Liquor Licensing Attorney & Policy

Sean O’Leary, the Irish Liquor Lawyer, represents clients in all facets of the liquor industry. He is a trusted source by clients and provides a diverse array of services. Mr. O’Leary was previously the Chief Legal Counsel of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, where he helped drafted regulations, statutes, and policies. In private practice he has become a trusted source for businesses in the direct to consumer (DTC) shipping industry.

  • Navigating businesses through the liquor licensing process
  • Successfully represented direct to consumer wine shipping companies before state agencies
  • A trusted source on issues such as trade practices and constitutional liquor issues. A national speaker and writer on these issues
  • Advocating for DTC shipping rights at the United States Supreme Court

Legal and Regulatory

1. Direct-to-consumer focused
Protecting clients’ direct to consumer business has become a passion for Mr. O’Leary. He successfully defended numerous business  models before state agencies, and works with companies to help them develop direct to consumer business models to conform with state regulatory regimes and succeed in the marketplace. 
2. Representing licensees in all three-tiers 
Mr. O’Leary also has saved several businesses whose licenses were subject to legal investigation by state agencies. Representing 
businesses  in all three-tiers, Mr. O’Leary focuses his practice on serving his client’s needs. 
Areas Of Law


Ask Sean!

About The Irish Liquor Lawyer, Sean O’Leary

Sean O’Leary, the Irish Liquor Lawyer, represents innovators in the liquor industry, lobbies on behalf of the wine and hospitality community,
and is actively involved in helping companies develop business models to meet complex regulatory schemes.

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.

More About Sean O’Leary

Bringing simple solutions to difficult problems in heavily regulated industries.

Sean O’Leary

The Irish Liquor Lawyer – Sean O’Leary

Sean’s knowledge of the law and process was superb.  He communicated with me every step of the way and guided me to make informed decisions.  The end result was very satisfactory

Sean navigated us through a very difficult legal process, and in doing so allowed us to expand our business and increase our revenue. Liquor laws are often times difficult to understand and that is why Sean is a valuable resource. Additionally, his national network of connections gets you to the right decision makers and gets things done.

We are pleased with the results and happy that we engaged him.

John G. Wilson, Jr, General Counsel, Winestyr

There are not a lot of blogs or publications that speak authoritatively on the legal aspects of the alcohol industry. It’s a complicated subject that is rife with ideological, partisan and self-serving perspectives. O’Leary is threading the needle here nicely and is a very welcome addition to the sources the industry can use to educate themselves on the state of alcohol law. Irish Liquor Lawyer is highly recommended.

Tom Wark, Fermentation Wine Blog

Lobbying and Advocating

Mr. O’Leary acted as policy and legal advisor for Cocktails-For-Hope, in six weeks he helped start a grassroots effort that successfully lobbied the Illinois legislature to enact a major law change to allow retailers greater privileges.  He drafted legislation and  coordinated grass roots support for the movement.

Further, Mr. O’Leary lobbies on behalf of expanding and opening up the liquor industry to innovation. He has represented wine retailers  that want to enhance direct to consumer opportunities.

Photo courtesy of Joyride Brewing

Photo courtesy of Joyride Brewing

Liquor Law & Policy Blog

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Bringing simple solutions to difficult problems in heavily regulated industries.

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