Scottish law firm announces new drinks industry specialist team

13th March 2023

Scottish law firm Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP (WJM) has established a new drinks industry specialist team to provide legal support to those in the alcoholic beverage sector, including manufacturers, distillers, brewers, processors, distributors and retailers.

Colin Millar, Partner at WJM who will be leading the new team, has worked for many years with clients in the spirits industry including Whyte & Mackay and Beam Suntory. Colin will be supported by five solicitors from across the firm’s offices, including Angus MacLeod and Paul Adams (Inverness), Martin O’Neill (Glasgow) and Ken Long (Edinburgh).

Colin said: “We’re delighted to announce the launch of our new drinks sector offering and look forward to expanding our work with various industry leaders, particularly those in the whisky trade that is so synonymous with Scotland.

“The food and drink sector has been particularly affected by many challenges in recent years such as Brexit, supply-chain issues, inflation and cost increases as well as the potential impact of government interventions such as the deposit return scheme, so our aim is to work closely with clients who may be facing these kinds of issues, to ensure they are fully informed of any developments in the industry and that they can navigate matters as smoothly as possible.”

The team will advise clients on various areas, from contracts to compliance requirements, labelling to advertising, acquisitions, and disposals, planning through to funding and development of new capital projects such as distilleries.

Colin continued: “We have already represented many successful clients within the industry over the years, so it made perfect sense for us to bring our plethora of experience together to create a drink industry-focused specialist offering.

“Food and drink is Scotland’s largest manufacturing sector, with a turnover of £10.4bn annually, so there is clearly a great deal of opportunity out there. It’s definitely an area we will be looking to expand on in the future as we focus on providing a full and bespoke service to one of the economy’s most important sectors.”

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