Macdonald Henderson Solicitors

You are in: HomeNews › Contractual Bomb Scares - 18th May 2016

Contractual Bomb Scares - 18th May 2016 - Click for larger version Contractual Bomb Scares - 18th May 2016

Most of us (football fans and otherwise) will have watched the weekend’s turn of events with some incredulity, when a dummy bomb used in a security exercise caused the last Premier League match of the season at Old Trafford to be postponed.

The game between Manchester United and Bournemouth was called off after the item was discovered close to kick-off.

As a gesture, Manchester United refunded all tickets and allowed ticket holders from both clubs to watch the re-arranged game for free, while Manchester United season ticket holders will also be given a credit. It is a gesture that is estimated will cost Manchester United around £3m.

This did get us thinking about the parties involved, and in particular about the security firm allegedly responsible for leaving the device in place, and how they’d be feeling after the weekend's events.

A few things come to mind.

- We’d expect a contract to be in place between the club and the security firm, setting out the services to be provided and the payment for the same – so far, so obvious. But what about things like limiting liability under the contract?

- Did the security firm adequately cap its liability under the contract for losses due to breach of contract or negligence? Ideally this would be capped at the amount which the security firm expected to be paid under the contract – or at the very least, capped at the insurance levels which the security firm has in place (assuming insurance was in place and was adequate);

- Did the security firm exclude (as one always should), liability for indirect or consequential losses, loss of profit and/or loss of reputation suffered by the club as the result of its actings? If not, then the club might have a right to claim against the security firm for loss of profits over the weekend, and indirect losses, such as travel and board costs, overtime for police and security staff and the like – the hit could be exponential.

These issues form part and parcel of every contract formation and review which we carry out, whether it be for a client’s customer/client and/or supplier. Sometimes, as might have been the case in this situation, it’s not about effecting wholesale changes to the contract (as the other party is so powerful that they will never accept any amendments – Manchester United might be such an example).

Rather, and in those circumstances, it's about understanding the risks and mitigating the same, whether by insurance cover, “smart” company structures and/or good contract management. We can advise on all these aspects.

It goes without saying that the overriding emotion is relief that there was no actual harm done to fans or players.

Of course, now that the football season is almost over, we’ll need to think of something else to talk about on Monday mornings…

Last updated: 3.27pm, Friday 20th May 2016

Latest News and Events

Macdonald Henderson has advised the shareholders of Law At Work (LAW) in the sale of the company to Marlowe Group. The employment law, HR and health & safety specialists, has become the newest member of the Marlowe PLC group of companies, in a deal that will enable the Scottish-based firm to offer increased services and secure its ambitious UK expansion plans.
We are pleased to advise that Macdonald Henderson is one of three corporate law firms shortlisted for “Transactions Team of the Year” at The Law Awards of Scotland 2019, along with global giants Dentons and CMS.

Meet the Team at Macdonald Henderson