Case Study – UK Agency & Distribution Agreements – Importer A

Importer A is a UK based wine importer and distributor.  Although it participated in this case study, and has authorised its publication, for commercial confidentiality reasons it wishes to remain anonymous.

As well as representing numerous wine producers in the UK, an important part of Importer A’s business model involves sourcing wine from overseas and creating brands for the UK market, working in partnership with wine producers all over the world.  Importer A’s Commercial Director felt that a specialist wine trade lawyer was needed to review the company’s standard Distribution Agreement and advise on the Brand Supply Agreement it was using, the latter prompted by some experiences which had caused it concern.

Why choose APP Wine Law?

The Commercial Director explains why he chose to work with Andrew Park specifically:

“The key advantage that Andrew had over other commercial lawyers was his specialist experience and knowledge of the wine trade. This meant that he understood our issues immediately and we saved a lot of time by not having to explain the peculiarities of the industry, as would otherwise have been necessary .

The fact that APP Wine Law is a small firm was also appealing to us because it meant we could negotiate fees directly with Andrew, as the decision-maker.”

The Solution

Andrew delivered new Template Agreements for both Distribution and Brand Supply.

“Andrew was very systematic and thorough in his approach, but he added greatest value by managing to simplify an area that is actually rather complex, and ensuring that I gained a good understanding of all the clauses contained in the contracts. Not coming from a legal background, I found this invaluable because it will allow me to tailor each contract confidently according to the producer. These can range from small independent growers to large corporations, so this flexibility is extremely important. It also means that we become very self-sufficient: although Andrew is always available to us for advice, he has armed us with a suite of contract templates that we can easily work with and enough knowledge and confidence to remove or water down clauses where relevant. This helps to minimise his on-going involvement, thereby making it a very cost effective solution for us in the long term.

Andrew also adds value through the Resources section on the APP Wine Law website, which I use periodically as a source of legal information relevant to the wine trade. I would definitely recommend Andrew to others in the industry.”

While Importer A prefers to remain anonymous, it would be happy to provide a confidential reference to appropriate enquirers – please get in touch if you would like that.

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