Licensing in South East

Blandy & Blandy LLP

Based in Reading, Blandy & Blandy LLP has specialist experience in venue licensing for major sporting and entertainment venues. The team advises national and international clients regarding operational, regulation and compliance issues. Practice head Sue Dowling is a renowned leader in this field, handling general safety issues, as well as alcohol and regulated entertainment licensing matters across the leisure, hospitality and sports sectors. The team prides itself on its ‘hands on’ approach and regularly represents clients in hearings.

Practice head(s):

Sue Dowling


‘Sue Dowling is highly knowledgeable and efficient.’

‘The team are diligent, responsive and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Sue Dowling’s clear understanding of the complex licensing environment has been invaluable to us in securing and maintaining the licencing structure we need to operate in. She is quick to identify and deal with key points and issues.’

‘Sue Dowling is very experienced in the area of licensing and is always responsive and helpful.’

Key clients

Tottenham Hotspur Ltd/Tottenham Hotspur Football & Athletic Co Limited

The FA Group/ Wembley National Stadium Ltd

Rugby Football Union (RFU)

AEG Europe/The O2

Royal Academy of Arts

Marylebone Cricket Club (in relation to Lord’s Cricket Ground)

Henley Royal Regatta

John Gaunt & Partners

With a base in Gosport, John Gaunt & Partners is well established in the South East and continues to be recognised for its specialist licensing expertise. The team handles a broad range of licensing and regulatory matters for national and international clients across the leisure, retail and hospitality sectors. In addition to his licensing expertise, practice leader Jon Wallsgrove also advises clients on regulatory compliance and criminal investigations associated with the operation of licensed premises. In April 2020, the practice completed the transition process involving the retirement of John Gaunt and Kate Redford.

Practice head(s):

Jon Wallsgrove


‘Jon Wallsgrove has exceptional knowledge and insight in the field of licensing.’

‘Great team of solicitors. Efficient, proactive, attention to detail and highly professional. They have substantial experience and expertise in the licensing field.’

Key clients


Marks & Spencer

John Lewis

Marston’s PLC


Sodexo Ltd

Odeon Cinema Group


Liberation Group

Millennium and Copthorne Hotels


The Devonshire Group

Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew

Southern Co-op




Heritage Portfolio


Wulf & Lamb



David Lloyds Leisure

The Goodwood Estate

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Milton and Mortimer Ltd

Away Resorts

Hotel Co 51 UK

Redtooth Poker

Work highlights

  • Supported Marks & Spencer in a significant project, converting tills in store to self-service checkouts in line with the client’s “build” programme.
  • Supported the growth of Whitebread Group PLC across all sectors including the Premier Inn and secured licenses for hotels from the Isle of Wight to Thurso and from Aberystwyth to Great Yarmouth.
  • Assisted Goodwood in securing a variation to allow a drive-in cinema at the Motor Circuit, taking into consideration the licensing objectives, public health concerns and government guidance.

Trethowans LLP

Located in Southampton, the long-established team at Trethowans LLP advises on a range of licensing matters in the retail, hospitality and sport sectors. Led by Karen Lush, the practice handles all premises and personal licensing and has experience acting for large national restaurant estates. Sandra Graham advises on planning matters in relation to licensed premises, as well as alcohol, entertainment and noise-related licensing issues. Julia Palmer is recognised in handling betting and gaming cases. The team also has experience in representing clients in court.

Practice head(s):

Karen Lush

Other key lawyers:

Sandra Graham; Julia Palmer

Key clients

Nando’s Chickenland Ltd

Pizza Hut UK Ltd

Chelsea Football Club PLC

MOD Pizza Ltd

Goals Soccer Centres

K.T.O. Ltd

Poole Leisure Limited

Beach House (Mudeford) Limited

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Located in Reading, the licensing practice at Field Seymour Parkes LLP sits within the wider property disputes team, and advises on premises and property licensing matters. Led by associate Mark Banham, the practice can draw on support from the firm's commercial and contentious property lawyers.

Practice head(s):

Mark Banham


‘The firm has established a niche licensing practice, and is more than capable in matching the better known licensing firms in terms of service and value for money. The advantage that they have is that they offer a one-stop shop, dealing as they do with planning and commercial conveyancing as well as licensing law.’

‘Mark Banham is a stand out associate. He is extremely competent and has a thorough knowledge of licensing law. Moreover, he is extremely practical and a good tactician.’