James Rankin > Francis Taylor Building > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Francis Taylor Building
Francis Taylor Building


Preeminent licensing barrister James Rankin with thirty years’ experience in licensing and regulatory work is ranked by Chambers and Partners Directory as a starred licensing junior. He is also named in the Chambers 100 UK Bar list of the top juniors. These are his recent entries in Chambers Guide to the Legal profession:

Chambers and Partners has rated him the only starred junior in the country for the last seven years. He appears up and down the country on behalf of applicants, and objectors and appellants from local authority decisions. A true ”independent”, he also represents the police and local authorities on reviews of licences and on appeals. He has extensive Betting and Gaming experience. He appeared on behalf of The Hippodrome in their successful appeal to license their London casino premises.  He advises on internet gaming, together with lotteries and competitions and firearms and taxi regulation. He advises The Marine Management Organisation on licensing matters. He has been involved in many of the leading licensing cases involving judicial review of decisions by local authorities and magistrates.  His clients are high profile and varied. They include the major operators such as Wetherspoons, together with the smaller operators such as The Mean Fiddler Group. He has represented many of the leading firms of bookmakers both large and small including Ladbrokes, Corals, William Hill, and Pridmore Bookmakers. His other long standing clients include Peter Stringfellow, The Windmill, The Mayor of London, The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and The Chief Constables of several counties including Northamptonshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. He represented Kenwood House, and Garsington House on their opposed renewals of their licences. He has obtained licences for large music festivals including the 18,000 capacity WOW festival in The Isle of Wight and the Witcombe Cider Festival, against heavy opposition.


Called 1983.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Licensing

Within: Leading Juniors -

James Rankin

Francis Taylor Building

He is excellent in his knowledge of the law and has the ability to charm the committee.

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.