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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > Crime, fraud and licensing > Licensing > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Licensing
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Michelle Hazlewood - John Gaunt & Partners
    • Clare Johnson - Gosschalks
    • Tim Shield - John Gaunt & Partners
    • Paddy Whur - Woods Whur

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Christopher Grunert - John Gaunt & Partners

With a dedicated licensing practice, Gosschalks provides advice to a range of high-profile national clients in the retail, hotel, pub and gambling sectors. Clare Johnson is a key name for liquor licensing matters while department head Richard Taylor handles alcohol, entertainment and gambling licences.

Practice head(s):Richard Taylor

Other key lawyers:Clare Johnson


'The professional and welcoming approach from Gosschalks is distinctive and sets it apart from other firms in the region and nationally'.

'Clare Johnson and Richard Taylor are truly incomparable; their clients don't have a bad word to say about them'.

Key Clients

Asda Stores

Ei Group

Wm Morrison Supermarkets

William Hill Organisation

Cineworld Cinemas

Wellington Pub

Craft Union Pub

Bermondsey Pub

Atlas Hotels

T J Morris T/A Home Bargains

Work highlights

  • Advised Asda Stores on a major extension of hours project including applying for 24/7 alcohol licences for 90 Asda stores.
  • Acted for Ei Group and Marmalade Pub Company in a heavily contested extension of hours application for an iconic LGBTQ+ venue in Soho.
  • Advised Morrisons on a project to extend Christmas Eve trading hours.

John Gaunt & Partners acts for national clients on a range of high-profile licensing matters and expanded during 2018 with the launch of a new south coast office in Gosport. The practice focuses on the leisure industry, with notable hotel and pub clients. Tim Shield and Michelle Hazlewood jointly lead the practice; Shield is a key name for hotel sector work, and Hazlewood has notable experience advising pub clients. 'Power partner' Christopher Grunert specialises in alcohol, gaming, sexual entertainment and taxi law. Founding partner John Gaunt has stepped down from the partnership and is now a consultant.

Practice head(s):Tim Shield; Michelle Hazlewood

Other key lawyers:John Gaunt; Christopher Grunert


'The one thing that truly sets John Gaunt & Partners apart is the willingness to give time and accessibility. The group goes over and above what would be expected; nothing is too much trouble for them'.

'Within the team, all of the partners are professional and exceptional in their field'.

'The firm fields a team of fully engaged partners who provide a first-class, specialist service. They know more about their client's needs than they do themselves! They are approachable, commercial and provide a good-value service'.

Key Clients

Marks & Spencer’s


John Lewis & Partners


Goodwood Estate Company

CO-OP South

Millennium and Copthorne Hotels



Centerplate UK

NSK trading as Soul Deli

Black Sheep Brewery

Work highlights

  • Advised QFM, the sole Taco Bell franchisee for the north of England, on its application for a new Taco Bell restaurant in Newcastle city centre.
  • Advised Zx Ventures Ltd, a division of multinational drinks company AB InBev, on the licence for the ‘Goose Island’ bar in Shoreditch.
  • Advised Kings College London Students’ Union in connection with the college’s acquisition of the Bush House building on the Strand in Westminster, which involved licensing negotiations relating to the relocation of the student union operations, including bar facilities, to the basement of the building.
  • Advised international hotel chain Melia Hotels on the licensing for two new developments in Liverpool and Newcastle.

  • Advised Sodexo on licences for events at Strathclyde Country park, as part of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, and at Hampden National Stadium to facilitate concerts by Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Ed Sheeran.

Specialist licensing and regulatory firm Woods Whur has expertise in alcohol, gambling, taxi licensing, entertainment, planning, health and safety, food safety and regulatory matters. Name partners and founders Andrew Woods and Paddy Whur jointly lead the department, while James Thompson heads up the regulatory team.

Practice head(s):Andrew Woods; Paddy Whur

Other key lawyers:James Thomspon

DLA Piper UK LLP's Sheffield-based practice counts institutional clients, commercial operators, educational institutions, cinema chains, restaurants, hotels, casinos and sports stadiums as clients on a national and international level. The team handles pure licensing work while also assisting the firm's corporate due diligence department with the licensing elements of wider corporate transactions. Former regulator Teresa Hitchcock leads the group, which also includes newly promoted partner Alastair Clough.

Practice head(s):Teresa Hitchcock

Other key lawyers:Alastair Clough

Key Clients

Empire Cinemas

Sheffield Students Union

The A&S Leisure Group

Work highlights

  • Advised a cinema operator on an extension to the areas within the premises for the sale of alcohol, which fell in a cumulative impact zone in London.

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