Corporate & Commercial legal expert, Caroline Armitage shares her top three tips and explains why in the context of COVID-19 updating Terms and Conditions of Trading is so important for operators in the events industry.
When did you last look at or update your terms of trading? It’s one of those documents that most people know they need but rarely think about. When COVID-19 hit back in March our team suddenly found ourselves looking at a number of trading terms for companies involved in the events industry. At the time it was all about recovery and protection while in the heart of the storm. The industry as a whole proved flexible and understanding and suppliers, event companies and venue operators all worked together to try to minimise the damage to their industry. Now we are cautiously lifting our heads above the parapet, many businesses in that sector are starting to think about what they should do for next year. Before you firm up on your new event it is worth making sure those Ts and Cs are up to date. Here are my top three tips:
- If you are an event organiser check that as far as possible there isn’t a mismatch between the rights your venue has regarding cancellation and those you have with your customers and suppliers. If the venue organiser can invoke a ‘force majeure’ clause you want to be able to do so too. The worst of all worlds Is there a mismatch so you can’t get your money back, can't use the venue, but still have an obligation to provide the event or alternatively refund tickets.
- Venue organisers, suppliers or event companies - identify what specific clauses might you need to cover COVID-19 events. While we all looked to ‘force majeure’ clauses as they are known, which cover unforeseen events, COVID-19 is arguably no longer unforeseeable. So write in specific provisions which still allow you to postpone / reduce capacity if for example there is a local lockdown or you have space restrictions because of social distancing.
- Make sure your GDPR Privacy Notices are updated to clearly state that information may be passed on for NHS Trace and Test / other public health reasons. While there are provisions within the relevant legislation which would allow you to do this, it’s worth being clear and specific.
So before you send out the invitations get the Ts and Cs out of the drawer, dust them down, and update them!
For further advice on Terms and Conditions of Trading or any other coporate and commercial legal issues, please contact a member of our Corporate & Commercial team who will be happy to help. Girlings has office in Ashford, Canterbury and Herne Bay.