Leading northern law firm Napthens has been appointed as legal advisers to the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and are expanding the service they offer SIBA’s membership with launch of a new legal portal.
Established in 1980, the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) is the UK’s largest beer trade association, representing the interests of more than 700 independent craft breweries, plus supplier companies, homebrewers and bottleshops across the country.
The partnership with Napthens will grant the society and all of its members access to a suite of industry-specific services provided by the law firm, including litigation, licensing, employment and HR support, intellectual property rights (IPR), corporate M&A, property and finance, and business structuring. An online member’s hub has also been developed to provide a convenient service where documents can be accessed and created. It comes a critical time for the independent brewing sector as operating costs continue to climb considerably, putting greater pressure on pub-goers and the brewing community.
Napthens will also continue to assist with the Alcohol Wholesale Registration Scheme (AWRS) process for due diligence purposes for all members and provide industry-specific terms and conditions of trade for on and off trade purposes. SIBA members will also be able to access free sector-specific know-how sessions and webinars, provided by Napthens, as part of the partnership.
Establishment of the new partnership comes six months after Napthens partnered with the UK’s leading licensing consultancy, Licensing Matters, to expand its expertise in the leisure sector. Headed by nationally acclaimed licensing expert Gill Sherratt, it bolstered Napthens’ specialist team of 20 lawyers purely dedicated to the leisure sector, enabling the team to provide an all-round licensing and transaction service across the North West and beyond.
Jamie Allison, SIBA Client Partner and Head of Real Estate at Napthens, said: “Napthens has always been a passionate supporter of the brewing industry. Over the years, we have acted for more than 215 breweries nationwide and we have built close relationships and trust across the sector. We are well-equipped to support SIBA and its members with the complex legal challenges the industry faces right now – from HR considerations and the manufacturing process, to commerciality and contractual obligations within supply chains, to name but a few.”
Andy Slee, Chief Executive at SIBA said: “Every decision we make at SIBA is with our members’ best interests in mind. When it comes to running an independent brewing business, there is so much more to it than many realise – including a host of constantly changing legal considerations, and this partnership will enable us to help our members navigate these. We have worked closely with Napthens for some time and know the support they provide will truly add value to the association and our existing membership, and also assist in attracting new brewery members too who are looking for legal support.”