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 numerous 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 (not excluding Brexit/trade matters).

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.