Our service

We can help you apply for a new premises licence or apply to vary the terms of an existing licence. Our service is highly bespoke and will be tailored to your needs and type of licence you wish to obtain or vary. All work is supervised by a senior lawyer, who may be a Partner, Consultant Solicitor or Consultant Barrister. At the beginning of your matter we will tell you who will be working for you and who to contact should you have any concerns with our service. We will also explain the scope of our services. However, you should note that the course of the matter will be significantly influenced by the approach taken by the relevant licensing authority.

What is included

The key stages of a licensing matter include:

  • Taking your instructions and advising you as to the procedural requirements relevant to your licensing application.
  • Advising you as to the current licensing climate and approach taken by the relevant licensing authority.
  • Advising you as to the likely costs and timescales involved in your licensing application.
  • Assessing the premises and area, in the light of local authority licensing policy including any cumulative impact policy and other special licensing policies affecting on your business.
  • Providing licensing strategy guidance and advising how and when to apply to optimise your prospects of success.
  • Completing the licensing application form in accordance with your instructions and submitting this to the relevant authority.
  • Preparing and serving copies of the premises licence application on the responsible authorities.
  • Drafting the necessary public notices, advising you how to display the same and arranging for the application to be advertised in a suitable local publication.
  • Advising you as to the requirement to provide a suitable licence supervisor and drafting the relevant supervisor application forms.

What is excluded

The fees set out below for your licensing application would not include any further work, such as:

  • Preparing suitable plans.
  • Attending meetings with the relevant licensing authority or responsible authorities, nor their fee for such meetings.
  • Dealing with or advising you in relation to queries or representations received from either the responsible authorities or other interested parties.
  • Advising on varying the licence (or where your application is to vary, then as to a further variation).
  • Attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee hearing of the responsible authority.
  • Attending the property to be licensed.
  • Experts fees (if needed).

What we charge

Our Partners and Consultant Solicitors/Barristers charge hourly rates from £375 to £800. Our Associates, Legal Executives and Licensing Coordinators charge hourly rates from £190 to £450. Our Trainee Solicitors, Paralegals and Legal Assistants charge hourly rates from £70 to £350. All rates depend on the seniority of the individual and the practice area. In some limited cases and on request, we may offer to work on a fixed-fee, contingency or damages-based basis. In these exceptional cases, fees are discussed and agreed before we start work.

We offer a bespoke service and each matter is unique. We can only estimate the likely costs of our licensing services once we have discussed the matter with you and seen the papers. However, we can provide an indication of our likely fees associated with work of varying complexity as set out above under the heading “What is included”.

  • Simple application (which could be a restaurant or late-night refreshment premises in a commercial area): £1,400 to £3,500.
  • Medium-complexity application (which could be a bar or late-night restaurant in a densely populated area): £2,100 to £5,500.
  • High-complexity application (which could be a large premise with different licensable activity requirements, a large capacity premises, a night club, provision of relevant entertainment, or premises located in a cumulative impact zone): in excess of £6,000.

You should note that the approach of the relevant licensing and responsible authorities, and the involvement and organisation of residential and local amenity groups, will significantly affect our charges. Other factors that will increase the complexity of the matter include:

  • Larger premises.
  • More densely populated location.
  • Licensed activity not in keeping with the local area.
  • Perceived likelihood of public nuisance, crime or disorder attaching to the licensed activity.
  • Historic licensing issues associated with the local area.
  • Historic licensing issues associated with the particular premises.
  • The extent to which the proposed licence may not align with Local Authority policy.
  • Later hours of operation.
  • Outdoor festivals and events.
  • Multiple stakeholders involved in instructing us.

In addition to our fees, you will need to budget for the following:

  • Application fee charged by the licensing authority (typically from £100 to £1,905 but more if the venue capacity exceeds 4999)
  • Advertising fee (typically from £100 to £500)
  • Enquiry agent fees to display public notices (typically from £75 to £500)
  • Preparing plans (typically from £300 to £1,000)

We incur these and other necessary additional third-party costs (“disbursements”) on your behalf. We would usually discuss disbursements with you in advance and incur them on your behalf when appropriate. You are responsible for all disbursements; we add them to your bill without mark-up. You don’t need to pay these third parties directly, though. You simply pay our bill and we will pass on the relevant sum on your behalf to the relevant third party in settlement of their fees.

Rates and VAT

Where VAT applies, we add this to our charges at the prevailing rate. Unless otherwise specified, all figures are quoted exclusive of VAT. Most disbursements attract VAT at the prevailing rate. This will be added to the bills we receive. We pass the total cost on to you. We do not add VAT on to disbursements where VAT has already been added by the relevant third party. Certain disbursements such as official fees are not subject to VAT.

How long it will take

Matters usually take between six to twelve weeks from receipt of instructions from you. This is on the basis of the application being relatively straightforward and you being able to provide all the necessary documents promptly. If your matter is more complex (for example, if there is substantial opposition from interested parties, or if there is a delay in receiving the documents we need), it may take longer. Where you have to appeal it could take up to a year. As with all applications, you may not be successful.