Overview

Our specialist team of licensing solicitors combines expertise in both licensing and regulation to ensure that you have the support you need. We offer a full range of licensing legal services ensuring that your business is running legally and safely.

As a licensed premise you are regulated by not only the Licensing Authority but also other authorities in relation to health and safety, weights and measures, food safety, trading standards, disability discrimination and door security.

Working in conjunction with our regulatory investigations team, our specialist solicitors can advise on:

  • premises licence applications;
  • variation applications;
  • designated premises supervisor variations;
  • personal licence applications;
  • objections and temporary events notices;
  • initial applications and transfers;
  • appeals and breach proceedings;
  • street trading and pavement licences;
  • summary reviews, interim steps applications and full reviews; and
  • defending closure orders.

 

To find out more about any of our specialist licensing services, click on the drop down menu below.

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Key contact

Martin Jones is a Partner and head of our regulatory team. He advises on a wide range of criminal and professional regulation matters. He has over 20 years’ post qualification experience. Martin deals with a substantial licensing case-load; concentrating on licence reviews and breach allegations. He has acted in a number of contested applications to licence large-scale events.

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Licensing health check toolkit
 

The licensing team frequently acts in applications for betting and gaming licences under the Gambling Act 2005. The team has developed a ‘licensing health check’ toolkit which focuses on the auditing of the due diligence systems of premises licenses for compliance. The service includes;

  • review of due diligence procedures;
  • review of premises licence terms; and
  • review of training procedures.

For further information on the free licensing health check please contact us. 

Are you complying with your licensee obligations?
 

There are potential penalties for knowingly allowing or undertaking unauthorised licensable activities. Such as:

  • £5000 fine for you or your staff selling alcohol to a minor;
  • £5000 fine for knowingly making a false statement in connection with a licensing application;
  • Six months imprisonment and/or £20,000 fine for knowingly allowing or carrying on unauthorised licensable activity; or
  • Six months imprisonment and/or £20,000 fine for unauthorised exposure for sale by retail of alcohol.
Licensing clients
 

Our licensing clients include:

  • individual bars;
  • pub chains;
  • restaurant chains;
  • stadiums;
  • betting offices;
  • theatres;
  • cinemas;
  • hotels; and
  • an impressive range of large scale event licensing.

The licensing team frequently acts in applications for betting and gaming licences under the Gambling Act 2005. The team has developed a ‘licensing health check’ toolkit which focuses on the auditing of the due diligence systems of premises licenses for compliance. The service includes;

  • review of due diligence procedures;
  • review of premises licence terms; and
  • review of training procedures.

For further information on the free licensing health check please contact us. 

There are potential penalties for knowingly allowing or undertaking unauthorised licensable activities. Such as:

  • £5000 fine for you or your staff selling alcohol to a minor;
  • £5000 fine for knowingly making a false statement in connection with a licensing application;
  • Six months imprisonment and/or £20,000 fine for knowingly allowing or carrying on unauthorised licensable activity; or
  • Six months imprisonment and/or £20,000 fine for unauthorised exposure for sale by retail of alcohol.

Our licensing clients include:

  • individual bars;
  • pub chains;
  • restaurant chains;
  • stadiums;
  • betting offices;
  • theatres;
  • cinemas;
  • hotels; and
  • an impressive range of large scale event licensing.

Your questions answered

Loss of premises licence
 

Cessation of licensable activities – temporary event notices – new premises licence. A company had discovered that their premises licence had lapsed following the licence holder going into administration. It was too late to transfer the premises licence and save it and so the Licensing Authority advised them to stop providing licensable activities immediately, which they did. However, a number of events were booked in the subsequent weeks, including a wedding, and so they approached us for advice on ways to provide licensable activities for as many of the events as possible and to also make an application for a new premises licence. It was possible to cover several events and weekends (and the wedding!) with temporary event notices within the prescribed limits for temporary event notices. With the temporary event notices, we prepared and submitted an application for a new premises licence based substantially on the previous premises licence. All of the temporary event notices were approved and the application for the new premises licence granted.

Application for variation of premises licence
 

Regulated entertainment – live music/recorded music – objections – hearing The company had made an application for the variation of their premises licence to extend the permitted timings for live music and recorded music (already having had live music and recorded music for a number of years). The venue was in a town centre, didn’t have a history of complaints and there were few residents in the immediate vicinity. None of the residents in the immediate vicinity had objected to the application. However, objections were received from residents on the opposite side of the valley who had said that the music might carry across the valley and by the environmental health department who had said that the music would disrupt people living in the immediate vicinity of the premises, even though none of these immediate neighbours had felt it necessary to object themselves. We were instructed to represent the company at the Licensing Committee hearing. Our case included photographs, maps and diagrams of the pub and the vicinity. Our contention was that since there had been no complaints about the premises to date, the residents’ objections shouldn’t be accepted on the assumption that the music might be disruptive and nor the EHO objection accepted since none of the immediate neighbours had felt it necessary to object to the application themselves. The case was argued successfully and the premises licence varied in accordance with the company’s initial application.

Potential administration of licence holder
 

Loss of operating licence – loss of numerous premises licences – transfers of premises licences The company operated a large network of adult gaming centres. The operating licence was held by a company and the company was contemplating administration. The company approached us for advice relating to the operating licence and the related premises licences and how they should be protected. We advised the company to transfer all of the premises licences to another operator so that they didn’t lapse on the lapse of the operating licence. The company did this and all of the premises licences were saved.

Restructuring of gambling operator
 

Application for new operating licence – transfer of premises licences We had acted for the company, a partnership, for a number of years. The company had held an operating licence since the conversion process in 2007. One of the partners wanted to retire and took advice from us as to the effect of the retirement on the licensing aspect. Since the operating licence was held by a partnership it couldn’t be changed to remove one of the partners as this would have changed the entity from a partnership to a sole trader, which is not permitted by the Gambling Commission. We advised that the continuing partner (now as a sole trader) would need their own operating licence to continue running the business and the premises licences would also have to be transferred to the new operator to allow the continued operation of the premises.

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