Licensing

“At each stage we have been provided with options and guidance in a way that has made a complex legal matter both understandable and informative.”

Chambers and Partners 2018
Our licensing lawyers, who are rated at the top of their field by independent experts, have a national reputation for providing legal advice to leisure and retail clients in connection with the sale of alcohol and provision of entertainment.

Main areas of practice

Our specialist licensing lawyers are experts in:

  • Securing new and varied premises licences to allow on and off sales of alcohol and regulated entertainment 
  • Tables and chairs licences on the public highway
  • Wedding licences
  • Gaming machine permits, family entertainment centres, bingo licences
  • Licensing due diligence
  • Taxi licensing

We do not just provide legal advice but place it in the context of the client's business and assess the risks to assist their decision making.

The Regulatory Risk and Compliance team also has the expertise to deal with any criminal investigation in the context of running a licensed premises, including noise abatement.

Clients

Our Licensing lawyers advise and act for leisure and retail clients throughout the UK, notably:

  • John Lewis
  • Waitrose
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Amazing Venues
  • The Southern Co-operative
  • Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

Significant experience

Examples of how our licensing team has helped clients include:

  • Advised a flagship retail store in relation to granting concession agreements and new licences for bar and restaurant operators.
  • Successfully obtaining a new premises licence for an established restaurant operator in Cardiff. There were no representations from the police or other authorities, but local residents objected and presented a petition against the application over concerns about noise and disturbance. The application was granted at a contested hearing before the licensing sub-committee. 
  • We secured a new premises licence for a restaurant operator to operate a concession customer café within a major department store in central London. This required negotiation with the police and Environmental Health to agree a set of conditions to ensure the premises licence was granted without going to a hearing before Westminster City Council's licensing committee. This approach ensured that the licence was granted in terms acceptable to the client and before the customer café opened to customers, but also reduced costs significantly for the client.
  • Securing new licences for in-store concession restaurants/cafes in John Lewis department stores around the country.
  • Managing the licensing aspects of major refurbishment projects for Park Resorts holiday parks during the winter closed season. All alcohol and gaming licences have to be in place before the Parks reopen for the summer season.
  • Obtaining new premises licences and licence variations for the expanding Marks & Spencer estate, both in England & Wales and Scotland.
  • Advising a provider of catering services on managing their licensed estate and on the licensing requirements for functions that take place at client sites.
  • Acting for operators of members'  clubs, sexual entertainment venues and a diverse range of small operators.
  • Licensing due diligence on corporate transactions with associated transfer and variation applications.  

If you have a question about licensing, please use our contact form to get in touch with our team.

“A truly exceptional level of service in an efficient and friendly manner.”

Legal 500 2017

“The team is always supportive, accommodating and flexible to all requests that are made, which allows the client to make an effective and informed decision.”

Legal 500 2017

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

Landmark ruling - minimum unit pricing of alcohol to be introduced in Scotland

News

The Supreme Court delivered a unanimous judgement confirming that the legislation [Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012] proposed by the Scottish Government to introduce a minimum price of selling alcohol at 50p per unit.

Update on Hemming

News

On 1st June the ECJ heard arguments on Hemming, the leading case on licensing fees.

Queen's Birthday extension of licensing hours

News

Licensing hours will be automatically extended on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th June until 1am to celebrate the Queen's birthday.

Is your IPTV box "legit"?

A pub landlord was being sued by Football Association Premier League Limited for copyright infringement for using a IPTV box. Here is what happened next.

Night club owner faces prison sentence due to ongoing Copyright Infringement

A night club owner has been sentenced to three months imprisonment on a suspended sentence, in addition to payment of £5,177 damages to the claimant and £17,000 in costs, for playing sound recordings in public without a licence in contempt of court.

copyright infringement - music played at nightclub
High Court's decision on nightclub manager's personal liability for copyright infringement

In October this year the High Court found the designated premises supervisor of a nightclub in Essex personally liable for authorising and procuring acts infringing copyright as a result of the unlicensed playing of sound recordings.

Liverpool late night levy deadline approaches

Liverpool licensees will be aware by now that a late night levy comes into force on 1st April 2017. If your premises licence authorises the sale of alcohol any time between midnight and 6.00am you may be liable to pay up to £4440 a year ..

House of Lords consider Licensing Act 2003

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003 continues to hear evidence, today from representatives of residents' associations. The Committee's remit is to consider the Licensing Act 2003

National Eisteddfod of Wales

Blake Morgan were very proud to act for the National Eisteddfod in assisting them with the grant of a premises licence for the event which took place over the last 2 weeks.