Miller Samuel Hill Brown Solicitors are a leading firm in the Scottish licensing market, boasting a particularly diverse client roster which spans major on- and-off trade companies, including pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and supermarket chains. Audrey Junner leads the team from Glasgow and specialises in both liquor and civic licensing, as well as gambling work. Jack Cummins’ practice focuses heavily on the supermarket sector, while Peter Lawson has developed particular expertise in taxi and street trader licensing. The team regularly appear at licensing boards throughout Scotland and are often involved in significant, contentious and multifaceted cases.
Licensing in Scotland
Miller Samuel Hill Brown Solicitors
Other key lawyers:
Jack Cummins; Peter Lawson
‘Audrey Junner is very knowledgeable not only on the law and practice generally but also on the regional practices and requirements of local licensing boards.’
‘Hill Brown provide an exemplary service.’
‘Their wealth of knowledge and experience around licensing is untouchable by others and their advice is always prompt, comprehensive and can be trusted as the best course of action.’
Co-operative Group Food Limited
Six By Nico Group
Brewdog Retail Limited
Nando’s Chickenland Limited
Mitchells & Butlers Retail Limited
Stonegate Pub Company Limited
Viva Italia Group
Innis & Gunn Hospitality Group
Glasgow Science Centre Limited
Gleneagles Hotel Limited
Motor Fuel Group Limited
Ascona Retail Limited
Clydeside Initiative for Arts (SWG3)
Beam Suntory UK Limited
Revolution Bars Limited
- Advised Co-operative Group Food Limited on several provisional premises licence applications and transfer applications as part of a national expansion.
- Advised Innis & Gunn Hospitality Group on the acquisition of a new premises in the city centre of Glasgow.
- Advised ISS Facility Services Limited on the development and licensing of the multi-million pound development of the Barclays Campus.
A licensing powerhouse, TLT continues to maintain its position at the apex of the Scottish market and servicing some of the largest domestic and international clients across key sectors including retail, bars and restaurants, hospitality, sport, gambling, and trade bodies. Practice head Stephen McGowan ‘literally wrote the book on licensing law’, dealing with contentious licensing applications and hearings across the liquor, gambling and entertainment trades. Gambling law specialist Caroline Loudon caters to a wide array of licensing clients, from large retailers and five-star hotels to academic institutions and international casinos. Legal director Niall Hassard is regularly instructed in appeals before the Sheriff Court and Court of Session, and also brings previous in-depth knowledge of managing licensed premises.
Other key lawyers:
Caroline Loudon; Niall Hassard
‘Stephen McGowan is a fantastic licensing lawyer, and runs a great and well-organised team at TLT in Glasgow.’
‘There’s simply nowhere else to go in Scotland for licensing work.’
‘Stephen McGowan deserves a special mention, he literally wrote the book on Licensing Law in Scotland back in 2005 and what he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing.’
‘Stephen McGowan specialises not only in the law, but in getting to know the key people at the licensing boards. He gets a good reception at hearings, which bodes well for his clients!’
Aldi Stores Limited
The Alchemist Limited
Iceland Foods Ltd
Nuveen Global Partners
National Trust for Scotland
- Advised Celtic FC on their lower west stand and Track Betting licence this year, achieving a trial series of licences for consumption of alcohol on the concourse of the Lower West Stand of Celtic Park football stadium.
- Advised Aldi Stores Ltd on the ongoing estate management for over 100 Aldi stores in Scotland. Achieving the grant of a further five new stores in Scotland (arguing against overprovision) and circa 20 applications for major variation this year plus countless minor variations.
- Supported Otherlands Ltd with applications for public entertainment and market operator licences representing them at committee on 3 August 2022 and 12 Occasional licences representing them at the licensing board on 15 August 2022.
