Fair Pint backer gets High Court nod over Brulines

By Hamish Champ

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Enterprise inns High court Public house

A leading backer of anti-tie campaign group Fair Pint believes a High Court decision allowing one of his companies to provide evidence on Brulines...

A leading backer of anti-tie campaign group Fair Pint believes a High Court decision allowing one of his companies to provide evidence on Brulines beer flow monitoring equipment scotches claims its kit has been approved by government researchers.

Karl Harrison, a businessman who lives in Canada but who is licensee of the Bedford pub in Balham in South London, said Onifas, one of his companies, was continuing its action in the High Court against Enterprise Inns, which is the head lessee of the property, in relation to the use of Brulines flow monitoring equipment in the pub.

In a statement Harrison said the case, due to be heard in the autumn, was "complex", but focused on the equipment's accuracy; its lawfulness and whether or not certain pubco leases contained an implied term that could lead to the monitoring kit having to be removed.

"Enterprise Inns had previously sought delay to the proceedings whilst waiting for the much trailed 'report' from the National Measurement Office (NMO)," said Harrison.

"This was finally produced to the court in a Case Management Conference last month. Lawyers for Enterprise Inns sought to persuade the court that nothing more was needed and that the 'highest authority' had pronounced Brulines' equipment to be accurate."

Harrison said the court had wanted to know who had commissioned the NMO report and noted that it was Brulines. He added it then gave his company, Onifas, permission to provide its own evidence to help it decide whether the equipment was accurate or not.

"This preliminary decision by the High Court puts paid to the idea that Brulines has secured any kind of definitive approval for its kit or confirmation of any accuracy.

"The NMO has simply provided data on some equipment installed by Brulines staff at their offices. It was paid to do it as a private commission.

"We're interested in the equipment that is actually installed in pubs and how it is operated there."

"The NMO has publicly stated that it has drawn no conclusions from the data and has provided no approvals at all. Brulines and Enterprise Inns might have wanted that but they don't have it. "

Harrison said he was working with the NMO on what he believed were "more realistic tests".

He added that Enterprise Inns had made no allegations nor offered any evidence of buying out by his company in this case.

Last month Brulines claimed that a NMO report, which it commissioned, found its equipment to be "fit for purpose" and it hoped the findings would "draw a line" under the debate over its accuracy.

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