The draft wording of the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Draft Bill (also known as ‘Martyn’s Law’) continues to work its way through Parliament, and following its inclusion in the King’s Speech.

Whilst some aspects of the Bill have recently been subject to scrutiny and criticism, the fundamental purpose of the draft is to be welcomed.

Although identification of ‘lone wolf’ individuals, their methodology and where and when they may attack are often difficult to predict, such ‘low complexity’ attacks are no less deadly than those committed by organised terrorist groups and it is only correct that all businesses prepare for the unthinkable.

The draft Bill, also known as Martyn’s Law in honour of Martyn Hett, who was killed during the 2017 Manchester Arena attack, seeks to address this issue by imposing proactive security measures on organisations that may be subject to terrorist attack.  Specifically, the Bill requires those responsible for certain public premises to expressly consider the risk from terrorism and implement reasonably practicable and proportionate mitigating measures in response. The Bill also proposes to establish an inspection and enforcement regime, to ensure compliance with the legislation once it comes into force.

Which premises are caught?

The definition of ‘qualifying public premises’ is wide and includes premises used for:

To be caught by the definition, and the additional duties imposed, the public must have access to the premises which themselves must have a capacity for 100 or more individuals.

Certain ‘qualifying public events’ are also caught by the provisions, which includes events held at premises which are not qualifying public premises, but to which the public have access and have capacity for 800 or more individuals.

What is the duty that is imposed?

Different duties apply depending on the size of the qualifying premises, with those having a public capacity of 800 or more individuals being classed as an ‘enhanced duty premises.’ Other public premises are subject to a ‘standard duty’.

In either scenario, the duties are imposed on the person (or persons) who has control of the premises for their relevant use, or the qualifying public event.

In addition to being obliged to register the premises, the responsible person must also:

A standard evaluation must be reviewed every time there is a material change to the premises or its use, as well as within 12 months of the previous review.

The evaluation should include information as to the:

Where the enhanced duty applies, the responsible person must also prepare a terrorism risk assessment at least three months before the date of the event taking place. The draft Bill explains that a terrorism risk assessment is an assessment of:

What are the responsibilities?

The draft Bill serves to impose additional duties on those responsible for qualifying premises.

For example, Martyn’s Law if enacted in its current form will oblige those responsible to provide terrorism protection training, and to implement prescribed security measures and plans in the event of an attack.

Enforcement

Obligations under the Bill will be monitored and enforced by local authorities, using a ‘reasonably practicable’ test to assess what is proportionate in any given situation.

If contraventions are identified then the Bill provides for notices to be served, as well as the imposition of financial penalties. Of note, the maximum penalty in respect of standard duty premises is £10,000, but for those subject to the enhanced duty is the greater of £18 million, or 5% of qualifying global revenue.

Failure to comply with a notice which has been served will be an offence, being punishable on conviction by up to two years custody and/ or an unlimited fine. In addition, individuals within an organisation may also be guilty of an offence if the corporate’s offending is shown to have been committed with their consent, connivance or neglect.

Conclusion

The aims of the Bill are commendable, and have been prepared following consultation with various parties in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017. The specific and deliberate focus on the risk of terrorism is to be welcomed and it is hoped that the Bill is able to complete its passage through Parliament as soon as possible.

However, the proposals are not in themselves novel and largely reflect and mirror existing duties imposed on organisations and businesses in respect of day-to-day health and safety management. Where this legislation differs however is that it prescribes the risk (terrorism) to be expressly considered and requires relevant organisations to proactively prepare in anticipation of that risk materialising.

The additional inspection and enforcement responsibilities come at a time when local authorities are financially stretched and it will be interesting to understand from where the additional funding and resources to achieve this aim will be sourced. For example, the impact assessment which accompanies the draft legislation estimates that the total set-up and on-going cost of Martyn’s Law to be between £1.1 billion and £6.3 billion.

In addition, criticism has been levelled at both the arbitrary capacity cut-off figures – given that acts of terrorism do not usually abide by such distinctions – as well as the potentially disproportionate cost which will be imposed on small and medium-sized venues. Whilst the Bill, if enacted, will certainly increase provider knowledge, it remains unclear how it will provide a benefit to venues, given the random and often unforeseeable nature of terrorist activities.

To discuss this in more detail, contact associate partner in Pannone Corporate’s regulatory team, Bill Dunkerley.

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In our latest retail law update, we look at the news and legal developments affecting the sector.

This month, it covers how to transform retail spaces in the face of 47 shops closing every day last year, the In the Style High Court case and the lessons to be learned around protecting business ideas, the battle of the supermarket giants over logo use and trade mark infringement, as well as a guest article from Dan Williams, founder and managing director at 100% Group on the power of technology in the retail environment.

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Pannone Corporate has strengthened its retail and leisure credentials with a trio of client wins, after recently being appointed by The Lowry, New Balance and Beauty Bay.

The North West law firm will provide legal support to the renowned North West arts centre, The Lowry, while the firm has also recently been appointed to the legal panel for New Balance – a global sports footwear and apparel manufacturer. In addition, Pannone has joined the legal panel for skincare and cosmetics retailer, Beauty Bay.

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone Corporate, said: “Retail and leisure remain a core part of our experience, and we are delighted to kick off the first quarter of the year with such positive additions to our expanding client portfolio.

“The Lowry, New Balance, and Beauty Bay, are all prominent brands across key their own retail and leisure sub-sectors, and help to strengthen our industry credentials in the regional market, across a range of teams and specialisms.”

