Lobbying Affiliate: MML&K Government Solutions
Photo of Stephen G. Amato

Honors & Awards

Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2007-2011, 2017-2023 (Civil Litigation Defense)

The Best Lawyers in America®, 2013-2023 (Commercial Litigation, Employment Law - Management, Litigation - Trusts and Estates) 

The Best Lawyers in America®, "Lawyer of the Year", 2018 (Litigation - Trusts and Estates)
The Best Lawyers in America®, "Lawyer of the Year", 2019 (Employment Law - Management)
The Best Lawyers in America®, "Lawyer of the Year", 2021 (Litigation - Trusts and Estates)

  • A. M. Best Client Recommended, 2018 

Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from Transylvania University, 2017

AV Rating by Martindale Hubbell

Holder of the Writ, Order of the Writ, inducted 2019

Admissions

Kentucky, 1990

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 1990

U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 1990

U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1993

Education

University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky, J.D., 1990

  • Law Journal: Kentucky Law Journal, Associate Editor, 1989 - 1990

Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, B.A., 1987

  • Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society
  • Major: History

Lexington Catholic High School, 1983

Overview

Stephen Amato’s practice, while primarily focused on the hospitality and alcoholic beverage industries, is as diverse as the matters clients bring to him. Whether grappling with a regulatory issue, a personnel problem, or facing litigation, clients find a timely and thoughtful response based upon in Stephen’s more than 30 years of experience, broad range of well-developed legal skills, and commitment to his clients’ best interests. In his decades of law practice, Stephen has developed a depth of insight across a wide variety of areas of law and is ready to bring that knowledge to the table to address each specific client’s needs.

Stephen is especially known for his alcoholic beverage and hospitality law practice. Because of his extensive experience working with alcoholic beverage regulators on behalf of producers, distributors and retailers, McBrayer is a one-stop shop for anyone with legal needs in the alcoholic beverage industry. On a daily basis, Stephen and his team assist McBrayer hospitality clients with local, state and federal licensing and permitting, real estate acquisition and leasing, beverage production agreements, and beverage distribution and storage agreements. He frequently manages transfers of assets and entities and mergers and acquisitions of alcoholic beverage businesses, and assets, including bulk spirts and brands, as well as handling disputes among industry members. Stephen also helps protect the interests of the alcoholic beverage industry in Kentucky through his work with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, for whom he serves as outside counsel, guiding the Association on policy and legislative matters.

Alongside and within his work in the hospitality industry, Stephen has also maintained an active litigation practice. Having tried cases throughout Kentucky in both state and federal court, he brings a litigator’s perspective to his transactional and administrative law practice on behalf of his clients.

Stephen, an alumnus of Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky College of Law, is an active member of the Lexington community and the Kentucky legal community. He has served as President of the Board of Directors of the Fayette County Bar Foundation, President of the Board of the Club at UK’s Spindletop Hall, President of the Board of the Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, President of the Board of the Mediation Center of Kentucky and as a member of the Boards of Directors for Lexington Catholic High School, the Lexington History Museum and the Lexington Club.

His involvement in professional organizations includes membership in the Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys and Consultants (AAIAC) and the National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals (NALCP) as well as the Kentucky Guild of Brewers and Kentucky Distillers’ Association. He was also one of few members of the inaugural class of the Order of the Writ, a fraternal and charitable organization that embraces the spirit of Kentucky Bourbon education, responsibility, environmental stewardship, history, scholarship and an unwavering commitment to the furtherance of America’s only native spirit.

Professional Activities

Community/Civic Leadership

Fayette County Bar Foundation, President, Board of Directors

The Club at Spindletop Hall, Member, Board of Directors

The Lexington Club, Member, Board of Governors

Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, Lexington, Kentucky, Former Board President

Lexington History Museum, Lexington, Kentucky, Former Chair, Board of Trustees

Professional Activities

Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys and Consultants (AAIAC), Member

National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals (NALCP), Member

Fayette County Bar Association, Member

Kentucky Bar Association, Member

Kentucky Guild of Brewers, Affiliate Member

Mediation Center of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, Former Board Chair

Inaugural Class, Order of the Writ - a fraternal and charitable organization that embraces the spirit of Kentucky Bourbon education, responsibility, environmental stewardship, history, scholarship and an unwavering commitment to the furtherance of America’s only native spirit. 

News & Insights

News

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

Articles

Blogs

Multimedia

Multimedia

  • Our Clients - Tony's
    Our Clients - Tony's
  • Our Clients - Kentucky Eagle, Inc.
    Our Clients - Kentucky Eagle, Inc.
  • Our Clients - Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge
    Our Clients - Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge
Lexington, KYLouisville, KYFrankfort, KY: MML&K Government SolutionsWashington, D.C.
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mcbrayer/media_files/video/ClientVideo-KentuckyEagle.mp4
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mcbrayer/media_files/video/ClientVideo-CrankandBoom.mp4