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Blake Morgan LLP handles applications for alcohol licences, advocacy before contested hearings for premises licensing applications, and assists with the extension of trading hours for clients. It advised The Southern Co-operative on several personal licence applications and successfully acted on a contested new licence application for the sale of alcohol in the client’s Wimbledon premises. It also advised Cathedral Hotels on its licence application for a multi-purpose premises including provisions for a hotel and two concession restaurants in Bromley. Other highlights included assisting Bletchley Park Trust with its application to extend the approved extension areas for entertainment purposes, including advocating at a contested hearing for the application before the Milton Keynes Licensing Committee. Waitrose, the University of London and Aramark are also clients. The highly regarded Jon Wallsgrove heads the department, which includes senior associate Tim Williamson, whose ‘work ethic is matched by his acumen and judgement’.

Blandy & Blandy LLP’s licensing team is primarily based in the Reading office and services clients in the sport, entertainment and hospitality sectors. The practice focuses on advising on licensing applications for sporting grounds and entertainment venues, and provides assistance with safety certifications at multiple venues including sporting grounds and wedding sites. It continues to advise Ansco Piazza Building 1, part of the group of companies that operate the AEG venues at The O2, on the redevelopment of the venue from the Millennium Dome into The O2 Arena, most recently assisting with its application for an area of land to be developed into temporary hospitality facilities for the ATP World Tour finals. Other highlights included advising Get Living London on multiple premises licence applications for restaurants and bars at the former Olympic Games site, Victory Park, and providing ongoing advice to the Rugby Football Union (RFU) on its licensing operations at Twickenham Rugby stadium. Other clients include Ascot Racecourse, Henley Royal Regatta, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and The FA Group. Sue Dowling heads the team, specialising in venue licensing.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP ‘is extremely well-versed in licensing law’. The practice is adept at handling a full remit of licensing matters including gambling, entertainment and alcohol licences, as well as being experienced in representing clients before court and licensing committees. Highlights included assisting Albert Social Club with updating its licensing conditions following the local licensing authority’s review of the premises, as well as advising Heartstone Inns on reviewing the premises licences for two properties the client purchased, including handling the application for transfer of the licence. The team also advises Reading Football Club on its licensing applications, most recently for an alcohol licence application to extend the opening hours of the stadium concourse bars. Parsons Leisure and Westbury Street Holdings are also on the client roster. The ‘supremely professional’ Mark Banham leads the practice and has specialist expertise in contentious premises licensing cases.

Pitmans LLP’s licensing team operates within the firm’s wider commercial practice and services national and London clients for all licensing mandates, including premises licence applications, changes and renewals for sporting grounds, gaming centres and bookmakers, representing clients in local authority committee hearings and taxi licensing issues. The firm advised Scoozi Bar & Grill on multiple premises licensing applications for outside table areas, including representing the client in a contested hearing before the local licensing committee. It also assisted Metropolitan Restaurants with its planning applications for new premises and with a table and chairs licence application in Westminster. Delicious Dining, Concorde Club and Hotel, Ideal Collection and the Natural Environment Research Council are also on the client roster. The well-regarded Jonathan Gray leads the practice, with experience in advocacy for licensing clients and taxi licensing requirements.

Trethowans LLP frequently undertakes a range of licensing matters for clients including variation applications, changes to operating hours, alcohol licensing applications and premises licences. It has a particular specialism in advising national restaurant chains on licensing matters. The practice advised multiple clients in the hospitality sector in 2016; the team assisted with 18 licensing applications, including representing the client at a contested hearing and advising on the licensing aspects of commercial acquisition papers. It also advised another client on its multiple street trading licence applications for renewals and grant of licences, following individual local authority rules on licensing applications. The client roster includes Five Guys, MOD Pizza, Chelsea Football Club, Pizza Hut and Ladbrokes. Karen Lush is the department head and is adept at handling café pavement licensing issues and entertainment licensing applications. The team also includes health and safety expert Sarah Wheadon who joined from Paris Smith LLP, plus gambling specialist and senior associate Rhiannon Daniel.

Paris Smith LLP’s licensing practice sits within the dispute resolution team and draws on the firm’s business regulatory and white-collar crime practice to provide clients with rounded licensing expertise. The practice acts for a range of clients from the sporting, hospitality and leisure sectors, assisting with premises applications for new licences and variations, sports stadium licensing matters and appeals before licensing committees. Cliff Morris has experience handling alcohol licensing matters and representing clients before magistrates’ courts and local authority licensing committees. Health and safety expert Sarah Wheadon left the team to join Trethowans LLP.

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