The arrival of three new specialists, Richard Williams, Niall McCann and Marilyn Gayle from Joelson, has doubled Keystone’s capabilities in the licensing arena.

Richard has key expertise in remote and land-based gambling. He works with clients ranging from start-ups to multinational operators, including casinos, betting shops, online platforms and software developers. Richard advises on operating licences, the risks of operating in international markets, defending licence reviews, AML and social responsibility, and the approval of print and web marketing campaigns.

Another specialisation of Richard’s is liquor licensing which sees him act for pubs, nightclubs, bars, supermarkets and hotel chains nationally (including Scotland). He regularly appears before Licensing Committees and Magistrates’ Courts, and advises on real estate contracts for leisure operators which are conditional on the grant of licensing and planning.

Richard’s regulatory work involves acting for leisure and retail clients defending health and safety, food safety and product safety prosecutions. He also advises on street trading, taxi and firearms licensing.

Joining him is liquor licensing expert Niall McCann. Niall advises on applications pursuant to the Licensing Act 2003, Gambling Act 2005 and all associated compliance and regulatory matters. He regularly appears before the courts and sub-committees throughout England and Wales as an advocate. His expertise also encompasses advising on the impact of insolvency in respect to licensed premises. Clients include pub companies, restaurants, bars, hotels, nightclubs, off-licences and events spaces.

Niall also advises on a wide range of civil litigation matters such as contractual disputes, professional negligence claims, breach of warranty claims and insolvency.

Supporting the former Joelson Partners is experienced legal assistant Marilyn Gayle. Marilyn deals with applications for individuals and premises pursuant to the Licensing Act 2003 and the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005. Her skillset includes assisting with variations of premises licences, minor variations, new premises licences and sexual entertainment venue licences. She has also dealt with DPS variations, DPM variations, transfers, temporary event notices and interim authority notices in order to preserve premises licences held by companies that have become insolvent.

The team’s entrance marks a total of four hires for Keystone’s licensing department so far this year, with the firm also recruiting barrister Marcus Lavell in February.

Licensing law is a highly niche and complex area which demands dedicated specialists,” said CEO and founder James Knight.

We are delighted that Richard, Niall and Marilyn have chosen to maintain and grow their practice by joining us. They are experienced and well respected and will add depth to our existing high-performing team. We greatly encourage applications from existing teams looking to maintain their modus operandi with us, and a number of our recent hires are a demonstration of this.”

Richard added:“Keystone’s client-centric approach resonates with our own ethos. Its existing licensing offering is well established and I look forward to growing the gambling work within the team. Gambling is a booming area of work nationally and internationally and I hope that Keystone will become as respected in this niche area as it is for liquor licensing work.

Niall added:“Keystone is both dynamic and forward-thinking with a genuine understanding of the licensing minefield. The firm’s dedication to growing the practice area in recent years is also impressive. We are very pleased to be joining the team.