Food, Leisure & Hospitality
Our experienced team has substantial experience in advising businesses across the food, leisure and hospitality sector, ranging from owners and operators to suppliers, wholesalers and exporters.
Our team is able to call upon considerable resources across several legal disciplines including real estate, business advisory, banking, licensing, employment and branding and technology, allowing us to offer commercial, up-to-date and pragmatic advice. Our team includes several recognised industry experts who have dealt with many of Scotland's precedent-setting cases.
The food, leisure and hospitality sector is both stimulating and challenging and remains a key business sector for Scotland. Whether you are an owner, investor, developer or operator, our recognised industry experts with their broad range and wealth of experience can help you, from expanding your business or protecting your brand to advising of legislative changes which may impact upon your business.
Businesses across the sector face many challenges including competition pressures, supply chain issues, recessionary pressures, changing consumer attitudes, technology, funding pressures and changes in legislation and regulation. We know that where there are challenges in the market there are also gains to be made, for example, through increased tourism in Scotland. These issues can have a wide range of implications for businesses and we can advise you as your business develops, grows and evolves.
How can we help you?
For many years, we have advised businesses operating in the food, leisure and hospitality sector. Our clients are both private sector and public sector and range from owner-operators to public limited companies. Our clients include brewers, manufacturers and exporters, pub and restaurant companies and operators, hotel operators, nightclub operators, retailers, wholesalers and bookmakers.
- Business and funding advice/
- Corporate and commercial advice/
- Health & safety and food, safety & hygiene compliance/
- Debt recovery/
- Employment and HR issues/
- Export advice/
- Hotel funds and management agreements/
- Licensing law advice/
- Commercial litigation/
- Online, mobile, digital/
- Property & construction advice/
More information about each of these services below or you can give us a phone on 0141 221 8888 and ask to speak to one of these departments for more information.
Growing your business can often mean acquiring new businesses or selling an existing business to management. This can be a critical strategic move for your organisation and all the details have to be right. We can advise you at each stage of the process, from the early negotiations and agreement of Heads of Terms to the due diligence process, negotiation of documentation and completion of the transaction.
We have relationships with all the leading UK Banks which means that we can assist you in obtaining the appropriate form of funding for your particular requirements, be it purchase, lease, refinance or portfolio review. We are also able to give legal advice on the specific requirements of the chosen lender and the implications and pitfalls of entering into any loan documentation.
Product names, packaging and advertising all act together to catch the attention of customers and to create loyalty and repeat sales. Retaining exclusivity for your product or brand image is crucial. The use of similar names and brand image can significantly harm the development of customer loyalty and growth in product sales. Ensuring branding is compliant is also fundamental; product recalls, cancelled advertising campaigns and a lack of clear customer information can detrimentally affect your business.
Our BrandBuilder package provides targeted solutions to address these areas. Whether it is potential conflicts with pre-existing brands, trademark prosecution and infringement or protecting your intellectual property we can help develop and safeguard your products and services. We've advised some of the biggest names in the industry on their branding, including Tennent Caledonian Breweries.
When dealing with customers and suppliers, you will need many standard policies in place, such as Terms and Conditions. We can provide you with a contract dealing with all the essential elements to ensure that you have a solid basis for working with your customers and suppliers.
If you are involved in food and drink then you can become involved in a web of health and safety requirements. Making sure you and your employees are working in a safe environment while also protecting your customers from risk can feel like a huge responsibility. We can help with all aspects of Health & Safety and Food, Safety & Hygiene compliance.
In the current economic climate, the effective recovery of outstanding debt is critical. It can mean the difference between business success and failure and plays a crucial role in an efficient credit control strategy. If your clients are not paying their bills or accounts, we can help you recover the money.
We are specialists in all aspects of both secured and unsecured recoveries of commercial and other debts for businesses of all types and sizes and we also undertake defender work. Our debt recovery team is ranked as one of the best in the UK in leading legal directory, Legal 500, and our case management system ensures quick and effective action on enforcement orders while carefully controlling costs to maximise your returns.
From standard documentation like employment contracts to advising on TUPE aspects when acquiring new premises, we can help you with all aspects of employment law. We can even help you draft employee handbooks and give legal advice on disciplinary matters.
It is one of Scotland's greatest sources of income but it comes with a barrage of red tape. We can help your international efforts and advise on Export Administration Regulations (EAR), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Regulations, Customs Regulations, Free Trade Agreements, and all other export/ import matters.
The current difficult economic climate has widened the scope for potential franchising business so it's no wonder an increasing amount of clients are approaching us for information. Our services to franchisees include detailed reports on Franchise Agreements and sound advice on issues such as geographical area, operations manuals, exclusivity and the sale or transfer of the franchise business. Our services to franchisors include: advising on setting up, guiding you through the development of your business by expansion through franchising and drafting franchise agreements (the document which will regulate the relationship between the parties). We can also prepare confidentiality and deposit agreements.
We have acted for many major hotel developers and operators. Recently we acted for the promoters in the establishment of a £31 million fund to develop new branded, limited service hotels. The aim was to raise a fund to finance the development of five new hotels. The capital came from sophisticated investors, high-net worth corporate entities and investment professionals. We can advise on all regulatory aspects of funds, including promotion. We also draft and advise on limited partnership agreements, hotel management agreements and all ancillary documentation.
Insolvency has become all the more common, given the economic climate. We can help make the process easier by advising you on the rights and duties of directors in respect of insolvency; the appointment and removal of administrators, liquidators, and receivers; and solvent restructuring and schemes of arrangement. We also advise Insolvency Practitioners on their appointments and the best means of maximising value to creditors (including preparation of management agreements).
Following the entry of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, it seems that the legal landscape is constantly changing within licensing and leisure. We can help keep you on top of what is required. We are experts on public entertainment licences, late hours catering and licensing offences, liquor licensing, betting office licensing and Civic Government licensing. We can also help you with any licensing board appearance work required (including liquor, betting and civic Government).
Our emphasis is on innovative advice. Because prevention is always almost better than cure, we work closely with our clients to identify areas of high risk and then help manage those risks. We have extensive expertise in advising on, preparing, conducting and resolving disputes in a wide range of services including the Sheriff Court, Court of Session, House of Lords, arbitrations, adjudications, mediations and statutory tribunals.
The relevance of online, mobile and digital methods of customer interaction and business building cannot be underestimated. A website can generate brand awareness, stimulate demand, provide product information, and act as a trading platform for foreign markets. Apps can aid consumer engagement. Digital communication channels can allow you to reach customers simply and directly. We can ensure your activities comply with relevant laws, from those relating to consumer protection and customer interaction, to those governing advertising, promotion, and marketing. We can also help you make sure your key relationships with service providers and developers are fit for purpose.
Should you want to extend or renovate your current premises or even construct entirely new premises, we can advise you. From negotiating and drafting planning agreements to preparing for a planning appeal, we can help you protect and grow your business.
Our property and construction team comprises highly skilled and qualified lawyers with a broad spectrum of experience in advising businesses in the food, leisure and hospitality sector. We have considerable experience in advising on acquisition and disposal, development projects and associated construction advice, financing and leasing and general portfolio management.