Gary Grant > Francis Taylor Building > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Francis Taylor Building
Francis Taylor Building

Work Department

:Licensing and Regulatory Crime


Gary Grant is one of the UK’s leading licensing barristers. He is top-ranked in both of the major independent legal directories (Legal 500 and Chambers Guide) where he is described as “The go-to counsel for licensing matters” and “Star Invididual: just brilliant – hard working, determined to win and a very eloquent advocate, one of the best”.

In addition to his licensing expertise, Gary has a wealth of experience in the criminal courts at all levels up to and including the House of Lords/Supreme Court.  Consequently, he is frequently instructed in cases at the frontier of both licensing and criminal law that require expertise in both.

Gary has 25 years’ experience at the Bar dealing with complex and important cases in all areas of licensing. They include many of the most hard-fought and high-profile licence applications, reviews and appeals involving the country’s leading nightclubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, sex entertainment venues, sporting and entertainment arenas, gambling opertators (online and land-based), cinema groups, museums, theatres, markets, street carnivals and music fesivals.

His clients have ranged from the Tate Modern to Pacha nightclub, from the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to Spearmint Rhino, and from McDonald’s to Sir Terence Conran’s and Alan Yau OBE’s restaurants. In 2017, he obtained a 5am premises licence for a new London nightclub, a result that Time Out magazine described as “a landmark ruling…unprecedented“.

As a true “independent” he represents the trade (from sole-traders to multi-national PLCs), residents, police forces and local authorities. This broad experience enables Gary to employ his insights to the advantage of all his clients at tribunals ranging from local Councils through to the Supreme Court. He has a reputation for pursuing his clients’ interests with fierce independence, skill, tenacity and integrity.

He is widely experienced in judicial reviews and has appeared in several of the leading reported cases of recent years in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court/House of Lords (including R v Rimmington the leading modern case defining “public nuisance”, and the landmark cases of Funky Mojoeand Essenceon procedural defects in licensing).

Gary is a Consultant Editor of Paterson’s Licensing Acts (“the bible of licensing law”), the Principal Contributor to the “Clubs” volume in the Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precendents (Lexis Nexis), and is widely published in the Journal of Licensing and other law journals. He is the Vice-Chairman of the Institute of Licensing and advises trade and non-commercial bodies, national and local government and police forces on licensing law and policy.

Gary is able to accept instructions directly from members of the public in appropriate cases.

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Called to the Bar 1994, Grays Inn; recipient of the Sir Raymond Phillips MC Award (1994); graded as ‘Outstanding’ by the Gray’s Inn Advocacy Committee (1995).


Vice-chair Institute of Licensing (2012); Criminal Bar Association.


Frequently appears as a legal analyst on national and international news channels.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Licensing

Within: Leading Juniors -

Gary Grant

Francis Taylor Building

A hardworking, first-choice advocate who has turned advocacy into an art form.

Francis Taylor Building ‘is clearly the leading licensing set with some of the most famous names in the Industry. It has unrivalled depth in the licensing and regulatory field‘, according to one satisfied client. ‘Top classGerald Gouriet QC has acted on high-profile cases in the taxi business in addition to acting on numerous cases involving licences in the entertainment/clubs fields. He acted for the council in Wigan Council v Revolution Bars Appeal on the refusal of a premises licence – the case was successfully concluded when the parties agreed on compromise conditions. With equally deep expertise, David Matthias QC has acted on a number of cases that have gone to appeal, including to the Supreme Court. Of late, he acted for the council in R (on the application of We Love Hackney Ltd) v London Borough of Hackney – a challenge by way of judicial review to the legality of Hackney’s new Licensing Policy by a local pressure group. Jeremy Philips QC handles a range of cases involving the licensing of entertainment venues of all types, taxi hire matters, and gambling including online. Of late he acted for Hackney LB in resisting the appeal by La Morna Jazz Lounge against the revocation of a late night bar licence. Gary Grant is in demand for both his expertise and ‘brilliant‘ advocacy; he acted for Secret Group Ltd in obtaining a new premises licence for its secret cinema operation which attracted very substantial objections. The ‘smooth advocacy and non-adversarial but firm’ approach of James Rankin is also noted. His work includes representing West Midlands Police in the high-profile and heavily contested case concerning the eventual closure and revocation of the licence of the Arabian Nites Shisha Lounge.