John N. Neal
Walter | Haverfield LLP
Address: 1301 East Ninth Street, Suite 3500
Cleveland, OH 44114

University: Miami University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1999, Case Western Reserve University, J.D., cum laude, 2002
Admitted: 2002, Ohio; U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio; U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th District
Biography: John N. Neal focuses his practice on Ohio state and federal liquor permit licensing and the hospitality industry. At the same time, Mr. Neal has developed a diverse set of legal skills with complex commercial litigation, employment law, business organizations, insurance coverage, real estate, and corporate transactions. As such, he has been retained as outside general counsel by companies who need same day answers on a variety of issues. Having previously founded his own law firm, Mr. Neal understands businesses from an insider's perspective. First and foremost, Mr. Neal counsels companies and individuals on the intricacies of Ohio's regulation of the liquor industry, including representation of liquor manufacturers, distributors, state liquor agencies, and retail permit holders. These services include transactional representation between buyers and sellers of liquor permits, obtaining liquor permits through the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, negotiating the transfer of permits, and litigating violations before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission and the courts. Clients of these services include independent restaurants, breweries, distilleries, wineries, professional sports teams, hotel and restaurant chains, supermarkets, real estate developers, concessionaires, and large public venues such as concert theaters and stadiums. Continuing on with the practice established by Eugene Stevens, Mr. Neal provides valuable and experienced representation in this technical area of the law.Mr. Neal is often retained to appear before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission to appeal the non-renewal or rejection of a retail permit holder's liquor permit after the permit holder has lost it upon an objection by a city or township. He has successfully obtained the reversal of such rejections in numerous high profile and contentious cases.While becoming one of the handful of attorneys in Ohio who has a full-time liquor permitting practice, Mr. Neal has maintained an active commercial litigation practice, and has significant bench and jury trial experience, particularly in shareholder and trade disputes. His understanding of both litigation dynamics and business transactions allow him to offer comprehensive business planning and risk management counsel. This is particularly the case for clients in the food and beverage industry. Mr. Neal is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest professional rating available to attorneys, as determined anonymously by local attorneys and judges. In addition, Mr. Neal's clients have rated him a 5.0 out of 5.0 for his legal services on Martindale-Hubbell. In regard to one commercial litigation matter, a client wrote, "John exceeds expectations, his attention to detail and quality of work are exceptional. John worked tirelessly on our case and consistently went above and beyond his duties. We would recommend John Neal to other potential clients without hesitation". John N. Neal focuses his practice on Ohio state and federal liquor permit licensing and the hospitality industry.Professional and Community Associations•Ohio State Bar Association•Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association•American Bar Association