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    • John Coen - Weightmans
    • John Gaunt - John Gaunt & Partners

Who Represents Who

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Teresa Hitchcock heads the licensing team at DLA Piper UK LLP in Sheffield and brings industry experience as an ex-regulator. Hitchcock is supported by regulatory associate Charlotte Gibson and has been working with hotel chain QHotels regarding its day-to-day operational matters, including providing licensing advice and submitting variations to premises licenses at six sites to allow the sale of alcohol on the golf course via buggies, the half way houses and pro shops. The team has also been advising a client on the variation of a premises licence for a casino, and another client on licensing of a distribution warehouse to allow for sale by retail of alcohol to employees. The firm generally operates out of Sheffield for regional clients but also has links with the office in Edinburgh. Representative regional clients include the University of Sheffield, the University of Sheffield Students’ Union and Sheffield Hallam Union of Students.

The licensing team at Gosschalks comprises head of team Clare Johnson, partner Richard Taylor and six license administrators. The practice has historically acted for pubs and betting shops, but is also active in the retail sector, where Morrisons is a significant client. Recent work for the supermarket client includes assisting with applications to extend the hours it can sell alcohol, putting through over 400 applications in just under three months. Also in the food sector, it has been advising a major high street retailer with store licenses to sell alcohol. Alongside the litigation department, the team was also instructed by a number of Soho private shop operators in a challenge to Westminster Council’s fee policy, resulting in a successful judgment for the operators that they were being overcharged.

John Gaunt & Partners is a specialist licensing, gambling and regulatory firm based in Sheffield that serves clients on a national basis. The team, headed by name partner and solicitor advocate John Gaunt, has ongoing licensing retainers for household names such as Whitbread, Premier Inn, Marston’s PLC, Greene King and David Lloyd Leisure. Recent work for Marston’s Revere brand is representative of the firm’s practice, and includes the obtaining of licensing for new sites, negotiating the extension of one existing license and obtaining licenses in Hammersmith and Bristol that were heavily contested. On the retail side, the team has been dealing with the licensing aspects of 80 new purchases of convenience stores by its client, James Convenience Retail.

The niche licensing practice at Woods Whur in Leeds comprises founding members and solicitor advocates Paddy Whur and Andrew Woods. Both lawyers specialise in licensing law for national clients across a variety of sectors. In a notable highlight this year, Whur (whose knowledge of alcohol and entertainment law is ‘second to none’) advised Fabric Nightclub following the decision by Islington Council to remove its license. This resulted in a campaign by multiple agencies, including the Mayor of London, to save the nightclub. Woods is well regarded and has particular strengths in betting and gaming, as demonstrated by his recent instruction dealing with a Gambling Commission review of a casino operating license, and the first-ever Gambling Commission review of a personal management license held by a key operator.

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