Former Duckhorn Wine Company and Treasury Wine Estates legal counsel Alicia Cronbach founds Napa practice offering specialized expertise to wineries, law firms and brokers.

Napa, Calif. – May 8, 2019 – Alicia H. Cronbach, former legal counsel for Duckhorn Wine Company and Treasury Wine Estates America and an expert in winery transactional law, has opened Cronbach Law Group PC to lead wineries, law firms and brokers through the complexities of ownership transactions.

Typically, winery in-house counsel employ M&A deal teams and outside counsel to work through a wide range of issues, among them due diligence review and data room assessment and the post-close integration process. Cronbach, whose legal career has encompassed these concerns, saw a clear need for a firm focused solely on the buying and selling of wineries and brands.

“It’s a niche that needed to be filled,” Cronbach says. “No one else is dedicated to this area of expertise. We’re in a very active period of wineries and brands changing hands, and our experience and competency allows us to prepare wineries, law firms and brokers with guidance related to permitting, distributor contracts, naming rights (beyond trademarks), buyer due diligence, seller preparation of the data room, and assessment of material issues in winery transactions.”

Cronbach left Duckhorn Wine Company in April 2019 as its Vice President and Deputy General Counsel to found her firm. As Duckhorn’s first in-house attorney, she directed the luxury wine company through its recent integrations of Kosta Browne and Calera.

In 2015, Cronbach, then Treasury Wine Estates Regional General Counsel Americas, led the wine-related integration for the Australian company’s acquisition of Diageo’s wine business, including over 50 wine brands and 4 permitted sites. The blockbuster deal, which doubled the size of Treasury’s business, included well-known Napa wineries Beaulieu Vineyard, Sterling Vineyards and Provenance.

Joining Cronbach in the new practice is Sarah A. Spiller, a Napa-based winery integration and compliance expert whose clients and employers have included Treasury Wine Estates, Duckhorn Wine Company, Baldacci Family Vineyards in Napa Valley, and New York state’s Penrose Hill. Spiller will join Cronbach Law Group as the firm’s Director of Integration Strategy, reuniting a team with a combined 25 years of industry experience.

“We offer real-world expertise and business-oriented guidance on winery and brand transactions,” Cronbach explains. “Given the many layers of complexity, it can be overwhelming for law firms and in-house attorneys to navigate successfully through the acquisition process. It’s a full-time job in itself, because everything happens so fast and there is such a huge volume of detail to address. Because we concentrate on transaction law, we take pressure off client workloads when it comes time to buy or sell a winery or brand.”

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