Gerald Gouriet KC

Call: 1974  QC: 2006
Practice areas:
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Practice areas:
Practice Profile

Gerald’s practice embraces the full range of licensing regulation, with recent emphasis on gambling, alcohol and entertainment, and taxi licensing. He is widely recognised as “the doyen of the [KCs] in this field”: Chambers and Partners, 2022.  

He is General Editor of ‘Patersons Licensing Acts’ and of ‘Smith & Monkcom: The Law of Gambling’. As a known expert in his field, he was invited to give evidence before the House of Lords Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003 (2017), and before the House of Lords Select Committee on Gambling Harm (2020).

Gerald’s list of clients includes: The Royal Opera House; The Albert Hall; John Lewis; Waitrose; The Dorchester Hotel; Tottenham Hotspur Football Club; The Football Pools Ltd; Trust Inns Ltd; Mitchells & Butlers; The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA); Caesar's Palace (Las Vegas); Cashino Gaming Ltd; Paddy Power; Ladbrokes; Corals; and William Hill. He was successful in obtaining gaming licences for the last of the great 1968 Act Casinos in Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Huddersfield; climaxing with the grant, on appeal, of the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square.

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Uber London Limited v TfL
Gerald (together with Charles Holland) acted for the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) in its sustained objections to the renewal of Uber’s London Operator’s licence. Over a protracted dispute lasting some three years, Uber’s licence-renewal was initially refused by TfL (September 2017), then granted on appeal by the Chief Magistrate (June 2018). A further appeal to the High Court (by way of judicial review, brought by the United Cabbies Group) was dismissed in February 2019. When, in November 2019, TfL once again refused to renew Uber’s licence, Uber appealed to Westminster Magistrate’s Court. Gerald and Charles intervened on behalf of the LTDA. In September 2020, Uber’s appeal was allowed by Deputy Senior District Judge Ikram.

Uber Britannia Limited v Sefton Borough Council
Gerald acted for a private hire (minicab) operator (Delta Merseyside limited) in opposing a High Court declaration sought by Uber; which would, if granted, impact on the viability of private hire operators throughout the UK. On 4 November 2022, Foster J reserved judgement, and a decision is yet to be handed down.

Commissioner for Metropolitan Police v Brixton Academy
Following an incident at the Brixton Academy shortly before Christmas, in which two people were fatally injured by a large crowd trying to force its way through to the auditorium, the police instructed Gerald to apply for a summary review of the Academy’s licence.  At an ‘interim steps’ hearing, the licence was suspended pending the review, which took place on 16 January 2023. On application by the police, to which there was no objection, the premises licence was suspended for three months, while further investigations are conducted into the cause or causes of the incident.

  • Bachelor of Music (Royal College of Music)
  • Called to the Bar: 1974
  • Queen's Counsel: 2006
  • General Editor - Paterson's Licensing Acts
  • General Editor - Smith & Monkcom: the Law of Gambling

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Latest from Gerald
Sep' 23
O2 Brixton Academy Licensing Proceedings: 3 Members of FTB Instructed

On 15 December 2022, at the O2 Academy Brixton, a crushing incident occurred which led to the death of two individuals. 

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Aug' 23
High Court Judgment in Uber Britannia Limited v Sefton Borough Council

The High Court has given judgment in the case of Uber Britannia Limited v Sefton Borough Council [2023] EWHC 1975 (KB) and held that an operator who accepts a private hire booking is required to enter as principal into a contractual obligation with the passenger to provide the journey which is the subject of the booking. 

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Jan' 23
O2 Academy Brixton Licence Suspended

On Thursday 15 December 2022, The Brixton 02 Academy hosted a concert by the musical artist known as “Asake”. The ticketed event was sold out in advance. Shortly after 9pm, a large crowd breached the entrance doors and poured into the venue. Many people were crushed. Some were seriously injured: two of them fatally. 

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Jan' 23
Vanity Soho – Drink Spiking Allegations at Stripclub

In a widely reported decision, on 9 January 2023 Westminster City Council suspended the premises licence of Vanity Soho, a Soho stripclub, for 3 months and added conditions proposed by the licence holder. 

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"The Grand Master of Licensing and Gambling law”

Legal 500, 2024

"Gerald is able to cut through the issues to home in on the critical aspects of a case. He is able to present a case in a way which is very much distinct from other barristers, thereby setting his advocacy style in a unique light, and one which Tribunals will regard as particularly effective."

Chambers and Partners, 2023

"He gives a sense of confidence and is supportive of his instructing solicitors."

Chambers and Partners, 2023

"The doyen of the KCs in this field." "Gerald is able to cut through the issues to home in on the critical aspects of a case. He is able to present a case in a way which is very much distinct from other barristers, thereby setting his advocacy style in a unique light."

Chambers and Partners, 2022

"Gerald is a formidable barrister. His position as one of the UK leading licensing and gaming silks is undeniable."

The Legal 500, 2022