HMO licensing, the ‘fit and proper’ test and spent convictions

The Court of Appeal has provided clarity for the test of a ‘fit and proper’ licence holder for houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs), write Simon Kiely and Christian Grierson. Read more
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Nov 02, 2020

West Midlands Police obtains closure order for shisha lounge just weeks after venue was hit with £10k fine for COVID-19 rules breaches

West Midlands Police has secured a closure order for a shisha lounge after its second major Covid-19 breach in weeks.
Oct 21, 2020

Night-Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester sends letter before action ahead of potential challenge to restrictions on hospitality sector

The Night-Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, Sacha Lord, has threatened a judicial review challenge into the legality of implementing emergency restrictions on the area's hospitality sector, "without scientific evidence".
Oct 08, 2020

Government issues guidance on COVID-19 secure marshals, stresses the role has no enforcement powers

The Government has issued guidance on how the £30m allocated to district and unitary authorities for COVID-19 related compliance and enforcement activities should be spent.
Oct 06, 2020

Owner of iconic nightclub to launch legal challenge over 10pm curfew

The owner of nightclub G-A-Y, Jeremy Joseph, has appointed law firm Simpson Millar and barristers at Kings Chambers to challenge the Government’s decision to implement a national curfew of 10pm on hospitality premises.
Sep 30, 2020

London borough shuts restaurant over Covid-19 breaches

The London Borough of Bromley has closed a restaurant in Orpington after breaches of Covid-19 restrictions.
Sep 28, 2020

Uber wins appeal over refusal of London PHV licence, with judge ruling company is now “fit and proper person”

Uber London (ULL) has won its appeal over the decision of Transport for London (TfL) in November 2019 not to renew its London private hire vehicle (PHV) operator’s licence.
Sep 22, 2020

Council to pursue Crown Court appeal over ruling that ex-policeman convicted of child abduction should be granted taxi licence

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council has lodged an appeal with Liverpool Crown Court over whether a former policeman convicted 14 years ago of abducting a 15-year-old girl should be granted a taxi driver licence.
Sep 21, 2020

Top licensing QC joins 11KBW

One of the leading licensing QCs in the country, Philip Kolvin, has joined 11KBW.
Sep 16, 2020

Birmingham bar sees licence revoked by council after COVID-19 breaches

The Licensing Sub-Committee at Birmingham City Council has revoked the premises licence of a bar in the Jewellery Quarter after it was found to be breaching COVID-19 guidelines.
Sep 09, 2020

Council anger after magistrate allows appeal over refusal of taxi licence

A Merseyside council has deplored a magistrate's decision to grant a taxi licence to a man convicted in 2006 of abducting a 15-year-old girl.


November 19, 2020

Licensing v.2.0 – a system reboot post-Covid

Philip Kolvin QC considers possible reforms to the licensing system that he says, if made in the wake of the pandemic, might determine the future of our towns and cities over the next 25 years.
November 13, 2020

Taxi drivers: the "fit and proper" standard and the benefit of the doubt

A taxi driver was recently not given the benefit of doubt over inappropriate behaviour towards children. Matt Lewin explains why.
November 04, 2020

The Lockdown 2 Regulations

Gary Grant and Charles Holland summarise the key points from the regulations implementing the latest national lockdown.
October 19, 2020

The 3-Tier Covid Regulations: Impact on Licensed Premises

Gary Grant and Charles Holland summarise the new system brought in through the 3-Tier Covid Regulations and focus on its impact on licensed premises.
September 30, 2020

Mandatory decibel limits in hospitality venues

Charles Holland sets out the legislative background to the new music level requirement, and Peter Rogers reviews its effectiveness and enforceability in terms of an acoustic test.
September 28, 2020

Uber and the fit and proper person test

Gerald Gouriet QC and Charles Holland examine the Deputy Senior District Judge's ruling that Uber is a fit and proper person to hold a London PHV operator's licence.
September 24, 2020

The 24 September Coronavirus Restrictions

Gary Grant examines the main provisions of the latest coronavirus regulations imposing restrictions on opening hours and the service of food and drink.
September 15, 2020

The "Rule of 6" Coronavirus Regulations

Gary Grant sets out the key elements of the government's new 'Rule of 6' regulations.


