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Yorkshire and the Humber

United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > Crime, fraud and licensing > Licensing > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Licensing
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • John Gaunt - John Gaunt & Partners
    • Paddy Whur - Woods Whur

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The licensing department at DLA Piper UK LLP is regularly instructed by clients including educational providers, national hotel chains and cinemas on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Former regulator Teresa Hitchcock heads up the practice which has the capabilities to both, deal with large portfolios of premises licences and also achieve successful outcomes in sensitive matters, avoiding reputational damage. Other key names to note include Charlotte Gibson for alcohol, regulated entertainment and gambling licensing issues and +Eddy Steele who has particular experience resolving disputes.

With 'exemplary' licensing knowledge, Gosschalks is considered to be 'one of the leading licensing practices' in the region. Highlighted for its 'availability, approachability and sound advice', the practice has significant experience handling issues surrounding the licensing of betting offices, supermarkets and pubs. The 'excellent and personable' Clare Johnson heads the team and acted for Morrisons in new licensing applications in Camden, as part of a £600m redevelopment scheme. The 'highly competent' and 'extremely approachable' Richard Taylor is recommended for his 'amiable, gentle approach to resolving problems' and was instructed by William Hill to deal with licensing aspects of its acquisition of the betting facilities at a number of English racecourses. Other clients include Cineworld, Virgin Active and Wellington Pub Company.

The 'well respected licensing specialists' at John Gaunt & Partners are praised for being 'quick to respond and thorough in their work'. The team is particularly experienced in representing clients in the hospitality and leisure sectors, on a range of matters, from new licences to disputing revocation of licences. It is currently advising Whitbread Group plc on new build licences across the UK, as well as acting for Fortuna Events opposing a closure notice issued following several alleged stabbings outside its Sheffield venue. In another work example, co-head Michelle Hazlewood was instructed by Sheffield Brewery to assist in securing a licence on its historic premises. This required analysis of the layout and negotiations to achieve the clients goals with mutual agreement from the authorities. Tim Shield leads the team alongside Hazlewood and is known for his significant litigation expertise. The well-respected consultant John Gaunt continues to act for clients and handled an out of jurisdiction supervision of a new build application for a Premier Inn on the Isle of Man. Other key names to note are Chris Grunert and associate and 'assured advocate' Paul Henocq.

With a 'formidable reputation' for licensing matters,boutique firm Woods Whur Leeds 'offers a personal yet highly professional service'. The practice advises clients on issues relating to alcohol and gambling licenses,  in addition to health, safety and food hygiene regulatory matters. The 'first class' Paddy Whur has 'great tactical awareness' and is instructed by Grosvenor Casinos, Mecca Bingo and Luda Bingo on the administration of all alcohol and gambling licences, including making new applications for Luda their new High Street Bingo product. Andrew Woods, the joint founder of the firm alongside Whur, advises well-known brands such as Revolution Bars and Travelodge on licencing issues, new applications and variations. The practice also represents local authorities and acts for Newham Council on licensing appeals. James Thompson joins the practice from Clyde & Co LLP Newcastle upon Tyne and is acting for Uber in relation to its high-profile taxi licensing issues including prosecutions in various courts in and around London.

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