June 2015
“Alcohol Advertising & Promotions,” North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association Webinar, April 2015
“Are You ABC Compliant? Advertising, Promotions, and Retailer Relationships,” North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild BrewSmart Seminar, February 2015
“Food Truck Law: Best Practices,” North Carolina Bar Association Food Truck & Brewery Law CLE, November 2014

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Melani Johns, Associate

Melani oversees alcoholic beverage licensing matters at the firm. She regularly advises on state and federal licensing options, direct shipping, distribution models, special events, trade practice and tied-house compliance. She also advises clients on national licensing issues arising from corporate restructures, mergers and acquisitions. She represents clients in license protest proceedings and appeals.

Prior to joining Strike & Techel in 2015, Melani was a founding partner of a specialty law firm that focused on providing legal services to restaurants, bars, and other businesses in the hospitality industry. She counseled clients on a diverse range of topics including entity formation, state and federal alcoholic beverage licensing, employment and business litigation, and commercial real estate transactions.

Melani was raised in Seattle but has been a proud Californian since 2000. Prior to becoming a lawyer, she studied viticulture and enology and worked in several of San Francisco’s best restaurants. At Strike & Techel, she finally gets to combine her love of wine and the hospitality industry with the law.

Melani is admitted to practice in the State of California.

Bonnheim & Johns, Founding Partner
J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law, 2011, Editor-in-Chief, Golden Gate University Law Review
B.A., San Francisco State University, 2007, Cum Laude

Speaking Engagements:
“Retailer Role in Tied House and Trade Practice Matters,” National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals Annual Conference, October 2017.
“Key Legal Issues When Representing Bars and Restaurants,” Attorney Action Club, September 2014

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Jennifer Campbell, Senior Paralegal

Jennifer Campbell is a seasoned paralegal specializing in alcoholic beverage law. She is a licensing specialist who has prepared and filed applications for all types of alcoholic beverage licenses, including retail licenses, manufacturing licenses, wholesale licenses, direct shipper permits, certificates of compliance and many more. She has worked with the alcoholic beverage licensing authorities in all 50 states, and is particularly familiar with the federal licensing authority (TTB) and the 80+ license types offered by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Nationally, Jennifer has handled complex multi-state licensing projects, export clearance and license expediting. She also enjoys working with new clients on entity formation, trademark protection and the basic licensing needed to start an alcoholic beverage business.

Jennifer became hip to the Santa Rita and Santa Barbara wine scenes in college, where she cultivated a fondness for Pinot Noir. A few years later, the film Sideways was released, validating her excellent taste.

California Notary Public
Hinman & Carmichael, LLP: Paralegal, Alcoholic Beverage Law
Immigration Specialist, Jackson & Hertogs
B.A., University of California at Santa Barbara, 1997
M.A., San Francisco State University, 2000, with Honors

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Linda Gago-Seco, Senior Paralegal

Linda’s journey in alcoholic beverage licensing started in 1993 when she was employed by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) in the Oakland District Office. After six years with the ABC, Linda spent the subsequent 14 years as a licensing specialist working for alcoholic beverage law firms in San Francisco. Linda specializes in preparing and filing applications for retail and non-retail alcoholic beverage businesses and working with alcoholic beverage regulators in numerous states. She enjoys working with complex multi-tiered entity licensing projects and working with new clients starting new businesses. Particularly important to Linda are the friendships she has made with various retailers and regulators in the alcoholic beverage business community through the years. In Linda’s spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband, cooking and sipping Portuguese wine.

California Notary Public
Hinman & Carmichael, LLP: Paralegal, Alcoholic Beverage Law

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Maria Freitas, Legal Assistant

Maria currently assists with trademarks, legal research on alcohol regulatory matters, and a variety of legal projects.

Prior to joining Strike & Techel in 2015, Maria served as an intern for a California legislative firm where she worked on legislation related to issues such as agriculture, water, and energy.

Maria was born in Sonoma County and raised in rural Northern California, where agriculture played a significant role in her upbringing. Maria also developed a keen interest in international law while earning her degree in 2015. Her love for agriculture and international law sparked her interest in alcoholic beverage law. Maria is a 2015 graduate of the University of California at Davis and intends to begin law school in Fall 2017.

Gonzalez, Quintana, Hunter & Cruz, LLC: Intern, California Legislation
B.A., University of California Davis, 2015


Welcome to Strike & Techel, a San Francisco-based specialty law firm that practices exclusively in the field of alcohol beverage law. We represent domestic and international wineries, breweries, distillers, importers and retailers, as well as service providers to those industry members. We advise and assist on every aspect of doing business in the beverage alcohol industry, from entity formation to product formulation and production, through distribution, promotion and sale.

We offer comprehensive advice and analysis on trade relationships, including drafting and reviewing production, importation, and distribution agreements of all kinds. We obtain federal and state alcohol licenses for entities large and small, we review and resolve tied-house problems, and ensure our clients are properly licensed to conduct their businesses. We handle trademark and marketing issues, as well as regulatory proceedings and licensing matters, and we advise on innovative and emerging practices for the industry, including various uses of technology to market, sell, and deliver alcohol.

Our attorneys are creative problem-solvers, with extensive knowledge of the technical and legal aspects of the beverage alcohol industry, experienced in interpreting old laws in support of modern practices.