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John Barker Law
+64 21 798 353
PO Box 224
Shortland Street
Auckland 1010
New Zealand

New Zealand

+64 (0)21 798 353

John Barker Law is a boutique firm offering strategic legal and policy expertise to the food and beverage sector with a special emphasis on wine and other alcoholic beverages.

Combining specialised legal skills with extensive experience in government and industry, John Barker Law delivers strategic and outcome-focussed advice to clear the regulatory pathway from production through to the global market. 

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Wine and beverage alcohol law

John Barker Law offers expertise and strategic understanding gained from more than 20 years advising industry, government and the private sector on wine and beverage alcohol law and policy. We provide strategic legal and policy advice in the follow areas:

  • Production, labelling and export rules;

  • Sale and promotion of alcoholic beverages;

  • Registration and protection of geographical indications;

  • Marketing and media law;

  • Supply and distribution contracts;

  • Excise and alcohol levies;

  • International trade rules;

  • Issues management.

 Examples of the work we have done in this area include:

  • Advising companies on legal management of product contamination and other critical non-compliance incidents.

  • Regular pre-market clearance of alcoholic beverage labels and advertisements.

  • Advising several international companies on composition of cider and fruit wine for eligibility to be sold in NZ supermarkets.

  • Advising on WET/excise implications of product composition for products sold in the Australian market.

  • Reviewing regulatory compliance practices across the operations of several major NZ wine companies.

  • Reviewing and upgrading the grape supply and winemaking contract portfolios for multiple NZ wine companies.

  • Advising on legal risk involved with various sponsorship arrangements for international alcoholic beverage companies.

  • Advising on acceptability of certain winemaking practices in key export markets such as EU, Japan and China.

  • Acting as Counsel for a major drinks company in an appeal against a decision of NZ Customs regarding remission of excise.

  • Acting as Expert Witness for the Ministry for Primary Industries in a prosecution for breaches of the Wine Act.

  • Acting as Expert Witness for the Vintners Quality Alliance of Ontario in a case involving a constitutional challenge by a TM owner against VQAO rules.

  • Appointed by UN Food & Agriculture Organisation as International Expert leading the Georgian Wine Sector Governance Review and Institutional Re-structuring project.

  • Appointed at the International Export Coordinator for the development of the “Wine of Moldova 2030” Strategic Plan.