With a particularly strong reputation in the food, leisure and hospitality sectors, the team at Harper Macleod LLP covers the entire gamut of licensing areas including applications, hearings and appeals, as well as the buying, selling and leasing of licensed premises. Practice head Andrew Hunter is adept across a broad range of licensing matters spanning liquor, betting, and civic government, regularly appearing before licensing boards on behalf of clients.
Lidl Great Britain Limited
Motor Fuel Limited
BP Oil UK Limited
Greene King Brewing & Retailing Limited
William Hill Organization Limited
The Climbing Academy Group Limited
Shell UK Oil Products Limited
Le Monsieur Limited
Culture & Sport Glasgow t/a Glasgow Life
Hotel Chocolat Retail Limited
- Assisted Motor Fuel Limited with two successful appeals against the decisions of North Lanarkshire Licensing Board to refuse two new premises licences on the basis of over-provision.
- Assisted Greene King on a licensing application at a single site.
- Supported the Climbing Academy relating to a climbing and skateboarding premises in Chippenham.
Morton Fraser MacRoberts
Morton Fraser MacRoberts provides a deep bench of ‘licensing specialists’ who deal with a wide range of both public and private sector cases, with a widely recognised specialism regarding the impact of insolvency on licensed premises. Practice head David Hossack has vast litigation experience and acts for a diverse range of clients, from small businesses to leading multinationals, as well as regularly appearing before licensing boards.
‘The breadth of experience and diversity of portfolios they can assist with is fantastic.’
‘David Hossack is attentive, always offers different solutions, but ultimately looks for the best outcome for you as a client.’
‘David Hossack has an excellent knowledge of the education sector and is always professional, efficient and completely reliable.’
WeWork Community Workspace UK Limited
Diageo Scotland Ltd
The City of Edinburgh Council
Accor (UK) Hotels
Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)
Brio Retirement Living (Chapeltown) Limited
Historic Environment Scotland
- Assisted Diageo in relation to a new visitor centre projects throughout Scotland.
- Obtained a licence for flagship new premises, Patina at Edinburgh Park.
Pinsent Masons LLP
The licensing team at Pinsent Masons LLP has a proven track record acting for major businesses such as clients in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors, as well as manufacturers and insolvency practitioners. The practice is led by Belfast's Deirdre Cormican and the key contact in Scotland is the considerably experienced consultant Audrey Ferrie, who covers the full spectrum of liquor, gambling, and civic government licensing issues.
Deirdre Cormican (Belfast)
Other key lawyers:
‘Audrey Ferrie in particular keeps you up to date with all new legislation and is always there to run advice past.’
‘The team are well resourced and respond appropriately to matters that get raised.’
‘The team are responsive and communicate effectively on matters that need attention.’
Royal Yacht Britannia Limited
Adagio Hotels UK Limited
Pizza Express Limited
Edinburgh International Conference Centre Limited
Largo Leisure Limited
Azzurri Restaurants Limited
Shepherd and Wedderburn
Shepherd and Wedderburn offers considerable breadth and depth of licensing experience to clients across multiple key areas of the Scottish economy, including hospitality, retail, entertainment, technology and the taxi sector. Solicitor advocate Kevin Clancy leads the team and has overseen the significant growth in advising on the new short-term licensing regime, which came into force in 2022. Clancy, who also has significant experience of representing clients in contentious licensing applications, is supported by senior associate Serena Weir, who regularly appears before licensing boards in personal licence reviews.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team are very prompt.’
‘Kevin Clancy is very knowledgable.’
‘Shepherd & Wedderburn deal with all aspects of licensing applications in Scotland and they are totally efficient.’
Crerar Hotel Group Limited
Dobbies Garden Centre
HKS Retail Limited
TG Convenience Stores Limited
University of Edinburgh Accommodation Limited
Uber Scot Limited
- Advising SGN Limited on licensing matters in relation to petrol filling stations.
- Advising Uber Scot Limited for licensing matters in Scotland.
- Advising Crerar Hotels Group Limited on the managing of a portfolio of hotel premises licenses.