Spiritus Law, a Florida-based law firm serving clients in highly regulated industries and transactions, announced today that former Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Halsey W. Beshears is joining the firm as Chair of the firm’s Lobbying and Government Relations Practice. Mr. Beshears is a seasoned non-attorney practitioner well versed in government relations. His addition to Spiritus Law will expand the firm’s advocacy capabilities on behalf of clients in the alcohol and hospitality industries in Florida as those sectors recover from the effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
As part of his new role at Spiritus Law, Mr. Beshears will assist clients with administrative and investigative issues and will serve as a mediator with government licensing agencies. A decade of holding different positions in Tallahassee has given him the knowledge to pursue legislative remedies for issues affecting Spiritus’ clients and the alcohol industry as a whole. Most recently, Mr. Beshears served as Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, or DBPR, under Governor Ron DeSantis from 2019 to 2021. During the early stages of the Coronavirus Pandemic, he led the alcohol and hospitality industries through forced pandemic closures. He also played an instrumental role in creating operational exceptions that allowed restaurants to continue operating and permitted cocktails-to-go emergency sales authorizations through the pandemic.
Prior to his work at the DBPR, Mr. Beshears was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2012, where he represented District 7 from 2012 to 2019. As a former secretary, he fought to improve Florida’s business climate by streamlining government involvement, lowering taxes, and increasing transparency. He also sponsored and passed legislation in policy areas including the federal single-subject amendment, alcoholic beverage laws, construction defects, transportation matters, and public records in public agency contracts. Throughout his tenure, served as Chair of the Business and Professional subcommittee and the Careers and Competition subcommittee, as well as Vice-Chair of the Energy & Utilities subcommittee. Before becoming a lawmaker, Mr. Beshears began several successful small businesses including a large investment and management firm.
Mr. Beshears holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Science from Florida State University and a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida.
“Halsey brings to Spiritus Law tremendous experience as both a legislature and lead of a state regulatory body that will be a valuable asset for our clients,” said Robert Lewis, Co-Founding Partner of Spiritus Law. “He not only has a wealth of relationships in Tallahassee but he also has an intimate knowledge of regulatory laws and a unique ability to bring people to the table. Those are true assets to our clients who are interested in long-term changes and solutions that would allow them to reposition their operations much faster in the event of another pandemic. Halsey will work closely with Florida agencies and elected officials to address their concerns.”
As Secretary of the Florida DBPR, he showed himself to be a leader and consensus builder with Florida’s hospitality and alcohol industries. He played a vital role in providing stability to those industries at a difficult time. Case in point, he spearheaded the implementation of the cocktail-to-go policy, which created an economic lifeline for on-premise restaurants and allowed them to sell alcohol to go. That was one of the main measures that effectively helped the industry survive. He also did a great job moving fast to allow breweries to re-open during the pandemic by bringing licensed on-site food service providers. That move became a turning point for breweries, which had been forced to temporarily shut down.
“In his role as Chair of Spiritus Law’s Lobbying practice, Halsey will serve as a bridge between Government agencies and clients to develop solutions for their governmental needs,” said Marbet Lewis, Co-Founder of Spiritus Law. “We are happy to have him aboard.”
Spiritus Law, an entrepreneurial regulatory and business law firm, provides a full complement of services. It is nationally recognized in alcohol licensing and food service law, federal, state and local regulatory and business licensing, hospitality law and amenity service licensing, alcohol marketing and social media compliance, commercial and residential real estate development, land use and zoning, real estate transactions, government relations, banking and lending, small business start-up services, and public/private partnership transactions.
Since the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic in March 2020, Spiritus Law has worked hand in hand with its clients to help stabilize and grow their businesses in a post-pandemic environment. Last year, the firm expanded its commercial real estate practice to address the zoning, permitting and licensing needs of new hotels, entertainment and hospitality businesses relocating to Florida. As interests continue to change in a post-pandemic world, Spiritus Law is now expanding its lobbying practice to empower clients with legislative and regulatory remedies and to propel industry-related public policy platforms
“I am thrilled to be joining a dynamic firm like Spiritus Law and I am excited to help the firm grow its government relations services,” said Mr. Beshears. “I am looking forward to working closely with the firm’s clients to advocate for sensible short- and long-term solutions for regulatory issues.”
About Spiritus Law:
Spiritus Law is an entrepreneurial regulatory and business law firm focused on the representation of highly regulated industries by offering legal services in the areas of alcohol and tobacco law, hospitality law, commercial and residential development, land use and zoning, real estate transactions, government relations, banking and lending, general commercial retail including the retail sale of regulated products and public/private partnership transactions. The Firm is founded on traditional principles of client counseling and teamwork with a cutting-edge twist on regulatory innovation and modern problem-solving. Spiritus Law combines a unique blend of professionals, including attorneys, government consultants, licensing assistants and paralegals to assist its diverse clients. Our modern approach to transparent client representation and employee engagement defines our collaborative spirit and progressive energy.
Primary service areas include: Alcohol Licensing & Regulatory Compliance, Alcohol Production & Distribution Transactions, Financial Services, Food & Hospitality Industry Compliance, Infrastructure & Development, Public/Private Partnerships, Real Estate, Administrative Enforcement Defense. Our firm services an array of highly regulated industries, including alcohol producers, sports teams, hotels, restaurants, theme parks, movie theaters, grocery stores, liquor stores, bars, commercial developers, municipal governments, investment firms and individual investors, lending institutions, security service providers, firearms suppliers and more.