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James has extensive experience in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industries.

He previously served as associate general counsel for Anheuser-Busch and has advised food, beer and liquor manufacturers and wholesalers, brand owners, restaurant chains, co-packers and other participants in the food and beverage industry. James has closed dozens of acquisitions and divestitures, served as lead attorney in the negotiation of entertainment and advertising matters and advised senior management on complex commercial transactions. His noteworthy experience includes:

  • Acquiring and divesting majority and minority interests in craft brewers and beer wholesalers.
  • Preparing multimillion-dollar agreements for the supply and recycling of aluminum cans and the development of innovative packaging.
  • Advising consumer goods companies on advertising procurement matters across all platforms: radio, television, outdoor venue signage, digital, product placement and event sponsorship.

James has extensive experience providing counsel for packaging, procurement, distribution, advertising, licensing and regulatory compliance and other sectors of the food and beverage industry. He has assisted clients at all steps in the product-to-market chain, from development to negotiating manufacturer/wholesaler relationships, all the way through retail sales and advertising to consumers. He is nationally recognized for his depth of knowledge in branding and advertising.




  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Corporate Law, 2021-2022
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Mergers & Acquisitions, Rising Star, 2008


  • J.D., Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
    • Order of the Coif
      Judge Samuel M. Breckenridge Practice Court Award
      National Environmental Moot Court Competition, finalist and high oralist
      Professor Tyrell Williams Memorial Scholarship
      Washington University Law Quarterly, Associate Editor
  • B.S., Missouri State University
    • summa cum laude


  • Missouri

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • Association of Corporate Counsel 
  • The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis 
  • The Missouri Bar
  • Lead counsel for Luxco in its strategic acquisition of $65 million in liquor brands from Beam Inc.
  • Closed more than $1 billion in acquisitions and divestitures of alcohol and nonalcohol beverage brands, distribution rights, wholesalers and craft brewers.
  • Closed crucial Series B fund raise for nextgen pharma biotech client during capital market churn driven by COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Negotiated the acquisition of a multimillion-dollar equity interest in a European bottled-water producer and structured the associated import and distribution relationship.
  • Devised the governance agreement for a purchasing consortium designed to deliver millions of dollars in cost savings to its Fortune 500 members.
  • Developed forms of distribution agreements to manage product distribution through a nationwide system of more than 700 independent wholesalers.
  • Handled alcohol beverage regulatory matters for Grammy-award winning artists and reality television properties.
  • Negotiated multimillion-dollar sponsorship deals with major sports leagues and major international sporting events, including the Olympics and the World Cup.
  • Oversaw all legal aspects of the start-up of an entertainment-on-demand website, including procuring all programming and talent.
  • Managed the legal aspects of relationships with advertising agencies and media buyers for an annual advertising budget of more than $1 billion and developed forms to be used by media buyers for online advertising purchases and television and movie product placements.
  • Involved in the $52 billion acquisition of Anheuser-Busch Co. LLC by Belgian brewer InBev.
Seminars | October 2, 2019
The Business of Beer 2019
Seminars | 09/19/2018
The Business of Beer
September 19, 2018

A craft brewery’s recipe for success includes not only a lineup of great beers but also careful attention to financial and business details.

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