We provide the complete commercial debt recovery service; from outsourced early arrears collections through to expert litigation, all handled in-house by a multi-award-winning law firm.


Visit our debt recovery website

As specialist licensing solicitors, we understand that ensuring your premises are correctly licensed can be a time-intensive and costly exercise.

Our innovative approach to managing your licensing work will help improve your processes, saving you time and significantly reducing your legal cost.

We will keep you up-to-date with all the latest legislation changes and provide regular training on the steps required to protect your business operations and profitability.

Our free online case management system also provides you with 24/7 access to view your licences and all your case notes.

In addition to providing licensing support to premises in England and Wales, our licensing solicitors are also able to offer their services to licensed premises throughout Scotland with the extra support of a specialist licensing consultant based between Dundee and Aberdeen.

Our licensing lawyers have a strong national reputation for providing quality licensing advice to multiple operators of pubs, clubs, hotel chains, hostels, off-licences and restaurants throughout the UK.

We provide licensing support to large national brands such as Heineken UK, Macdonald Hotels and the Youth Hostels Association, as well as a significant number of smaller operators.

We have developed specialist expertise in licensing services for the on-trade, particularly for pub companies and hotel chains such as Marston’s PLC and Kew Green Hotels (operators of Holiday Inn® and Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts).

Our licensing solicitors provide all the necessary advice to allow the effective management of large licensed estates, including the processing of all applications such as transfers of premises licence, designated premises supervisor/designated premises manager changes, major and minor variations and new premises licence applications.

We have developed excellent working relationships with local authorities and police forces across the country, building vital communication bridges which are often required in difficult situations.

All of our solicitors are members of the Institute of Licensing and many are also holders of the Scottish Personal Licence Qualification.

Additional reading on common licensing issues:

How British Summer Time may affect your licence

Guide to gaming machines within your licensed premises

How to legally provide outdoor seating

Who can object to a licensing application?


Licensing applications must be advertised both on the premises, on the local authority website and in the local newspaper. This gives the opportunity to people to object. Any person or business can object to a Licensing application regardless of their geographical proximity to the premises.

Applications are also served to what are known as responsible authorities such as the Police, Trading Standards, Planning, Environmental Health, and Child Protection, and they also have the opportunity to object.

If objections are received, then it is possible that they can be resolved before the matter comes to a hearing before a panel of councillors to resolve any outstanding objections.


Which activities are licensable?


  1. Sale of alcohol
  2. Late night refreshment (hot food or drinks sold between 23.00 and 05.00).
  3. Regulated entertainment – in most cases this will be live or recorded music after 23.00.  Before 23.00 in most cases this is deregulated except for larger events.
  4. Films
  5. Plays
  6. Indoor sporting events


What are the 4 licensing objectives?


The Licensing Act 2003 sets out these primary objectives:

  • Prevention of Crime and Disorder
  • Prevention of Public Nuisance
  • Protection of Children from Harm
  • Public Safety


What are the options for changing licensing permissions for special occasions?


The most common is a temporary event notice which will enable you to perhaps carry out licensable activities at a site other than that which is licensed or to carry it out for a longer period of time.


Do you need a personal licence to be a bar manager?


You do not need a personal licence to be a bar manager. However, every premises must have a designated premises supervisor who has to hold a personal licence. They need not necessarily be the manager, but they are the person who accepts day-to-day responsibility for licensable activities at the premises.


Does a personal licence holder always need to be on-site?


No, they don’t. However, they should always leave written authority to staff who are on site to sell alcohol on their behalf.

To download our free templates of written authority, use the links below:


How long does a personal licence last?


Personal licences now last indefinitely unless they are suspended or revoked. Initially they were meant to last for ten years, and many personal licences will have a ten-year expiry date on them because they were granted before the legislation was changed to make them indefinite.


How long does a premises licence last?


A premises licence lasts usually last indefinitely unless it is revoked or suspended. Some premises licences however can be granted for a limited period of time.


Can I be a designated premises supervisor at multiple sites?


Yes, you can. It is not always advisable, and the Police may object, but it can quite often happen particularly as a short-term measure.


Am I required to display Challenge 21 or Challenge 25 signs in my premises?


This will rather depend on the conditions of your premises licence, which may well say that you should display such posters. Every premises, however, must have an age verification policy and it may be that your policy requires the display of these notices.


Andrew Cochrane
Chairman & Senior Partner
01332 226 142 Email Andrew Cochrane Connect with Andrew Cochrane

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