Welcome to the July edition of the Retail and Consumer newsletter!

One of the clear themes to emerge from the recent merger of Addleshaw Goddard and HBJ Gateley is the amount of work we're doing in partnership with some excellent brewers. Those brewers, big and small, are constantly pushing the boundaries and leading the consumer on an exciting and tasty journey. A number of them have also taken the step of branching out into management or ownership of their own pubs, from which they can showcase both their own products and those of peers which they admire.

To the envy of a number of colleagues, I am lucky enough to be a judge for the second year running in the Scottish Beer Awards. The judging day was in May and the awards dinner is on 28 September in Edinburgh, coinciding with the Beer Matters conference and trade show taking place earlier that day. The finalists comprise 38 breweries and 147 beers, representing just over half of the entered beers. The experience vividly demonstrates to me just how exciting it is to be involved in the brewing industry at the moment. It also coincides neatly with the launch of Addleshaw Goddard's series of guides and services focused specifically on Restaurants, Bars and Pubs, which is described in more detail in this month's newsletter.

So if all of this talk of beer has whetted your appetite for a summer pint, please head to your nearest beer garden (preferably owned by one of our clients, of course).

On a more sobering front, there have been some interesting headlines over the past few weeks with a consistent theme from the Bank of England being a concern about mounting consumer debt and the possibility of banks being forced to hold more capital if consumer credit continues to grow rapidly. Household debt now equals about 135% of household income.

At the same time, however, Britain’s manufacturers are reported to have increased production last month at the fastest rate since the mid-1990s, according to the latest CBI industrial trends survey. The survey noted that the fall in sterling over the last year has bolstered export orders while domestic demand also remained strong. Whilst firms that only import are suffering, according to a recent study for American Express, the study found that firms that both export and import were the most confident, with 95% saying sterling’s slump had boosted business and increased profit margins.

This month there was a landmark decision in which the Supreme Court ruled Employment Tribunal fees unlawful. We discuss the impact of this in this month's newsletter, given that its effect will hit the Retail and Consumer sector hardest, as the UK's largest private sector employer.

Finally, this month's newsletter also includes an article on the future for casinos in the UK and some interesting updates from the world of consumer advertising. I hope you enjoy it. 

This month's articles…

Competitive Edge - Coty Opinion – balancing brands and online platforms

This week's Advocate-General's Opinion in the Coty case gives brand owners comfort that appropriate restrictions to protect a brand and the environment for its sale in an online context will be acceptable, please find our article here.

What is the future for casinos in the UK?

How can casinos and local authorities circumnavigate the restrictions imposed by The Gambling Acts 1968 and 2005? Find out in our article here.

AG advertising update

In this edition of our Advertising Update, our commercial team discusses topics such as the advertising standards agency's recent ban of two adverts for reading the Terms and Conditions too quickly, Instagram's new tool for advertising transparency, and the impact of extremism fears on internet giants, plus much more, click here to read the full article.

Indian GST Implementation

Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India came into force on 1 July 2017 and is one of the most significant tax reforms the country has ever seen. Our article looks at what has changed and what it means for businesses, in particular logistics. Click here for the full article.

Supreme Court rules Employment Tribunal fees unlawful

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that The Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 SI 2013/1893 ('Fees Order') is unlawful under both domestic and EU law because it has the effect of preventing access to justice. Consequently, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Fees Order must be rescinded with immediate effect, and fees paid between 29 July 2013 and 26 July 2017 refunded – an estimated cost of £27 million. Find out more here.

Shared parental pay

We are running a mini survey amongst our sector clients to ascertain how many businesses are enhancing their shared parental pay. It will only take a minute of your time (we promise!) and will help us collate market insight to share with you.

Restaurants, Bars and Pubs

From pizzas, steaks and wine to mocktails, salads and smoothies, the offerings from today's restaurant, bars and pubs are hugely varied; as are the challenges and opportunities facing operators, lenders, investors, landlords and other sector participants. Read how we help our clients to make the most of these opportunities on our newly launched, dedicated sector webpage.