Alcohol licensing

Our specialist alcohol licensing solicitors offer a full range of alcohol licensing legal services to provide you with the advice and assistance that you need.

Alcohol licensing law services

Our specialist licensing solicitors have experience of dealing with a variety of licensing businesses and can offer a full range of alcohol licensing services including:

  • licensing applications for new premises including licences for off-licences, pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels, street traders, bingo halls, festivals, sporting establishments, supermarkets and universities;
  • applying for temporary event notices;
  • extending and amending existing premises licenses including:
    – variation applications (as to hours or conditions)
    – making changes to the designated premises supervisor or premises licensee
  • dealing with licence reviews;
  • defending closure orders;
  • licensing breach cases and revocations and appeals.

Our free licensing health check focuses on the auditing of the due diligence systems of premises licenses for compliance. Find out more about our health check toolkit here or call the team today.

Regulatory services

As well as providing services for an array of alcohol licensing matters we can also advise you on other regulatory requirements, such as:

  • health and safety;
  • weights and measures;
  • food safety;
  • trading standards;
  • disability discrimination; and
  • door security.

Alcohol licensing FAQs

Our specialist solicitors answer the most frequently asked questions in relation to the Licensing Act 2003.

What’s the difference between a premises licence and a personal licence?

A premises licence is necessary if you want to provide licensable activities to members of the public. In addition, if one of those licensable activities is the supply of alcohol, you will also need a personal licence.

Who can hold a personal licence?

Any person over the age of 18 years, who possesses an accredited licensing qualification, who has not forfeited a personal licence within five years prior to making an application for a personal licence and has not been convicted of any relevant or foreign offence.

How do I apply for a personal licence?

An application must be made to the Licensing Authority which covers the area in which you reside together with the supporting documentation and the appropriate fee. A copy of the application and documentation must also be served on the relevant police authority.

How long does a personal licence last?

A personal licence lasts for ten years and must be renewed if you still require it.

Will I lose my personal licence if I get a criminal conviction?

Not necessarily, it will depend on the nature of the conviction, the punishment imposed and whether you have any other convictions. We would suggest that you speak with one of our team if you are being prosecuted or have been found guilty of a criminal conviction.

When is a premises licence needed?

A premises licence is needed if you are intending to provide licensable activities to members of the public (or club members in the case of a members club). In addition, you will need a personal licence if you are intending to supply alcohol.

How long does a premises licence application take?

There is a statutory consultation period of 28 days once an application for a premises licence has been submitted and during this time you will not be able to provide licensable activities unless you have given a temporary event notice. Allowing for preparation and submission time, on average, an application can take some six to eight weeks from initial instructions. An application will take longer however if any objections to it are made. You should contact one of our team for a more detailed estimate of timescale in your particular circumstances.

Can I give away free alcohol until I get my premises licence?

We would strongly advise against this since it could be construed as supplying alcohol, which is an offence if you do not have a premises licence. If you have events or functions booked before your premises licence is likely to be granted you may be able to get a temporary event notice if you have sufficient time.

What are the licensing objectives?

The licensing objectives are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder;
  • Public safety;
  • The prevention of public nuisance; and
  • The protection of children from harm.

The licensing objectives aim to ensure that everybody involved in the licensing regime is focused on common goals.

What is a DPS?

DPS is short for designated premises supervisor. If you are supplying alcohol under a premises licence then you can only do so if there is a DPS named on your licence. It is an offence to supply alcohol without a DPS named on the premises licence.

Can I be a DPS at more than one premises at a time?

The Licensing Act 2003 allows for a person to be DPS at multiple premises. However, you will need to decide whether, in practice, this is viable since a DPS is, by definition, the person who is in day to day control of the premises.

If someone under the age of 18 is served alcohol at my pub when I’m not there, can I be prosecuted?

It is possible that the DPS under the premises licence could be prosecuted for the offence of allowing the sale or supply of alcohol to a person under the age of 18. The maximum fine if you are prosecuted for this offence is currently £5,000. If you have concerns over the possibility of being interviewed and/or charged with this offence and you would like to speak with someone regarding representation then please contact one of our team.

How do I extend the hours during which I am allowed to serve alcohol?

You must make an application to the Licensing Authority to extend your permitted timings and you must not operate any extended hours until the application is granted or you will be committing an offence. The process is, essentially, the same as if you are applying for a new premises licence and again has the same statutory consultation period of 28 days.

If someone smokes in my pub when I’m not there can I be prosecuted?

The manager or person in control of any smoke-free premises, including public houses, clubs, restaurants, etc, could be fined for failing to prevent others from smoking in those premises.  It is unlikely however that you will be liable if you do not know that smoking is taking place.



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114 - 116 St. Mary Street
Cardiff, CF10 1DY
Tel: 033 0058 5077
Fax: 029 2038 8222


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London,
EC2V 7NG
Tel: 020 7936 3453
Fax: 020 3053 8562


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