We have helped many businesses and individuals navigate the alcohol licensing regime, and also support clients with licences and permits involving:
- Security Industry Authority;
- Gambling Act,
- Road Transport Operator Licences,
- Performing Rights Society; and
- Food Business Premises registrations.
Our lawyers are recognised for their clear, commercial and pragmatic advice. In gaining a real understanding of your business aims and operational capabilities, we tailor our licensing advice to support your business and its objectives.
Some clients use our comprehensive licensing service for all their requirements, others simply for advice in making their own applications or following an alleged licensing infringement.
If you work in the licensing sphere, maintaining good relationships with the regulators and local interested parties is crucial. We specialise in helping clients identify and develop these important links to maximise business opportunities.
We can also help Administrators and LPA receivers manage the impact of insolvency and how to preserve licences and ability to carry on trading.
Obtaining your alcohol licence
We can assist with all aspects of licensing including:
- Obtaining a new premises licence, enabling your organisation to sell or supply alcohol;
- Varying a premises licence, for example changing the hours of licensable activity, the layout of premises or the conditions on a licence;
- Transferring a premises licence;
- Obtaining a personal licence required by individuals making or authorising the sale or supply of alcohol;
- Advising on the responsibilities of the designated premises supervisor;
- Obtaining a club premises certificate, enabling the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of the club to members of the club, to guests of a club member for consumption on the premises and the provision of regulated entertainment;
- Obtaining temporary events notices for events with alcohol, regulated entertainment or late night refreshment lasting under 168 hours.
Maintaining your licence
We can assist with:
- Advising you and/or your business on the technical legal licensing framework and keeping you informed of legal developments in the licensing sphere;
- Resisting objections to your licence on application, variation or renewal hearings;
- Providing operational compliance advice to ensure that your business complies with licensing legislation and any licence conditions including:
- Staff training on age restricted products and law, age verification, sale authorisation, and challenging purchasers;
- Point of sale and signage;
- CCTV and other anti-social behaviour controls;
- Other due diligence steps required to protect the business and staff including record keeping requirements and monitoring and control of the business by management/owners
Licences of all descriptions are often critical to business operations. You may have invested heavily in securing a licence and growing your business around it, so any threats that could alter, amend, review or even revoke it must be dealt with urgently.
Local Authority Trading Standards, often in conjunction with the Police and Environmental Protection officers, frequently undertake enforcement operations including test purchases for under age sales. relating to licenced premises, licensed vehicles and drivers and sex establishments. The consequences of underage sales or not having the correct licence in place can be severe including:
- Prosecution by the Local Authority or the Police, with the possibility of high fines or even imprisonment;
- Closure orders - shutting your business;
- Fixed penalty notices;
- Licence reviews with the possible imposition of additional and more onerous conditions, suspension of your licence for up to 3 months or in exceptional circumstances the revocation of your licence.
Where enforcement action has commenced or is likely to commence, we can assist businesses, licence holders or sellers during investigations and prosecutions including:
- Advising in respect of fixed penalty notices, cautions, and the conduct of investigations by the Local Authority and Police;
- Attending interviews under caution with your representatives, licence holders or sellers, and advising on the process;
- Defending the various duty holders, including licence holders and sellers, during the criminal investigation and / or prosecution;
Our recent experience includes:
- Advising a Premises Licence holder in relation to an investigation by Westminster Licensing Authority into infringements of their Premises Licence, resulting in no formal action being taken
- Advising a national retailer on the impact of changes to the Licensing Act specifically relevant to their business, including attending a meeting at the Home Office to support their views and preparing formal submissions to consultation documentation
- Preparing bulk transfer applications for the purchaser of a business entering administration
- Supporting businesses, DPS's, personal licence holders and employees who have failed test purchase operations, on the criminal implications and potential outcomes, together with representation and advice surrounding formal interviews
- Assisting a number of clients with a large volume of Temporary Event Notices for national events
- Day to day business as usual support & representation for international fast food businesses