Licensing in London
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's licensing team demonstrates great breadth; its client base includes developers, casinos, bars, pubs and clubs. The firm provides specialist advice to both brick-and-mortar as well as online clients. The practice is headed by Craig Baylis, who successfully obtained new licences for the Globe Theatre. Another key member of the team is associate director Jeremy Bark, who acted for The 100 Club, located in the stress area within Westminster, on an application to amend the terms of its licence.
Other key lawyers:
‘Genuinely on the ball all of the time, completely reliable with responses.‘
‘Very prompt, competent responses at all times.‘
‘Craig Baylis knows his subject, knows the people involved and manages everyone to make things happen.’
‘BCLP deserves its reputation as being at the forefront of licensing law. Its lawyers are highly practical and commercial in their approach.’
‘Craig Baylis is experienced, professional and effective.’
‘Craig Baylis is highly respected in the licensing world for his no-nonsense approach and his depth of knowledge.’
‘Jeremy Bark is an extraordinarily hardworking solicitor with an equally strong understanding of the industry, known for his practical and approachable style.’
The British Film Institute
Here East London
- Acting for Tesco in hearings for new applications, including handling an application for a licence in Camden.
- Acting for Here East London on obtaining licenses for cafes, shops and restaurants.
- Acted for The 100 Club on an application to amend the terms of its licence, which included an increase in capacity.
- Obtained new licences for the Globe Theatre as part of its plans to extend hours and have greater flexibility.
- Varied the existing licences for the IMAX theatre by Waterloo and the BFI exhibition centre on the Southbank. The applications related to changes to the layout, changes to hours and a relaxation of certain conditions
Keystone Law has a full service licensing capability advising on early morning alcohol restriction orders, enforcement issues, temporary event notices and restaurants. The firm has a mix of new and long-standing clients. Gareth Hughes is a key name for clients in the hospitality and entertainment sectors; he is advising Dragon Knight on the licensing issues concerning a large-scale development in London, which involves thousands of residential buildings and leisure premises. Andrew Wong also has strength in the leisure, entertainment and hospitality sectors. Niall McCann and Richard Williams joined from Joelson in April 2019; the pair now have a consultancy agreement in place to continue to provide services to their former firm.
Poppleston Allen's specialist licensing team has considerable breadth, acting for pubs, clubs, restaurants and property developers. Clare Eames, who jointly heads the practice, acts for the Stonegate Pub Company, owner of close to 700 pubs across the UK, on various matters. Fellow co-head Lisa Inzani is acting for the Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen in gaining a new premises licence in the cumulative impact zone of Westminster. Another notable member of the team is associate Steve Burnett; he advises on drafting policies, obtaining pavement licenses and defending premises licence reviews.
Clare Eames; Lisa Inzani
Other key lawyers:
Stonegate Pub Company
Caprice Holdings/The Birley Group
- Advising on the licensing aspects of Stonegate Pub Company’s acquisition of 34 Be At One cocktail bars.
- The group obtained a new premises licence on Mercer Walk, near Covent Garden, for kebab restaurant Maison Bab.
- Obtained a new premises licence for Scotts, the Caprice Holdings-owned restaurant, on Mount Street.
- Acting for Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen in obtaining a new premises licence, allowing the client to extend into the next-door property to double the size of its seafood bar and kitchen.
- Acted to remove restaurant conditions for a number of Ivy’s Collection and Bill’s restaurants.
Thomas & Thomas Partners LLP
Thomas & Thomas Partners LLP is a boutique licensing law firm that acts for developers, landlords, theatres, private members' clubs, restaurants and hotels. Thomas O'Maoileoin has been lead partner on several licensing matters concerning hotels and studios. One highlight was his advice to Michelin starred restaurant Murano on varying the terms of its premises licence. Alun Thomas is another key name and has considerable expertise advising on the extension of the number of live music events at Hyde Park. Jack Spiegler was part of the part assisting with licensing matters for GBK.
Thomas O’Maoileoin; Alun Thomas
Other key lawyers:
The Groucho Club
- Advised Murano on a variation to its premises licence to permit the sale of alcohol from 8am until 1am the following day without it being ancillary to food.
- Assisted the Royal Parks with an application to extend the number of live music events at Hyde Park.
- Acted for VQ Euston Square on an application to extend its alcohol licence, contrary to Camden’s policy, until 2am.
- Advised Riverside Studios on applying for new licences to allow the entire site, which has a capacity close to 2,000, to operate from 7am until 1am.
- Advising GBK on its CVA concerning the client’s 80+ restaurants nationwide.
TLT's licensing team has considerable breadth, covering the charity, restaurant, leisure and hotel sectors. The firm's client base includes pubs, bars, brewers, festivals, conference venues, galleries and theatres. Matthew Phipps is a significant figure in licensing and has worked on matters including the opening of Flight Club Darts' new Manchester office. Piers Warne is another name to note; he has experience in dealing with contested applications and licence reviews.
Winckworth Sherwood LLP
Winckworth Sherwood LLP is particularly known for its work for supermarkets, petrol station forecourt operators, hotels and pubs. With one of the largest licensing practices in London, the firm undertakes a high volume of off-trade licensing matters. Robert Botkai, who leads the team, has over 30 years of experience and has worked on a range of licensing matters. Sabrina Cader is another key name and frequently works alongside Botkai.
Other key lawyers:
Ince's team acts for landlords, casino operators, theatres and breweries. Practice head Philip Somarakis has considerable experience representing clients before licensing committees and in the Magistrates Court. In one notable highlight, he is acting for Club K in obtaining a variation of a premises licence in Hounslow's cumulative impact zone. Andrew Cotton is another standout figure, particularly for liquor licensing, where he advises clients on the licensing of premises.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team fully understands exactly what is required in the licensing process in multiple jurisdictions and have excellent interpersonal skills.’
Open Air Theatre
Heals Department Stores
- Advised Old Laundry Yard on an application for a new premises licence.
- Advised Open Air Theatre on an application to extend its licensed area following a grant to develop further customer facilities.
- Assiting Club K with the variation of a premises licence within Hounslow Council’s cumulative impact zone.
- Acted for The Gunnersbury Tavern to allow it to trade in the interim while a new application was made to renew a previously lapsed licence.
- Instructed to act for BAFTA in its refurbishment project in Piccadilly and advise on all licensing related work.
Joelson's licensing team works in the restaurant and hospitality and leisure sectors, while also carrying out licensing work for other city law firms. Niall McCann and Richard Williams now lead the team as consultants.
Niall McCann; Richard Williams
‘They are focused, commercial and very responsive.’
‘Joelson have both depth and breadth when it comes to advice on licensing law, an area which many law firms don’t cover.’
‘Their knowledge and experience of the industry sector and, crucially, the licensing authorities is invaluable when applying for a new licence.’
‘Niall McCann is very good indeed. Excellent licensing knowledge, commercially astute and a good strategic thinker.’
‘Niall McCann is our go-to lawyer. He’s very approachable and accessible and gives good practical, commercial advice.’
‘Niall and the team at Joelson will always be my first port of call when legal advice is needed.’
City Pub Company
Dulwich Picture Gallery
Grind & Co
Dover Street Market
- Acted for the Pioneer City Pub Company on an application to vary the hours of sale of alcohol, music permitted outdoors and the use of a large television screen in a courtyard of the distillery.
- Acted for Vapiano on varying a premises licence for its new Tottenham Court Road restaurant.
- Assisting B&M Retail with general licensing and regulatory issues.
- Obtaining a new overarching premises licence for the Dulwich Picture Gallery.
- Acted for Gunnersbury Estate on obtaining a new premises licence to allow weddings, parties and events throughout Gunnersbury Park.
LT Law is a boutique licensing law firm, which advises a wide range of clients including nightclubs, bars and restaurants. The firm advises on all matters concerning licensing such as applications, grants and variations. The practice is led by the 'very good' Lana Tricker who is well regarded in the market.
Pinsent Masons LLP covers the full range of licensing work. The firm is known for its UK-wide work in the restaurant, hotel and retail sectors. Legal director Audrey Ferrie heads the team and has expertise in liquor and civic government licensing, where she represents companies in the leisure and hospitality industry. Associate Christopher Rees-Gay has experience handling contentious and non-contentious alcohol licensing issues.
Other key lawyers:
Adil Group (Taco Bell & KFC)
Edinburgh International Conference Centre
The Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club
- Acted for Harrods on submitting a premises licence variation to extend restaurant hours, as well as an update to the plans for the premises.
- Advised the Adil Group on obtaining the licences necessary for Taco Bell and KFC to trade.
- Assisted with the 2019 Mint Festival, which included liaising with the Local Authority Safety Advisory Group to ensure the festival could safety go ahead at Leeds East Airport.
- Secured a new license premises for the World Island Festival in Leeds, which included liaising with the Local Authority Safety Advisory Group.
Squire Patton Boggs' licensing team is 'straight to the point', working to advise clients on a range of issues in the retail, transportation, hospitality and leisure sectors. The firm has a particular expertise advising on hotel licenses, where it acts for key players in the market. Stephanie Perraton heads the team; her recent highlights include advising Etc Venues on the opening up of a new venue in Houndsditch and the redevelopment of an existing venue in Eastcheap. Director Nicola Smith, who specialises in the hospitality and leisure sector, has had recent success representing clients in a number of contested hearings.
Other key lawyers:
‘Sometimes firms make things more complicated with the wrong approach, Squire Patton Boggs is completely the opposite.‘
‘Straight to the point.‘
‘Being in Westminster, we do have challenges related to applications for variations but they are able to make the entire process less stressful.’
‘Worked with the firm for many years and in that time have had excellent results. The team is efficient, knowledgeable and personable.’
‘Nicola Smith is our main contact and is very through when dealing with a case.’
‘The attention to detail when dealing with a contentious case has been vital in our outcomes.’
Select Service Partner/SSP Air
One Stop Stares
InterContinental Hotels Group
Dalata Hotel Group
- Advised on the management of various licenses nationally for Select Service Partner/ SSP Air, including new ones for Grind and Urban Express at London Bridge.
- Assisted Roadchef with all of its licence applications.
- Advising Etc Venues on the opening of a new London venue and the redevelopment of an existing venue in Eastcheap.
- Handled various licence applications for Intercontinental Hotels Group’s managed estate and advising on Project Dragon, the acquisition of 13 Principal and De Vere hotels in the UK by Convivio.
- Advising Custard Factory on the redevelopment of its site on the outskirts of Birmingham, including re-opening the old market all as the factory works.
Dadds LLP Licensing Solicitors
Dadds LLP Licensing Solicitors is a specialist practice which covers all aspects of alcohol and licensing law. The firm covers reviews, enforcement and licence premises variations for bars, restaurants and private individuals. Key practitioner David Dadds is a popular choice for small businesses and local authorities. Natasha Nunn is also notable and frequently acts for clients in licensing reviews and appeals.
Goodman Derrick LLP's team advises on entertainment and liquor licensing law to a range of clients, including pubs, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, retailers and hotels. James Daglish, who heads the team, combines 'commercial awareness with legal acumen' . The team acted for Simmons Bars Group on the licensing aspects of the sale of the Group to Lonsdale Capital.
‘Integrates other departments very smoothly with its licensing team.‘
‘James Daglish is very acute and has wide industry knowledge and networks. Matches commercial awareness with legal acumen.‘
The Natural Kitchen
The Lucky Pig Bar
- Advised on the licensing aspect of the sale of the Simmons Bars Group to Lonsdale Capital on 1 February 2018, worth approximately £10m.
- Advising on the licensing aspects of Proud Group’s acquisition of the venue known as One Embankment on Victoria Embankment.
- Defended Fulbeck Inns Limited against an attempted prosecution for alleged breach of its capacity condition at its premises on Clipstone Street, which ultimately resulted in the charge being dropped and a caution issued instead.
- Providing ad hoc advice to The Natural Kitchen on minor licensing queries and issues arising during the day-to-day operation of its business.
- Advised Nice Bars on the licensing aspects of the disposal of three sites in the City of London: The Pepys, The Lion and The Ship.
Gregg Latchams LLP
Gregg Latchams LLP acts for a broad range of clients, including theatres, stadiums, bowling centres, hotels, breweries, restaurants, and alcohol retailers. Legal director Ewen MacGregor, who leads the team, acts for a number of national brands and smaller independent operators. In one notable highlight, he advised on obtaining a new premises licence for seven units within Boxpark's development in Wembley Park.
Accor UK Business and Leisure Hotels & Accor UK Economy Hotels
The Original Bowling Company
Ambassador Theatre Group
HJ Tenger Holdings
- Advised Boxark on obtaining new premises licence for seven units within its development in Wembley Park.
- Assisted Lion, an Australian multinational company, with its application for its first licences in the UK.
- Advised Ambassador Theatre Group on its applications to permit patrons to take glass containers into the auditorium of its venues, as well as handling day-to-day licensing work.
- Advised Daylesford Organics on its application for a new special treatment licence and on day-to-day licensing administration.
- Assisted HJ Tenger Holdings with its applications for new licences as part of its expansion.