Licensing in North

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP

The team at Mincoffs Solicitors LLP continues to expand its national reach, and has recently handled various applications in Westminster, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and other major cities across the country, as well as maintaining close connections with its longstanding client base of operators located in the North East. Matt Foster, who leads on both licensing and gaming work, is regularly instructed by notable players from the hospitality industry, particularly hotel chains; he is instrumental in preparing and negotiating applications on behalf of these clients. Latterly, the effects of the ongoing pandemic have seen the group provide frequent advice on the safe operation and use of outside space.

Practice head(s):

Matt Foster


‘Always a personal approach and good price.’

‘Matt Foster is knowledgeable and always there to help you.’

‘Mincoffs is a leading local law firm that provides expert legal advice. I find them very easy to deal with – always helpful and informative.’

‘Matt Foster has been particularly helpful since I joined the company during the current pandemic. He has made sure that I’m right up to date with legislation and guidance which has changed regularly, often at short notice. He always goes the extra mile, exceeding expectations.’

Key clients

High Street Group

Bar Hound Limited

The Station Hotel (Newcastle) Limited

Camerons Brewery Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the High Street Group on a new premises licence for Hadrian’s Tower, a 27 storey residential tower in Newcastle with a café on the first floor and a champagne bar on the 27th floor.
  • Advised The Station Hotel on the variation of the premises licence of the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate.
  • Advised longstanding client Johny’s Entertainment Limited on the variation of the premises licence for Soul Bowl in Morecambe.

Sintons LLP

Under the leadership of 'very experienced and effective' practice head Sarah Smith, the Sintons LLP team deals with all levels and areas of licensing law, from general administration to new applications, significant variations of licences, and appeals. The group regularly leverages its strong reputation for working in collaboration with licensing authorities and responsible bodies to achieve successful outcomes for clients with applications in cumulative impact policy and stress areas. The team also frequently drafts responses to Government and Local Authority Consultation documents on behalf of trade associations.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Smith


‘Sarah Smith is one of the best licensing solicitors in the country – an exceptionally competent individual.’

‘Strengths are their experience in the detail of the Gambling Act 2015 and previously to that the Gambling Act 1968. They have good working relationships with local authority licensing officers.’

‘Sarah Smith is very experienced and effective.’

Key clients

Danieli Holdings Limited

Ladhar Group

Malhotra Group

Apartment Group

Fenwick Limited

Newcastle United Football Club Ltd

Sandman Hotel Group (UK) Ltd

Northumberland Estates Ltd

Copenhagen 1801 Ltd

Sayturk Ltd

Hibou Blanc Ltd

Market Shaker Ltd

HRC Newcastle Ltd

Cog and Wheel Ltd

Basement Cocktails Ltd

Signature North East Ltd

The Liquor and Restaurant Group Ltd

Cobalt Two Ltd

SDD Industries Ltd

Tokyo Industries (Ultimate) Ltd

Highbridge Leisure Ltd

Union Property Developments (Assembly Rooms) Ltd

Treat View Ltd

Adam Goldstone

Work highlights

  • Obtained a premises licence on behalf of Tokyo Industries to allow part of the iconic Tyne Bridge in Newcastle to be used as an event space.
  • Advised Apartment 1 on a high profile, aggressively pursued, review application brought by Northumbria Police.
  • Applied for a premises licence, on behalf of Signature North East, for a bistro within an estate agent’s office located in a heavily residential area.

Ward Hadaway LLP

Although the team at Ward Hadaway continues to do the bulk of its licensing work across the North East, the group also has a well-established national presence, and receives instructions from notable supermarket chains, hotel groups, clubs, restaurants, sporting venues and breweries. The firm has extensive experience of handling contested applications and successfully securing licences right across the country. Renowned practice head Richard Arnot is supported by consultant Stephen Graham; the latter is available to provide guidance, advice and representation to organisations and individuals subject to investigation, review or prosecution by regulatory authorities.

Practice head(s):

Richard Arnot

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Graham

Key clients

Co-operative Food Group Ltd

TGI Friday

Iceland Foodstores

Inn Collection Group

Dominvs Hotel Group

Mal Maison Hotel Group

Hotel Du Vin Hotel Group

Lane 7 Ltd

Work highlights

  • Applying for a new premises licence for premises in Cobham, Surrey on behalf of TGI Fridays.
  • Applying for a new premises licence in Bristol on behalf of Lane 7.
  • Assisting the Inn Collection Group with several purchases, including existing and new premises throughout the North East and Lake District.