Legal appointment

04 Jul 2016

The Scotch Whisky Association has appointed Caitlin O'Donnell as legal counsel, joining a team of lawyers specialising in safeguarding Scotland's national drink.

O'Donnell has joined the industry trade body from Maclay Murray & Spens LLP where she was a senior solicitor in the commercial dispute resolution team. She joined the law firm as a trainee in 2011, after graduating from the University of Glasgow. She provided advice and representation to clients on a range of civil and commercial matters. She also spent 12 months on secondment to Network Rail Infrastructure Limited.

The SWA team, led by Alan Park who was promoted to director of legal affairs in May when Magnus Cormack left the organisation after 33 years, now has two senior legal counsel, two legal counsel and a paralegal.

The team's core function is protecting Scotch Whisky from unfair competition, one of the main responsibilities of the SWA.

Scotch Whisky is a geographical indication (GI), meaning it must be produced in Scotland in accordance with UK law from water, cereals and yeast and matured for at least three years. GI status is of great commercial value to the Scotch Whisky industry and gives consumers confidence in the quality and provenance of what they are buying.

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: "Our new legal counsel Caitlin O'Donnell brings further commercial and civil law expertise to the SWA to support the skills of the existing team. We are ideally positioned to safeguard Scotch globally and ensure it remains the world's leading high-quality spirit drink."

Caitlin O'Donnell, new legal counsel at the Scotch Whisky Association, said: "I'm delighted to join the SWA to work with the team to contribute to the protection of Scotch Whisky around the world."


The SWA works to sustain Scotch Whisky's place as the world's leading high quality drink and its long-term growth worldwide.

Picture: Caitlin O'Donnell

The legal team comprises: Alan Park, director; senior legal counsel - Kenneth Gray and Lindesay Low; legal counsel - Andrew Swift and Caitlin O'Donnell; Dawn Bellamy, paralegal.

For more information on the SWA visit and follow us on Twitter @ScotchWhiskySWA.

With media queries please contact Rosemary Gallagher, SWA head of communications, Tel 0131 222 9230/07432 605385,