Legal challenge to Minimum Alcohol Pricing: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/02801
Date received: 17 November 2017
Date responded: 15 December 2017

Information requested

What was the cost to the public purse for the SWA to challenge MUP? All court fees attributed to SG, how of the finance was taken directly from the public purse. Any SG fees that SWA had to cover as a result of losing the case.


I enclose a copy of the information you requested.

In relation to the Scotch Whisky Association's and others' legal challenge to the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012, the legal outlays incurred by the Scottish Government during the court processes currently amount to £495,640 although this is not the final figure as some costs are still to be billed. These outlays were paid directly out of the Scottish Government Alcohol Policy Budget. The costs are detailed in the attached annex. They include costs for Senior Counsel (QC), Junior Counsel (advocate) and miscellaneous costs, including court fees. There were no external costs for solicitors' firms as any other legal work relating to the passage of the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 was carried out by civil servants and there is no business need to record the time or cost of civil servants in completing their normal business duties. The Scottish Government is seeking to recover costs through the standard legal recovery process.


Legal outlays to date for minimum unit pricing policy
Senior Counsel Junior Counsel Miscellaneous Total
£ £ £ £
2012-13 135,025 38,952 2,481 176,458
2013-14 48,300 31,338 - 79,638
2014-15 49,000 3,792 11,106 63,898
2015-16 44,400 5,508 1,116 51,024
2016-17 47,500 5,220 10,922 63,642
2017-18 50,000 10,140 840 60,980
Total 374,225 94,950 26,465 495,640

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Back to top