Licensing in North West

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP’s Manchester-based licensing department acts for a wide range of clients, most notably across the hospitality and leisure sectors, including competitive socialising brands, sports clubs, and festival operators, and it is described by clients as a ‘first-class licensing team – the best outside London.’ Led by licensing specialist Felicity Tulloch, the team is often called upon by law firms without specialist licensing departments to assist in the drafting and vetting of licensing clauses in property agreements. The group, which is home to Rebecca Lowe, has developed a reputation for successfully obtaining new premise licences in areas of cumulative impact. Drawing on her experience as a healthcare regulatory solicitor, Claire Morris acts for hospitality clients in defending review applications. Anthony Lyons left the firm in March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Felicity Tulloch

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Lowe; Claire Morris 


‘The whole process, from beginning to end, was absolutely flawless. Both professionally and legally astute, the practice goes above and beyond to ensure the correct result.’

‘Rebecca Lowe and Felicity Tulloch are a pleasure to deal with and display a constant dedication to ensure our needs are met at every step of the legal processes.’

‘Real quality and experience throughout the licensing team. Exceptional industry knowledge and relationships with local authorities, particularly in the North West.’

‘Felicity Tulloch is a leading light of licensing, both in the North West and further afield, including London. Very experienced and excellent judgment. Excellent on the detail and big picture. Very commercial in her approach. A real asset to clients.’

‘Kuits are justifiably the go-to for licensing support in Manchester.’

‘Highly experienced team with a wealth of knowledge about licensing and the hospitality industry. Capable of factoring in the cross over with planning law.’

‘The Kuits Licenscing team are well led and are always available. They react swiftly to our needs and requirements. Everyone in the team is interested in our business and understand the challenges of our industry.’

Key clients

The Alchemist Bar & Restaurant Limited

New World Trading Company (UK) Limited

Turtle Bay



Stockport County FC


Pho Café

TOCA Social

Factory International

Work highlights

  • Advised the Alchemist on obtaining a new licence on Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia in the face of residential objections.
  • Advised Forbidden Forest Festival on obtaining a premises licence to operate on an annual basis at Belvoir Castle.
  • Advised Turtle Bay on obtaining new licences in Hammersmith, Chester, Salford, Blackpool, Birmingham, and Romford, and on ongoing work to achieve a new licence in the cumulative impact zone in Camden.

Brabners LLP

The ‘go-to‘ licensing team at Brabners LLP is led by head of the regulatory group Lachlan Nisbet, who acts for shooting clubs, firearms-related businesses, and individual certificate holders. While the group continues to specialise and develop in firearms and field sports licensing, it also provides support to privately funded clients in the alcohol, entertainment, gambling, and vehicle industries on a broad array of contentious and non-contentious issues, including on compliance matters, Section 5 offences, applications regarding prohibited persons, kinetic testing failures, antique firearms, and mandates related to alcohol and psychiatry. Associate Charlotte McRae is ‘a rising star’.

Practice head(s):

Lachlan Nisbet

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte McRae


‘Charlotte McRae is a rising star within the firm. She brings in the clients and selects the right counsel.’

‘In terms of firearms licensing, no-one else comes close to Brabners in England and Wales; they are the go-to firm and have been for years.’

‘Easy to engage with.’

Work highlights

DAC Beachcroft LLP

The Manchester-based licensing team at DAC Beachcroft LLP is regularly called upon to advise on all licensable activities pursuant to the Licensing Act, the Gambling Act, Marriage Licences, and other specialist licensing areas. The highly-experienced licensing expert Jan Levinson heads up the team, which represents a range of clients within the retail and hospitality sectors, as well as developers and investors. Associate Andrew Martin has significant expertise within the sports and entertainment industries and has, together with Levinson, represented some of the largest promoters and sports venues in the country.

Practice head(s):

Jan Levinson

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Martin


‘It is the highly-specialised nature of the work that makes the team impressive, with the emphasis on the healthcare sector and associated licensing work.’

‘Always personable and make time to ensure counsel is instructed at the earliest opportunity.’

Key clients

City and Country Hotels

Brio Retirement

MITIE Facilities Management

La Salle Investments

Robert Hitchins Ltd

Hydes’ Brewery

Bellway plc


Intu Properties plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Brio Retirement Homes on its premises licensing and notice management plan.
  • Advised Lendlease on agreements for lease at its retail centres that involve licensed premises.
  • Advised Intu Merry Hill shopping centre on licensing provisions of an agreement for lease.

Harrison Drury & Co

With the arrival of practice head Malcolm Ireland in 2021 and associate Samantha Faud who joined in May 2022 from Napthens LLP, Harrison Drury & Co made a significant push into the North’s licensing sector. Already having  an established reputation in the region, clients praise the team as a ‘very friendly and helpful team who go the extra mile to provide a very unique and quality service.’ While the group handles, most notably, all aspects of alcohol and entertainment licensing, it is also adept in servicing a diverse client roster, including from the corporate and commercial property sectors.

Practice head(s):

Malcolm Ireland

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Faud


‘Malcom Ireland, of whom I have the highest regard, leads one of the best hospitality licensing teams. It is a go-to firm.’

‘Malcolm Ireland is always meticulous in his instructions and his preparation for cases. He is easy to talk with and great for discussing tactics. He takes a practical and sensible approach to hospitality and licensing cases. I also work with Samantha Faud, of whom I also have the highest regard.’

‘Knowledge of licensing and hospitality is second-to-none in the area. All of the team appear excellent in this field but, in particular, Malcolm Ireland is the go-to person for specific advice or information. Openness to resolve issues by differing methods and approaches is recognised and appreciated.’

‘A very friendly and helpful team who go the extra mile to provide a very unique and quality service. We have worked with Harrison Drury on many complex licensing cases and they come with amazing advice and well-thought-out action plans to help with our needs.’

‘I consider Malcolm Ireland to be the best in his field. We have worked with him for many years on anything licensing related. His attention to detail, commitment to providing the best advice, and his excitation of cases is second-to-none. He has helped us with very complex licensing cases with great success.’

‘This is a close-knit team which brings with it a vast amount of industry experience relevant to our needs.’

‘Malcolm Ireland is unparalleled locally for his licensing work. The work and engagement of his team is also exceptional.’

‘My personal experience of Harrison Drury & Co relates to licensing matters under the Licensing Act 2003. What I can say with absolute certainty is that MalcolmIreland, Samantha Faud, and the rest of the team are exceptionally knowledgeable in this field. I firmly feel that they are innovative and prepared, thorough, very conscious of attention to detail, and tireless in their effort for the customer.’

Key clients

Admiral Taverns Limited

Daniel Thwaites Plc

Inglenook Inns & Taverns Limited

Timothy Taylor & Co Limited

Blind Tiger Inns Limited

Bowland Inns & Hotels Limited

Dandara Living Management Limited

E A Wallace Limited

Henco (International) Limited

Tiki Tiger Limited

Seven Bro7hers Brewery

85 Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Daniel Thwaites Plc in analysing and fulfilling the licensing requirements of their ongoing refurbishment programme.
  • Acting against a local authority in a contested and complex appeal relating to a review decision, which resulted in onerous conditions that had been placed on the licence being successfully removed.
  • Acting for a client in obtaining a licence for a three-day festival for up to 10,000 people in the grounds of a stately home.

Napthens LLP

With a wide geographical reach, Napthens LLP’s Blackburn-based team handles licensing requirements for clients across the leisure industries, ranging from single-site operators through to some of the largest brewers and pub-companies in the North. While Samantha Faud departed for Harrison Drury & Co in June 2022, Gill Sherratt joined from Licensing Matters Limited in the same month and took over the leadership of the team, which includes the highly-experienced legal executive Suzanne Marchese.

Practice head(s):

Gill Sherratt; Suzanne Marchese


‘The communication is amazing; they will always update you even if it’s just to say there’s no news. On occasions when my contact has been away, there has always been a colleague who has been briefed to deal with the situation.’

‘Team at all levels is personable, knowledgable, and pragmatic in finding a cost effective solution. They have taken the time to understand the sector in detail, both its strengths and pitfalls, and so can engage in a well informed discussion in an efficient manner.’

Key clients

Frederic Robinson Ltd

Blind Tiger Inns

Hargreaves Enterprises Limited

Hydes Brewery


Work highlights

  • Acted for Frederic Robinson in the minor variation of the premises licence for the Shoulder of Mutton to update the premises licence to incorporate proposed works taking place at the premises.
  • Acted for Blind Tiger Inns in an application for a Temporary Event Notice at the Talbot to allow regulated entertainment and sale of alcohol in areas not covered by the premises licence.
  • Acted for Hydes Brewery in a new premises licence application for a new acquisition.