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Licensing Law

As London licensing solicitors we deal with all aspects of licensing and related regulatory matters all over the country, including :

Licensing Act 2003

london licensing solicitor

Saints and Sinners in Broad Green

The Licensing Act 2003 is an umbrella act that brought together the then six existing licensing regimes (for alcohol, public entertainment, cinemas, theatres, late night refreshment houses, and night cafes) with the aim of reducing bureaucracy and simplifying proceedings.

The Licensing Act 2003 introduced the need for two systems of licensing, Personal and Premises licences, for licensing premises used for the sale or supply of alcohol with flexible hours, for premises providing late night refreshment and regulated entertainment, subject to consideration of the impact this would have on local residents and businesses. This legislation was brought in to try to reduce the public disorder resulting from the former standard closing times and in order to discourage an increasing binge-drinking culture.

We have extensive experience not only in advising clients as to obtaining the various different licences they require for their premises, but also in helping them with any problems they might face, such as revocation of their premises licence or of their personal licence.

Premises Licence

Any premises offering licensable activities must hold a premises licence which states the name of the individual who holds a personal licence.

Personal Licence

According to the Licensing Act 2003, a personal licence allows a person to sell alcohol, or authorise the sale of alcohol, under the authority of a premises licence. This allows the holder of the licence to move with greater freedom between premises where a premises licence is in force.

Review and Revocation of Licenses

Under the Licensing Act 2003, a licence holder has 21 days from the date on the revocation letter to issue a response to the council in which he can address any factual errors in the assessment or provide mitigating information. Once the 21 days have elapsed, the revocation will automatically come into effect.

Appeals

The holder of the licence is able to appeal to the Magistrates Court against the decision to revoke the licence within 21 days of being notified of the decision.

Closure Orders

Senior police officers are able to close a premises on the basis of public safety if it seems likely that there might be a threat of imminent disorder on, or in the vicinity of, the premises; or if the noise from the premises is causing a public nuisance and the closure is required to prevent it from occurring again.

Club Premises Certificates

A club premises certificate is required in order to sell or supply alcohol to member or guests of the club and to provide regulated entertainment, such as musical performances or film screenings to members or guests.

It differs from a premises licence, as it is not required to specify a designated premises supervisor.

Temporary Event Notices

A temporary event notice is required in order to carry out a licensable activity such as selling alcohol, serving alcohol, providing entertainment and serving hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am. In order to qualify for a temporary event notice, the event can last no more than 7 days and include no more than 499 including staff at any one time.

Variation of Licence to specify new DPS

In order to change the name of the designated premises supervisor on the premises licence, the applicant must apply to the relevant licensing authority.

Transfer of Licence

In order to change the holder of a premises licence, it is necessary to make an application for transfer to the local authority.

Variation of licence

The holder of a premises licence may apply to vary a licence, for example to extend the terminal hour. Such applications have to advertised at the premises for twenty-eight days and in a local newspaper. This can result in representations being made from the statutory authorities and local residents. Wherever possible, we try to negotiate conditions in order to avoid hearings before licensing sub-committees but if this is not possible, we provide the necessary advocacy.

Minor Variation of Licence

These applications are similar to variation application and only require advertisement at the premises for ten days and no newspaper advertisement. A typical use of this type of application might be to change the arrangement of the bar furniture at a venue.

Late Night Refreshment

Late night refreshment refers to the provision of hot food or drink to the public, for consumption on or off the premises, between 11pm and 5am or the supply of hot food or drink to any persons between those hours on or from premises to which the public has access.

Trading Standards Prosecution

Trading Standards can prosecute licence holders for various offences for example for selling a type of alcohol in a bottle bearing the brand name of a different quality.

Music and Dancing

A Premises License is required in order for a premises or site offering licensable activities to enable music and dancing to take place there.

Other Types of Licences

PPL

PPL is the UK based music licensing company, which licences recorded music for broadcast, online and public performance use. Licences issue to businesses and organisations who play recorded music to their staff or customers, and who therefore require a licence by law.

Street Trading Licence

A Street Trading Licence should make clear to the council where and when you wish to trade.

Tables and Chairs licence

A Tables and Chairs licence enables the holder of the licence to position tables and chairs within the area granted by the licence. Therefore they should not be placed on the surface of a public highway and must be removed or stored when outside of the hours of the licence.

Food Safety Matters

Food Safety matters involve any offence under the Food Safety Act 1990. These include causing a healthy person to suffer physical damage as a result of adding a substance or article to the food, using a substance or article as an ingredient in the food, subjecting the food to any process of treatment whilst intending to sell it for human consumption. Moreover, the Food Safety Act also deals with the sale of food that is not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser, the false description of food and any food hygiene legislation.

Weights and Measures

Weights and Measures are enforced by your Local Weights and Measures authorities (LWMA) in order to maintain standards across the United Kingdom.

Smoking Regulations (and Shisha smoking)

Any owner or managers of a premises is required by law to adhere to the stipulations of the Health Act 2006 by ensuring that no-one smokes in an area that the law prohibits persons from smoking in. Moreover, owner or managers must place no smoking signs on the entrances of building and make customer and staff aware of the fact that the premises are legally required to be smoke free. We can advise on the design of gardens and shelters to facilitate tobacco and shisha smoking within the law.

