Legal Report 2012

07 May 2013

Foreword by Gavin Hewitt, SWA Chief Executive

Promotion and protection of Scotch Whisky are the two fundamental objectives of the Association. Protection is the primary role of Legal Affairs Department; the work of the department ranges from legal actions to take fake Scotch Whisky off the market to putting in place, usually in liaison with governments, the right regulatory provisions on the production and authentication of Scotch Whisky to ensure that the consumer gets what he asks for. It is to the department's credit that no jurisdiction in the world has ever ruled that Scotch Whisky can be made anywhere but Scotland. That Scotch Whisky can only be made in Scotland is the backbone of the industry's success.

To do the job, the Association has one of the top intellectual property legal departments in the country. The Association is lucky to have such a committed and enthusiastic team.

I hope you enjoy reading about what the lawyers have been doing over the past year to look after Scotch Whisky in some of the 200 markets to which our member companies export around the world. Their work is unremitting, but essential.

You can help the lawyers do their work by reporting to the department if and when you come across brands that look suspicious, as is explained in one of the articles.


  • Introduction by Glen Barclay, SWA Director of Legal Affairs
  • Registration of Scotch Whisky for protection
  • Focus on Curacao, Italy and China by Lindesay Low, SWA Legal Adviser
  • Focus on India by Kenneth Gray, SWA Legal Adviser
  • Focus on Australia and Thailand by Alan Park, SWA Legal Adviser
  • Focus on trade marks by Magnus Cormack, SWA Senior Legal Adviser
  • Fake "Scotch Whiskies" and "whiskies" in the UK
  • Imports of Indian Whisky into the EU
  • How you can help protect Scotch Whisky
  • How do we know it's not Scotch Whisky?
  • Guidance on legal compliance
  • How investigators can help with brand development and protection, Graham Robinson, Managing Director of Farncombe International