A senior circuit judge has been appointed vice-chairman of the scheme set up to conciliate in disputes between pub companies and their tenants, writes Michelle Perrett. The Honourable Trevor Barber will share the responsibility for chairing hearings of the Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service, known as PICA-Service, with the chairman, Rodger Vickers. PICAS is part of the self-regulation deal between the British Beer & Pub Association and the Government in the wake of the Business, Innovation & Skills Committee's critical report into the conduct of pubcos. The PICA-Service, which went ‘live’ on 29 February, complements the work currently carried out by PIRRS (the Pubs Independent Rent Review Scheme) by handling disputes of all issues other than those concerning rent. “The appointment of Trevor Barber into the important position of vice chairman further demonstrates the independence and integrity of the PICA-Service,” said Bernard Brindley, chair of PIRRS and deputy chairman of the BII. “His vast knowledge, experience and impartiality, enhances the authority of the PICA-Service and its board.” The PICA-Service provides tenants and lessees, whose pub company or brewery landlords are bound by the Pubs UK Industry Framework Code of Practice (IFC), with a formal dispute resolution procedure. This can be called into play by tenants and lessees when disagreements over breaches of the IFC and company codes of practice, or in contravention of the spirit of such codes, have failed to be settled via pub company or brewery internal procedures. The service also has the power to assess and award unlimited compensation to tenants and lessees.