News & views

News  •  05/06/2023  •  5-min read

Martyn’s Law – Impact and considerations for the property industry

In March, the government announced her commitment to publish a draft bill known as “Martyn’s Law” or Protect Duty. This bill imposes significant liability on landlords and managing agents, especially those involved in placemaking and public events.


By introducing this bill, the government hopes to ensure the cooperation of landlords and occupiers to support in counteracting terrorism.

The naming of the bill is a tribute to Martyn Hett, one of the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attack alongside 21 others.

The legislation covers all sites, permanent event space and temporary events or pop-ups where capacity may exceed 100 people. 

What is involved;

Under the current proposals, operators of public venues, large organisations and those responsible for public spaces would be legally required to consider terrorist threats and how to implement appropriate and proportionate protective security. 

The aim of these measures is to help save lives and minimise injuries. Best practice is beginning to emerge with companies developing Security Audit and Terrorism Risk Assessment templates to roll out across required sites, to allow for a consistent approach across schemes.

How this affects the property industry 

The legislation requires all parties to; 

  • understand the risks associated with the location of the planned event
  • develop a full bespoke incident plan 
  • have measures in place to respond effectively in the event of a terrorist attack. 
  • have robust communication channels, escalation protocols and effective record keeping
  • be fully prepared with strict response  protocols in the event of a terrorist attack
  • provide training and awareness for those involved in the event including their responsibilities

Our approach

Since MAPP first covered the potential impacts of Martyn’s Law with our clients back the summer of 2021, many have already begun engaging with MAPP to undertake more detailed emergency testing exercises. Like MAPP, they have been keen to test the above plans and emergency processes to ascertain their effectiveness. Clients have also been receptive to receiving feedback on site-specific security recommendations aligned with the direction that we believe Martyn’s Law is pursuing.

More recently, we have been advising landlords of the need for them to check with their insurers on any new requirements or conditions of their policies for their properties. The insurance industry has been asking for time to consider the impacts of Martyn’s Law so they can think about the insurance products needed for its clients.

The suggested list of affected organisations that own or operate publicly accessible locations can be found here.

Martyn’s Law will undoubtedly affect commercial property management, presenting challenges for the industry. Nevertheless, we are committed to collaborating and taking necessary measures to ensure the safety of our occupiers and visitors.

Written by

Brian House

Head of Security and GDPR, Compliance (London)