Simon Myerson QC leads a strong team of licensing barristers experienced in providing advice and representation to Local Authorities, companies and individuals, on any licensing issue. These include alcohol and entertainment, firearms and dangerous animals.
The Licensing Act 2003 established an integrated scheme for licensing premises in England and Wales, used for the supply or sale of alcohol, late night refreshments, and provision of regulated entertainment. Licensing law also covers public sector work, firearms, health and safety, dangerous animals, taxi licensing, and planning.
License applications can be burdensome, contentious and lengthy. They can require supporting evidence such as expert reports, for instance from acoustic engineers for planned entertainment venues, or personal references in order to obtain a firearms license.
The granting of a license is a decision made by the relevant licensing authority, but their decision is not final; appeals can be made to magistrates courts should the application be refused or disputed conditions attached. In particular, licenses for entertainment and alcohol often present with difficulty. The applicant must demonstrate the steps it will take to prevent crime and protect the public, as well as guarding against public nuisance and harm to children.
Licensing laws control when, where, and to whom alcohol can be sold or supplied to. Licensing is governed in England and Wales by The Licensing Act 2003, which provides a single integrated system for licensing premises that are used to supply alcohol, carry regulated entertainment, or provide late night refreshment. Licensing applications encompass many different forms of entertainment and can range from a large festival to a small scale theatre production. It is imperative to consider the four licensing objectives that the Licensing Act 2003 promotes prior to submitting your application; prevention and detection of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm.
Permission to possess or purchase a firearm will be granted to an individual who is assessed by the police and licensing authority as not posing a threat to public safety and with good reason to own the firearm. Organisations such as museums, dealers, and target shooting clubs must apply for licenses to possess or use firearms. The police are the licensing authority for firearm and shotgun certificates, as well as for firearms dealers. The central licensing authority does not authorise this type of license as the police will use local information to inform their judgement. The police will make a decision on whether someone is fit to own a firearm by conducting checks including interviews, visits to the applicant’s property, criminal record checks and references, including from the applicant’s GP.
Any person that wishes to keep any animal listed in the Schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, which includes animals such as chimpanzees, lemurs, cheetahs and lions, must obtain a Dangerous Wild Animals License from their local Licensing Authority. A full list is available from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Act does not apply to any dangerous wild animal kept in a zoo, circus, premises licensed as a pet shop or a designated establishment within the meaning of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
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For further information and enquiries please contact our clerks team.
Joint Head of Chambers
Call: 1998 Silk: 2015
Call: 1986 Silk: 2003
Chambers is centrally located within walking distance of the train station, secure car parks and the Courts.
St Pauls Chambers
Park Row House
19-20 Park Row
For out of hours assistance please call the senior clerk on 07854170429.
The switchboard will open from 08:30 until 17:30