Terms and conditions – venue hire

Please read the following terms and conditions carefully before confirming your booking.

The following terms and conditions are designed to help you, the client, attain the best possible experience during your time at Chatham House. For further information on any aspect of the conditions below, please contact our events coordinator


The Chatham House facilities are operated by Chatham House Enterprises Limited hereinafter referred to as ‘CHEL’ the ‘client’ means the organization/individual in whose name the booking is made. The client shall be jointly and individually liable for payment of the ‘event’. The ‘contract’ means the agreement between CHEL and client for a specific booking or series of bookings. These terms and conditions will form part of the contract, together with any other terms stated in the contract documentation.


All invitations or publicity for the event may bear only the address, 10 St James’s Square, London, SW1Y 4LE, but no reference may be made to the organization itself, either as the Royal Institute of International Affairs or as Chatham House. The hire of our facilities does not give the client the right to assume, claim or imply in any way Royal Institute of International Affairs/Chatham House sponsorship, endorsement or support of their organization or the event.

No links to the Chatham House website may be added to publicity material. Should the event organizer require map directions, an alternative site must be used e.g. Google Maps.

A copy of your literature concerning this event must be submitted to the events coordinator well in advance (at least 7 days) or at the time off booking if less. Please be advised that if these conditions are not met or are breached in any way, Chatham House Enterprises Limited reserves the right to cancel your booking or seek recompense.

Opening hours

The facilities will normally be available from 08.00 to 21.00hrs, Monday to Friday. The booking session arrangements are as follows:

  • Evening bookings will be charged at the standard 4 hour rate excluding Main Hall bookings where additional staff costs may be added should they be required.
  • Full day hire is for an 8 hour period between 08.00 – 17.00. Earlier access or later departure will be charge hourly pro rata and only full hours can be booked.
  • Half days consist of 4.5 hours between 08.00 and 12.30 or 13.00 and 17.30. Any bookings which wish to straddle these booking periods i.e. - 10.00 – 14.00 will be charged a full days hire.
  • Access or bookings requiring access before 08.00 or after 20.00 Monday to Friday may be subject to an additional opening charge. If additional time for set-up is required, please notify the events coordinator at time of booking.

Provisional bookings

Provisional bookings will be entered in the diary and held for 14 days. If the booking is then not confirmed, with the required details of the event, including title and speakers; the booking will be automatically cancelled.

During the provisional booking period, if we have further interest in the room we are holding for you, we will contact you to release or confirm your booking.

CHEL reserves the right to cancel your booking if the content of your meeting changes from that which was originally agreed upon and/or if the topics are deemed by Chatham House to be in direct conflict with its own events.

Confirmation of booking

All bookings are accepted on the basis that they are only provisional until written confirmation, as well as written details of the event, including title and speakers, has been received. Once a signed version of this contract has been returned the cancellation policy will apply. For bookings for dates within three months, a signed copy of the contract is required within seven working days. For bookings for dates within seven days, a signed copy of the contract is required within 24 hours.

Cancellation charges

In the event that a confirmed booking is cancelled, the following charges will be applied:

  • 2 months or less: 25% of room hire
  • 1 month or less: 50% of room hire
  • 2 weeks or less: 85% of room hire
  • 1 week or less: 100% of room hire

Notification of cancellations should be made in writing (email deemed to be as in writing) and will be effective on the date received by CHEL.

CHEL reserves the right to cancel the booking if the holding of the function is deemed a conflict of interest or potentially harmful to the business of CHEL/RIIA or its staff. Should it be deemed by CHEL management that a client has withheld and/or not disclosed full details of the event and its contents/speakers for any reason then CHEL reserve the right to cancel the booking without penalty or liability.

Deposits and payments

CHEL reserves the right to require up to 100% payment of the room hire as a deposit of which 25% is non-refundable. Failure to pay the deposit will result in CHEL cancelling the booking.
The balance will be invoiced after the function. Payment for all invoices is required within 30 days of the invoice date. VAT is applicable on all charges at the current rate.

Catering service

CHEL has appointed Harbour and Jones (contract caterers) as our caterers and you are required to only use their services for all your catering needs. Clients are not permitted to bring their own food and drink onto the premises for consumption.

CHEL must be informed of catering requirements no later than 14 working days prior to the event (or if this booking is less than 14 days, at the time the booking is made) and 30 days for special events such as fine dining or canape receptions. If there is an increase in the number of guests after this date, every effort will be made to accommodate their needs; however, clients should note this will incur additional charges.

