Robert C. Lehrman is the principal attorney at Lehrman Beverage Law, PLLC.
Robert founded the firm in 2001 after 12 years at the Washington, DC office of a larger firm that specializes in federal and state administrative law. From 1998 until 2001 Robert was the partner in charge of the firm’s Washington, DC office.
Mr. Lehrman concentrates on the federal regulation of alcohol beverages (beer, wine and spirits).
He has advised many companies on the production, labeling, advertising, and taxation of a wide variety of consumer products: foreign and domestic, with and without alcohol, fit and unfit for beverage purposes.
He has helped hundreds of companies formulate beverages to ensure that they are taxed and labeled in an advantageous manner while in compliance with relevant laws and regulations. These companies produce beverages in dozens of countries around the world and range from the largest to the smallest in the beverage industry.
Robert has efficiently reviewed thousands of food and beverage labels over the years. He has also helped to design the labels and get them promptly approved.
Robert has more than 20 years of experience in successfully representing wineries, breweries, distilleries and importers in frequent negotiations with ATF and now TTB. Aside from alcohol beverage matters, Robert has significant experience in advising clients on FDA and Customs matters.
Robert has worked with companies at all tiers of the beverage industry, including retailers, wholesalers, producers and importers. His experience includes licensing and permit matters at the federal level and in many states. Robert has particularly enjoyed the challenge of managing several large-scale product recalls, helping a beverage company win a false advertising case, and successfully petitioning to change various federal regulations. From 2004 to 2007 Robert worked with Kubler Absinthe to allow absinthe into the US after a 95-year ban. The firm has taken the lead in setting up scores of alcohol beverage companies, from incorporation to licensing to formulation to labeling to marketing.
Robert attended law school at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he also served on the Buffalo Law Review. Before law school Robert graduated from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where he majored in Government.
He is admitted to practice law in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the National Association of Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Attorneys, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. Robert has also been admitted to practice law in Virginia and Pennsylvania (where he is currently on Associate and Retired status, respectively).
Robert Lehrman has been cited as an authority on alcohol beverage law by: Time Magazine, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Reuters, Bloomberg, National Public Radio, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Herald, The Boston Globe, The Daily Californian, The Los Angeles Times, The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, The Virtual Absinthe Museum, Men’s Journal, The Augusta Chronicle, The Charlottesville Daily Progress, Gizmodo, Chicago Magazine, The Sacramento Bee, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Las Vegas Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Reason Magazine, The Daily Beast, Wine & Spirits Daily, Dow Jones MarketWatch, Beer Business Daily, The New Jersey Law Journal, The BBC and many others.
In 2016, Thomson Reuters published “Reflections on Thirty Years of Spirits Law Practice: From a Few Score to a Few Thousand Distilleries” by Mr. Lehrman. This is part of the Aspatore — Inside the Minds series, a book entitled Moonshiner to Craft Distillery: Leading Lawyers on the Business of Distilling.
Robert has participated as a faculty lecturer at CLEI’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Law Conference, discussing ATF Label Revocation Procedures. In 2010, Robert moderated a NABCA panel entitled “TTB and FDA: Working Side by Side to Regulate Alcohol Beverages.” In 2014, Robert presented a speech about “Needs Correction: 9 Common Label & Formula Controversies for Spirits at TTB” at the American Distilling Institute conference in Seattle. Throughout 2013-2014, Robert covered spirits labels, formulas and permits several times per year as a speaker (along with such legends as Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey) at the Moonshine University, Louisville, Kentucky. In 2014 Robert presented “The Label from Hell” at ShipCompliant’s Wholesale Gathering in New York. In 2015 Robert spoke at the American Distilling Institute annual convention in Louisville, on “The Law of Handmade.”