Aug 25, 2020

Crown Court dismisses appeal by taxi driver over revocation of licence

A hackney carriage driver has lost their appeal to the Crown Court against Guildford Borough Council's decision to revoke their licence.
Aug 21, 2020

Taxi drivers group eyes legal challenge over 'Streetspace' policy of London mayor and TfL

The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LDTA) plans a legal challenge to London mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) over their Streetspace policy.
Aug 13, 2020

Mayor defeats Court of Appeal challenge to removal of congestion charge exemption from minicab drivers

The Court of Appeal has found for the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in a case brought by minicab drivers, despite judges being troubled by aspects of his actions.
Aug 10, 2020

LGA calls for temporary public health or COVID-19 objective in Licensing Act

The Local Government Association has called for councils to be given the powers to close down pubs and other licensed premises which are failing to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Jul 31, 2020

High Court judge quashes decision of Welsh council to implement major school reorganisation

A High Court judge has quashed a decision by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council to implement proposals for a wide-ranging re-organisation of primary, secondary and sixth-form education in the Pontypridd area.
Jul 22, 2020

Home Office issues guidance on new temporary off-sales permissions

The Home Office has published guidance on the new temporary off-sales permissions contained in the alcohol licensing provisions in the Business and Planning Act 2020.
Jul 16, 2020

Council to remove all cumulative impact policies in August but may reinstate one for city centre

Bristol City Council is to scrap its cumulative impact policies on alcohol licensing after police said many of them were unnecessary.
Jun 30, 2020

Court of Appeal hears challenge to introduction of congestion charge for minicab drivers

The Court of Appeal will this week hear an appeal by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) over Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s decision to introduce a congestion charge on minicab drivers.
Jun 10, 2020

Borough council to accelerate applications for temporary changes to use of public areas and private land

Cheltenham Borough Council is understood to have become one of the first local authorities in the country to accelerate applications for temporary changes to the use of public areas and private land.
May 22, 2020

Licensing sub-committee revokes premises licence for breach of lockdown regulations

The Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee at City of Wolverhampton Council has revoked the premises licence of a pub for breaches of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020.
May 14, 2020

Blind entrepreneur to bring legal action against Uber over refusals

A blind social entrepreneur is bring a legal challenge against ride-hailing company Uber after more than 100 refusals to pick him and his guide dog up.
May 14, 2020

Government launches taskforce on how pubs and restaurants can reopen safely

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is to lead a new ministerial-led taskforce for pubs and restaurants that will develop plans on how and when the sector can reopen safely.
May 12, 2020

Pub hit with prohibition order “after drinkers found in cellar”

A pub landlord who breached coronavirus regulations a reported eight times since the end of March has been served a prohibition notice by North West Leicestershire District Council.
Apr 30, 2020

Pub hit with prohibition notice after licensing teams found it open for business, customers said to be "hiding in cupboards"

South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield City Council have served a prohibition notice on a pub they alleged was open despite coronavirus restrictions.
Apr 23, 2020

Public Accounts Committee to hold inquiry on problem gambling and regulation

The influential Public Accounts Committee is to conduct an inquiry into problem gambling, beginning by questioning officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Gambling Commission on Monday (27 April) on how well the current regulatory framework protects gamblers.
Apr 17, 2020

MP brings bill to introduce licensing of pedicabs

The MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, Nickie Aiken, is to introduce a 10-minute rule bill in an attempt to introduce the regulation of pedicabs when Parliament reconvenes on April 21st.
Apr 14, 2020

LGA issues information note on how councils can manage licensing issues during coronavirus outbreak

The Local Government Association has published an information note setting out how issues raised by councils’ licensing teams and others might be managed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apr 08, 2020

Home Office Minister calls for licensing hearings to proceed “wherever possible”

Licensing hearings should proceed “wherever possible” even though regulations allow for many of them to be deferred during the period of social distancing, the Minister of State for Crime and Policing has said.
Apr 03, 2020

Institute of Licensing issues protocol for licence applications and hearings under Licensing Act 2003 during COVID-19 pandemic

The Institute of Licensing has published a Protocol designed to assist licensing authorities in complying with their obligations and duties under the Licensing Act 2003 during this emergency period.
Apr 02, 2020

Council and police shut pub that held lock in during lockdown

Ashfield District Council has used its powers working with Nottinghamshire Police to shut a pub under new rules introduced during the COVID-19 outbreak, after the licence holder held a lock in at her pub.
Apr 02, 2020

Council wins appeal over tribunal ruling requiring it to issue caravan site licence

The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) acted irrationally and put a council in an impossible position when it ordered it to issue a caravan site licence, the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has decided.
Mar 30, 2020

Leading licensing QC appointed associate fellow at University of Westminster

The University of Westminster’s Centre for Law, Society and Popular Culture has appointed Philip Kolvin QC as an Associate Fellow.
Mar 18, 2020

Pubs and restaurants to be allowed to serve takeaways as part of coronavirus response

The Communities Secretary has confirmed that planning regulations will temporarily be relaxed to allow all pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways of hot food and drinks, as part of plans to help the hospitality industry during the coronavirus outbreak.
Feb 28, 2020

Gambling Commission is “a small regulator in a huge and fast-evolving industry”, warns spending watchdog

Even if the Gambling Commission were to make recommended improvements, it is “a small body that is unlikely to be fully effective in regulating a challenging and fast-changing industry within the current system”, the National Audit Office has warned.
Feb 24, 2020

Government to consult on new duty requiring owners and operators to protect public spaces and venues from terror

The Home Office will consult this spring on a proposed “Protect Duty” which would require owners and operators of public spaces and venues to put in place measures to keep the public safe from a terrorist attack.


