Temple Bright advises on UK wine industry merger

London-based solicitors Temple Bright have advised The United Kingdom Vineyards Association on its merger with English Wine Producers Limited to form a single industry body, UK Wine Producers Ltd (UKWP).

The merger, which is due to complete in the coming weeks, will result in a new industry organisation bringing together the strengths and skills of both UKVA and EWP, with the sole purpose of promoting, representing and supporting the interests of all sizes of vineyards and producers in the United Kingdom.

The new board of UKWP will comprise wine producers of different sizes who each bring individual expertise to the operation. The chairman of the new organisation will be Simon Robinson of Hattingley Valley Wines, currently chairman of EWP. UKVA’s chairman, Peter Gladwin of Nutbourne Vineyards, will assume the role of deputy chairman. The current operational executive of both bodies will remain, working together under the new organisation, namely Barry Lewis (chief executive), Jo Cowderoy (membership secretary) and Julia Trustram Eve (marketing director).

“This merger comes at a key point in the growth of our industry,” comments Simon Robinson. “The vote that our members have taken today demonstrates a proactive and shared optimism in the future of English and Welsh wines and the many opportunities that lie ahead for us all. There is lots of work to be done – not least to reinforce our position with government and to build on the many services that we can deliver to all members.

“We also have the opportunity to build a strong generic brand for our wines and develop new opportunities such as tourism and export, research and training. I know that the new board is looking forward to playing a part in taking this forward for all our members.”

Peter Gladwin added: “As our industry grows, so our members need the right representation and support to drive it forward. I’m delighted that UKVA and EWP are now to merge – it is a completely natural step and prepares us for the exciting future that lies ahead.”

Stuart Hutson, Corporate partner at Temple Bright, said: “This merger represents a vital development in the oversight of the UK’s wine industry and we were delighted to assist in implementing it. It was a pleasure working with the UKVA team and we have high hopes for the new unified industry body, which brings together the complementary skills existing on all sides.”

Temple Bright was established in Bristol in 2010 using a tech-enabled, streamlined business model. The firm’s London office was launched in 2013 and now has 30 partners operating across a broad range of sectors, with notable expertise in food and drink.

This article appeared on the Press Box website on 11 July 2017.