Licensing in North

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP primarily represents operators across the North East, as well as clients further afield in Wales, Manchester and Birmingham. Matthew Foster is the go-to name for preparing and negotiating licensing applications, as well as in relation to contentious applications, prosecutions and reviews. The practice also acts for gaming clients as well as providing training services. Notable in the team is consultant Tim Gray, who advises on taxi licensing.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Foster

Other key lawyers:

Tim Gray

Key clients

For the People Entertainment

Chaplains Consett


High Street Group

Swaddle Micro Brewery

Work highlights

  • Instructed on a New Premises Licence application for a nightclub within Sunderland City Centre’s night time economy.
  • Instructed on a Contested Premises Licence application, which was successfully obtained before Durham City Council Sub Licensing Committee.
  • Representing Beeronomy in relation to an Appeal against its successful grant of a Premises Licence by a trade objector.
  • Instructed on behalf the High Street Group in regards to a purchase of a trading hotel in South Shields known as The Sea Hotel.
  • Instructed in relation to several licensing applications by this client over the course of the year.

Sintons LLP

Sintons LLP's work covers a range of licensing law, from general administration and new applications to appeals and defending reviews of licences. The practice, led by taxi licensing laws specialist Sarah Smith, regularly deals with applications in cumulative impact policy areas and is particularly well-known for working in collaboration with licensing authorities and responsible bodies. Also notable in the team is consultant Barry Speker, who acts for restaurants and takeaways on licensing and property matters.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Smith

Other key lawyers:

Barry Speker

Key clients

Danieli Holdings

Ladhar Group

Malhotra Group

Ninkasi Pubco

Kymel Leisure

Apartment Group


Alnwick Garden Enterprise

Sandman Hotel Group

Newcastle United Football Club

Work highlights

  • Assisted the client in producing a bundle of evidence to present to the Magistrates’ Court in response to a Closure Notice. The District Judge at the hearing agreed that, subject to a short period for the licence holder to retrain staff and update operating systems, that the premises should reopen without significant delay.
  • The client sought a premises licence to operate a pavilion for events and functions, a restaurant, café and other event spaces within an old walled garden near Redcar. A persuasive presentation resulted in the granting of this licence.
  • Advised and assisted the Club in making the necessary variation to their premises licence to permit large music concerts at St James Park.
  • Assisted the client in obtaining the appropriate licences and approvals to cater for a week of open air concerts held in the Pastures of Alnwick Castle.
  • Instructed by client to obtain a premises licence for a large empty site at the edge of Newcastle’s main retail centre. The proposal was to provide 40 shipping containers within which there would be a mix of retail, food as well as event space for a programme of entertainment.

Ward Hadaway

Ward Hadaway's practice advises on all aspects of the Licensing Act, with clients including national supermarket chains, hotel groups, restaurants, sporting venues and internet sales. Licensing specialists Stephen Graham and Richard Arnot lead the team, which has notable experience in contested applications and securing licences across the country.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Graham; Richard Arnot

Key clients

Co-op Group Food – BW check: does this mean Co-op? JF:Changed

Iceland Foodstores


Gainford Hotels

Malmaison Hotels/Hotel du Vin (Fraser Hospitality)

Lane 7

Harbour Hotels

Pub Culture

Dominus Hotels

Inn Collections

Work highlights

  • An application for a new premises licence in Camden, which despite objection from the police and licensing authority, was granted.
  • An application for variation of a premises licence for a bar in Newcastle City centre’s cumulative impact zone, which was granted.
  • Application for a new premises licence in Brighton, which was granted despite considerable local opposition.
  • The council had reviewed and revoked a premises licence associated with the client. The decision was appealed and other applications made which were objected to. The process was very complicated but resolved by the granting of a new licence.