Last year, Pannone was appointed by Costcutter and The Fragrance Shop, as well as being reappointed to the Boohoo Group legal panel. Pannone Corporate works alongside a growing list of retail and wholesale businesses including Bestway and Iceland.

Jonson added: “Retail and leisure are hugely varied and constantly evolving sectors, which continue to demonstrate dynamism in the face of strong economic headwinds and changing consumer dynamics. Whether it’s sports, fashion, arts and culture, or beauty, each has distinct challenges and opportunities. Our team is perfectly placed to support clients as they continue on their growth journey – both domestically and overseas.”

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In the latest of our quarterly retail law updates, we look at the news and legal developments affecting the sector.

This month, it covers the pitfalls of email marketing, options for struggling retailers and, one year on, what has the Environment Act achieved, as well as a guest post from Mazars with an update us on the latest developments around the online sales tax.

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In the latest of our quarterly retail law updates, we look at the news and legal developments affecting the sector.

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Pannone Corporate has strengthened its position in the retail sector, after recently being appointed by Costcutter and The Fragrance Shop. The North West law firm has also been reappointed to the BooHoo Group legal panel.

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone Corporate, said: “Retail is a vast, dynamic and ever-changing sector and one that has formed a core part of our growth strategy in recent years. Across a range of teams and specialisms we have built up strong sector credentials over recent years and we’re delighted to be extending that retail footprint through our work with prominent brands, such as Costcutter and The Fragrance Shop.

“Our reappointment to the BooHoo legal panel is also testament to the hard work and sector expertise that the team has shown over the last 15 years, in supporting the global fashion brand on an impressive growth journey since it started trading.

“We look forward to working alongside our new clients and also our many longstanding retail clients, as they expand their presence in the UK and overseas, whether that’s through bricks and mortar growth, or by capitalising on the continued rise of ecommerce.”

Pannone Corporate works alongside a growing list of retail and wholesale businesses including Bestway and Iceland.

 

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In our last update of 2021, we look at the IP stories and case updates making headlines across the UK and around the world.

In December’s edition of our monthly IP round-up, we delve into a Stormtrooper helmet NFT dispute between artists and a curator, the high-profile Supreme Court decision of Lloyd v Google, and Walmart’s issue with Kanye West’s Yeezy LLC. In a more festive theme, we also look at why John Lewis is being urged to donate the proceeds of its Christmas advert to charity, and the importance of clear wording of online promotions as shoppers hit the sales.

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Melanie McGuirk on 07790 882567 or email melanie.mcguirk@pannonecorporate-com.stackstaging.com

Amy Chandler on 07920 237674 or email amy.chandler@pannonecorporate-com.stackstaging.com

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In the first of our quarterly retail law updates, we look at the latest news and legal developments affecting the sector.

It covers the upcoming Children’s Code, which will come into force in September and will impact those online retailers that currently process personal data of under 18s. We also look at the new guidance on buy now, pay later, as well as key fashion cases setting the tone for the industry, including when drawing inspiration becomes infringement.

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Yesterday’s ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) report on influencers highlights that over a three-week period, 65% of the Instagram stories monitored (over 15,000 stories) were not clearly labelled and identified as advertising content (as required by the CAP Code).

This ASA report has put influencers promoting products on social media back under the spotlight as so many have failed to meet the compliance standards required. The headlines focus on the fact influencers may be named and shamed if they don’t comply, but what does this mean for the brands and retailers that build campaigns around these partnerships?

 

The background

The code requires that any paid for advertising is clearly labelled with #ad or similar and social media companies have introduced tools to allow brands to advertise more transparently on their platforms, such as through the “Paid partnership” tag on Instagram. For a while, it did seem that celebrities and influencers were using the ad hashtag, after a few high-profile mistakes, but this has clearly fallen off the radar in recent times, at the same time as massive growth in this form of advertising.

The main issue is the huge disconnect between the ASA focus on protecting consumers from subliminal advertising and the influencer’s priority of maintaining an “authentic” image that is not tainted by sponsorship. The appeal of these social media pages is that they give followers an insight into the “real” life of the influencer or celebrity, which is aspirational and which many followers will want to emulate. If the followers realise that the content is only being promoted due to the financial relationship with the advertised brand, the content will naturally lose some of its appeal. In turn, this can lead to the influencer losing followers and this diminishes their appeal for other brands. It’s a bit of a vicious circle.

 

What does it mean for brands and retailers?

In the early days, big brands worked very closely with any talent representing their brand to ensure that the content they pushed out set the right tone and was compliant. Brands have moved away from this with influencers, most likely due to the push by influencers to maintain control of their channels and their image. In turn, brands have likely left responsibility for compliance with the influencer, which is not always the best move. Brands should consider doing their own due diligence on an influencer’s track record for compliance as part of their partnership campaign planning.

 

Brands have a lot to lose by picking the wrong influencer and falling foul of the CAP Code. Consumers often put a lot of trust in the accounts they follow and if they feel they have been misled or manipulated, they will quickly switch off from the influencer and the brand. It can be very difficult to come back from online setbacks as numerous brands have shown; but well targeted campaign can be hugely successful. Over the coming months, expect to see more collaboration and guidance from brands with influencers to make sure they hit the right mark. But if the media spotlight moves on to something else, you can expect to see these practices slipping back in.

 

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