What work does the pricing information below relate to?
Below you will find pricing information for businesses in relation to applying for a new premises licence or to vary a premises licence to allow those premises to be used for one or more licensable activities.
Why do we provide this information?
We are required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to provide pricing information to potential clients in relation to certain types of work. We encourage our clients to contact us for more detailed information based on their specific situation and needs and not to base any decision solely on price. We strongly believe in the notion that 'you get what you pay for' and strive to provide our clients with clear, practical and effective legal advice, a responsive and highly personal service and, crucially, value for money.
How do we charge?
The following information relates to two types of application:
- Applications for a new Premises Licence under Section 17 of the Licensing Act 2003; and
- Applications to vary a Premises Licence (commonly known as a ‘full variation’) under Section 34 of the Licensing Act 2003.
In view of the fact that each proposed “Premises” to be licensed is unique (in terms of brand; layout; proposed licensable activities; location) we are not able to provide a fixed fee for applications in advance of obtaining specifics concerning the planned licensing project. Once full details are known, it may be possible either to provide a fixed fee or to provide a more defined fee estimate for the particular project. The following ranges have been provided using our extensive knowledge and experience of working on licensing projects for more than 30 years. Many of those projects are, however, exceptional (e.g. we are known for our expertise in licensing large, multiple use venues such as football and rugby stadia, racecourses and entertainment arenas).
Under the Licensing Act 2003 the procedure for apply for a full variation of an existing Licence or for a new Premises Licence are very similar and consequently the following ranges apply to either application.
Please note that the following does not relate to applications for a “minor” variation (pursuant to section 41A of Licensing Act 2003) where the planned variations fall within that section of the Licensing Act 2003; the fees in relation to such an application are likely to be significantly lower than the fee estimates below.
The following are not fixed estimates as until full details of the planned project are known, there are too many variables which could impact on the amount of work required. These examples give an idea of the amount of work that may be required in terms of hours. The estimates have been calculated taking an hourly rate of £295 per hour + VAT * (so on the basis that a Partner is undertaking the work). Licensing Assistants (solicitors and other advisers) charge at between £125 and £185 per hour + VAT *.
£1,800 to £7,500 (based on between 6 and 24 hours work – the latter being when attendance is required at a Committee Hearing (allowing for 1 day)), + VAT *.
£6,500 to £15,500 (based on between 22 and 52 hours work – the latter being when attendance is required at a Committee Hearing (allowing for 1 day)), + VAT *.
£13,500 to £25,000 (based on between 45 and 85 hours work – the latter being when attendance is required at a Committee Hearing (allowing for 1 day)), + VAT *.
These different levels of complexity are outlined here (PDF). In a very complicated application (particularly if the venue has a substantial capacity; is multi-use (e.g. for sport and music concerts), and if multiple objections are lodged – the maximum fees can be considerably higher than the upper range given above depending on the amount of time taken to prepare and present the application.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. Save for Premises with large capacities (over 5,000) we will pay the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
- Application fee charged by the Licensing Authority.
- Application fee (payable to licensing authority) are determined with reference to the rateable value of the proposed “Premises” and with reference to the planned capacity.
- Advertising fee: These will vary depending on the publication where the application needs to be advertised. They are typically between £250 to £500.
There may be additional disbursements depending on how the application is to be issued and whether additional plans need to be obtained to support the application. We will give you an accurate figure for any anticipated disbursements as soon as we are able to do so.
How long will my matter take?
Simple applications usually take six to 12 weeks from receipt of full instructions from you. This is on the basis of a simple application and you being able to provide all the necessary documents in support of the application promptly.
If your matter is more complex (falling within the medium or highly complex categories) considerable preparatory work may be needed (including possibly one or more preliminary site visits/meetings) before the formal application is issued and/or a preliminary “pre-app” application is first concluded. Such preparatory work (for example for a stadium or other substantial multi-use building) can take six months or more to carry out, as this work is often heavily dependent on you providing considerable documentation (such as a draft Operations Manual/SOPs/EOPs etc.). Such complex matters can therefore take between 6 months to a year to complete even though the statutory period for the formal application will only last approximately three months (from issue to conclusion of a Licensing Authority Committee Hearing, if required).
Who will be advising you?
Matters will be handled by an appropriate member of our Venue Licensing team under the supervision of partner and team head Sue Dowling. You may be working with a licensing assistant or trainee solicitor (completing a "seat") in our team.
Who to contact for further information or legal advice?
Please contact us for more detailed and specific information.
* VAT is charged at 20%.