Alcohol Licensing Advice
The Licensing Act 2003 came into effect in October 2005. This Act governs the sale and supply of alcohol throughout authorized licensed premises in the United Kingdom. Johnson and Boon Solicitors can provide assistance to individuals and companies operating in the licensing trade who require an Alcohol license throughout the Wirral and Merseyside area.
Anyone operating Wirral premises or organizing events that include the sale or supply of alcohol must have an alcohol license.
With rules and processes constantly changing, our expert understanding of the UK licensing laws will provide you with the help to avoid the pitfalls that can bring a business or event to a grinding halt.
We work on behalf of Clients in a variety of situations such as:
- Applying for a Personal License
- Applying for a Premises License
- Transferring a Premises License
- Applications for a Designated Premises Supervisor
- Varying existing Licenses
- Temporary event notices
Local authorities and other interested parties may challenge or seek a review of an existing License.
Any review must relate to one or more of the 4 Licensing objectives under the Licensing Act:
- The Prevention of Crime and Disorder
- Public Safety
- The Prevention of Public Nuisance
- The Protection of Children from Harm
Johnson and Boon Solicitors will advise you every step of the way and will represent you at any Local Authority License Sub-Committee Hearing or any Licensing Appeal. We offer a fast, professional approach to advising you whatever the situation may warrant. Whether you are applying for a new license, wishing to vary an existing license or seeking to retain an existing license, you need Johnson and Boon to represent you.
If you are launching a new premises or event, the time it takes to get going can be crucial to your cashflow.
We will ensure your application is done correctly first time round, avoiding costly delays in correcting errors or having to appeal decisions.
It is important that the licensee of a premises or event is kept up to date and properly reflects the person responsible.
It is essential the application addresses any potential issues which might give rise to a rejection or delay of the process.
Our expert advice can ensure these hurdles are avoided or effects reduced.
What you are doing in your premises or at your events, must be in accordance with the terms of your license.
If your license needs amending there are specific processes that need to be followed and criteria met.
Our team can help you to avoid any potential pitfalls which might hinder your plans.
If you have had an application rejected, there is clearly a problem which needs addressing.
Our vast experience in this area will offer pragmatic advice to best ensure the chances of you being successful second time round.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT OUR COSTS
We charge an initial consultation fee of £50 + VAT, which can be deducted from the further costs you incur if we are instructed to proceed. At the consultation you will receive initial advice and we will gain a sufficient insight into your case to be able to advise as to the best route forward.
Average costs for Licensing matters are below:
- Applying for a Premises Licence – £750.00 to £1,500.00 plus VAT
- Apply to vary a Premises Licence – £750.00 to £1,500.00 plus VAT
- Defending a Review of a Premises Licence – £1,500.00 to £2,500.00 plus VAT
- Preparation and representation at a Sub-Committee Hearing – £1,500.00 to £2,000.00 plus VAT.
- Appealing a decision of a sub-committee – £2,000.00 to £3,000.00 plus VAT
In addition to these amounts would be the payment of disbursements, which include although not exclusively:
- Licensing Application fees – these depend upon the rateable value of the premises and range from £100.00 to £635.00.
- Newspaper Advertising Fees – they depend upon the size of the advertisement and which publication it needs to go into. Generally, they cost between £500.00 and £1,000.00 plus VAT.
- Expert Reports – on occasions it may be necessary to obtain an expert report e.g. a sound expert if there is an issue with noise. Those fees would generally range from £500.00 plus VAT to £1,250.00 plus VAT.
- Advocacy Fees – For a Barrister this would range from £750.00 – £1,000.00 + VAT
The above services vary for each type of application as follows;
Applying for a premises licence will include initial discussions with you concerning the Licensing Act, taking your instructions as to your requirements for the supply and sale of alcohol and regulated music. Preparing application for premises licence and consent of designated premises supervisor. Preparing operating schedule within application. Preparing notices and newspaper advertisement and liaising with the local paper. Preparing public display notices for the premises location. Submitting application and payment of fees to Licensing authority. Advising you on any representations received and negotiation with interested authorities in respect of same.
The process for an application to vary a licence will involve the same work as set out above save for removing any condition or details relevant to the initial licence.
Defending a review of a premises licence will involve consideration of the review by the applicant and their witness statement in support, consideration of further disclosure by them, advising in relation to the consequences of a review and your options. Preparing a response bundle to include witness statement and documentary evidence in relation to the application, preparing for hearing and brief to a Barrister including hearing bundle.
For subcommittee hearings we would advise you on the representations that have not been agreed and are subject to a subcommittee hearing on your application for a licence., preparing response statement and other documentation in support, preparing notice of attendance, preparing hearing bundle, preparing brief to a Barrister.
In relation to appealing the decision of the subcommittee we would take your initial instructions as to the refusal of the application, consideration of determination letter from licensing department, preparing notice to appeal, preparing grounds of appeal, preparing witness statements and accompanying documents in support, preparing any authority you seek to rely on including licensing guidance, submitting and filing of appeal with local Magistrates Court and on all necessary parties, advising you re appeal date and procedure, preparing hearing bundle and brief to Barrister
A NO OBLIGATION quote for legal costs on your case will be provided during initial consultation. We will detail all the work that will be included within that price. No work will be undertaken until you have understood what we will do and agreed to the associated fees.
There may be unforeseen circumstances which require that quote to be revised. This may relate to an increase in complexity, a change in your instructions, an application being made or becoming necessary to make or if there are significantly more communications than normal between the parties.
You will be kept fully advised as to the costs position as your case progresses and any changes to our estimates. We will advise on the nature of that circumstance, why it has impacted upon the original costs quotation and we will provide a revised quote for your consideration and approval.
No additional costs will be incurred until these have been understood and approved by you.
All work is completed by or supervised by a qualified solicitor.
Most matters are concluded within 2 to 3 months of us receiving your instructions.
Appeals can take longer depending upon the directions given by the Court but generally they will be concluded within 4 to 6 months.