Licensing in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has a truly regional presence and a dedicated team that handles licensing matters across East Anglia for a diverse range of clients, among them hotel chains, breweries, nightclubs, race courses, event operators, churches and concert promoters. The practice, led by legal director Julie Gowland in Norwich, draws on the expertise of the firm's highly regarded planning group. Gowland handles both applications for new licences and contested matters.

Practice head(s):

Julie Gowland

Key clients

MPRJ Limited

The Hotel Folk Limited

South Norfolk District Council

Gastro Pubs Limited t/a Middletons Steak House

The Chapter of Norwich Cathedral

The Royal Norwich Golf Club

Work highlights

  • Instructed by South Norfolk District Council to undertake the role of Legal Advisor at all sub-committee meetings where representations have been received in relation to an application for a premises licence.
  • Advising The Royal Norwich Golf Club in relation to an application for a new premises licence following a new build venue.
  • Advising Gastro Pubs t/a Middletons Ltd in relation to all licensing matters across the business.  Preparing and submitting new premises licence applications across the country, specifying individuals as DPS, transferring Premises Licences and advising in relation to personal licences.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is known for its 'swift and accurate response to queries' as well as the comprehensive range of services it provides in regard to 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 in the leisure and entertainment industry, which sees it advise on large music festivals and other major events across the UK. Clients appreciate the 'prompt and proactive support' of senior associate Harriet Wells who takes the lead on licensing matters.

Practice head(s):

Harriet Wells


‘Working with Mills & Reeve across of number of departments I’m afforded great peace of mind. Knowing the various members of the team means I can always get a swift and accurate response to queries. Mills and Reeve have partnered in a county-wide talented athlete support programme which has seen a number of athletes performing in international competition. They are very keen to support local initiatives in a number of areas.’

‘My two key contacts in the area of licensing is Harriet Wells. On every occasion I am in receipt of prompt and proactive support enabling me to progress each item in good time.’

Key clients

The University of Westminster

Timewell Properties Ltd

De Montford University

The University of East Anglia

Family Amusements Ltd

Peterhouse, Cambridge

The Theatre Royal (Norwich) Trust Ltd

Albanwise Ltd

Trinity College, Cambridge

Birmingham City University

Work highlights

  • Advising The University of East Anglia on the transfer of the student union’s catering and retail operations to the UEA and making successful application for a new premises licence for the shop.
  • Advising The University of Westminster on a variation of its premises licence for its 35 Marylebone Road campus so as to substantially increase the licensed area and making successful application for it notwithstanding local resident objections.

Gotelee Solicitors

Gotelee Solicitors has a broad practice that handles liquor and venue licences for venue owners and SME clients. Hugh Rowland is the main partner and a former committee member of the national Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association. He handles licensing as part of broad disputes practice. Howard Catherall is a leading adviser to the logistics industry on criminal and licensing matters.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Rowland

Other key lawyers:

Howard Catherall

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP acts for a diverse range of clients, among them London-based residents groups, registered charities and owners of bars and restaurants, on applications for new premises licences and variations to existing licences. The 'extremely helpful and approachableJamie Childs, who works in both the Norwich and Cambridge offices, is a director in the planning group who handles licensing matters. His work includes advocacy before licensing authorities, as well as the sale and purchase of licensed premises.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Childs


‘Howes Percival assists us in many areas of our business where specialist legal advice and skills are required. Their response is always prompt and complete, seeing the issue through to its conclusion.’

‘I have recently worked with Jamie Childs on a licensing matter and he has been extremely helpful, taking on tasks where I required help and expertise. It is reassuring to have a contact who is always approachable, whatever the matter.’

Key clients

Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association

Pedro’s Restaurant Limited t/a Harry’s

Heritage Developments Ltd

Dragonfly HQ Ltd

J. Bunn Homes (Blakeney) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association on the variation of the premises licence for the Royal Norfolk Showground, a major events venue in Norfolk. The team successfully represented the RNAA at a licensing sub-committee to secure the variation.
  • Successfully advised Harry’s on a contentious variation to the premises licence for its restaurant in Norwich to allow the consumption of alcohol in an outside seating area.
  • Advised 73 St James’s Street RTM Company, a company managing residential property in Westminster, in connection with its objections to alleged breaches of a premises licence and a contentious variation to the premises licence for a nearby restaurant.