Edward Finley, Partner at Acuity Law

Food & Beverage

Overview
Work
Team

Food & Beverage is the largest part of the hospitality sector. With competition in this industry being incredibly fierce, it is important that businesses are able to turn to trusted advisors that are able to assist in the entire lifecycle of the company to seamlessly aid the business’s growth.

Our team is experienced in dealing with all aspects of the food & beverage sector across the retail, wholesale, and manufacturing markets. Our expertise includes initial site acquisition, company set up/acquisitions/mergers, planning, health & safety, intellectual property and branding matters, contentious and non-contentious employment matters, and risk management. We also work closely with a team of external advisers who bring added expertise in this sector for areas such as tax.

Our collective expertise and cohesive team approach mean that clients are provided with an all-encompassing commercially-driven service from the heart of the West End on the doorstep of many of our clients.

Real Estate

The real estate team has extensive experience acting for both landlords and tenants in the food and beverage sector. We act for companies and individuals across the supply chain, from breweries and distilleries to top central London restaurants and bars.  We advise on all aspects of property matters, including undertaking complex due diligence, advising on development and planning, negotiating agreements for leases, leases and rent deposit deeds.  In addition, we cover all aspects of ongoing estate management work.

Licensing*

Our licensing team provides clients with practical, straightforward, bespoke solutions designed around their business needs. We can support businesses with:

  • Applications for a new premises licence for the sale of alcohol and/or other regulated entertainment
  • Minor variation applications amending on existing premises licence
  • Advice on the licensing objectives and mandatory or appropriate conditions
  • Regulation enforcement and compliance

Corporate

Our corporate team provides expert advice on the following matters:

  • Investment and/or finance into food and beverage businesses
  • Correct structures for setting up business and formations
  • Shareholders’, investor, or partnership arrangements
  • Business acquisitions or sales
  • Joint ventures
  • Company law advice on scaling up and business transformation
  • Commercial agreements.
  • Internal governance and compliance

Employment

Our employment team receives regular instructions from the hospitality sector and can provide a range of services which can be tailored to your needs and budget. This includes the preparation of foundational documents including template staff contracts and employee handbooks and operational support on day-to-day employment issues including conduct and performance management. The team regularly represent employers in litigation and can work with you to minimise the risk of tribunal claims or to defend claims in the most cost-effective way. The team also provide specialist advice around issues which are common to the sector including employment status and atypical working.

Intellectual Property

Our IP department has a variety of experience advising the restaurant and bar sector on their intellectual property matters.  Their advice typically ranges from advising large clients on their intellectual property portfolios as part of a wider, corporate deal to helping a start-up business secure their first registered trademark.  The team has a strong track record for resolutely helping clients in relation to more contentious intellectual property matters usually involving trademarks, copyright, confidential information and/or passing off infringements.

Risk management and dispute resolution

Our experienced team of litigators has expertise in real estate, intellectual property, data protection, and statutory compliance, as well as complex contractual disputes (for example disputes with suppliers and contractors). The team has experience in resolving disputes through the courts, tribunal, and arbitration, as well as extensive experience in various forms of alternative dispute resolution.

*Our licensing offering is an outsourced service provided through our network of lawyers and Acuity Partnerships

Here are some examples of work undertaken within the sector:

Retail

  • Trivet – Advising the team from the world-renowned Fat Duck on setting up their new venture in London Bridge.
  • Blixen – Advising Blixen in relation to the acquisition of its restaurant in Old Spitalfields Market.
  • Bun House – Acuity continues to assist longstanding restaurant client Mossman (whose group includes Bun House and Pleasant Lady) on its restaurant acquisitions across London.
  • SFG Club t/a Birdies – Advising hospitality company SFG Club t/a Birdies on the acquisition of its site at Battersea for a crazy golf concept.
  • Milroy’s – Acting for whisky specialist, Milroy’s, on the financing of its four storey bar and members club in Spitalfields.
  • Salty’s Bar and Restaurant – Advising on the property and employment aspects of our client’s acquisition of the famous Isle of Wight bar and restaurant known as Salty’s.

Manufacturing

  • Frank’s Ice Cream – Providing risk management advice to a well-known Welsh-based ice cream manufacturer.
  • Peter’s Food – Acuity continues to act for longstanding client, Peter’s Food, in relation to various property and corporate matters.

Accolades

  • The Time’s Best Law FIrms 2020
    Acuity Law

Words from our clients

  • ‘Very commercial and pragmatic.’
    ‘An entrepreneurial approach.’
    Acuity Law – Legal 500