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United Kingdom > North > Crime, fraud and licensing > Licensing > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Mincoffs Solicitors LLP’s practice is led by the ‘exceptionally knowledgeable’ Matthew Foster, who combines ‘a tremendous work ethic with a very professional demeanour’; ‘he always aims to do the best for his clients’ and is ‘head and shoulders above the rest’. Foster represents hotels, breweries, restaurants, pubs, clubs and supermarkets at a regional and national level on alcohol, entertainment and gambling licences. Recent work includes advising Cuban Cigar Club on an application for a premises licence to allow the supply of alcohol; acting for VG Foodstore in a review of a premises licence, successfully ensuring the licence was not revoked; and assisting A&L Entertainment with the expedited licence review of Chambers and Haze Nightclub in Middlesbrough. Station Hotel Newcastle, Hay Bingo, Barber Barber and Roadside Group are also clients. The team also represents individuals.

Sintons LLP counts Fenwick and Danieli Holdings among its client roster; the team recently advised the latter on obtaining an alcohol licence for a temporary structure based in Newcastle city centre. Practice head Sarah Smith led on that matter and advised Close House Hospitality on its application for a new premises licence to cover the Close House Golf Club grounds and its golf courses. She also acted for an individual in an application for temporary event notices and new premises licences for catering food sites in Newcastle city centre, and assisted Stephenson Quarter Development with the application and acquisition of a new premises licence for the Boiler Shop event space. The firm also handles licensing issues for venues which provide alcohol and entertainment, as well as gaming and adult venues, and assists with taxi licensing issues and licence reviews. The practice also advises on licence variations, review appeals, defending licence reviews and new licence applications.

At Ward Hadaway, the highly regarded Richard Arnot has substantial experience representing clients before licensing committees and in contested licencing applications; he recently advised Dominvs Hotel on successfully obtaining an opposed premises licence for a hotel development in London, assisted Co-operative Food with obtaining a licence for a new premises which was opposed by over 100 residents, and acted for ULG (Durham) in securing a licence for premises in a cumulative impact area, which was also strongly opposed. Other clients include Iceland Food, King Street Investments, Pin Pin, Malmaison Hotels, Gainford Hotels and Tesco. Stephen Graham leads the two-partner team, which includes licensing assistant Cheryl Scott, who recently obtained a premises licence for Harbour Hotels for a hotel in Bristol.

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