August 20, 2020

Minicabs and the Congestion Charge

The Court of Appeal has upheld the imposition of the congestion charge for minicabs. Marie Demetriou QC, Malcolm Birdling and David Heaton explain why.
July 27, 2020

Statutory taxi and private hire vehicle standards

Philip Kolvin QC examines the statutory and philosophical underpinning of the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards, together with their implications for licensing regulation.
July 27, 2020

New taxi and PHV Standards

The Government last week (21 July) published the long-awaited Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Standards. Philip Kolvin QC discusses the implications of the new standards.
July 10, 2020

The rules for independence day...and beyond

Charles Holland, Gary Grant and Leo Charalambides provide an in-depth summary of the regulations to remove the closure restrictions that had been imposed on English restaurants, cafes, bars and public houses to tackle COVID-19.
July 03, 2020

The rules for 'independence day'

Gary Grant and Charles Holland outline the just-published regulations governing the re-opening of pubs, restaurants and other public venues from 4th July.
June 25, 2020

Al Fresco eating and drinking under the Business and Planning Bill 2020

Through the Business and Planning Bill 2020, introduced this week, the government is looking to simplify and reduce the costs of the licensing process for outdoor seating and stalls. Gary Grant analyses the licensing aspects of the legislation.
June 05, 2020

The outdoor café campaign

Philip Kolvin QC looks at a potential solution to the challenge of allowing outside drinking as premises look to recover from lockdown.
May 28, 2020

Recent developments in additional and selective licensing

Tara O'Leary discusses some of the implications of the COVID-19 emergency for licensing litigation and summarises several important decisions which have emerged during a very productive period at the courts and tribunals.
May 20, 2020

Pubs and the lockdown regulations

A pub licence has been revoked at a summary review hearing for breaking lockdown regulations. Gary Grant reports.
May 13, 2020

COVID's Metamorphoses: the future of the social economy

Philip Kolvin QC and Alicia Scholer consider the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the future of the social economy.
May 12, 2020

Gambling and advertising controls

Jeremy Phillips QC examines the move to online gambling and the development of advertising and player controls during lockdown.
May 04, 2020

Late night levy in lockdown

This year, pub, club and restaurant owners will be paying a late night levy for premises they cannot open because of the lockdown. Philip Kolvin QC and Clare Eames explore two solutions.
April 09, 2020

Coronavirus restrictions: local authority enforcement powers

The powers of local authority officers to enforce restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak are narrower than you might think, argues Horatio Waller.
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March 23, 2020

Virtual local authority meetings

Amendments to the Coronavirus Bill will rule out uncertainty over whether local authority meetings can be held online, writes Charles Holland.
March 23, 2020

Closing restaurants, cafes and pubs during COVID-19

Charles Holland analyses the regulations issued by the government for the closure of restaurants, cafes, pubs and other leisure venues during the coronavirus outbreak.
March 18, 2020

Licensing hearings during the coronavirus crisis

Gary Grant, Vice-Chairman of the Institute of Licensing, sets out an alternative legal option for councils to hold remote licensing hearings instead of bringing the whole licensing system to a halt.
March 13, 2020

A broken shield isn’t that useful…

Changes to the Primary Authority scheme are needed if it is to retain its credibility, write Helen Atkinson, Ian Andrews and Joyce-Oyella-Ogaba.
January 24, 2020

Agent of change planning appeals

It is becoming less and less viable to administer either the planning or the licensing regime in a watertight compartment, writes Sarah Clover, after she successfully resisted an agent of change planning appeal.
December 13, 2019

Financing of licensing schemes

The Court of Appeal has held that there is no general legal principle that licensing schemes are intended to be self-financing, write Gerald Gouriet QC, Charles Streeten and Leo Charalambides.
November 14, 2019

Spent convictions, underlying conduct and the 'fit and proper person' test

James Findlay QC and Riccardo Calzavara report on an Upper Tribunal ruling on spent convictions and the ‘fit and proper person’ test for holding a property licence under the Housing Act 2004.