The Manchester Arena terror attack in 2017 left 22 dead and a nation in shock. Since then, the UK has suffered many more unsophisticated terror strikes. In 2023, the UK government introduced Martyn's Law in response to the rising threat level.

What is Martyn’s Law?

Martyn’s Law is posthumously named after Martyn Hett, a 29-year-old from Stockport who lost his life in the Manchester Arena bombing. The Law, also known as the ‘Protect Duty’ legislation or, by its full title, the ‘Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill’1, is designed to introduce mandatory terrorism prevention and protection procedures for certain public premises and events.

Once Martyn's Law comes into effect, it will encourage organisational preparedness and improve protective security across the country. Martyn’s law will mandate organisations to assess and mitigate risks before organising public events with more than 100 people in attendance. This will be important legislation for charities that host leisure, cultural, fundraising or entertainment activities.

The draft bill sets out steps for premises to take to ensure that organisations and their staff know what to do in the event of an attack and are ready to respond quickly and effectively. The five requirements of Martyn’s Law are:
  • Venues to which the public has access must engage with freely available counter-terrorism advice and training.
  • Those venues must conduct vulnerability assessments of their operating places and spaces.
  • Risks created by the identified vulnerabilities must be mitigated.
  • Venues should have a counter-terrorism plan.
  • Local authorities must plan for the threat of terrorism.

[Note: The draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill was published by the Home Office on 2 May 2023 for pre-legislative scrutiny before the government draws the final version. We will update you on further developments.]

What types of venues does Martyn’s Law apply to?

Martyn’s Law will apply to premises that have both a defined boundary (a building or a group of buildings or space with a defined boundary) and a qualifying activity taking place at the location. Qualifying activities can include charity, cultural and entertainment events that host concerts and performances, community sports and leisure facilities.

Charities planning a theatre or outdoor performance gathering a large number of attendees can refer to this video2 for more information on how to design an effective security protocol.

The Law will establish a tiered model, which will be determined by the venue’s maximum capacity.

Understanding the tiers of Martyn’s Law

  • Standard tier:* Applies to venues that can hold between 100 and 799 people. Owners will be required to produce plans to improve security and preparedness, including staff training, raising awareness, cascading information, and completing a preparedness plan.
  • Enhanced tier:: Applies to venues that can hold 800 people or more. In this case, owners will be expected to undertake more elaborate preparation, including the production of a risk assessment and health and safety plan, as well as designating someone responsible for adherence to the new law.

* The requirements of the Standard tier are being consulted on, as announced as part of the Kings Speech on 7 November 20233.

Enhancing safety for planning events

When Martyn’s Law comes into effect, it will strengthen existing security measures and outcomes in open public locations. It will require -

  • Existing security guidance to be given legislative effect for specific sectors, such as bus and coach operators for specific locations4.
  • Collaboration with groups currently complying with security legislation;
  • Companies responsible for holding, selling, or hiring products that terrorists could use as weapons to adhere to security guidance.

Martyn’s Law converts best practices into regulations and following the rules will adequately prepare your organisation in the event of a potential terror attack. Venue managers can also download the ProtectUK5 app and keep up-to-date with the latest security guidelines and updates from industry specialists. It will improve their response capability for other security incidents as well.

Emergency preparedness and evacuation planning

In case of an emergency, charities must know how to evacuate the venue safely. Here's what you can do:

  • Provide accessibility options for people with disabilities, such as ramps, designated viewing areas, etc.
  • Use matting to prevent rainwater from being carried inside, repair uneven surfaces, remove trailing cables, and provide handrails on stairs.
  • Plan and mark evacuation routes to ensure safety and address potential bottlenecks for a large crowd.
  • Regularly communicate with your team about changes and prepare everyone for emergencies.
  • Download the ProtectUK6 app for regular updates on security assessment guidelines from experts.

How can Gallagher help charities adhere to Martyn’s Law?

In preparation for the new law, Gallagher’s Charities team can provide guidance in the following areas:

  • Event Insurance, including cover for terrorism, adverse weather and non-appearance for a key individual.
  • IOSH Managing Safely course — specialist training on health and safety issues.
  • Ensure that members are appropriately covered for public and employers’ liability.
  • Access to our charity insurance product.
  • Advice on terrorism cover, including denial-of-access business interruption.
  • Trustee indemnity to protect directors and officers from potential future claims.

To find out more, please get in touch with this Gallagher’s Charities SME & Mid-Market team or call us on 0121 407 4101. We’re here to support you.


1Terrorism (Protection of premises) draft bill: overarching documents - GOV.UK (”, Government of UK. 2 May 2023. Video file. Accessed 3 June 2024.

3Martyn's Law overview and what you need to know | Protect UK

4Protect duty consultation document (accessible version)”, Government of UK. 2 May 2023. </pclass="ajg-rte-sources">

5&6ProtectUK app”, ProtectUK. 31 May 2022.


The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.
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