Licensing in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

In Bristol, Burges Salmon LLP's team, praised as being 'particularly strong commercially', is most noted for advising on large licensed estate portfolios, hotels, and leisure and hospitality venues. The group has expertise in the licensing aspects of M&A transactions, as well as the licensing regimes for alcohol, entertainment and gambling. In addition, the team is called upon for caravan site, taxi and marriage licensing issues, as well as licences for houses in multiple occupation and vehicle licences. The department is led by senior associate Joanne Attwood, whom clients rate as 'an exceptionally capable lawyer with profound knowledge of licensing'. Fellow senior associate Stephen Lavington is an expert in environmental permitting.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Attwood

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Lavington


‘Particularly strong commercially and supported by a large full-service firm.’

‘Always a very professional approach.’

‘Very professional and approachable and the attention to detail is excellent.’

‘Joanne Attwood provided exceptional service and contact was readily available.’

‘Joanne Attwood is a standout licensing practitioner. An exceptionally capable lawyer with profound knowledge of licensing, Joanne provides a client-focused service. Her empathy with her clients’ needs and aspirations, coupled with her legal and practical skills, allows her to plan how best to achieve her clients’ goals.’

Key clients

University of Bristol

Darwin Group

Canadian and Portland Estates

Loungers Holdings Ltd

PRS Operations Limited

Private Individuals and Independents

Work highlights

  • Advised the University of Bristol on the successful application for a new alcohol/entertainment remises licence for its new multimillion-pound student hub.
  • Advising Darwin Group in relation to its licensed leisure portfolio (leisure and caravan parks) throughout the UK.
  • Advised a global hotel chain on the restructuring of its licensed portfolio of many properties and licensing compliance issues.


TLT's 'knowledgeable, informed and pragmatic' licensing lawyers in Bristol are well integrated into the firm's national offering, advising on estate management issues for large pub chains and retailers, as well as assisting with premises licensing issues for events and music festival clients. The national practice group is led by Matthew Phipps, whose experience extends to presenting and defending applications before local licensing authorities and magistrates' courts. Ewen Macgregor is regularly instructed to provide strategic and policy advice related to licensing issues. Legal director Piers Warne is noted for licensing applications and defending contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Phipps

Other key lawyers:

Ewen Macgregor; Piers Warne; Andrew Griffin


‘We enjoy a great relationship with the TLT licensing teams across the UK. From Matthew Phipps to the various team members, we have always found them to be knowledgeable, informed and pragmatic in their advice and work on our behalf.’

‘We find the entire team to be approachable and friendly to work with.’

Key clients

Greene King

Punch Pubs

Yum! (KFC, Pizza Hut Delivery & Taco Bell)


Ambassador Theatre Group


Welcome Break

Boomtown Festival

Las Iguanas

English National Ballet

Work highlights

  • Advised WHSmith on a series of 11 new applications for premises licences at its shops in travel hubs across England and Wales.
  • Advised Casual Dining Group and Alix Partners on the licensing elements around the corporate administration of the Casual Dining Group and particularly its restaurant brand and business Las Iguanas.
  • Provided licensing advice to English National Ballet regarding areas of its new headquarters that are open to the public.

GL Law

GL Law provides an end-to-end service to businesses requiring alcohol and entertainment licensing, with clients across the UK. The team also has expertise in competition and lottery issues. Recent experience includes advising on variation of premises matters and licensing applications during the Covid pandemic. 'Strong leaderMelissa Toney heads the team, drawing on substantial experience as a regulatory lawyer in the public and private sectors.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Toney


Very helpful and generous with their time. Very easy to talk to, offering sound advice and going above and beyond when taking a case.’

The team has a solid reputation in the Bristol law scene and further afield.’

Melissa Tovey is a strong leader, an excellent lawyer, and has a real passion for diversity and inclusion.’

I value Melissa Tovey because she is a cheerleader for the hospitality sector and the businesses within it.’

The GL team is always professional, knowledgable and quick to help me with any issues I might have.’

Melissa Toney is dependable, knows her stuff and is a pleasure to work with.

Key clients

Accor UK Business and Leisure Hotels Limited & Accor UK Economy Hotels Limited – Bath UK

Brocket Hall (Holding) Ltd

Seven Stars Ltd

Bosco Pizzeria

Wexford Inns Ltd

Minnow Café (Coco Gold Ltd)

The Redgrave Theatre- Clifton College

Subside Bar Ltd

Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Batida Restaurant Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Subside Bar on issues arising from the Misuse of Drugs Act.
  • Advised Brocket Hall on licensing issues stemming from the company’s insolvency.
  • Advised Wexford Inn on public safety and public nuisance issues during the Covid pandemic.


In Bournemouth, the 'fantastic' licensing team at Laceys advises hospitality and events clients nationally on matters including new premises licence applications and contentious issues. During the Covid pandemic, the group has had experience in matters arising from event cancellations and breaches of pandemic-related restrictions. Philip Day, whose 'knowledge of licensing is exceptional', leads the team, which also includes Brendan Herbert, who is experienced in contentious licensing issues.

Practice head(s):

Philip Day

Other key lawyers:

Brendan Herbert


Philip Day’s knowledge of licensing and of our estate is exceptional – he is extremely responsive and offers pragmatic and cost-effective solutions. He is easy to deal with and has built great relationships across our business and within the licensing world.’

We have worked with Laceys for a number of years on licensing matters and feel incredibly privileged that a local firm is so eminent in this field. Their reputation across the entire industry and with local authorities is fantastic. We work closely with the team on a number of issues and no issue is ever too small for their time and energy. Their reactivity during the Covid pandemic has also been fantastic!

Philip Day is – quite simply – outstanding at his job. His knowledge of the sector is unrivalled and he has the most wonderful way of achieving client aims and objectives. When presented with issues, Philip works tirelessly to overcome them and maintains a level head in all situations.

Key clients

Hall and Woodhouse

The Relaxed Pub Company (No 2) Ltd

The Stable Bar & Restaurants Limited

THAT Group of companies

Great Dorset Steam Fair

The Beat Herder Festival

Bournemouth 7’s Limited

South Coast Events Group

Nationwide Caterers Association

The Miaris Group

Irvin Leisure Limited

The National Trust

Reefside Catering Limited

Street Food Warehouse Ltd

Nole Pizza

C B Brasserie Ltd

India Cottage Ringwood

Work highlights

  • Advised India Cottage as the police sought a review and revocation of its premises licence following breaches of Covid restrictions and licence conditions during the first lockdown, with the licensing authority persuaded to take no action with regard to the licence.
  • Advised Miaris Group on obtaining a new premises licence for its late night take-away in Bristol, despite various objections, and on successfully applying to extend the hours of operation.
  • Assisted Hall and Woodhouse with a review of all licences across its managed estate of some 70 houses and with making a series of applications to license external bars and areas so as to minimise the impact of restrictions imposed as a consequence of Covid.