"Shoosmiths assists major national retail and food and drink clients with applications for new and renewed premises licences and on appeals."

The Legal 500

Retailers, service providers, entertainers, employers, and even members of the public can be caught out by licensing requirements.

The penalties for not having the correct licence in place for the activity you are undertaking can result in prosecution, with the possibility of high fines or even imprisonment.

The core focus of our licensing practice is in helping clients in relation to matters under the Licensing Act 2003.

Our lawyers have also supported clients with licenses and permits under the Gambling Act, Road Transport Operator Licences, Performing Rights Society and Food Business Premises registrations.

In gaining a real understanding of your business aims and operational capabilities, we can help tailor our licensing advice to support your requirements and budgets.

Some clients use our comprehensive licensing service for all their requirements, others simply for advice in making their own applications or following a potential licensing infringement.

If you work in the licensing sphere, the need to maintain good relationships with the regulators and local interested parties is crucial. We specialise in helping clients identify and develop these important links so they can maximise business opportunities.

Our licensing expertise is not confined to acting for the applicant alone. Those responsible authorities and the 'interested parties' who wish to make representations, bring a review or challenge a licensing sub-committee decision have also received assistance from our team.

Administrators and LPA receivers have also sought advice regarding the impact of insolvency on a licence holding and, where possible, how best to preserve the licence.

Licenses 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.

We also advise on underage compliance strategies for all age-restricted products, defending the various duty holders, including licence holders and sellers, and proving due diligence where local authority test purchases have been failed.

The regulatory team can guide you through changes to legislation that may affect your business, and provide representation and advice in the event of a challenge to your licence holding.

Work highlights

  • 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 PACE interviews
  • Assisting a number of clients with a large volume of Temporary Event Notices for national events such as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 Olympics