Businesses who sell alcohol, tobacco or other licensed products must hold a valid premises license and operate in accordance with it. If you allow betting or monetised gaming on site, you’ll also need a license to offer these services on-site. If there are any doubts over this, the police or local authorities may take action to enforce the terms of the license. If you suspect your premises license is under review, our licensing review solicitors in Brighton and Hove can build you a case to retain it.
Do I Need to Apply for a License?
The two most common licences business apply for are alcohol licenses and gambling operating licenses. These licenses will typically apply to:
- Pubs, clubs and bars
- Cafes that offer alcohol
- Event spaces such as village and community halls, or even churches
- Supermarkets and off-licenses
- Betting shops and arcades
If your business falls under these categories, you’ll need to apply for the relevant license with the local council.
Why Use a Licensing Solicitor?
Our licensing solicitors have extensive experience in applying for alcohol, betting, taxi, gaming and late night operating licenses. We will not only build your case for you, we will also take care of all paperwork on your behalf and submit the application.
We offer a comprehensive service that includes advice on the risks you face, and expectations placed on you as a licence holder, and how to remedy common issues that licence holders encounter.
What is a Review of Premises Licence?
Premises licences grant the holder the option to sell licensed products, such as alcohol, or operate outside normal hours. Holders must ensure they act in accordance with the licensing objectives set out in their premises licence.
If the local authorities suspect you are not following the licensing objectives, they are likely to make an application to the licensing authority and ask that your premises licence is reviewed.
The licensing objectives are:
- The prevention of crime and disorder
- Public safety
- The prevention of public nuisance
- The protection of children from harm
Licence holders must ensure they promote each of these four objectives equally or risk a licence review, or worse, losing their licence. If you believe your position as a premises licence holder may be compromised, our licensing review solicitors can help.
What Happens When a Licencing Review Is Triggered?
A licence review is broken down into three main steps: consultation, committee and outcome.
The consultation period lasts 28 days and starts when the responsible authorities raise a complaint about your licence (usually the police or local authorities). During this time, other parties affected may choose to join the complaint against you.
The licensing authority will then assemble a committee to consider the case against you and everyone with concerns will be invited. During this committee meeting, the case will be made against you and the committee will look at the evidence put forward by both sides.
The outcome of a licensing review is to modify or restrict your premises licence, revoke it entirely, or to continue unchanged if you are successful in your defence.
If you are unsuccessful, the decision can be appealed in the Magistrates’ Court.
However, by instructing a licensing review solicitor early on in proceedings, you will ensure that you are fully prepared and have a good defence to prevent the situation escalating.
What is an Expedited Review?
These are the most serious of licensing reviews. Only the police can start an expedited review. If there has been a serious crime at your premises, such as drug dealing, a stabbing, knifing, shooting or glassing then it is likely you will face an expedited review.
At the review hearing, the appointed licensing committee will decide in 48 hours what interim measures should be put on your licence. This could mean suspending the premises licence.
Within the next 28 days, your licence will be subject to the standard licensing review procedure with an outcome at the end.
Britton and Time Solicitors specialises in contentious matters and we can help you prepare for an expedited or standard licensing review. If matters have already move past these stages then we can prepare the necessary documents to launch your appeal to interim measures or final judgement.
How Can a Licencing Review Solicitor Help?
Our licensing review solicitors will help you to identity the grounds upon which the responsible authorities have brought proceedings. They’ll break down the issues and prepare and deliver a proportionate response. Our main objective is always to minimise any negative impact on your business as well as correcting any allegations that have led to the proceedings in the first place.
Our licensing review solicitors will represent you at the committee stage and will deliver your case to give you the best possible chance of success.
Contact our licensing review solicitors today or call us on 01273 726951 to book an initial consultation.