Licensing in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP acts on a diverse range of licensing and regulatory matters for clients in the leisure sector including breweries, hotel chains, night clubs, race courses, events operators, bingo hall chains, takeaway outlets, churches, wedding venues, public houses and concert promoters, as well as a host of peripheral retailers such as health clubs and garden centres. The firm also acts for numerous local councils, handling sub-committee hearings considering licence applications from all kinds of businesses. Legal director and head of licensing Julie Gowland in Norwich co-ordinates the firm's licensing work across five offices, and works closely with barrister Matthew Gowen in Ipswich, who is part of the regulatory and business defence practice.

Practice head(s):

Julie Gowland

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Gowen

Key clients

The Hotel Folk Limited

South Norfolk Council

Gastro Pubs Limited t/a Middletons Steak House

Brentwood Borough Council

The Maids Head Hotel Limited

Broxbourne Borough Council

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.
  • Advising Gastro Pubs on all licensing queries. The team regularly represent the client in respect of new premises licence applications, transfers and applications to vary DPS.
  • Dealing with the full range of alcohol licensing queries for The Hotel Folk, which owns and runs six hotels and event venues in Suffolk.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has a specialist licensing practice that provides advice across the whole range of alcohol, entertainment, late night refreshment, sexual entertainment venues, betting and gaming licensing, marriage and pavement licenses and licensing under the Private Security Industry Act 2001.  The firm has a national client base within the leisure and entertainment industry including holiday parks, sports clubs, hotels, restaurants, theatres around the country and advises on the licensing of large-scale music festivals and events. Senior associate Harriet Wells in Norwich is the key practitioner, having specialised in this area of law for more than 20 years, and she frequently appears before the Licensing Authorities and the Magistrates Courts.

Practice head(s):

Harriet Wells

Key clients

University of East Anglia

Accolade Wines Ltd

Buckinghamshire New University

University of Cambridge

Timewell Properties Ltd

University of Westminster

Albanwise Ltd

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP acts for a diverse diverse client base that includes London-based residents’ groups to registered charities and owner-managed bars and restaurants. Planning solicitor Jamie Childs, who works from both the Norwich and Cambridge offices, is the lead practitioner. He has extensive experience in advising on applications for new premises licences or variations to existing premises licences, representing clients at licensing sub-committee meetings and also assisting with the firm’s corporate and real estate matters involving the sale or acquisition of licensed premises. His work also encompasses advocacy work at licensing authority sub-committee meetings where objections have been made to premises licence applications, and niche advice to clients who are looking to apply for new or varied premises licences in connection with a redevelopment of their property.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Childs

Key clients

Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association

Pedro’s Restaurant Limited t/a Harry’s

Dragonfly HQ Ltd

J. Bunn Homes (Blakeney) Limited

Cambridge Union Society

73 St James’s Street RTM Company

Bee World UK Limited t/a Jollibee

Work highlights

  • Acted for Cambridge Union Society in securing a variation to the premises licence for the Society’s Cambridge city centre premises following a £3.4 million redevelopment project. The premises lies within a cumulative impact zone.
  • Secured a pavement licence for Jollibee’s (Bee World UK Limited t/a Jollibee) flagship Leicester Square restaurant.
  • Made representations on behalf of 73 St James’s Street RTM Company in relation to a licensing application affecting the London premises it manages.