  • Menu prices are per cover and do not include VAT, which will be added to the final invoice.
  • The right to alter this tariff without notice is reserved, except for confirmed bookings where prices have been given in writing. Seasonal variations may also occur for reasons beyond our control.
  • Final requirements / numbers must be sent in writing to the bookings team at least 7 days before the event.
  • Cancellation of catering orders within 5 working days of event will attract the full charge for all items.
  • The Food Safety Act 1990 dictates that all food may only be out of refrigeration for a maximum of 2 hours. Therefore food will be removed before this time period expires. Due to the demands of these regulations, food may not be removed from the Chatham House premises under any circumstances.
  • Any relevant minimum or maximum numbers will be discussed with you in advance and stated clearly in writing.

Alternative menus

The menus listed are suggestions. If you have a particular request or dietary need please call the bookings team and they will discuss your requirements with the chef. Bespoke and fine dining menus can be created to suit your needs.

Booking an event serving alcoholic beverages:

  • Harbour & Jones are licensed to serve alcohol until 22.00. (Late termination of an event may result in excess charges being made.)
  • Alcoholic beverages are provided on a sale or return basis.
  • The name of (the ‘organizer’) who will remain throughout the time that alcoholic beverages are being served must be given to CHEL at least 48 hours before the event commences.
  • The named organizer will be introduced to the designated premises supervisor on the day and will be expected to liaise with him throughout the time that alcoholic beverages are being served. In particular this will involve deciding how many bottles of wine etc. to open and when to stop service.
  • A list of delegates attending an evening function must be sent to CHEL 48 hours before the event commences. The organizer will identify and be responsible for delegates under 18 who will be asked for identification.
  • The license only applies to the meeting rooms in Chatham House therefore drinks may not be taken out into the street at any time.
  • Organizers are asked to assist in ensuring that all guests leave the area quietly.


All requests for media services such as telephone, data projection, etc will be addressed by our in-house ITT department. All clients are responsible for any equipment hired or loaned to them by CHEL. Additional charges will be levied for any equipment damaged or not returned.

Audio-visual services

Data projection and recording facilities and video conferencing are available at Chatham House and should be requested at least 14 days before the event or at the time of booking. A technician is required for all events in the Joseph Gaggero Hall; an additional charge will be incurred for this service details of which will be provided by CHEL.


All deliveries to the premises must be made through the Duke of York Street entrance. CHEL must be made aware of the contents, estimated time of arrival and time of departure. Clients are responsible for ensuring they have a completed arrival/departure schedule in place for such deliveries / collections and then notify CHEL.

Health and safety

  • The client is responsible for the health and safety of their staff and delegates throughout the duration of the hire period, and will be expected to comply with all relevant legislation.
  • Information regarding emergency procedures, house-keeping and first aid arrangements is available from the front of house staff.
  • The capacities of each room hired is given on hire and may not be exceeded for safety reasons.
  • The management reserves the right to alter proposed room layouts in order to comply with fire regulations and to refuse admission to rooms if over-crowding is liable to occur.
  • Delegate lists are required to be sent to CHEL at least two working days in advance of the event.

Disabled facilities

There is assisted access into Ames House /Chatham House from the Duke of York Street entrance. There are disabled toilets on the lower ground floor of Chatham House and the ground floor of Ames House. In addition there is assisted lift access to our main auditorium, the Joseph Gaggero Hall, which is situated on the lower ground floor. Staff will be on hand to direct delegates.

Emergency evacuation for persons with disabilities

For all events, information relating to attendance by delegates with disabilities should be obtained from delegates whenever possible in advance of the meeting or event.

On arrival the organizer must discuss with CHEL staff the arrangements that they have put in place to assist their delegate/s to evacuate the premises, which should consist of the following elements:

  • Results of a discussion with the delegate/s to agree their Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) in advance of the meeting.
  • Allocation of a ‘buddy’ to assist with their evacuation if required.
  • Communication of PEEP to CHEL staff and reception.
  • In the event of the organiser being unaware of a delegate’s disability until their arrival, a discussion needs to take place as soon as possible to agree their PEEP, and this needs to be communicated to CHEL staff.


If you require additional security for your event, this can be supplied by CHEL for an extra charge.

Works of art

Works of art within the Chatham House building must not be removed by clients. If works have to be relocated, Chatham House or a Chatham House designated agent will undertake the task and a charge will be made to the client. If artwork is found to be damaged in any way, a charge will be applied to your event.


No signs or other items may be placed on or affixed to any part of Chatham House premises, either externally or internally, without prior consent. Sellotape, blu-tack or sticky fixtures may not be used on painted surfaces. Damage to any area within Chatham House by notices associated with your event will be charged to your event.

Complaints procedure

CHEL aims to give all clients the best possible venue for their conferencing requirements and our highest priority is given to making sure your event runs smoothly. However, if on the odd occasion, mistakes or misunderstandings occur, we will do our utmost, to resolve the matter as soon as possible. If after the event, the complaint is still outstanding, this must then be addressed in writing to: