NewsNovember 9, 2022
Father-Daughter Team Joins Whiteman Osterman & Hanna Expanding the Firm’s Alcoholic Beverage & Hospitality Practice
Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP, the Capital Region’s largest law firm, has extensive experience representing clients in the area of Alcoholic Beverage Law and is continuing to grow this practice with the addition of Alexandra Becker and Richard Burstein.
Alcoholic beverage regulation is uniquely complex. The industry is constantly evolving and COVID has exacerbated the already high demand for licenses and need for new capabilities, including take out of alcoholic beverages and the possible change to allow wine in grocery stores. “Our goal is to assist clients with their legal needs while also helping them to understand the intricacies they will come across when stepping into this area,” said Robert Schofield Managing Partner at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna. “With Alex and Rich joining the firm we are able to expand our practice both regionally and nationally and put our name on the map to be known as an industry expert when it comes to alcohol beverage licensing.”
Becker and Burstein, a father-daughter team, bring 55 years of combined experience in this area, representing a variety of national, regional, and local clients across a variety of industries in matters before the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) and Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
Alexandra Becker joins the Firm as a Partner focusing her practice in the area of alcoholic beverage licensing and compliance, as well as corporate law, and mergers and acquisitions. The alcoholic beverage and hospitality industry is a niche area where Alexandra has extensive experience in assisting clients with obtaining licenses as well as defending investigations and disciplinary proceedings. When asked what was most exciting about joining Whiteman, she said, “Being able to bring our unique expertise to a firm with the extensive range of practice areas offered by Whiteman allows us to create a comprehensive platform for clients to assist them with all of their legal needs. There are very few firms that have the ability that we now have to really offer this broad-spectrum representation, where our clients may initially come to us with an alcoholic beverage law matter, but we are also able to offer them a full range of legal services such as assistance with their corporate, real estate, labor and employment issues, tax matters, and trusts and estates needs.”
Becker started her career in this area of alcoholic beverage and hospitality law with her father, Richard Burstein, as her mentor and together they have assisted hundreds of clients in obtaining liquor licenses. She represents numerous national brands in this area.
Richard Burstein joins the firm as Senior Counsel, and in addition to his alcoholic beverage practice, also represents clients in the gaming industry, including Saratoga Casino and the New York Gaming Association, and has extensive experience in corporate and securities law, and mergers and acquisitions. When asked about what he sees in the near future, Rich mentioned, “Not only do I foresee more liquor licensing work, but I also see much more M&A work, particularly in gaming.” Burstein is anticipating this increase in work since New York State has approved four full casinos for the downstate area. He speculates that this will bring both national and international gaming giants into the picture early in 2023 when bidding begins. Richard has already hit the ground running since joining Whiteman helping his client Saratoga Casino with the acquisition of Magnolia Bluffs Casino in Natchez, Mississippi.
When asked what brought them to the Firm, he said “The pandemic created many changes in both the hospitality and gaming industries, and there are many opportunities for businesses on the horizon. I was thrilled to be asked to join the firm with Alexandra so that we could continue using our combined expertise and build our practice at Whiteman. It is great to be able to continue to work with my daughter.”