McDermott Will & Emery’s Washington office has brought on Arthur DeCelle, who until recently was executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Beer Institute.
DeCelle started work Monday as a counsel in McDermott’s 30-lawyer alcohol regulatory and distribution group, where he will focus on government relations, regulatory matters and litigation.
The Washington-based Beer Institute represents brewers, beer importers, and industry suppliers before Congress, state legislatures, and in government agencies across the country. Decelle, who joined the institute in 1994, was responsible for legal and public policy issues involving trade practices, advertising, consumer protection, First Amendment, labeling, distribution, and food safety. He also represented brewers’ interests before the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau, and served as a liaison to state alcohol beverage authorities.
Before joining the Beer Institute, DeCelle served as a legislative assistant and later chief of staff, counsel and Ways and Means associate staff member for then-Rep. Raymond McGrath (R-NY). In the latter roles, DeCelle oversaw a 22-person team and handled tax, trade, and ethics issues. DeCelle also served as chief of staff for McGrath’s successor, Rep. David Levy (R-NY) during his first year in office.
DeCelle said he decided to make his first foray into private practice law because the Beer Institute is "going through some rebuilding" as it searches for a new president after the January death of longtime leader Jeff Becker.
At McDermott, DeCelle said, he will be focusing primarily on advising clients on the federal and state regulations regarding alcohol manufacturing, distributing, and advertising. He said he will eventually be doing some lobbying on behalf of clients in the industry.
"I had a lot of fun at the Beer Institute. It was a great position," De Celle said. "But I am looking forward to working with clients on the nuts-and-bolts regulatory aspects of the alcohol industry."