Head of Leisure and Licensing Malcolm Ireland

Malcolm Ireland

Role: Partner
Dept: Head of Leisure & Licensing
Location: Blackburn
Direct Dial: 01254 686211
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Based in our Blackburn office, Malcolm Ireland heads up Napthens' leisure and licensing team.  On the licensing front he deals with matters including variations, transfers, enforcement, mediation and negotiation, appeals and judicial reviews.

In 2008, Malcolm successfully dealt with a judicial review which resulted in the High Court delivering the first authority of its kind under the Licensing Act – case law that still stands.


Given Malcolm’s expertise in licensing, he heads up our leisure industry sector team.  He spends time with clients in the industry to understand their needs and aspirations and help them to effectively manage risks and realise the full potential of their assets.  In this role he liaises closely with colleagues across a range of services, to co-ordinate a specialist service offering and support for businesses across the leisure sector.  Malcolm has a wealth of experience in acting for and in dealing with pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, takeaways, pub chains and breweries.

Malcolm speaks Italian.


Malcolm worked in the leisure sector before studying law at the University of Central Lancashire and obtaining a postgraduate diploma in law from the same University.  He joined Roscoes (which subsequently merged with Napthens) as a trainee solicitor and qualified as a solicitor in 2008.  Malcolm was made a Partner in 2013.

Memberships and Awards

Malcolm is a personal licence holder and a member of the BII council for the north west region.  He is also a CAMRA member and holds the Award in Responsible Alcohol Retailing.  He works closely with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) through Napthens’ associate membership of the organisation.

In the 2020 Legal 500 guide to the legal industry Malcolm was identified as a leading individual noted as 'an exceptional licensing lawyer who is technically strong and goes the extra mile.' He was again recognised as a 'leading individual' in the 2021 Legal 500 guide.

More about Malcolm Ireland

How do you like to relax out of work?
I have a passion for real ale and find that can have a very relaxing effect…

What would go in your Room 101?
Anybody who doesn’t say ‘thank you’ when driving; anybody who goes on a night out wearing a tracksuit.

Name your favourite:
Gladiator / Music: November Rain by Guns n Roses.

If you had an alternative career – what would be your fantasy job?
Owning and running a good pub or restaurant.