The WVSG is an industry-wide wedding venues initiative, an incorporated company working towards providing legal defence advice and making representations to Government in the interests of its members.
When the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published it's guidance on business refunds due to Covid-19 in April 2020, the Association of British Wedding Businesses' Venues Committee members were impacted (as venue owners) along with much of the wider industry with customer refund claims and now threats of action from the CMA. The Committee considered the guidance to be unbalanced and unfair, so the WVSG sought the Opinion of the leading Consumer Rights QC.
Preliminary legal advice has been sought from Michelmores Solicitors and Counsel. The team gave a high-level appraisal of the CMA guidance, outlined a response strategy for wedding venues and concluded there is scope for an industry-led approach to push back on the guidance. Michelmores are expertly positioned to produce industry-facing guidance based on a balanced application of consumer rights legislation.
Expert and effective legal advice at this level is expensive. Our view, supported by the preliminary advice commissioned, is that the most practical way forward to best protect wedding venues and establish a sustainable business model is to fund legal advice and action on a group basis, spreading the cost across multiple venues.