Noise Abatement

Noise abatement concerns any noise or vibration which has been deemed to be a nuisance. It is for the defendant to prove that they have employed the best practicable means to prevent and counteract the effect of the noise or vibration.

Indoor Sport

An Indoor Sports Entertainment Licence is required in order to use a premises as a place of public sports entertainment.

Sex Entertainment Venues

A sexual entertainment venue licence must be obtained by any premises that wishes to offer sexual entertainment on a regular basis in front of a live audience for the financial gain of the organiser or entertainer.

Cumulative Impact Policies

Cumulative impact policies are policies that enable licensing authorities to seek to limit the growth of licensed premises in a problem area in order to prevent binge drinking.

Judicial Reviews

Licensing decisions are made by local authority licensing committees at first instance. Any applicant, objector or Premises Licence Holder dissatisfied with the outcome is able to appeal against the decision to the local Magistrates Court or, in some situations, seek a challenge in the High Court by way of Judicial Review.

London Licensing Solicitors Here to Help

If you have any problems with a decision about licences made by your local authority, please do not hesitate to contact us for help or advice.

Marriage Licences

In England and Wales, in order to get married or enter into a civil partnership, it is necessary to give notice at your local registry office and hold a religious or civil ceremony within 16 days of giving notice to the registry office.

Shotgun Certificates and Firearms Licences

A Firearms Licence issued by the police is required in order to possess, buy or acquire a firearm or shotgun. Moreover a Shotgun Certificate is necessary in order to purchase ammunition.

If you require any help or advise with regard to Shotgun Certificates and Firearms Licences, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Fire Safety

Owners, landlords and occupiers of businesses are responsible for fire safety and are known as the ‘responsible person’.

In order for a premise to be ‘fire safe’, a risk assessment of the premises must have been carried out and be reviewed regularly. Moreover, the staff must be informed of any identified risks and provided with information, fire safety instruction and training, appropriate fire safety measures must have been put in place and a plan drawn up in case of an emergency. The local fire and rescue authorities can inspect premises and issue fire safety notices with any changes that are required to be made. The stipulated capacity limits on some premises are set at levels which are lower than strictly necessary. When dealing with cases of alleged overcrowding, we always recommend that the measurements are checked by a specialised fire safety consultant.

Security Industry

All individuals working in certain specific sectors of the private security industry have to be issued with a compulsory licence by the Security Industry Authority.

A Front line licence is required by persons undertaking licensable activity other than key holding activities whereas a non-front line licence is required for those who manage, supervise and or employ individuals engaging in licensable activity, provided that the front line activity is not carried out, this includes directors or partners.

The Home Office is currently developing regulation for the private security industry and the Government hopes to introduce statutory licensing of private security businesses in 2015.

If you require any help or advise with licences in the Security Industry, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Defence of Breach of Licence Prosecutions

We regularly defend licensees in the Magistrates Courts in relation to all manner of breach of licence prosecutions.

Health and Safety

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain. It concerns the health, safety and welfare of persons and the control of dangerous substances in the workplace.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, an employer is required to provide and maintain the place of work in a manner that is safe and without risks to the employees health, as far as is reasonably practicable. In addition, the employer must also provide instruction, training and supervision to ensure health and safety as well, as a written statement of his general policy regarding health and safety at work that is revised on a regular basis.

An employee, on the other hand, has a duty to take reasonable care of their own health and safety, as well as that of other persons that might be affected by his acts or omissions at work, and to cooperate with the employer’s general policy.

Even registered door staff require a health and safety risk assessment. We have recent experience of dealing with a health and safety prosecution where a doorman was stabbed by a customer. Although the facts indicated that a crime had been committed, the local authority also regarded the matter as an accident in the workplace, which triggered a major health and safety investigation, prosecution and revocation of licence proceedings.

We advise both employers and employees about any problems concerning the Health and Safety conditions in the workplace. If you require any advice about Health and Safety in your place of work, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Motoring

We regularly appear in the Courts defending motorists in relation to all manner of motoring offences.

Betting and Gaming

According to the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, all remote gambling operators offering services to British consumers will be subject to consistent regulation. These changes will affect anyone providing online gambling facilities to persons in Britain.

The Gambling Act 2005 sets out certain regulations for gambling in Great Britain.

It was introduced in order to prevent crime in gambling, to ensure greater transparency and fairness, and to prevent children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by it.

Act regulates commercial gambling through various kinds of licences and deals with both online and land based operations. In addition, it also sets out the parameters for when private and non-commercial gambling is allowed.

In order to transact with British customers and advertise in Great Britain, all remote gambling operations, regardless of where they are based, must hold a Gambling Commission operating licence

Local Authorities are responsible for premises licences and particularly for ensuring compliance with permissions imposed on the licences.

We have a wealth of experience in helping clients with betting and gambling licences. If you have any questions or require any advice, do not hesitate to contact us.

Licensing Audits (usually for large hotels and chains)

As London licensing solicitors we provide clients with assistance and advise with the application for the all the different licences that large hotels and chains require. These include licences to play music in a theatre, licences to play background music (PRS), premises licences, marriage licences, a temporary events notice and even kosher licences.

 

How we can help

We deal with all aspects of licensing and related regulatory matters, please do contact us to discuss your particular requirements.

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