Business diary: No sleep till retirement for EY partner

The Kingsbarns Distillery team celebrated the topping out of their refurbished building with a wee dram
The Kingsbarns Distillery team celebrated the topping out of their refurbished building with a wee dram
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A KEEN interest in sport has clearly kept accountant Jim Bishop’s energy levels high – EY’s senior partner in Scotland presented awards at the group’s Entrepreneur Of The Year gala on Thursday despite the fact he had been woken up in the early hours having just become a grandfather for the second time.

Bishop, who will have retired to the golf course by the time of next year’s event, received a gong of his own for his efforts organising and presenting the awards over the years.

Entrepreneur Of The Year winner Hamid Guedroudj delighted guests at the Gleneagles bash with tales of his long road from Poundland chocolates to petroleum riches when he picked up his award.

Setting up his Edinburgh-based engineering technology company from scratch in 1990 without any external finances meant the cut-price sweets were the only treat he and his wife could afford, he said. The Petroleum Experts boss also suffered the indignity of a Norwegian customs cell after encountering visa problems on an early business trip, although apparently the food and service were excellent.

New decade, new home?

A PARTY to celebrate 40 years in business was held by design company Lewis Creative Consultants at Summerhall in Edinburgh’s south side, and was a well-attended affair with guests entertained by music from the past four decades.

The oldest design agency in Scotland is run by managing director David Lewis, who hinted the Leith-based company founded by his father may be looking to expand into bigger premises.

Whisky taster for PR firm

AMONG the throng of guests at the official launch party for Charlotte Street Partners was none other than First Minister Alex Salmond, who mingled with media folk and clients of the public relations agency at its Edinburgh office – which, confusingly, is actually in North Castle Street.

The night proved long and, shall we say, testing, though Scotland’s top politician was away long before the last of the party-goers was bundled from the building.

The agency is doing what partner Malcolm Robertson described as “a bit of work” for the Scotch Whisky Association, though he would not confirm rumours that SWA chief executive David Frost may be about to appoint the firm on a more permanent footing.

Uplifting win in bra case

Shepherd & Wedderburn partner John Schmidt can probably boast a more intimate knowledge of bras than most male Scottish lawyers after his latest case.

Schmidt is celebrating after an uplifting legal victory for client John Lewis as part of a successful defence following the launch of an inquiry by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) into claims of artificial boosting of sports bra prices.

It had been alleged that bra-maker DBA and retailers John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser infringed competition law over the pricing of the Shock Absorber brand of sports lingerie.

But after an investigation which began last year, the CMA has found there were no grounds for action.

Schmidt said he was “particularly proud of the outcome”, which no doubt made it worth enduring the odd bit of schoolboy humour from colleagues over the subject matter of the case.

First step towards Scotch

No prizes for guessing how Kingsbarns Distillery founder Douglas Clement and director William Wemyss celebrated the topping out of their refurbished building.

Yes, of course, it was with a dram. With the roof in place, they are now counting down the days and months before they can start sampling their own single malt.

They are targeting an official opening on St Andrew’s Day – especially appropriate given their proximity to the home of golf – although they will have to wait a further three years before they get to call their spirit Scotch.

Clement was also celebrating his new title of visitor centre manager, while Peter Holroyd has been brought on board as distillery manager.