Christopoulos Law Group, LLC

About

Christopoulos Law Group, LLC.

Chicago’s Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry Experts

Navigating the complex and dynamic legal challenges which face the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry can be an arduous task. That’s why business owners count on Christopoulos Law Group, a premier, Chicago-based law firm representing clients in all tiers of the Industry.

CLG focuses exclusively on the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry serving suppliers, distributors and retailers. Our approach is simple. The CLG team is comprised of experts dedicated to each area of practice you’ll need to support your goals. Their experience ensures proven and effective results.

We offer a full suite of specialized legal services, including:

Trade practice counseling

When you work with the CLG team, you not only receive our in-depth understanding of the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry, you also benefit from the Industry relationships we’ve developed. CLG regularly represents the Industry in enforcement matters before state and local commissions. We have experience working with lobby partners on industry legislative issues affecting public policy. CLG actively participates in professional and community organizations like:

Member Biographies

Dimitrios G. Christopoulos

Dimitrios G. Christopoulos

Principal

Dimitri Christopoulos is recognized as Chicago’s leading expert on legal matters relating to the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry. As the principal of Christopoulos Law Group, LLC since 2005, Dimitri regularly represents suppliers, importers, distributors and retailers before Federal, State and Local regulatory commissions. He is an authority on trade practice counseling and transactional matters, including distribution agreements, enforcement matters, licensing matters, and commercial disputes.

Dimitri Christopoulos is recognized as Chicago’s leading expert on legal matters relating to the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry. As the principal of Christopoulos Law Group, LLC since 2005, Dimitri regularly represents suppliers, importers, distributors and retailers before Federal, State and Local regulatory commissions. He is an authority on trade practice counseling and transactional matters, including distribution agreements, enforcement matters, licensing matters, and commercial disputes.

As a life-long Chicagoan, Dimitri possesses a unique and intricate understanding of the Industry in the City of Chicago and throughout State of Illinois. Dimitri is an Industry leader and shares his knowledge as an author, teacher and frequent speaker at Industry events.

Dimitri is a member of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, the Association of Beer Distributors of Illinois, the National Association of Licensing Compliance Professionals, the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys, the Illinois Restaurant Association, the Hellenic Bar Association and the Hellenic American Leadership Council.

An attorney since 1992, Dimitri earned his Bachelor’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago and his law degree, cum laude, from the John Marshall Law School. He has also practiced at Querrey & Harrow, Ltd. and Vedder, Price, Kaufman and Kammholz.

VCard for Dimitri Christopoulos

Kristina Dickens, Associate Attorney

Kristina Dickens

Partner

Kristina Dickens is a partner at the Christopoulos Law Group who concentrates her practice within the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry.

Kristina’s focus includes multi-unit liquor licensing for national and local retailers, as well as suppliers, importers and distributors throughout the country. She also counsels national companies on acquiring and maintaining licenses through ownership modifications and corporate
restructuring.

Kristina Dickens is a partner at the Christopoulos Law Group who concentrates her practice within the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry.

Kristina’s focus includes multi-unit liquor licensing for national and local retailers, as well as suppliers, importers and distributors throughout the country. She also counsels national companies on acquiring and maintaining licenses through ownership modifications and corporate
restructuring.

Kristina is the firm’s point person with regard to licensing suppliers, importers, distributors and retailers before Federal, State and Local regulatory commissions, as well as advising national hotel companies on licensing structures and regulatory requirements. She is an authority on trade practice counseling and compliance matters.

Kristina is a member of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, the National Association of Licensing & Compliance Professionals and the Chicago Bar Association.

An attorney with Christopoulos Law Group since 2010, Kristina has practiced exclusively in the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry. Kristina earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Boise State University and her law degree from the John Marshall Law School. She is a native of Chicago with roots around the globe.

VCard for Kristina Dickens

Kevin O. Gerow, Associate Attorney

Kevin O. Gerow

Associate Attorney

Kevin Gerow is a litigation and regulatory compliance attorney who has spent the majority of his career representing clients in the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry. Kevin regularly handles matters before the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, the City of Chicago’s Local Liquor Control Commission, and state and federal court. In the course of his practice, Kevin represents clients from each tier of the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry, including suppliers, distributors and retailers.

Kevin Gerow is a litigation and regulatory compliance attorney who has spent the majority of his career representing clients in the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry. Kevin regularly handles matters before the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, the City of Chicago’s Local Liquor Control Commission, and state and federal court. In the course of his practice, Kevin represents clients from each tier of the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry, including suppliers, distributors and retailers.

Kevin regularly consults clients on the aspects of the Illinois Liquor Control Act, liquor licensing matters, the Chicago Municipal Code, federal regulations and other statutes. He also represents clients in a wide array of commercial litigation disputes, including cases involving the Illinois Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act, business torts, contract disputes, lease and eviction matters, partnership disputes and personal injury defense.

