For the first time, an arbitration award made by the Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA) – created under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and with powers detailed in the Pubs Code Etc Regulations 2016/790 – has been subject to a substantive judgment by the High Court (Punch Partnerships (Ptl) Ltd v Highwayman Hotel (Kidlington) Ltd  EWHC 714 (Ch)). The PCA is a Janus-faced creature: they exercise both regulatory and arbitration functions. The decision in Highwayman Hotel provides welcome clarification on the interaction between these two roles. However, in constraining the PCA’s ability to impose lease terms when making awards, the court acts against the underpinning statutory purpose of the code and blunts the PCA’s teeth at some of the most challenging times for the pub sector in its modern history.
Bibliographical note© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa
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