Luke Elford joins John Gaunt & Partners Licensing Solicitors
John Gaunt & Partners Licensing Solicitors are excited to welcome Luke Elford, 35, to the team as a new Partner. Previously employed as an associate at Woods Whur, Luke is delighted to be able to continue work with his current clients as he moves firms and expands JG&P’s London market share.
“I have come in to complement an already stellar cast of licensing lawyers. The plan is to continue to grow London as an offering and to act as a link from the team in Sheffield and Jon Wallsgrove and his team on the South coast. London will be a central hub for the firm to continue to expand at the impressive rate it is” he said.
Michelle Hazlewood, a partner and part owner of JG&P since 2005, said she was delighted to welcome Luke to the firm.
She said: “Luke is a well-known and regarded licensing solicitor. His depth of knowledge of the London Licensing Authorities adds even more depth to our already strong team and we believe he will add to the quality of service we provide to our clients.”
Partner Jon Wallsgrove, who became a part owner in June 2020, said: “Few, if any, know London better than Luke and combining his expertise and client base with our already exceptional roster of London clients will, we believe, see JG&P become the go-to licensing firm in London for all in hospitality, leisure or retail.”
Luke began his career at Tower Hamlets council in East London, which provided Luke with invaluable experience because he was treated as a genuine solicitor from day one. This is where he was first introduced to licensing advising Tower Hamlet’s Licensing Sub-Committee during contentious applications.
Following this, Luke joined Jeffery Green Russell and worked there with Julian Skeens who acted as an important mentor. He then moved to TLT with Julian and was promoted from Solicitor to Associate. Luke felt that joining a specialist licensing firm would be the appropriate next step and moved to Woods Whur in 2019. Throughout Luke’s career, he has been ranked in both The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. He said the opportunity to join John Gaunt & Partners and develop their London offering was a dream come true.
He said: “It’s nice seeing something you have been involved in come to fruition. You walk around town, thinking I worked on that. You were there when it was first coming into being. I have worked for everyone from the humble corner shop right through to the multibillion-pound clients.”
Luke’s clients are predominantly based in the Central London boroughs, including Bloomberg, Ministry of Sound, The Arts Club, Nobu Hotel, Edyn, JKS Restaurants, Five Points, Padella, Soho Restaurant Group and many more. The firm is to announce the details of their new London office where Luke will be based in the coming weeks.