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Our multi-disciplinary Food, Agribusiness and Beverage Group advises domestic and international organisations in these sectors on the full range of legal issues that affect them, including the manufacturing, promotion and the sale of food, beverage and agricultural products in Ireland.

Matheson has unrivalled experience of advising on the complex issues unique to this sector, and is the appointed counsel for many leading food, agricultural and beverage brands. Our lawyers have the experience, sectoral knowledge and the requisite technical skills across all of the specialist areas and provide real solutions, strategic advice and pragmatic legal support to clients.

We advise on all aspects of the law affecting the food, agribusiness and beverage sectors and have acted on many of the recent significant transactions in this sector, providing corporate (M&A and general), regulatory, tax and competition law advice. In addition, our expert practitioners provide specialist advice in relation to disputes, intellectual property, employment law, product liability, supply chain and commercial contracts to leading companies in this sector. We also have significant expertise in advising on the impact of Brexit in this area.

All of our clients can avail of our unique ‘helpline’ service for emergency issues, such as product recalls, food product liability litigation and notifications to, and inspections, investigations and enforcement actions by, regulators.  We are skilled at navigating our clients through the crisis management and reputational issues that arise from time to time in this sector. 

Our Team

Food, Agribusiness and Beverage Expertise
  • Food licensing, accreditations and all aspects of food legislation including food labelling, packaging and advertising
  • Alcohol advertising, classification, licensing rules and regulations, and customs and excise issues
  • Drinks licensing, certificate applications, and Drinks Ireland codes training
  • Supply chain products such as manufacturing, distribution, supply, procurement and transport contracts
  • Commercial contracts which range from R&D and collaboration agreements, to franchise agreements, ecommerce sales, innovative technologies and applications
  • Employment matters which range from employment contracts and policies, to employment and industrial relations disputes
  • Corporate advisory and transactions which range from investments, partnerships, joint ventures and M&A transactions
  • Investigations, inspections, regulatory breaches and enforcement actions
  • Intellectual property, data protection, licensing and defence
  • Disputes arising from supply chain contract issues, contaminated product issues and associated insurance coverage issues
  • Government grants and related consents
  • Transfer pricing and taxation issues
  • The application of Irish gaming and lotteries legislation and industry codes to promotions related food and drink products
  • Environmental and planning legislation
  • Product liability, safety issues and recalls, and engagements with regulators
  • Grocery regulations
  • Sponsorship rules
Experience Highlights
  • Advising Glanbia Co-operative Society Limited on all corporate matters, including its corporate governance and compliance obligations
  • Advising Pallas Foods Unlimited Company and Brake Bros Foodservices Ireland Limited, both subsidiaries of Sysco
  • Advising Marine Harvest, one of the world’s largest seafood producers, as general corporate counsel including High Court regulatory challenges and planning injunctions
  • Advising Pepsico on a wide variety of corporate matters
  • Advising a leading whiskey distillery on ensuring the compliance of its promotional campaigns and other marketing initiatives with the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act 2019 and data protection laws
  • Advising a leading whiskey distillery on ensuring the compliance of advertising and promotional activities with the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 and related Regulations
  • Advising on all competition law and merger control law issues associated with the merger of the leading Irish bread manufacturers Pat the Baker and Irish Pride
  • Advising on the introduction of food and drinks delivery services by Uber
  • Advising Beam on labelling and food and drink regulatory law requirements
  • Advising Chapel Gate Whiskey on food and drink regulatory law requirements
  • Advising Aryzta on its distribution arrangements with BWG Foods
  • Advising Danone-Nutricia in relation to its trading arrangements with Tesco
  • Advising a leading whiskey distillery on a wide variety of Covid-19 related matters
  • Advising a leading whiskey distillery on various engagements with service providers from an employment perspective and in particular, the implications of TUPE
  • Advising Bain Capital on its acquisition of Valeo Foods
  • Advising Canadian based multi-protein producer, Sofina Foods on its acquisition of Eight Fifty Food Group (the seafood and pork supplier that owns brands such as Carroll's Cuisine of Tullamore and Northern Ireland pork producer Cookstown)
  • Advising Aryzta on the purchase and subsequent sale of LaRousse Foods and on its de-listing from Euronext Dublin
  • Advising Nomad Food on the cross-border acquisition of Green Isle Foods
  • Advising Monaghan Mushrooms, the largest mushroom producer in Europe, as general corporate counsel including its acquisition of Walkro International
  • Advising Goode Partners LLC on all aspects of their minority investment in the Strong Roots Group, a leading Irish food brand
  • Advising Mark Anthony Brands International Company on its acquisition of the remaining minority interest in one of Ireland’s Irish whiskey producers
  • Advising a private investor on the acquisition of a 30% stake in Monaghan Mushrooms
  • Advising Stock Spirits Group plc on its investment in Quintessential Brands Irish Whiskey
  • Advising Hijos de Rivera, the owner of Spanish beer brand Estrella Galicia, on its investment in Carlow Craft Brewery (the owner of O’Hara’s craft beer)
  • Advising Scandi Standard AB on its acquisition of Manor Farm at an enterprise value of  €94m
  • Advising a leading spirits company on its acquisition of global Irish whiskey business from a leading whiskey distillery
  • Advising Aramark on its £38 million acquisition of Avoca and related competition law issues.
  • Advising Liffey Meats on its acquisition of Enterprise Viandes, a leading French meat manufacturer
  • Advising US distillers Brown-Forman as Irish counsel on the acquisition of Slane Castle Irish Whiskey and on the development of a €44m flag-ship whiskey distillery at Slane Castle
  • Advising Gruppo Campari on the US$165m sale of its Irish Mist and Carolans Irish Cream brands to Heaven Hills Distilleries Inc., the American distilled spirits producer
  • Advising Danone-Nutricia on an intragroup domestic merger project
  • Acting for Aryzta in proceedings against Valeo Foods relating to the supply of contaminated products
  • Advising Distribuciones Avícolas Vázquez SA trading as Disavasa, a Spanish wholesaler of poultry meat, in relation to a dispute with Food-Bridge Limited, an Irish company specialising in the importation, distribution & wholesaling of poultry meat
  • Acting for Liffey Meats in relation to blockades of meat plants

“As a firm, we have advised on many high profile M&A transactions in the Irish Food and Beverage sector over the last 10 years, working with the likes of Beam, William Grants & Sons, Danone Nutricia, Liffey Meats and Monaghan Mushrooms. As a result, our lawyers have developed an industry knowledge which enables us to understand the key legal issues relevant for clients when buying, selling or investing in businesses in the Food and Beverage sector.”

To get in contact with our experienced Food, Agribusiness and Beverage group, please email the following address foodagribeveragesupport@matheson.com and one of our specialists will contact you.