Licensing Lawyers
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Licensing Lawyers Operating throughout the whole of England and Wales, our lawyers specialise in regulatory UK licensing law. We are a recognised leader in licensing law and deal with most types of statutory licensing, including alcohol sales, music, theatre, film, gambling, taxi and private hire vehicles, mobile homes, housing and street trading. We can help you through the process of submitting an application for a licence, represent you at a hearing or help you defend enforcement action.

Very few, if any, other UK licensing law firms cover the breadth of licensing work that we do. If you need help or advice from a specialist licensing solicitor, why not give us a call or contact us online? We are also on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. A period of free legal advice is offered to new clients by e-mail or through our online chat system.

For details of our fees, please see our fees page. Please note that we are unable to offer legal aid. Licensing Lawyers a trading name of Licensing & Safety Lawyers Ltd, a UK law practice authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Highlights

read more › In order to undertake certain activities in the UK, it is necessary to obtain some form of authorisation from the local Council. There are a number of exemptions and in order to check that you are legal, it is sensible to obtain professional legal advice from a solicitor who is an expert in licensing law. This involves placing a public notice in the press and at the premises: There are very specific requirements for advertising and it is important to get it right otherwise the application may be rejected or delayed.

read more › If the police take the view that the sale of alcohol is taking place in a premises which is associated with serious crime and/or serious disorder, they can apply for an expedited (also called 'summary') review. An expedited review takes place very quickly after it is applied for: Within 48 hours, the authority must give the licence holder a copy of the application and decide what steps, if any, it wishes to take. These steps come into immediate effect and cannot be appealed, although the authority can be asked to reconsider them at a hearing.

read more › Licence Reviews are a way that an interested party or a Responsible Authority can ask the Council to place limitations on a licence that has already been issued in relation to alcohol sales, entertainment or gambling, to suspend it or to revoke it all together. With alcohol sales, there is also the option of the expedited review. If you are facing a review, you should obtain advice from a licensing solicitor as quickly as possible. The process takes place in front of the Council's Licensing Sub-Committee, normally a panel of three elected councillors.

read more › We act for licence holders who are faced with an expedited or full review, irrespective of whether or not we have assisted in obtaining the licence from the outset. Our experience shows that is vitally important that you prepare properly for the hearing. Once served with an application for a review, you have a period of 28 days in order to deal with any issues that have been raised and seek support, unless the application is for an expedited review. The Council is obliged to put up a notice near or on your premises which explains that a review has been applied for and that anyone with an interest can comment on it.

read more › We are pleased to be the only firm that has been recommended by both the Residents Licensing Advice Association and the Licensing Act Residents Active Network and we represent residents or business owners who wish to object to a licence application or review an existing licence. Reviewing a licence can be an effective way of dealing with problems that can occur at a licensed premsies, but we recommend that you always discuss the issue with the licence holder first. In order to apply for a review, an application must be completed and sent to the Council as well as the licence holder.

read more › The ultimate sanction for operating without a licence or breaching licence conditions is that of prosecution. Not only is there the potential of a fine, but the impact on your business can be devastating as a result of adverse publicity. For some licensing offences, there is also the possibility of a prison sentence, but this is rare. Once any investigation is completed, the first step in prosecution is that a summons will be served. This requires an attendance in court to enter a plea of 'guilty' or 'not guilty'.

read more › Interviews under caution, sometimes called "PACE interviews" are part of the investigative procedure employed by enforcing authorities such as the Council or Police. There are codes of practice on how an interview under caution are conducted and you have the right to be accompanied by a legal representative such as a solicitor. For those interviews undertaken solely by the Council, you should note that you will not be under arrest and that you are free to leave at any time. Whilst you do not have to answer questions in an interview, failing to do so can sometimes be a bad strategy because if you do not disclose something, you may not be able to use it later on if a prosecution is brought.

