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Licensing Act 2003 - Legal advice

Licensing act 2003

Personal and premise licence application management

Our team has extensive experience of licensing matters under the Licensing Act 2003. We have acted for a wide range of operators such as retailers, restaurants, pubs, clubs, hotel operators, and online distributors.

We recognise that clients licensing needs vary from operator to operator. Whether your premises is for the off sale or on sale of alcohol and or the provision of regulated entertainment we can assist with obtaining premises licences for a range of venues including:-

  • Bars/Pubs/Restaurants 
  • Nightclubs 
  • Hotels 
  • Retail premises including off licences/supermarkets 
  • Distribution Warehouses for internet/telephone alcohol sales 
  • Stadiums and Arena venues 
  • Festivals and outdoor events 
  • Casinos 
  • Cinemas 
  • Theatres

We can deal with your basic licensing applications whether routine matters such as new Personal Licences, changes to Designated Premises Supervisors, Temporary Events Notices, Minor Variations or more complex or contentious applications. We can administer the complete application process for you or work with in house Licensing teams to provide support or advice as and when required.

Advocacy and representation at all hearings including applications, reviews and appeals

We have experienced advocates who can provide representation for clients before all licensing hearings, whether contested application for new licences or variations, or review proceedings before Local Authority Licensing Committees. We can also provide representations before the Magistrates Court on appeal and in respect of review proceedings.

Our team also has experience of acting on behalf of clients in respect of Judicial Review matters in the higher courts on points of law.

Online alcohol sales

Online retailing has developed rapidly in recent years. The Eversheds licensing team has a wealth of experience of advising clients who wish to set up online/internet sales operations either as part of a wide internet based shopping experience or specifically for off sales (e.g. wine clubs). We have obtained bespoke Premises Licences for Distribution Centres and warehouses and have advised clients on procedures and social responsibility issues arising out of door to door deliveries to customers.

Risk management including operational due diligence and staff training

Ensuring that the terms of a Premises Licence, and the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 including the licensing objectives are upheld can be a challenge for even the best licensed operators. We can assist you with developing your policies and procedures to ensure that risks are managed and that compliance procedures and staff training is of the appropriate standard.

Prosecutions, closure orders and closure notices for persistently selling alcohol to children

Our team has experience of advising clients, and where necessary their employees, in respect of prosecutions for offences under the Licensing Act 2003. We are able to provide representation at PACE interviews under caution, advise regarding formal statements, as well provide representation at prosecution hearings before the Magistrates Court.

We can also advise in respect of Closure orders relating to specific premises or groups of premises and also on the options to consider when faced with the option of a Closure Notice for the persistent selling of alcohol to children.

Licensing aspects of corporate/real estate transactions/disposals of licensed businesses

We work closely with out Real Estate and Corporate colleagues to provide specialist licensing support in respect of transactions for the acquisition or disposal of licensed property and/or businesses. We have experience of undertaking detailed due diligence and reporting to clients, considering data room contents, advising on transactional documentation including conditional agreements, leases and SPA’s

Licensing aspects arising out of corporate restructuring and insolvencies

Since the commencement of the Licensing Act 2003 the impact of insolvency on licensed premises has become very significant. With our finance colleagues we have a wealth of experience of advising Insolvency Practitioners, LPA Receivers, financial institutions and licensed operators on licensing matters arising out of restructuring and insolvency situations. Where necessary we are ready placed to make urgent and short notice licence applications and to provide advice upon wider licensing issues that are relevant to our clients who often have very specific needs.

Contact us

David N Roberts, Lead licensing lawyer