Licensing in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

'The team was exceptional - very friendly and approachable, giving their answers and advice in plain English,' says a client of Birketts LLP. The firm handles applications for new premises licences, variations and transfers, as well as assisting clients in the leisure industry with contested applications, Temporary Event Notices and personal licence applications. Julie Gowland in Norwich leads the practice, which 'offers excellent guidance and is always at the end of the phone'.

Practice head(s):

Julie Gowland


Our group is new to operating public houses and restaurants, and the team at Birketts was very helpful in identifying the key issues we needed to be aware of. Julie Gowland was very prompt in dealing with any licensing matters which arose.

The team was exceptional – very friendly and approachable, giving their answers and advice in plain English. They were easy to contact, and if they were going to take a while to get back to me would let me know at every stage or provide a different point of contact. All ways round, the team was exemplary.

Julie Gowland was fantastic. She offered excellent guidance and was always at the end of the phone or email when the need arose. Competitors are not always as easy to get hold of and do not communicate quite as well. She let me know everything that was going on at each stage and what she was doing. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her or her team to anyone who needed help and assistance with their licence.

Key clients

Toadrage Leisure

Notcutts Limited

The Chapter of Norwich Cathedral

The Royal Norwich Golf Club

Deben Inns Limited

The Hotel Folk

Gastro Pubs Limited trading as Middletons Steakhouse & Grill

Work highlights

  • Advising this nationwide client Notcutts Garden Centres in relation to the full range of licensing issues. Matters include the drafting and submitting of applications to specify new DPS’s, varying the terms of premises licence and applying for personal licences.
  • Advising The Royal Norwich Golf Club in relation to an application for a new premises licence for a new-build venue. The application went to a sub-committee hearing as a result of representations received in relation to noise complaints and statutory nuisance.
  • Application on behalf of The Chapter of Norwich Cathedral to vary the DPS and an application for a major variation to the Premises Licence that would enable outdoor concerts and events to be held within the grounds of the cathedral and the serving of alcoholic drinks – to include additional outdoor areas.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP provides advice across the whole range of alcohol, entertainment, late night refreshment, sexual entertainment venues, betting and gaming licensing, marriage and pavement licences and licensing matters under the Private Security Industry Act. Harriet Wells in Norwich advises the firm's national client base, which includes holiday parks, sports clubs, hotels, restaurants and theatres across the UK, as well as Cambridge Colleges and numerous universities.

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

Peterhouse, Cambridge

The Theatre Royal (Norwich) Trust Ltd

Albanwise Ltd

Trinity College, Cambridge

Birmingham City University

Work highlights

  • Advising the University of Wesminster on, amongst other matters, a variation of its premises licence for its 35 Marylebone Road campus. The variation will substantially extend the area covered by the licence where alcohol can be sold.
  • Advising Albanwise, which owns various licensed properties, on licensing issues. The latest issue was in relation to the Crown Inn, Broughton, where the tenant wanted to vary the licence to add authority to provide entertainment, late night refreshment and an outdoor cinema, and increase the hours licensed.
  • Following Birmingham City University’s termination of an operating agreement and the sale and lease back of land, the team advised the University on the licensing issues that arose and dealt with the necessary transfer of the premises licence.

Gotelee Solicitors

Gotelee Solicitors focuses predominantly on contentious licensing matters, which is a niche practice for the firm's broader dispute resolution group. Veteran litigator Hugh Rowland is the lead partner. His practice includes advice on the regulation of liquor licences, as well as licence applications, transfers and variations for the firm's SME clients.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Rowland

Work highlights

  • Acting for a company involved in the armaments trade concerning application for a licence to carry explosives.
  • Advising a charity on the most effective way of maximising return from a generous celebrity donation without contravening lottery and gambling law.

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. Faulkner, who is now managing director and head of property, deals with the full range of licensing matters and has a large caseload of applications for new licences, variations and transfers.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Faulkner