Our specialist licensing law solicitors can help you navigate this complex area of law. We offer advice and assistance in all areas of licensing law, including: –
- Alcohol licensing
- Premises and personal licenses
- Club premises certificates
- Temporary event notices
- Regulated entertainment
- Late night refreshment
- Regulated entertainment
Alcohol licensing/premises licence
Fees and funding
Our fees – ranges of costs:
It is difficult to provide “menu pricing” in respect of our fees, because no two cases are ever quite the same. Some matters are reasonably straightforward; applying for a premises licence in respect of off-sales for a small local store can be straightforward, but even these types of applications may become more complicated if the store is in a local authority designated impact zone. In these situations a more stringent operating schedule may be required. In extreme cases, an appropriate experts report may also be required.
For premises such as nightclubs/late night bars, it is especially important to have a robust and quite detailed operating schedule in order to try to ensure that any objections (based on the four “licensing objectives”) regarding the application for a premises licence are anticipated and addressed beforehand.
Appeals to the magistrates court of decisions made by the licensing committee (whether refusal to grant a premises licence or the granting of that licence but with conditions that are too onerous) are strictly time-limited and will usually firstly require advice on prospects of success, followed by urgent work to be done in a short space of time. In some of these cases, one or more expert report may be required.
Notwithstanding the examples of some of the complications set out above, we always seek to provide a “menu pricing” range of costs to all of our licensing clients. Please note that the following examples include VAT (which in fact may be recoverable by a client) but do not include “disbursements”, that is costs payable to a third party such as lodging fees payable to a local authority (for example, the fee payable when lodging an application for premises licence), court issue fees, newspapers’ fees for public notices, draughtsman‘s fees for preparation of plans, expert reports (for example, acoustic expert reports).
Julian Abraham, who is a long-standing partner in the firm, has been undertaking our licensing law work for approximately 30 years. The hourly rate at which this firm charges out his time is £252 including VAT, and the following “menu pricing” is based on that hourly rate:
Typical pricing of application for premises licence :
Please note that this is for all work to and including the launching of the application for premises licence and is inclusive of VAT,
– simple application for premises licence: £1134-£2016
– medium complexity application for premises licence: £2000-£3500;
– high complexity application for premises licence: £3500-£6000.
Typical disbursements which are additional costs payable on the above matters include, but are not limited to the following:
– newspaper public notices: £350;
– preparation of plans: £800;
– Lodging fee of premises licence application (depending on rateable value), very roughly: £350.
An example of how we calculate our fees?
We have set out below a typical menu pricing of a “simple” application for new premises licence. This pricing would be increased proportionately, depending on complexity. As always, much depends on the exact circumstances of the case, which will be discussed with you beforehand. The figures set out below include all preparation work and representation at the hearing, broken down into stages. It also includes VAT but does not include disbursements such as preparation of plans, obtaining expert reports, et cetera. It is based on Julian Abrahams hourly rate of £252:
Simple application for new premises licence:
| Taking instructions|
| considering all documents|| £126-£252|
|preparing application in|
|preparing and dealing|
with publishing Public
Notice in newspaper.
|preparing notice for|
front of premises with
Instructions on displaying
|agreeing final version of|
Application and serving
It on all parties.
|TOTALS ||£1134 – £2016 (inc VAT)|
What work do our costs include?
- taking your instructions
- advising you as to how you can promote the licensing objectives within your premises licence application
- advising on the type of plans required to accompany your application
- completing and submitting the application
- disclosing the application to the responsible authorities
- making arrangements for the necessary advertising of the application
What work is not included?
Dealing with any subsequent objections,
Preparing for and representing the client at a hearing:
Typical pricing of Contested Applications at court
It is sometimes, but by no means always, possible that the application will attract no objections and will therefore be granted without the need for a formal hearing. However, it is often the case that objections are received, either from local traders or residents, or from the police or one or more local authority departments. In such cases, if we are to act for you in preparing for such hearings and representing you at those hearings, the following typical “menu pricing” applies:
– simple case: £2000-£3000;
– Medium complexity case: £2000-£5000;
– High complexity case: £5000-£20,000 (these cases tend to be rare).
These prices are inclusive of VAT and include counsels fees. They are additional to the licence application price estimate given above.
What affects whether a case is complex?
Factors that could make the matter more complex are numerous, and the examples below are amongst the most common (but there are others) :
– if the premises is within the local authority’s impact/high impact zone;
– if the premises is very near a school;
– if the premises is within an area associated with high levels of antisocial behaviour;
– if the premises is within an area which has many licensed outlets;
– if the premises requires an on-licence;
– there can be circumstances in which the premises may not be able to successfully accommodates certain usual Conditions, such as no glass to be permitted outside the premises, or where in a non-restaurant application (four example, a café) the condition that alcohol can only be served with food);
– nightclubs and other late-night venues always add to the complexity, since it is a substantially more difficult task to show that all 4 licensing objectives have been properly addressed and accommodated. In addition, we may well have to deal with such matters as noise nuisance emanating from the premises which may require an acoustic engineer to visit the premises to take appropriate measurements and to prepare a report. Always expect objections to these applications;
– If the police or one or more of the local authority departments (such as the licensing department or the environmental health department) gives any prior indication that they have concerns regarding the application, and therefore extra measures may have to be put in place;
– if your plans have been drawn up deficiently, extra work may be required in order to ensure that the plans are appropriately amended;
– if your requirements change at some point after we are instructed, or if our involvement is required in such matters as preparing risk assessments, or having to prepare a more complicated and comprehensive operating schedule.
– The complexity or difficulty of the application may require one or several site visits by us which may add to the overall costs significantly.
How long will the matter take?
Sometimes clients come to us well in advance of the need for a premises licence and in those circumstances a less hurried approach is appropriate. More often, our clients come to us and instruct us to obtain the premises licence as soon as possible. In these circumstances, we can usually get everything ready and submit the application within a minimum of a week (where there is a special reason for such urgency), but usually it may take 2 to 4 weeks, depending on whether such things as appropriate plans have already been prepared.
Where the application is for an on-license, and especially if it is a nightclub or late night bar, longer time is often required to carefully plan how the premises will operate, and to prepare a bespoke operating schedule.
If there are no objections to the application, you can expect to receive your premises licence, usually between 4 to 6 weeks after we submit the application. It usually takes a similar timeframe for you to receive notice of any objections, in which case the hearing to determine your application many well be another 4 to 6 weeks hence.
Please remember that if objections are received, we will immediately supply you with our “Menu-pricing” which will be in a similar format to the sample pricing set out above in respect of applying for the premises licence.
We will discuss the particular circumstances regarding your case with you and will be able to provide you with a detailed costs estimate on request
We are able to offer fixed fees for our services at very competitive rates.
Call us now for a free telephone consultation on 0844 800 9860 or request a call back through the website.