Premises licences for regulated entertainment, sale of alcohol and late night refreshment, and gambling and operator’s licences for gambling are required for many business entities and are enforced by a range of authorities including the local council, the police, governing bodies and trading standards. If your business is one of these, it is essential that you get the right advice and always remain informed.
Keystone’s full-service Licensing team is able to assist you whatever your licensing challenge. With legislation constantly being reviewed and changed it is essential that you get the right advice to ensure that there is no delay in obtaining the correct licences and permissions.
Our lawyers have years of experience in dealing with both simple and complex requirements, and can assist you throughout the process. The Keystone Licensing team also has the added benefit of being supported by experts in other areas of law such as property, planning, regulatory law and contracts. We also have a dedicated fraud and business crime team should you face investigation as part of your review or business.
For further information or to discuss a matter, please telephone 020 3319 3700 or click here to email us.
Our licensing professionals understand the pressures on business developers to maximise their opportunities and secure the most flexible licences to help their business grow. In an increasingly difficult regulatory landscape the right practical and legal advice is essential and can be the difference between being profitable and not. Andrew, Gareth and Robert have many years’ experience in negotiating the difficulties and problems that can and do arise in setting up new ventures and in dealing with problems occurring during operation. They can advise on the best strategy to obtain the necessary licence with appropriate terms and conditions to maximise the lawful business opportunity.
Our team have worked with a number of businesses wishing to expand their operations into an outside space. We guide them through the application process to obtain a Pavement Licence or Street Trading Licence from the relevant local authority. These applications are not necessarily always straightforward with questions of ownership, planning and public convenience being considered, as well as additional considerations and licensing requirements for alcohol to be consumed in an outside area.
If your premises are affected or there are proposals to introduce an EMRO or late night levy in your area, we can assist in making representations and in ensuring your voice is heard by the committee concerned.
Our licensing lawyers are experts in the legislation concerning both live and recorded music which is constantly changing and developing. We work with our clients to ensure that they are aware of any altering to the times, levels or events at which music can be played, so that they avoid any pitfalls or unforeseen issues.
Our experts understand that noise issues can be one of the most difficult problems that any licensed premises have to deal with. Noise issues can lead to a review of your licence, a reduction in hours, more onerous conditions and even revocation. In addition, if the local authority finds that a statutory nuisance has occurred, exists, or is likely to recur, it will serve an abatement notice requiring limitations to be placed on the hours the noise is occurring, or that the noise stops altogether. In addition, a growing area of difficulty for operators is in relation to nuisance caused by smell. Where possible we work with clients to prevent or limit issues arising. Where that is not possible or where problems have already occurred we will work with the client to address the problem, negotiate and, when appropriate, stand and fight against any unreasonable requests being made by neighbours or by the local authority officer. We work with clients to ensure that where an abatement notice has been issued steps are put in place to limit reputational or financial damage.
Our team help clients navigate the necessary steps towards obtaining a personal licence with minimum inconvenience and resistance. We can arrange for the necessary training to achieve the required qualification as part of the process of obtaining the personal licence. Where there are difficulties we can provide representation at a committee hearing.
These are never welcome. Our team of licensing lawyers work with clients to ensure that where possible they have the systems in place to help avoid a review or minimise the risk of reviews being brought. The team maintain strong links with the authorities to assist in negotiation and collaboration with the authorities. There are occasions when it is necessary to stand up to an authority if its requests are not proportionate. Our team can provide experienced advice as to when it is appropriate to stand and fight or seek a compromise.
Sometimes things happen which are beyond the control of operators and if that results in a summary review or closure order, that can put the business under severe pressure, both operationally and financially. At such times you need clear advice on the best strategy to secure the reopening of your business at the earliest time or the removal of unnecessary restrictive conditions to enable the premises to operate safely and in a commercially viable way. Our experienced legal team can provide that insight and wisdom to develop an effective strategy for both the short and long term. They can respond to the immense time pressure that the summary review or closure order procedure places on everyone in order to present the best case for you to the licence committee.
Indoor sports may require a licence, or large events may be held at large sports arenas. This can give rise to complications in relation to safety, crime and disorder, or public nuisance. Our lawyers can guide you through these complicated application processes and can provide detailed, tailored and bespoke advice to ensure that the particular licence required is obtained.
