Best Bar None Scotland National Awards 2011

The first ever Best Bar None Scotland Awards ceremony is due to take place on Sunday 6 March 2011 at the Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa, Dundee.

The scheme now in its 7th year is sponsored by Diageo and The Scottish Government and is open to all on-license premises in participating areas.  It focuses on public safety and customer care and offers each venue an opportunity to demonstrate that it is committed to addressing important issues such as: Prevention of Crime and Disorder, Public Safety, Prevention of Public Nuisance, Promotion of Public Health, Protection of children from harm.

In the last 12 months 335 premises have been accredited in Scotland.  Thirty of these were nominated by their local coordinators as national finalists in the bar, pub, nightclub and specialist entertainment categories.  Representatives from each of these premises will attend the event where all nominated venues will receive a national finalist award.  The overall winner in each category will also receive individual awards recognising their achievement.

The event will also be attended by Kenny MacAskill, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice in Scotland, John Letford, The Lord Provost of Dundee Alan Dobie, Executive Director of the Scottish Business Crime Centre and Mark Baird from the main sponsors Diageo.

G4S are sponsoring the nightclub category and Blackadders Solicitors are sponsoring the Pub category.

It is anticipated that the event will be attended by approximately 260 guests from throughout Scotland the majority of whom will be eagerly awaiting to see if they will be the first ever recipients of one of these national awards.

Alan Dobie said “The Best Bar None scheme is an excellent way of rewarding, recognising and promoting good practice in local licensed premises. The safety of people who visit licensed premises to enjoy themselves is of paramount importance and contributes to the night-time economy in Scotland in a very positive way.  I am delighted that we are recognising the best of the best at this gala event”.

Blues Sky thinking

Well there may be good news for publicans who are struggling to make Sky and ESPN contracts work financially.  Many of you have just found it too expensive to subscribe and in reality when you work out the cost of the service against the increase in profits the answer is often just not worth it – BUT of course people like to come to a pub where sport is shown and if you don’t have it at all will you get anyone in at all?

Many of you will have been tempted to subscribe to cheaper European alternatives and some of you may have been sued for so doing.  We at Blackadders have certainly been called upon to assist clients in fending off legal action from the English Premier League with regard to the possession of decoder cards which enable customers to view overseas broadcasts of football matches.

The English Premier League owns the copyright in Premier league match footage and exclusively licenses its rights to broadcasters in different territories (in the UK, the live rights are currently licensed to Sky and ESPN).  Under the terms of their licences, foreign broadcasters are prohibited from supplying “non-UK” satellite decoder cards – which facilitate the transmission of match footage – for use in the UK.

Well one landlady Mrs Murphy has taken the matter to the European Court of Justice arguing that the laws governing the European Union single market should permit her to use alternative and cheaper European sports TV providers.

The European judges are due to come to a decision this Autumn.  In the meantime their legal advisor, the Advocate General Juliane Kokott, has stated that in her opinion Mrs Murphy’s case has merit and that the Premier League’s marketing of broadcasting rights on a territorially exclusive basis amounts to profiting from the elimination of the internal market.  The court does not have to agree with Ms Kokott’s opinion.  However, it would be very unusual for them to take a decision which goes against it.

What does this mean for you?  At present, nothing.  The law in the UK remains the same.  You are not currently permitted to use any provider other than Sky or ESPN who have successfully bid for the right to show Premier League football in the UK.  They have poured millions of pounds into the Premier League enabling clubs to grow, develop their offering and the Premier League will fight all the way to the end to preserve its position.  It is likely the Premier League will have the support of Sky for its interest.  That said, many believe that it will take a comeback in the mould of the recent Newcastle v Arsenal match in order for the Premier League to turn this around.

So watch this space.  We will keep you informed as to the outcome of the case and advise you of your options.

Good trading!

Janet Hood
Accredited Liquor Licensing Specialist

Kirk Dailly
Senior Solicitor
Business – Corporate & Commercial

Pints by Text

The Scottish Legal Perspective:

I read with interest Peter Coulson’s well considered article re the above and would like to advise on the law in Scotland.

As Peter rightly suggests there is no actual way for persons offering alcohol for sale over the internet, by phone or other remote means  to ensure the age of the would be purchaser. This is true whether the transaction is for alcohol to be delivered to someone’s home or for vouchers to be utilised in a venue at a later date.

If the alcohol is to be delivered from a Scottish base to a Scottish domestic dwelling there are specific rules which have to be followed.

The alcohol which is the subject of the transaction has to be entered into a day book and a delivery book or invoice  by the seller. The seller has to  describe the goods e.g 12 bottles of Bonkers Shiraz and note the quantity, the price and the name and address of the person to whom it is to be delivered. There is no reason why an alternative name and address cannot be given in the day book, e.g. the local post office, shop or even a neighbour if the person ordering the wine can’t be present to accept the delivery.

Further in Scotland when alcohol has been dispatched from warehouse premises or other licensed premises within Scotland to domestic premises in Scotland it is an offence to deliver that alcohol to a person under the age of 18. The driver needs to check. I suggest that in the interests of safety the transport companies adopt Challenge 25.

If the driver believes the person offering to take delivery of the alcohol is under 25 the driver  MUST check the age of the person by asking to see ID, being one of the 3 following documents: –

  1. a current passport
  2. a current European photo driver’s licence
  3. a current Young Scot, Citizens Card or other age ID card with a PASS hologram – not matriculation cards
  4. if the  If the driver does not believe the ID is accurate he must refuse to deliver the alcohol and should keep a note of the reason for his decision e.g. thought person under 18

Although not against the law best practice would suggest that the alcohol would have to be delivered to a person rather than left at random on the site. How else would the seller know the goods had been delivered if no signature was obtained.

As for vouchers being purchased to enable the build up of credit for a night out. I do not see anything wrong with this. Obviously alcohol could not be sold to under 18s whether or not they had paid in advance. If persons purporting to be 18 came to the bar of a pub or club or other premises and asked to redeem the vouchers for alcohol staff would require to undertake all the normal precautions to ascertain their age. Challenge 25 will be compulsory in Scotland as from 1 October 2011 unless we have a legislative change. Anyone offering vouchers would be advised to put a note on their web site that vouchers will not be redeemed for alcohol and monies may be lost unless voucher holders can prove they are over 18 at point of delivery. The point of sale is irrelevant in Scotland for these purposes.

Following this fairly simple advice should prevent problems for the licensee in Scotland and if adopted south of the border for our English and Welsh cousins.

Janet Hood
Accredited Liquor Licensing Specialist

Liquor licensing specialist joins team

We are pleased to announce that Janet Hood has been appointed as a consultant solicitor to work within our business division.

Janet, the only liquor licensing accredited specialist in Tayside and Angus has extensive experience working with both licensees and local authorities and is an active member of a number of Scottish Executive committees concerning alcohol. She is Council and Board member of the Law Society of Scotland and is a participant on the Law Society of Scotland’s Licensing Law Reform Committee. Janet is a board member of the Scottish Tourism Forum, a council member of the British Institute of Innkeepers and is a member of the Scottish Trade Licensing Association.

She has a remit to develop Blackadders’ offering in the hospitality, licensing and tourism sector through positive engagement with our existing clients and by identifying new clients amongst her many and varied contacts in the industry.

David Milne, partner and head of the business division says: “Licensing law is a bureaucratic minefield and we want to ensure that our clients maximize their business potential and adopt best practice. I am delighted that Janet has agreed to work with us; she is a very experienced and well-respected lawyer who will add depth to an already high performing team. It is a very exciting opportunity for Blackadders and advances our strategy of being the leading East Coast firm for people and for business.”