Licensing in South East

John Gaunt & Partners

John Gaunt & Partners stands out for exclusively dealing with licensing matters for its high-profile clients from the retail, leisure and hospitality industries, including Mark & Spencer’s, John Lewis and Warner Brothers. The highly experienced Jon Wallsgrove heads up the firm’s South East office in Gosport, and is a well-known expert for handling the whole range of licensing matters, with his practice extending to advice on regulatory compliance, and criminal investigations associated with the operation of licensed premises. Working nationwide, Michelle Hazlewood, Tim Shield and Christopher Grunert in Sheffield are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Jon Wallsgrove; Tim Shield; Michelle Hazlewood; Christopher Grunert


‘Collaborative, engaging and accommodating. They are a great team to engage with, and really put the needs of our business first with great guidance and support. They are always available. The team works well with all areas of business.’

‘Jon Wallsgrove humanises legal guidance enabling us to make strategic decisions and save money.’

Key clients


Mark & Spencer’s

Marston’s PLC

John Lewis


Sodexo Ltd

Odeon Cinema Group

Liberation Group


Portobello Pub Company

Revolution Bars

Millennium and Copthorne Hotels


The Devonshire Group

Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew

Southern Co-op




Heritage Portfolio


David Lloyds Leisure

The Goodwood Estate

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Away Resorts

Hotel Co 51 UK

Warner Brothers

Gather & Gather

Work highlights

  • Submitted hundreds of successful licensing applications for Waitrose, M&S Food and Southern Co-op in 2022.
  • Secured several new licences for Premier Inn regarding future hotel locations across England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Submitted numerous successful licensing applications for Marston’s PLC.

Blandy & Blandy LLP

Acting in particular for major sporting and entertainment stadiums and arenas, Blandy & Blandy LLP‘s venue licensing team in the Thames Valley is praised by clients for its ‘unrivalled knowledge‘. The ‘excellent’ Sue Dowling heads up the department with more than 30 years’ experience in the market, and is regularly instructed by high-profile clients such as the O2 and the Rugby Football Union. She is highly regarded for her expertise in alcohol and regulated entertainment licensing, but is also well versed in general safety and special safety certification on sports grounds.

Practice head(s):

Sue Dowling


‘Blandy & Blandy demonstrates up to date legal and industry knowledge, that is extremely helpful.’

‘Sue Dowling is an excellent lawyer and an expert in the area of premises licences. She has strong relationships across councils, and a great understanding of the mindset and the requirements to secure a successful outcome.’

‘The team’s strength is that they all work closely together, and are not afraid to ask a colleague for an option to speed all the processes up.’

‘They have unrivalled knowledge of all aspects and problems that might arise, which cease to become a problem because they have experienced pretty much every situation.’

‘Sue Dowling has been a brilliant support on recent licencing applications. We have valued her knowledge of the stadium and the licencing process, the documentation requirements, stakeholder liaison, time frames etc. and we have been extremely pleased with the representation provided.’

Key clients

AEG Europe /The O2

The FA Group / Wembley National Stadium Ltd

Rugby Football Union (RFU)

AEG Presents Ltd

Premier Winter Wonderland Events Limited

Marylebone Cricket Club

Henley Royal Regatta

Reading University Students’ Union

Eastlands Arena Ltd

Trethowans LLP

Trethowans LLP’s ‘knowledgeable’ licensing team in Southampton offers advice on a range of licensing matters in the restaurant industry, including street trading licenses and new premises licenses. The team is led by legal executive Karen Lush, who is recommended for advising on late night refreshment issues, regulated entertainment licensing, and applications under the pavement license scheme. Julia Palmer has experience in advocating, and specialises in betting and gaming matters.

Practice head(s):

Karen Lush

Other key lawyers:

Julia Palmer


‘Friendly, approachable and knowledgeable team who are easy and enjoyable to work with.’

‘In-depth understanding of our business, and conversations with them always helps us learn more about the topic, which is invaluable to our team.’

Key clients

Nando’s Chickenland Ltd

Heart with Smart Group – franchise operators of Pizza Hut UK Ltd restaurants and Itsu

Beach House (Mudeford) Limited

Goals Soccer Centres

K.T.O. Ltd

Poole Leisure Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising and assisting a national restaurant brand on numerous applications for pavement licences introduced by the Business & Planning Act 2020, along with its renewal.
  • Assisting national restaurant brand clients to manage their large estates to include all types of premises and pavement licensing.
  • Assisting Heart with Smart with converting two of its existing Pizza Hut dine in restaurants to new Itsu format. Dealing with all premises licensing required.