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Matthew Foster (who is ‘the go-to lawyer for licensing; he will provide thorough advice and representation throughout the matter’) heads the licensing practice at Mincoffs Solicitors LLP, which attracts praise for its ‘rock-solid advice and client care’. He has extensive experience acting for clients ranging from pubs, clubs and adult venues across the North East, to breweries and restaurant and hotel chains nationally. In 2015, Foster advised Greggs PLC on its application for licences to operate premises during takeaway hours within a cumulative impact area. The licence was successfully granted with no reduction in the premises’ trading hours.

Sarah Smith heads the team at Sintons LLP, which acts for gaming and retail clients and those applying for or renewing alcohol licenses, as well as drafting responses to government and local authority consultation documents on behalf of trade associations. Highlights included applying for a new premises licence for a flagship department store in Newcastle city centre.

At Ward Hadaway, Richard Arnot recently acted for the Co-Operative Group on obtaining an opposed premises licence for a store in London. In another highlight Arnot acted for Gainford Hotels on an extension of hours licence which was previously opposed by residents, police and local authorities.

Simon Catterall is the key contact at Jacksons Law and regularly obtains licences for pubs, nightclubs, and working men’s clubs. Recent highlights include a licence for the first hookah lounge in Newcastle.

John Ellwood is the key contact at Tilly Bailey & Irvine and handles liquor licensing matters.

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