Mark Hicken is a Vancouver lawyer providing a full range of legal services to the wine and liquor industry through his own law practice, Vintage Law Group, located in Vancouver, BC. For certain matters, particularly litigation, Mark sometimes works in collaboration with other lawyers and/or a team of licensing consultants.
Mark has a B.A. (Honours) from UBC and a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of B.C., the International Association of Wine Lawyers (Association Internationale des Juristes du Vin) and the American Society for Enology & Viticulture. He has also completed the Wine Executive Program at the University of California, Davis. Mark is the Chair of the Vancouver International Wine Festival.
In 2012, Mark appeared before the House of Commons Finance Committee as a witness in favour of Bill C-311 (the inter-provincial shipping law reform bill which became law in June 2012). In 2016, he appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce to discuss the issue of inter-provincial trade barriers and was quoted in their report "Tear Down These Barriers: Dismantling Canada's Internal Trade Barriers".
Mark is frequently quoted on wine law issues, including in the Globe and Mail, the Economist, the National Post, the Vancouver Sun, the Toronto Star, Canadian Lawyer, Lawyers Weekly, BC Business, Business in Vancouver, CBC radio, CBC television, Global television, Wine Spectator, Wine Business Monthly and Wines & Vines.
Mark is the founder and co-chair of the annual Wine & Liquor Law Conference held in Vancouver each February in conjunction with the Vancouver International Wine Festival. He was also one of the featured speakers at the 2011 12th Annual Viticulture & Enology Conference in Penticton, the 2013 MNP Direct to Consumer Workshop in Penticton, the 2013 through 2015 Wine Law in Washington conferences, the 2014 MNP Direct to Consumer Workshop in Niagara, the 2014 MNP Direct to Consumer Workshop in Penticton, and the 2014 Pacific Toast Expo. Most recently, he was the keynote speaker at the 2018 Fortify Conference held in Penticton.
In late 2017, Mark was appointed as the BC Government's Liquor Policy Advisor. In that capacity, Mark chaired the Business Technical Advisory Panel (Liquor Policy) which was tasked with making recommendations to improve efficiency and business relations between government and BC's liquor industry. The Panel presented a report to government in spring 2018 which contains 24 recommendations for policy changes. The report and industry submissions can be viewed here: Improving Efficiency of Government and Business Interactions in BC Liquor Law and Policy.