New legal boss at Scotch Whisky Association

The Scotch Whisky Association has promoted Alan Park to the position of director of legal affairs to succeed Magnus Cormack who is leaving the SWA at the end of April after 33 years.

Park, currently senior legal counsel, has worked at the SWA for 13 years and he will now lead the team of legal experts that safeguards Scotch Whisky around the world.

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.

This GI status is of great commercial value to the Scotch Whisky industry.

Scotch accounts for around a quarter of UK food and drink exports and sells three times its nearest rival whisky.

As senior legal counsel, Park was responsible for the association’s legal work in a number of jurisdictions across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America including Germany, Turkey, Thailand, Australia, Nigeria and Mexico.

Park is a member of the European Communities Trade Mark Association’s (ECTA’s) GI committee and he sits on the European Union group of the Organisation for an International Geographical Indications Network (OriGIn) on behalf of the SWA.

Park is a Scottish qualified solicitor and a graduate of the Faculty of Law at the University of Glasgow. Before joining the SWA in 2003 he was a litigation partner in a Glasgow law firm.

Park said: “Since 2003 I’ve been committed to protecting Scotch from unfair competition and helping tackle the issue of fakes in several markets across the globe.

“I have always been passionate about working for such a fantastic industry and it will be a privilege to lead the legal affairs team as we ensure Scotch retains its status as a world-leading spirit drink of the highest quality.”