Sean O'Leary professional

An authoritative source on the liquor regulatory system

Mr. O’Leary has become an authoritative source on the liquor regulatory system. He authored Amicus Curiae briefs at the Federal Appellate Court and State Supreme Court level supporting expansion of markets and innovation in the liquor regulatory space. His opinions and analysis are well respected and sought after by those in the liquor industry. Mr. O’Leary authors the influential blog, Irish Liquor Lawyer and has been cited numerous times in multiple influential publications such as Forbes, Decanter, and Wine Spectator and has made TV several appearances discussing liquor issues.

Involvement in Liquor Industry Leadership

Being actively sought for his analysis and advice, Mr. O’Leary sits on the board of Tapville Social, an innovative retailer, and acts as a policy and legal advisor for Cocktails-For-Hope, a group formed to help the Illinois hospitality industry.

Experience as a state regulator

Before beginning the O’Leary Law and Policy Group, LLC, Mr. O’Leary held the position of Chief Legal Counsel with the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. While at the Commission, he helped revolutionize the Illinois liquor industry by cracking down on illegal bootlegging, advocating for the expansion of allowable discounting practices and developing standards for contract brewing.
Mr. O’Leary played an important role in setting the direction and policy of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. He acted as the policy liaison for the governor’s office and drafted regulations and statutes, including “of value” (trade practice) regulations and statutes which provided more opportunities for craft

Prior to liquor

Previous to his time in liquor, Mr. O’Leary worked in state and local tax at nationally reputable firms including Arthur Andersen and PwC, where he achieved over $50 million in tax savings for his clients. Additionally, during his time at Walgreens, Mr. O’Leary brought Walgreens’ Illinois state tax incentives packages up from $0 to $75 million.


Mr. O’Leary attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. Mr. O’Leary lives in the Chicago suburbs with his beautiful wife Crystal and they are blessed to have an amazing baby boy named Brendan.