Festivals may take place anywhere. Each location is unique, bringing its own challenges through topography, neighbourhood and available facilities. Our team have experience in dealing with events from 1,000 to 50,000 capacity. It is important that you receive the right advice to assist you in planning for the event, in operating during the event and in reviewing your procedures after the event. Good working relationships are required with the many experts who will be feeding into your operations plan. Good relations need to be maintained not only with the authorities but with the residents close to the locality of the festival. We have a vast array of experience of attending residents meetings and pre-festival applications to alleviate residents’ concerns. Where that is not possible our expert team can, through their experience, work with you shoulder to shoulder in protecting your event.
TENs can be extremely useful tools in assisting in a wider licensing strategy or because the venue is not licensed or because conditions need to be avoided. Our team of experts offer guidance to small- and large-scale event organisers on how to apply for a TEN and thoroughly examine all considerations including what activities may be covered, time limits, who can apply and restrictions. Sometimes you may need to be creative to do what you want to do. Our team can be creative and help maximise the potential despite the limitations.
We are aware of the heavy regulation imposed on adult gaming centres and work hand in hand with clients to ensure that they have the correct licences to avoid any future litigation. We can assist with the obtaining of operator’s licences and premises licences. We also work with their counterparts in the manufacturing, supply, installation, adaptation, maintenance and repair industries to ensure that they too are compliant with the gaming machine technical operating licence.
We are aware of the many requirements imposed on the betting industry and we will work hand in hand with clients to ensure that they have the correct operator licences, whether remote or non-remote, to avoid any future problems. We can assist with the obtaining of operators’ licences and premises licences. We can also assist with the software requirements and licensing.
We understand that family entertainment centres are one of three types of amusement arcades and for these to run smoothly and efficiently, they must comply with industry regulation and hold the required permits. We work with a number of clients in this industry to ensure that all required legal procedures and documentation are in place.
Our team remain constantly abreast of the regulations imposed on businesses wishing to run certain games, lotteries and competitions by the Gambling Commission. We regularly advise on schemes and proposals as well as on how to obtain the correct licences and establishing which activities actually require a licence.
We work with street and market traders to ensure that they have acquired the necessary licences to operate as well as adhering to any guidelines.
We work with a number of establishments that offer massage and special treatments and help them obtain a licence from local authorities. The conditions imposed can be strict and may include sanitary requirements, evidence of sufficiently trained staff, implementation of proper fire precautions, and an acceptably low likelihood of nuisance. Our experienced licensing team guide clients not only through the process of obtaining the licence but also through fully understanding what is required from them.
Our lawyers are experts in acquiring the licences necessary to run venues offering sexual entertainment. These licences may contain particular conditions imposed by the local authority for all sex establishments in their borough. To avoid potential and challenging issues, we work closely with clients to help them interpret the licences correctly. Local authority policies are becoming more restrictive with more and more obstacles being placed in the way for operators obtaining and operating with such licences. We also work closely with operators to build working relationships with residents and amenity groups before, during and after consultation.
Should an application be refused, challenges can be limited and we are able to advise on the available appeal routes and best strategy for the challenging of the local authority’s decision.
Our team are experienced at all levels of challenge to decisions made by licensing authorities. We can provide guidance and advice in negotiating and discussing with the authority to reach an agreed position where possible. Sometimes that is not possible and then you will want a hard-hitting team to achieve the best result for you when dealing with authorities that are taking an aggressive and uncompromising stance.
In addition to the traditional avenue of appeal to the Magistrates’ Court, our legal team are in the best position to guide you through the complicated judicial review or case stated challenges to authority decisions.
Gareth is a skilled barrister who acts for an impressive portfolio of clients in the hospitality and entertainment sectors on both licensing and planning matters.
Angela is a Licensing Coordinator and manages applications for a range of licences, as part of Keystone’s Licensing team. Over the years, Angela has managed the licensing process for a number of leading organisations including Spearmint Rhino, Weatherspoon’s, Mitchells and Butlers and many UK music and dance festivals.
Darren is an established Licensing Coordinator with almost a decade of licensing experience. He has also gained significant knowledge whilst working as a senior licensing officer at Westminster City Council, including how applications are processed at local authority level and how cases progress and are viewed by the local authority.
Robert is a highly experienced solicitor specialising in all forms of licensing and gambling issues for operators and landlords.
Andrew is an established top tier rated licensing lawyer and has developed a following of renowned restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, art galleries and museums.
Jeremy is a solicitor advocate with 20 years’ experience in advising on all aspects of regulatory law including risk, compliance and enforcement matters. With expertise in health and safety, trading standards, food and fire safety, environmental, road transport, licensing, betting and gaming, he has worked extensively in the leisure and entertainment industry.