Drinks Industry

Capability and expertise across the drinks sector, particularly the whisky industry.

Shepherd and Wedderburn offers significant capability and expertise in the drinks sector, notably in the whisky industry, including:

  • financing of M&A transactions, and in particular, security over maturing whisky stocks;
  • brand protection and trade mark licensing;
  • M&A and joint ventures, frequently involving overseas jurisdictions;
  • distribution agreements;
  • sponsorship (UK and overseas);
  • competition law advice; and
  • labelling and compliance.

We act as non-exclusive adviser to industry body the Scotch Whisky Association, and we advise banks and investors involved in financing activities in the alcoholic and soft drinks sectors.

We are active members of Scotland Food & Drink and regularly provide comment on food and drink-related matters of topical interest, including in respect of food safety, product recalls, mislabelling and forthcoming legislation.

Our senior banking partner, Andrew Kinnes, is a member of the Scottish Law Commission working group, reviewing security over moveable property. In that regard, Andrew has provided valuable, practical experience on the difficulties associated with taking security over bulk stocks whilst facilitating their release for purposes of normal bottling, exchange and trading.

Whyte & Mackay

Sale of Whyte & Mackay Group Limited to Emperador Inc. of the Philippines.

Chivas Brothers Limited

Acted as lead adviser to Chivas Brothers Limited in the sale of the Glenallachie Distillery and Campbell’s and Macnair’s brands, via an auction process.

William Grant and Sons

Acted for William Grant and Sons in the acquisition of Drambuie.

Bladnoch Distillery

Acted for the liquidators of the Bladnoch Distillery and its subsequent sale to an overseas purchaser (including extensive advice on licensing, property liability and water rights issues).


Sponsorship of global events by leading Scotch whisky brands, including golf sponsorships by Ballantine’s at home and in Asia, snow golf and music sponsorships by Chivas in South America and Asia, and music sponsorships by Beefeater gin in Spain and Russia.