Marcus is a specialist licensing and regulation barrister of over ten years’ call. He has particular expertise in dealing with premises licensing, with a distinct focus on the hospitality and leisure sector, and the regulations associated with it. In addition, Marcus has a wealth of experience in advising clients at the early stages of the development of new premises.
Marcus also provides regulatory compliance services such as audit, system development and fail-safe reporting structures. He excels at solving issues found on review applications to the satisfaction of both the authorities and the licence holder, so that the licensing objectives and business viability can be promoted.
Marcus has helped save our licence and we are so grateful for his pragmatic approach and the way he professionally negotiated with the officers on our behalf
Licensee in Westminster, name withheld
Marcus has been excellent and his commitment to ensuring we get the best possible advice really shows by the result we achieved. It really felt like a team approach.
Mr David Tunmer, Central London Licensee
Marcus is a very experienced licensing barrister who trained with the best specialist lawyers around and continues to shine in this field. He has worked on some of the top tier licensing cases of recent years and is a real asset to any team.
Mr Gary Grant, Counsel
(Recognised in Chambers Guide and Legal 500)
Marcus has a great knowledge of licensing and regulatory law in general. His work on contentious cases, protecting clients who are under fire from licensing authorities, council officers and interested parties, is first rate.
Ms Saima Hanif, Counsel
(Recognised in Chambers Guide and Legal 500)
- Premises licensing under the Licensing Act 2003 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.
- Regulatory advice in relation to commercial disputes and non-contentious commercial negotiations.
- Consideration of evidence for and against operators in licensing applications and reviews, often instructing expert witnesses and drafting witness statements.
- Leading meetings with Local Authority and police officers with a view to maintaining successful relationships, avoiding proceedings and protecting clients’ assets through pre-emptive action.
- Defence of regulatory prosecutions brought against leisure and hospitality operators.
- Advised the representative of a high-net-worth international client with regard to licensing issues prior to the multimillion-pound purchase of a landmark London property.
- Worked to resolve a dispute between a client and a high-profile ‘celebrity’ friendly premises in Mayfair and residents surrounding the venue, protecting the valuable Premises Licence.
- Worked to secure late night licences in the heart of Westminster City Council’s “stress area” (e.g. the iconic 50 St James’s and the successful post-production house, Molinaire, of ‘The King’s Speech’ fame).
- Took a leading role in the 24-hour licensing of several iconic international hotels in Central London Cumulative Impact Policy Areas.
- Advised on numerous review applications in Westminster and each time found solutions that did not then require the licence to be revoked or an appeal to be made, thereby saving clients significant costs and ensuring business continuity.
- Assisted in successfully resisting Westminster City Council’s Judicial Review of the Movida decision  EWHC 1202(Admin). The subject of the Judicial Review was a landmark case under the Licensing Act 2003 establishing “exceptional circumstances” to a cumulative impact policy through the quality of the premises management proposal. The defence of this decision was on the radar of the licensing world.
- Successfully obtained a premises licence to show films and serve alcohol for independent arts cinema The Garden Cinema, located in Camden’s Cumulative Impact Policy area.
- Assisted an adult mini golf chain to obtain a premises licence in one of Islington’s Cumulative Impact zones.
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Recognised by The Legal 500 2021 for Licensing
“Marcus Lavell and Robert Sutherland have real in-depth knowledge of the licensing industry and a strong understanding of the public law principles which apply to licensing matters.” The Legal 500 2021
“Marcus Lavell is an excellent young licensing practitioner. Very industrious and tenacious.” The Legal 500 2021
Marcus holds the Freedom of the City of London
Marcus qualified as a barrister in 2008. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2018, he worked at the following firms:
- Gregg Latchams Solicitors
- Jeffrey Green Russell Solicitors