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2016 BEST Law Firm: Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty

Author: Tim Carl
May, 2016 Issue

"We have an incredibly talented group of attorneys and staff with a great blend of big-firm backgrounds and real world experience." —Gregory Walsh


Founded in 1965, Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty (DP&F) is a full-service law firm that’s deeply rooted in the wine industry.

“We just celebrated our 50th anniversary, and we’re well positioned for 50 more,” says Gregory Walsh, the firm’s co-managing director. “We’ve got an incredibly talented group of attorneys and staff with a great blend of big-firm backgrounds and real world experience. It’s been an exciting year, and I’m happy to announce that we just hired our 25th attorney, meaning we’ve added four exceptional associates over the last 12 months. We’ve also grown to seven attorneys in our Santa Rosa office, which coincided perfectly with our move to new offices at 100 B Street.”

Experts in alcohol beverage and wine law, DP&F also covers other major practice areas. “We’ve positioned ourselves locally, nationally and internationally as a go-to firm for wine industry counsel,” says Walsh. 

“Every one of our attorneys does something related to the wine industry every single day and, over the years, this practice has expanded to include breweries, distilleries and all of the companies that have grown as a result of these industries,” he continues. “We’ve also positioned ourselves locally as a top full-service law firm, and we offer a full complement of transactional, litigation, intellectual property, land use, alcoholic beverage, real estate and labor and employment practice groups. This gives us the unique ability to act as a one-stop-shop for our clients, with the firm and our attorneys offering multi-disciplinary expertise.”

I’ve been with the firm for 11 years and I’ve stayed because it’s a great group of smart attorneys and dedicated staff with clients with interesting legal work,” says Scott Gerien, co-managing partner and head of the intellectual property department. “DP&F has a long presence in the community. Therefore our relationships are all very personal, both with our employees and with our clients. We’re more than just a business, we’re trusted advisors. We take that role very seriously.

“I’m also proud of our involvement with the community,” adds Gerien. “Attorneys from the firm are board members and active members of numerous local organizations; Sonoma County Vintners, Auction Napa Valley Grants Review Committee and Hands Across the Valley, to name a few.”

With a solid past, the firm is looking to the future.

“With the legalization of cannabis in Colorado and Washington it’s looking quite likely that California may also legalize recreational marijuana in 2016,” says Gerien. “Given our expertise in wine and alcohol beverage products, we’ve developed an ad hoc cannabis practice group that’s preparing for the effects of possible legalization in California and the resulting regulatory schemes. We’re prepared to service members of that industry as we have done for our clients in the alcohol beverage industry—some of which are one and the same.”

“Winning these awards is a much-appreciated validation that our clients feel the same about us as we do about them. That’s a big deal to all of us,” says Walsh.



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