Licensing in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Senior associate Julie Gowland leads the licensing practice at Birketts LLP, which has a strong regional client base and delivers licensing services through all of its four offices. The firm's clients include breweries, hotel chains, nightclubs, racecourses, events operators, bingo hall chains, churches and concert promoters. Barrister Laura Thomas, who leads the regulatory and corporate defence practice, provides support to the licensing department.

Practice head(s):

Julie Gowland

Other key lawyers:

Laura Thomas

Key clients

Patisserie Valerie (Patisserie Holdings)

Gastro Pubs Limited trading as Middletons Steakhouse & Grill

Notcutts Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Patisserie Valerie in relation to all licensing queries across its nationwide business.
  • Advising the client in relation to all licensing matters across the business, including drafting and submitting new premises licence applications.
  • Advising the client in relation to all licensing queries across its nationwide business.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Senior associate Harriet Wells at Mills & Reeve LLP has almost 20 years' experience and leads a dedicated licensing practice that assists clients with alcohol, entertainment, late night refreshment, sexual entertainment, marriage, betting and gaming licences, as well as licensing under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The firm has a national client base that includes holiday parks, sports clubs, hotels, restaurants and theatres across the UK.

Practice head(s):

Harriet Wells

Key clients

The University of Westminster

Timewell Properties Ltd

De Montford University

The University of East Anglia

Family Amusements Ltd

Norwich City Football Club Plc

The Theatre Royal (Norwich) Trust Ltd

Albanwise Ltd

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Birmingham City University

Work highlights

  • Obtaining a new premises licence for the University’s Little Titchfield Street site following a hard fought hearing before Westminster City Council’s licensing sub-committee.
  • Acting for the University in its application to vary its premises licence for its Harrow campus by way of substantially increasing the area covered by the licence.
  • Advising the owners of Kelling Heath Holiday Park on making various upgrades to the entertainment/restaurant/pub premises on site while the park was closed for the winter.

Gotelee Solicitors

Veteran litigator Hugh Rowland leads the licensing practice at Gotelee Solicitors. The firm focuses largely on contentious licensing matters, which are a niche area for the broader dispute resolution practice. Rowland has also developed a specialism in handling liquor licensing applications, transfers and variations for SME clients.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Rowland

Greenwoods GRM

Newly promoted real estate partner Kelly Peck and property litigation senior solicitor Michelle Cox are the key licensing contacts at Greenwoods GRM. They advise clients on strategic matters such as pre-application issues and the suitability of a proposal before clients make a licence application. They also advise on the updating of conditions, licence transfers, and requests for information following incidents or enquiries from the Local Licensing Authority.

Practice head(s):

Kelly Peck; Michelle Cox

Work highlights

  • Supporting the acquisition of a property for a new Central Cambridge Restaurant.
  • Supporting the leasehold acquisition of premises on Mill Road in central Cambridge for a new restaurant.
  • Supporting the freehold acquisition of a public house in Cambridgeshire.

Rogers and Norton

Rogers and Norton in Norwich has a highly respected licensing partner in Bruce Faulkner, who frequently handles referrals from leading law firms that have no internal capacity to handle licensing applications. He handles the full range of licensing matters and has a large caseload of instructions from clients applying for new licences or seeking variations to or transfers of existing licences. Many of his clients are small businesses or multi-venue operators.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Faulkner

Work highlights

  • Acted for a professional football club in respect of a variation to their premises licence to allow it to use outside areas of their ground for licensable activities when using the stadium for large music events.


Blocks has broad experience of assisting clients running licensed premises including hotels, restaurants, off-licences, conference centres, wedding venues and entertainment complexes, pubs and clubs. The practice led by litigator Graham Mead and commercial partner Andrew Fleming handled a growing volume of licence applications last year.

Practice head(s):

Graham Mead