To speak to a member of our team directly about licensing a business in London, call us on 0208 051 9995 or email a member of our team.

Our London Licensing Experts

Our team of licensing experts based in London is led by Luke Elford, who has been described as the best licensing solicitor in London.

We have helped many of our clients gain and retain licences across London, including iconic establishments such as Ministry of Sound and Bloomberg, as well as many pubs, restaurants, hotels and cafes across the capital.

Our areas of expertise

We have helped all types of businesses across London get licensed so their business can operate legally and profitably.

Most of the licences that we help our clients gain fall into one of the following categories:

Alcohol & Entertainment

If you’re a bar, restaurant, club or hotel, then you’ll need the right alcohol and entertainment licences in place in order to operate. Licences also can help determine which hours you’re allowed to operate within, so getting that extra hour of operating time on your licence can be vital to improving your profitability.

As well as helping you get the specialist licences or qualifications you need, we can also help you to appeal licensing decisions and fight enforcement action on your behalf.

Betting & Gaming

Betting and gaming laws affect all types of businesses from pubs to bookmakers and casinos.

John Gaunt & Partners are one of the largest betting and gaming licence experts in London, so we can help you navigate your way through the complicated regulations and ensure that your business has all the correct licences in place.

Licensing in London

Obtaining a licence in the UK can be difficult, however, getting within London can raise further challenges and can sometimes be seen as a daunting task.

However, Joh Gaunt & Partners have lots of experience in obtaining and varying licences within all the licensing authorities in London.

Our track record for overcoming cumulative impact policies and core hours policies is second to none. We have succeeded in gaining licences in hard-to-get areas such as Westminster City Councils West End Stress Area, Camden Councils Cumulative Impact Area and Hackney Shoreditch Special Policy Area. 

There are many other areas with Cumulative Impact Policies, so if you are thinking of taking on a Premises it is always worth checking in advance. We are always happy to advise on these areas at an early stage.

Councils within London tend to have bigger budgets for enforcement, we regularly deal with Premises Licence Review applications as well as magistrates court prosecutions and closure orders. With these types of cases, it is always imperative to reach out for support as soon as possible.

Clients we’ve helped in London

JKS Restaurants Ltd

We acted for JKS Restaurants Ltd on the acquisition and licensing of their first two pubs, The Cadogan Arms in Kensington & Chelsea and The George in Westminster. Each site came with unique challenges.

At The Cadogan previous tenants had made significant and unauthorised changes to the layout of the premises which needed correcting in order for the pub to reopen the following refurbishment.

At The George, the position was even more complicated as the Landlord had obtained several premises licences, some more favourable than others. We advised JKS on the implications of each licence and ensured that they were able to take the best and most favourable premises licence, forward assisting not only them but the landlord too.


We helped Padella obtain a new premises licence for their second site in Shoreditch in Hackney.

Due to restrictions placed upon them by their landlord, Padella were unable to recreate their famous “queues around the block” so we worked with them to design a bespoke licensing condition that allowed them to have a virtual queue at the premises.

We also dealt with numerous objections from residents and the responsible authorities to ensure that the licence application was granted by the council.

Manhattan Loft Gardens

We secured the single largest vertical premises licence in England & Wales for Manhattan Loft Gardens in Newham’s Olympic Park. 

The building comprises 42 storeys including 248 residential units as well as a hotel and 3 sky gardens all of which are covered by a premises licence enabling licensable activities. We advised on the project from the planning phase right through to opening and liaising closely with the responsible authorities of the London Borough of Newham to secure the appropriate permissions for each part of the building.

Ministry of Sound

We act for the country’s most famous, indeed world-famous, nightclub, Ministry of Sound

When an issue arose over the meaning of some wording on Ministry of Sound’s premises licence we advised the club on the meaning of the wording and what was and was not permissible including in relation to deregulated activities. 

That advice was then provided to the London Borough of Southwark who conceded that their interpretation of the condition was incorrect and that our interpretation was right. 

In order to avoid future difficulties, it was agreed that the club would submit a minor variation to amend the offending wording satisfying both parties in the process.


We have secured a series of licences for x+why for their flexible workspaces and across London and further afield. 

As well as allowing onsite hospitality for members who use the spaces for day-to-day business, the licences can accommodate meetings, client entertainment and launch events on behalf of their members; providing the sort of flexibility the client and their members require. In one instance the licence secured also facilitated off-sales to empower a prestigious member who wished to sell alcoholic products from the site.

The projects have ranged from bespoke refurbishments of existing buildings to brand new landmark developments such as the Colmore Row site in Birmingham’s city centre. As the membership and their needs can be so varied, flexibility in the licence is key.

Get in touch

Getting your establishment licensed is vital to ensuring that you can operate, and getting the best licence for your business can improve your profitability.

Get in touch with our London licensing experts today at John Gaunt & Partners for all your licensing needs and requirements.