Glen Barclay fighting Scotland's decision on minimum alcohol price
Who? Glen Barclay, 61, director of legal affairs at the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
Why is he in the news? Leading the SWA’s legal action against the Scottish government’s decision to tackle the health hazards of excessive drinking by introducing a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol.
The association has lodged a complaint with the European Commission that the intended minimum pricing, which would put up the price of 85% of all blended scotch, breaches European free trade laws. The SWA further claims that the minimum pricing policy breaches the terms of the 1707 Act of Union, which allows for a common market, with the same duties, in both countries.
Thoughts on the case: ‘One of our main concerns is that some 90% of scotch whisky is exported. The SWA has been trying for years to remove trade barriers put up by other countries to protect their own spirits industry and now we are giving them an excuse - on supposed health grounds - to impede imports of scotch.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘My first love was history, but my parents were practical and directed me towards becoming a solicitor.’
Career high: ‘Probably when after five years’ work we saw the Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 enter into UK and European law.’
Career low: ‘I have got away with it remarkably unscathed so far - but maybe the worst moments are still to come.’