read more › Sometimes a prosecuting authority will offer a 'formal' or 'simple' caution instead of taking a prosecution. Our advice is to contact us before you agree to do so, because in some instances having a caution is considered the same as having been prosecuted. Some licensing authorities have policies that preclude a licence being granted to anyone who has a caution until a period of time has passed. The situation does vary depending on the type of licence in question, so it is best to check first. We can look through the content of the caution to ensure that it is in order and accompany you whilst it is being administered.

read more › In order to apply for a licence under the Licensing Act 2003, there is a strict procedure to follow. This includes giving copies of the application to various enforcement bodies known as the "Responsible Authorities", advertising in the press and placing a notice at the premises. Failure to comply with any of the requirements - even something as seemingly insignificant as too small a typeface on the public notice - can result in the application being rejected and the whole process started anew, including the payment of a further application fee.

read more › There are currently two main ways of amending a premises licence - the full variation and the minor variation. Unless the changes are relatively small and not likely to adversely affect the licensing objectives, the chances are that the licensing authority will require a 'full' variation for most changes, particularly if they relate to changing a decision of the licensing committee. As with applications for new licences, full variations have to be advertised in a local newspaper and using a site notice.

read more › One of the documents that must apply an application for a new premises licence is a detailed scale plan. There is a particular specification that must be met with these and the following features must be shown :. Whilst you are not required to have a professionally-drawn licensing plan, it is usually better to do so to reduce the risk of it being rejected because one of the various requirements have not been met. We have teamed up with UK Surveyors Ltd who are able to prepare a plan for you either based on your own survey or by visiting and drawing a plan from scratch.

read more › If a premises licence is obtained, then it is also generally necessary for at least one person to hold a personal licence and be "designated" as the premises supervisor. Every sale of alcohol must be made or authorised by the holder of a personal licence or the "Premises User" where a Temporary Event Notice is given. We recommend that any authorisation should preferably be in writing, although the law does not specify that this must happen. It does however save a lot of difficulty if an enforcement officer should visit.

read more › The Licensing Act requires that the sale of alcohol, performance of plays, film shows, live or recorded music, indoor sports, boxing and wrestling, and the sale of hot food or drink after 11pm must be authorised by the local council. Premises licences are generally for permanent premises, for larger events or other situations where a Temporary Event Notice cannot be given. In order to apply for a premises licence, there are a number of steps that need to be taken, including the preparation of a detailed plan that must meet a precise specification and the preparation of an operating schedule to show how nuisance, crime and disorder will be prevented, children will be protected from harm and how the safety of the public will be achieved.

read more › In order to sell alcohol at a licensed premises, it is necessary to hold a Personal Licence or be authorised by a Personal Licence holder. In the case of Temporary Event Notices, you must be authorised by the person that gave the notice. Professionals who are involved in alcohol sales will prefer to obtain their own licence as this has benefits for employers and enables them to take on the role of the Designated Premises Supervisor. The process is fairly straightforward, starting with a recognised qualification that usually involves a one-day training course.

read more › In order to apply for a Personal Licence, it is necessary to successfully complete approved training course and an examination. The syllabus covers the four licensing objectives, general licensing law, the powers of officers and acting in a responsible way when engaged in selling alcohol, particularly relating to preventing sales to those who are already drunk or who are under-age. If you have not already completed the course, we are able to organise this though our partner training providers. Licensing Lawyers a trading name of Licensing & Safety Lawyers Ltd, a UK law practice authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

read more › Buying fake or non-duty paid alcohol is a major concern for retailers because it can present a serious hazard to customers health, can place the licence at risk of being revoked and can also result in significant fines. Our advice to anyone selling alcohol is to only purchase from reputable suppliers that you have verified and to consider checking stock for signs that it might not be genuine. Labels that do not have batch numbers or have a batch number which seem unusual - eg 111111. Note that this information is only an indication and does not conclusively prove whether something is genine of fake.

read more › Alcoholic drinks in sealed containers are required to comply with much of the law that relates to other packaged food, but with some differences. The information that should be provided includes :. Please note that this is not a definitive list and if you should require this, please contact us. At the moment there is no mandatory requirement to show the full ingredients of an alcoholic product and this is under review. It may be that the principle ingredients will need to be shown in the future.

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