Leading Individuals

Licensing in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP handles the full spectrum of licensing and regulatory matters for clients in the leisure sector, including nightclubs, hotels, takeaway outlets, churches, public houses and concert promoters. Clients note that 'the team is very knowledgeable, easily accessible and happy to help' and that the lawyers 'speak in a down to earth manner and give sound and balanced advice'. Barrister and head of licensing Julie Gowland in Norwich and fellow barrister Matthew Gowen in Ipswich are the key contacts. Gowland advised Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk in a Crown court appeal in relation to breeding dogs without a licence.

Practice head(s):

Julie Gowland; Matthew Gowen


‘The team is very knowledgeable, easily accessible and happy to help. They speak in a down to earth manner and give sound and balanced advice.’

‘They are very friendly and welcoming, the ability to have a conversation and leave fully understanding the implications and repercussions of different decisions.’

Key clients

Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk

Brentwood Borough Council

South Norfolk Council

The Hotel Folk Limited

The Suffolk Sur Mer Limited

The Granary (Woodbridge) Limited

The Alpinist AG

Work highlights

  • Regularly instructed by South Norfolk Council to undertake the role of Legal Advisor at all sub-committee meetings where representations have been received in relation to applications for a premises licence. The team regularly advise in relation to the Council’s Taxi Licensing and Gambling Policies.
  • Dealing with the full range of alcohol licensing queries for The Hotel Folk, which owns and runs six hotels and event venues in Suffolk. Applications include new premises licence, variations and specifying DPS.
  • Advised, prepared and submitted an application for a major variation following conversion of the premises into a small bijoux hotel with roof terrace for Suffolk Sur Mer Limited.

Mills & Reeve LLP

The specialist licensing practice in the Norwich office of Mills & Reeve LLP has a wide, national client base within the leisure and entertainment industry including holiday parks, sports clubs, hotels, restaurants and theatres around the country, and also provides advice on the licensing of large scale music festivals and events. Senior associate Catherine Noble leads the practice and has extensive experience in alcohol, entertainment, late night refreshment, and gaming licensing, as well as applications for marriage and pavement licenses. She assisted Britannia Pier with the transfer of its premises licence, updating the DPS’s personal licence, and transferring a permit for gaming machines.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Noble

Key clients

Britannia Pier (Great Yarmouth) Limited

Kingston University Service Company Ltd

Eponymous Holdings Ltd. trading as Old Spirits Co

Buckinghamshire New University

Peterhouse College

Howes Percival LLP

The planning team at Howes Percival LLP acts for a diverse client base that includes London-based residents’ groups, registered charities and owner-managed bars and restaurants. Planning partner Jamie Childs in Norwich is the key contact. He has particular experience in advising developers, owners and operators of licensed premises on applications for new or varied premises licenses. The firm also handles advocacy work at licensing authority sub-committee meetings where objections have been made to premises licence applications.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Childs

Work highlights

  • The licensing team continued to advise clients on a range of licensing matters, including supporting the firm’s property team by advising on a number of premises licence transfers, variation of designated premises supervisors and advice in connection with securing personal licences.