Is Your Premises Licence Under Threat? How To Avoid Revocation

Is Your Premises Licence Under Threat? How To Avoid Revocation

As part of our comprehensive licensing law service we advise a large number of landlords across London. Our work is about protecting their business interests.  For the most part this involves license applications, renewals and variations.

Increasingly we also find ourselves representing licensees whose licences are threatened with revocation. We advise on:

  • Prosecutions under the Licensing Act, 2003
  • Licence reviews that may lead to revocation
  • Closure orders
  • Appeals

In many cases, things need not get this far. With regular legal advice, you can take straightforward precautions to avoid unwanted intervention by the local council, police and others.

Commercial Pressures Greater Than Ever

On the ground, business is difficult. Landlords now face a level of external commercial pressure that’s higher than ever – reasons for this include:

  • The smoking ban
  • Cut price supermarket alcohol sales
  • Increased competition
  • A changing night time culture of online dating
  • ‘Pre-loading’ of alcohol at home

In the course of our work we see how pressure like this can lead some licensees to take risks that put the licence itself in jeopardy. It makes the need for regular legal advice crucial.

Protecting Your Licence: How We Can Help

As a former senior local government lawyer, Winston Brown has an invaluable understanding of the thinking of licensing authorities in London. He has advised key decision makers at several councils over many years. On a case-by-case basis this insight can make the difference between keeping your license and losing it.

It’s experience that’s simply not available elsewhere.

Keep in touch with us throughout the life of your licence. You can reduce the possibility of losing your license while legitimately maximising its commercial viability.

Here’s how we can help:

  • We can assess the circumstances surrounding your licence. Where relevant we will suggest – in a proactive manner – how you can take account of factors such as crime prevention, avoidance of public disorder, prevention of public nuisance, public safety and child protection.
  • Before matters spiral out of control we can liaise and negotiate with authorities, including the Metropolitan Police, Health and Safety officers, council planners and trading standards.
  • We will independently assess the gravity of any alleged breach and ensure it is not exaggerated.
  • We will advise you of steps you can take to deal with a potential breach and minimise its effect. We will then ensure these actions are explained fully to the authorities. If there are violent incidents around your premises for example, our advice would be to report them at the earliest opportunity. At any revocation hearing your conduct will be scrutinised. Early action like this indicates you have taken the matter seriously.
  • At all times we will ensure that action by authorities is proportionate and consistent with licensing policy.
  • If you want to change the way you operate and you think you may be pushing the boundaries of the terms of your license we can advise on what is and what is not permissible.

If you have received notice of a licence review contact us online or by phone on 020 8858 5996. There may be strong grounds to challenge. Remember, revocations are often avoidable. It’s important to contact a solicitor at the very first sign of trouble.

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