Food & Drink

According to UK Trade and Investment Services, the UK has one of the fastest growing food and drink markets in the world. Generating sales in excess of £95 billion and employing around 400,000 people, it is the single largest manufacturing sector in the UK. In Scotland, whisky is (and is likely to remain) the largest export earner with increasing global brand opportunities. We operate on a UK-wide basis and have experience right across the food and drink supply chain:

  • Manufacturing, procurement and supply agreements;
  • Distribution and agency agreements for overseas/emerging markets;
  • Product recall issues;
  • Brand protection and brand exploitation;
  • Health & Safety and Food Safety Act compliance;
  • Labelling and packaging regulations;
  • Bulk whisky swaps and bottling contracts;
  • Taking security over maturing whisky in bond;
  • Bonded warehouse/excise duty compliance and anti-fraud advice.

Our experience in joint ventures and merger and acquisition is acknowledged by clients and peers as being among the most comprehensive in the industry, and all of the specialist services of Shepherd and Wedderburn can be drawn upon to respond quickly to client needs. Our food & drink client base ranges from primary producers, (agri- and aqua-culture) through large household name manufacturers, brewers and distillers, distributors, and food machinery suppliers to retailers and restaurant chains. From field to fork, this broad spectrum gives us unrivalled industry know-how which results in a quicker and deeper understanding of issues as they arise for food and drink clients.  

To find out how our food & drink lawyers can help you, please get in touch. 

Watch our video

Brexit: What now for UK business?

This webinar, recorded prior to the EU referendum, uses a practical case study of a business with both UK and EU operations and a cross-border corporate structure to demonstrate the Brexit issues to be considered. Our specialist team help you understand how the various scenarios might play out and interrogate those questions that you may wish to address in your own business.

Click here to watch

Expertise and professionalism are a given, of course. What sets this team apart, however, is the utterly pragmatic, highly responsive and entirely commercial way in which they supported a deal not short of its own peculiar challenges.

Greg Bargeton, Global Head of Legal, William Grant and Sons Limited

Key People


Chivas Brothers Limited
Acting for Chivas Regal on a wide range of legal matters including property, trademark infringements, contracts, joint ventures and acquisitions, including its six year deal as title sponsor of the Ballantine's Championship PGA-sanctioned golf tournament in South Korea
Heineken UK
Acted on behalf of Heineken UK in the complex outsourcing arrangement for distribution and warehousing with logistics provider Kuehne + Nagel
Genius Foods Limited
Acted for Genius Foods in the £21 million acquisition of Livwell Limited and United Central Bakeries Limited from Finsbury Food Group as well as in the provision of £7 million facilities from HSBC Bank to fund the acquisition
JR Dalziel Limited
Acted for UK Food Distributor JR Dalziel in the acquisition of numerous UK distributors and associated commercial advice
Combination of Rothes Distillers
Advising on the Combination of Rothes Distillers £60m joint venture for the development of a major new Combined Heat and Power Plant at Rothes in Moray to use by-products from 16 distilleries in the Speyside area to generate electricity
Scottish Sea Farms Limited
Adviser to Scottish Sea Farms Limited, the UK's second largest fish farming company, on a wide range of commercial matters
Bladnoch Distillery
Acted for the liquidators of the company which operated this long established distillery, on duty, health and safety, trade marks and domain names, and disposal to overseas purchaser
Trunet (UK) Limited
Acted for leading UK food netting company Trunet (UK) Limited in various overseas joint ventures for meat netting and casing manufacture
Leading UK food manufacturer (anonymous)
Advising on handling precautionary product recall ordered by major supermarket chain