Licensing

FTB is recognised by both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 as one of the country’s leading Chambers of specialist licensing barristers. 

FTB is recognised by both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 as one of the country’s leading Chambers of specialist licensing barristers. 

The Legal 500, 2024 comments that FTB is "a very professional set" with "unparalleled breadth of expertise across licensing law" and ‘great depth and breadth of knowledge and experience."

Chambers and Partners 2023 notes that FTB "has an impressive roster of both silks and juniors, equipped to handle instructions from clients including licensing authorities, the police, taxi and private hire vehicle operators and the operators of licensed premises." 

Our barristers advise and advocate on behalf of the private and public sectors, local authorities, residents and the police alike. Our private clients include many of the country’s leading commercial operators, small businesses and individual entrepreneurs.

The experience of our team is second to none. We act for, or against, nightclubs, bars, pubs, restaurants, casinos (terrestrial and online), betting shops, lap-dancing venues, taxi and private hire operators, sporting and music arena, major music festivals, museums and galleries, live music venues, cinemas and theatres and other premsises.

Members of Chambers have appeared in most of the leading licensing cases at first instance and in the appeal courts. We accept instructions to deal with cases at all levels from licensing sub-committee hearings through to the Supreme Court.

Our team is vastly experienced in making and opposing licensing applications before local authorities, appearing in heavily contested reviews of premises licences and closure orders, as well as before magistrates’ courts on appeal. Members also regularly appear in judicial review applications before the High Court and appeals to the Court of Appeal.

We are at the forefront of licensing policy, law and practice. Members advise central and local government and other public and commercial bodies on issues of national, regional and local importance ranging from Statements of Licensing Policy to new or proposed Parliamentary legislation.

Members also advise in relation to the emerging market in lawful cannabis, hemp and CBD products

Our barristers edit and/or contribute to the leading practitioners’ books and journals in the field of licensing. These include: Paterson’s Licensing Acts, The Law of Gambling (Smith & Monkcom), "Clubs" - The Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents and the Journal of Licensing.

We also act in related criminal an civil enforcement proceedings taken against licensees and their employees.

Our areas of licensing expertise include:

  • Alcohol and entertainment
  • Late night refreshment
  • Gambling, casinos, betting shops and lotteries (terrestrial and online)
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles
  • Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEVs)
  • Cannabis licensing and regulation
  • Firearms, shotguns and explosives
  • Street trading, pedlars and busking
  • Special treatments
  • Zoos, dangerous wild animals, pet animal licensing and animal welfare
  • Closure Orders
  • Noise abatement/statutory nuisance proceedings

Members are regularly instructed by the leading firms of licensing solicitors and consultants around the country and are qualified to accept cases directly from members of the public and the trade under the Bar’s Public Access Scheme.  Further information including indicative fees can be found here.

06
Dec' 21
Divisional Court Holds Uber and other Ride Hailing App are Operating Unlawfully

The Divisional Court (consisting of Males LJ and Fraser J) has handed down judgment in UTAG and Uber v TfL [2021] EWHC 3290 (Admin).

The judgment is highly significant. Its effect is to make clear that Uber, Free Now, and a number of other so called ‘ride hailing’ Apps are acting unlawfully. 

Read more
01
Sep' 20
Make Shift Granted 3 Premises Licences for Hackney Bridge Development on London Olympic Site

Following a contested remote hearing before Hackney’s Licensing Sub-Committee on 20 August 2020, Make Shift, the makers of Pop Brixton and  Peckham Levels have successfully obtained three late night premises licences to enable their major new destination venue “Hackney Bridge” to open in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park later this year.

Read more

"A very professional set" with "unparalleled breadth of expertise across licensing law" and ‘great depth and breadth of knowledge and experience."

Legal 500, 2024

"I always receive a first-class service from all the clerks at Francis Taylor Building."

Chambers and Partners, 2023

"FTB is clearly the leading licensing set with some of the most famous names in the Industry. It has unrivaled depth in the licensing and regulatory field and they have been a joy to work with."

Legal 500, 2022

"[FTB] has an impressive roster of both silks and juniors, equipped to handle instructions from clients including licensing authorities, the police, taxi and private hire vehicle operators and the operators of licensed premises.

Chambers and Partners, 2022

"FTB has possibly the greatest depth of licensing experience in England. Chambers are able to offer expert licensing advice from the lowest level of junior (in terms of call date) to QC."

Legal 500, 2022

"The clerks are absolutely superb and very quick to get back to you." "The clerks are very efficient."

Chambers and Partners, 2022

"The service provided by the Chambers and the clerk’s room is exemplary. All staff are knowledgeable, professional, and friendly."

Legal 500 2020
06
Dec' 21
Divisional Court Holds Uber and other Ride Hailing App are Operating Unlawfully

The Divisional Court (consisting of Males LJ and Fraser J) has handed down judgment in UTAG and Uber v TfL [2021] EWHC 3290 (Admin).

The judgment is highly significant. Its effect is to make clear that Uber, Free Now, and a number of other so called ‘ride hailing’ Apps are acting unlawfully. 

Read more
01
Sep' 20
Make Shift Granted 3 Premises Licences for Hackney Bridge Development on London Olympic Site

Following a contested remote hearing before Hackney’s Licensing Sub-Committee on 20 August 2020, Make Shift, the makers of Pop Brixton and  Peckham Levels have successfully obtained three late night premises licences to enable their major new destination venue “Hackney Bridge” to open in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park later this year.

Read more
07
Jun' 24
Licensing Update - London

An late afternoon seminar featuring a series of topical and practical presentations by members of chambers.
It will be of interest to local authority licensing officers and lawyers, licensing solicitors in private practice, licensing consultants and police licensing officers.
The programme will be announced in due course.  In the meantime, places can be reserved using the booking link below.

Practical Information

Venue: Francis Taylor Building, Inner Temple, London, EC4Y 7BY.
Time: Registration from 4.15pm  Seminar from 4.30pm – 6.30pm followed by a short drinks reception.
Booking: There is no charge to attend but places must be reserved in advance using the booking link below.

King's Counsel

Gerald Gouriet KC

Call: 1974 | Silk: 2006

David Matthias KC

Call: 1980 | Silk: 2006

Jeremy Phillips KC

Call: 2004 | Silk: 2018

Junior Counsel

James Rankin

Call: 1983

Gary Grant

Call: 1994

Leo Charalambides

Call: 1998

John Jolliffe

Call: 2005

Annabel Graham Paul

Call: 2008

David Graham

Call: 2010

Alexander Greaves

Call: 2012

Charles Streeten

Call: 2013

Horatio Waller

Call: 2014

Charles Merrett

Call: 2016

Brendan Brett

Call: 2017

Michael Rhimes

Call: 2019

Mark O’Brien O’Reilly

Call: 2021, 2023 (Ireland)

Michael Feeney

Call: 2021

Stephanie Bruce-Smith

Call: 2021

Claire Nevin

Call: 2021

Pupils

Armin Solimani

Call: 2023

Associate Members

Charles Holland

Call: 1994