Russell-Cooke's regulatory team has assisted longstanding client, Borough Market, with the drafting of new rules to ensure users of the market are kept safe during the global pandemic. The rules enforce the wearing of face coverings and ban the consumption of food and drink in public areas, with permitted exceptions consistent with those included in the national legislation. The move has been widely reported as the first example of face coverings being made compulsory in outdoor spaces in the UK.

Borough Market, in Southwark in South London, is one of the oldest food markets in London and has remained open throughout the pandemic. It is structured as a charitable trust administered by a board of trustees. These trustees are selected from various related sectors to oversee the Market's strategic governance.

The Market's complex constitutional structure is based on a series of statutes dating back to 1754. The rules rely on a power in an 1829 Act (modified by subsequent legislation) enabling the trustees to make rules, orders and byelaws, and impose financial penalties for breaches.

The Russell-Cooke team consisted of Senior Partner, John Gould, and partner Michael Stacey. They also advised on the enforcement of the rules.

Borough Market has been a client of the firm's charity and social business team since 2014.

Chair of the Borough Market board of trustees, Adrian Bunnis, said: Keeping our shopping community and our traders as safe as possible has to be our top priority. We have now decided to enforce the wearing of masks through our by-laws in the knowledge that the vast majority of our customers will support this. With London being the epicentre of the new coronavirus variant, we feel we have a duty to the community to do this so they can shop in confidence.”

Partner Michael Stacey commented: Borough Market has an unusual and fascinating governance structure, having been set up to serve the people of London ‘for ever.’ It was a pleasure to be able to assist the trustees by drafting rules which will enable the Market to stay open safely.”