15,000 pubs in the U.K.are contractually "tied" to buying their beer from their pub company at sometimes double the price they could pay on the open market. This makes good pubs unviable, individual landlords and landladies bankrupt and restricts product and venue choice for pub goers.
The Government legislated in 2016 to allow landlords and landladies to break free of the beer tie with these companies. They set-up the Pub's Code and the Pub's Code Adjudicator to manage the process. However, these big pub companies have managed to obfuscate the process and the PCA is ineffective at controlling them. The result is few pubs have gone free of tie because it's virtually impossible to do it.
I have spent around £15,000 of my own money on legal advice that demonstrates that part of the process has been incorrectly implemented. If we get it working properly, the impact upon tenants seeking to go free of tie and make their pubs work for them and their communities would be massive.
I have tried every possible means to get the issue resolved amicably. However, it is not happening because these large companies are so financially powerful and they do not want to lose the lucrative beer tie. I need, therefore, to take them to the High Court. I have commenced the process by issuing a Letter Before Claim.
I plan to fund most of the challenge myself but I would like as much financial support as I can garner to share the risk. I've set the initial amount to raise at £10,000, but to be honest I could expose myself to up to £100,000 if I lose. I'm willing to do this because it so important for pubs, the beer market and our communities.
If we win, and get our costs are returned, this money can go towards fighting the many other issues that exist in the hugely unbalanced relationship between individual landlords and landladies and these 6 big pub companies.
I am not one ordinarily to ask for money and it feels uncomfortable. But I know that there is serious injustice at every level on this issue and someone needs to challenge these companies in Court.
This is a real life David and Goliath, of publicans trodden on for decades to make corporate businesses massive profits, a restricted beer market and communities ruined by losing their pubs.
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