Kevin frequently defends clients against State or City of Chicago liquor and business license revocation proceedings. Such actions often include defending City of Chicago enforcement matters involving claims of over occupancy, health code violations, liquor to minor charges, liquor license application denials, failure to notify police, on premise battery, public nuisance claims and other license litigation. Kevin has also successfully rehabilitated clients for purposes of holding City of Chicago liquor licenses.

Kevin received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in economics from Michigan State University and his Law Degree from the John Marshall Law School in January 2010. Kevin has been with the Christopoulos Law Group since the summer of 2012.

Jennifer Niesen, Associate Attorney

Jennifer Niesen

Associate Attorney

Jennifer Niesen is an associate attorney who specializes in the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry. Jennifer’s focus is on licensing application matters and on transactional matters including distribution agreements, licensing matters, commercial leasing and trademarks.

Jennifer Niesen is an associate attorney who specializes in the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry. Jennifer’s focus is on licensing application matters and on transactional matters including distribution agreements, licensing matters, commercial leasing and trademarks.

Prior to joining the firm, Jennifer represented large financial institutions on issues involving bankruptcy, landlord-tenant matters, RESPA, CFPB regulatory compliance, as well as, commercial and residential foreclosure litigation. Jennifer also has experience representing a variety of individuals and entities in negotiating real estate transactions and litigation surrounding corporate and security matters.

Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Political Science and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and her law degree from Gonzaga University Law School. While in law school, Jennifer was an Associate Editor for the GU International Law Journal, a member of the Alfred Mugel Tax Moot Court Team, and the President of the Business and Law Society.
Jennifer is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and is a member of the ISBA Business and Securities Committee.

Darby Strom, Paralegal

Darby Strom

Paralegal

Darby Strom is a paralegal in the licensing department at the Christopoulos Law Group, LLC. Ms. Strom assists the firm’s clients and attorneys with formation and maintenance of business entities, licensing applications for the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry, and Brand Label Registrations for wine and beer products.

Darby Strom is a paralegal in the licensing department at the Christopoulos Law Group, LLC. Ms. Strom assists the firm’s clients and attorneys with formation and maintenance of business entities, licensing applications for the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry, and Brand Label Registrations for wine and beer products.

Ms. Strom studied English Language at the University of Iowa and has experience working on the corporate administrative level within various facets of the Hospitality Industry. Ms. Strom was raised in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and currently resides in Chicago, home of her beloved Bears.

Richard Haymaker, Counsel

Richard Haymaker

Counsel

Richard Haymaker joined Christopoulos Law Group, LLC in June 2018 with an impressive career path uniquely aligned with the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry. Most recently, he served as Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge for the State of Illinois, where he made administrative decisions on cases referred to him by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC), Illinois Gaming Board, Illinois Lottery, Illinois Racing Board and Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL). During his tenure, he was the only judge appointed by the ILCC, Illinois Gaming Board and Illinois Lottery to adjudicate administrative cases impacting those agencies. In addition, through a Resolution adopted by the ILCC in 2016 and 2017, Haymaker was named
the first and only judge to hear its cases as of 2018.

Richard Haymaker joined Christopoulos Law Group, LLC in June 2018 with an impressive career path uniquely aligned with the Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry. Most recently, he served as Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge for the State of Illinois, where he made administrative decisions on cases referred to him by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC), Illinois Gaming Board, Illinois Lottery, Illinois Racing Board and Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL). During his tenure, he was the only judge appointed by the ILCC, Illinois Gaming Board and Illinois Lottery to adjudicate administrative cases impacting those agencies. In addition, through a Resolution adopted by the ILCC in 2016 and 2017, Haymaker was named
the first and only judge to hear its cases as of 2018.

Previously, Haymaker served as Chief Legal Counsel of the ILCC for eight years, where he advised the ILCC and its staff on all legal matters; planned and reviewed special compliance investigations for prosecution; made recommendations on legislative proposals; drafted rules and trade practice policy statements related to the Beverage Alcohol Industry; and set enforcement priorities for the Commission. From 1997-2008, he was the Deputy Director for the Chicago Liquor Control Commission (Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection), where he specialized in new liquor license applications.

Haymaker has always been drawn to Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality regulation.

“The Beverage Alcohol and Hospitality Industry never ceases to provide an array of interesting legal and business issues,” said Haymaker. “Very few practice areas come with such a rich historical backdrop. The Industry uniquely challenges a lawyer in a wide range of legal disciplines, from analyzing interpretations of the U.S. Constitution to keeping in touch with many developments within a robust marketplace.”

Haymaker holds JD and BA (History, Political Science) degrees from Marquette University. Outside of work, he enjoys adventure travel, historical reading, golf, food pantry volunteerism, exercise, scuba diving and family.