Welsh borders lawyer involved in refurb contract at famous London music venue, Koko, warns of T&C importance after fire tragedy

A lawyer based on the Welsh borders says the fire that earlier this week severely damaged prominent north London music venue, Koko, highlights the importance of having comprehensive terms and conditions in place when working under contract. 

Ronald Carter, company commercial lawyer at leading regional law firm GHP Legal, had been midway through negotiating terms for work at the venue on behalf of a London based installations contractor when the fire occurred.

He said: “Incidents of this nature highlight how important it is to have comprehensive terms and conditions of doing business in place prior to starting any work - for the sake of both parties. Without them lines of liability can become blurred, which is not a situation in which you would want to find yourself.

“Just because an event is unlikely it is still wise to prepare just in case, as has been proved by the Koko fire. Seeking legal advice at appropriate stages can prevent contractors getting caught up in liability issues.”

Koko has been described as ‘the London venue that bands play when they’re too big for the clubs and not big enough for Brixton Academy’ and has hosted some of the world’s biggest acts, including Madonna, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Prince.

The venue first opened in 1900 and was listed as a Grade II building in 1972. Also previously known as the Camden Palace and Camden Hippodrome, it has been one of London's most iconic live music venues for decades.

At the time of the devastating blaze on Monday evening the venue was closed for a ‘major state-of-the-art’ refurbishment following the purchase of two adjacent buildings. It had been due to reopen in Spring 2020. 

Mr Carter, who is responsible for company commercial matters across all five of GHP Legal’s offices in Wrexham, Oswestry, Llangollen and Chirk, said: “It is a sad day when a building with so much history suffers significant damage.”

Article 10/01/2020