Football Legend

Law firm acts in the right spirit with football legend


Swinburne Maddison LLP, one of the region’s leading law firms, has successfully completed two brand ambassador agreements on behalf of Harvey’s of Edinburgh Ltd (HOE) with Michael Owen, former premier league football legend. This is in relation to Spey Whisky, a Scottish whisky brand owned by Speyside Distillers Co Ltd (SDCL), a subsidiary of HOE.

The three year contract sees Michael Owen become the global ambassador for Spey Whisky, already an established brand in the Far East - especially Taiwan – as Spey seeks to further establish itself in China and across South East Asia generally where Owen is well known and much admired.

He will make a number of trips to this part of the world to extend the brand’s reach by attending various corporate events as well as hosting some key sporting events here in the UK.  A limited edition Michael Owen branded Spey Whisky will be released later this year.

Swinburne Maddison partner, Martyn Tennant (pictured), had formerly acted on behalf of Harveys of Edinburgh (HOE) International Limited in relation to its acquisition of SDCL in 2013.  The firm was approached on this occasion to undertake the legal work and provide advice on the negotiations for the agreements covering the UK and the rest of the world as separate territories.

There were a number of legal complexities to address concerning image rights and negotiation of the detail around the commercial terms and services to be provided by Michael Owen. All parties worked closely together in a spirit of cooperation to reach a mutually satisfactory outcome.

Commenting on his role, Martyn Tennant said, “I was delighted to have the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with SDCL with this latest appointment. Our ability to attract complex instruction and this calibre of client illustrates Swinburne Maddison's position as a leading regional law firm and reinforces the firm's reputation  for providing robust legal advice within the sports sector.”

Michael Owen said, “I am delighted to become the worldwide brand ambassador for Spey Whisky.   I am really looking forward to helping promote such a prestigious brand, particularly in Asia where I am happily spending more and more of my time these days.”

John Harvey McDonough, CEO of Speyside Distillers, said, “We are very pleased with Swinburne Maddison’s legal acumen in the development of these agreements - Martyn has played a key role - and thrilled to be working with Michael, a true icon of international football as well as a great family man. Spey is an increasingly iconic brand, especially in international territories.  We are also a family business, so the fit could not be better.”

Mr McDonough, who originated from the North East of England, is now a well known name in the Scottish brewing and distilling industry where he has been responsible for strengthening the Harveys of Edinburgh brand before his acquisition of the Speyside Distillers Co Ltd.

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