As a native of Napa, Erik is delighted to raise a family and practice law in his hometown. His first job during high school was working in a family friend's vineyard. Since then, Erik has been fascinated by the wine industry. Following a seven-year career as a commercial banker for Wells Fargo, Erik chose to go to law school. Erik began his legal career in San Francisco, but soon relocated home to Napa where he initially worked for a local firm specializing in wine law, then transitioned to in-house counsel for Trinchero Family Estates before joining Gaw Van Male. Erik's experience at Trinchero provides a unique insight into the opportunities and challenges facing our wine industry clients.
Erik's greatest passion is his family and he spends as much time as possible with his wife, a kindergarten teacher, and their two daughters. Aside from that, Erik enjoys working out, cycling, hiking, fishing, watching sports, cooking and spending time with friends. As the former center and captain of the UC Davis football team, Erik especially enjoys football.
Erik is actively engaged in the community, serving on the board of directors for the Napa Valley College Foundation and is a graduate of Leadership Napa Valley's Class 24.
Erik's practice is primarily focused on serving clients in the wine industry. He represents wineries, vineyard owners, vineyard management companies and sales and marketing companies.
Erik advises business clients throughout the business cycle on a range of subjects including forming new entities, drafting and negotiating shareholder agreements, raising capital from equity investors or commercial and other lenders, serving as outside general counsel for ongoing corporate matters, drafting and negotiating trademark licenses, custom crush, AP and grape purchase agreements and other contracts, advising on acquisitions, mergers, owner buyouts, troubled debt restructuring, sales and dissolutions of businesses. Erik advises real estate clients on real estate purchases and sales, leasing and financing.
Erik also works closely with the firm's Estate Planning attorneys on business succession issues, including the transfer of family businesses to children, employees and third parties.Areas of Practice
Wine Law | Mergers, Sales, Financing and Acquisitions| Business Governance and Operations |Real EstateEducation
University of California, Davis, J.D., 2007
University of California, Davis, B.A., 1997Affiliations
California Bar Association, Member
Napa County Bar Association, MemberHonors & Awards
UC Davis School of Law, Order of the Coif (graduated top 5 percent of class)
UC Davis Law Review, Managing Editor
UC Davis School of Law, Witkin Awards for top grade in Federal Taxation and AntitrustJoined the Firm