It is the responsibility of local authorities to control certain activities by the issuing of the necessary licence of permit. The two most common areas where issues arise with licensing is that in connection with i) public houses and bars, ii) Hackney carriage/private hire vehicles.
The licensing of premises
Applications for licences and the hearing of any review on the licence are made to the licensing committee of the local authority. It is necessary for licensing application to be in compliance with the licensing act and for the issued licence to be abided by.
Where a party disagrees with the licensing committee’s decision, it is possible to appeal that decision to the Magistrates’ Court, and this hearing is effectively like a trial. It is therefore imperative that upon the application a licence holder or applicant is receiving appropriate advice.
Hackney carriage/private hire licensing
The regime for both for Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles varies from local authority to local authority. In London particularly, there is an authority appointed to regulate this sector, TFL. Licences are required for both drivers and vehicles and in the case of private hire sector for operators. Where conditions of licence are not complied with or there are allegations of misconduct, there can be interim sanctions including suspension, and licences can be revoked or not renewed. Expertise of the relevant law, is essential to change decisions and if appropriate contest them on appeal. This is a highly specialised area of law and given the risk of losing one’s livelihood it is imperative, to ensure you are being represented with expertise.
Examples of cases that our team have handled include:
- Acting on behalf of private hire drivers in relation to Representations to licensing authorities
- Acting on appeals to licensing committees and Magistrates Courts
- Representing Licensees in Licensing Applications and Appeals
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