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At Napthens, we have a team of individuals with specialist knowledge of the leisure industry. This ensures that whether an employment law issue or a matter relating to business strategy, we provide an all-round legal advisory service.

Whether a pub chain, a brewery, hotel, restaurant or club, the team’s experience of working with businesses within the sector means they understand the particular issues facing leisure industry clients and are able to provide proactive, commercially focused advice.

Our experienced team works with a broad range of clients across the industry including:

  • Breweries – ranging from large regional brewery to independent microbreweries
  • Pubs and restaurants
  • Individual hotels and hotel groups
  • Caravan and holiday home parks
  • Health clubs
  • Golf clubs
  • Cinema chain
  • Landlords of sports grounds/facilities

The leisure sector team includes specialists who can advise on a range of matters including:

The transaction was not without its difficulties but the team dealt with the issues in a proactive, professional and commercially sensible way. Legal costs were handled transparently and in a manner that allowed us to keep control. Greg McAvoy, Director, Seven Brothers Bars Ltd
  • Leisure News
  • Leisure FAQs

I am buying a property that I want to convert into a restaurant. Is there anything I need to consider before I start to trade?
Some form of permission is required whenever you carry on a licensable activity, which includes the sale by retail of alcohol, providing regulated entertainment, the provision of late night refreshment (hot food or drink between the hours of 23:00 and 05:00) etc. For a restaurant where the activities are likely to be carried out routinely on a permanent basis, a premises licence would be the most appropriate permission. A premises licence can take four to eight weeks to obtain and if you intend to sell alcohol you will also need a personal licence which can take longer, so licences should be considered at an early stage when looking to set up a new business.

I run a brewery and most of my sales are to pubs, but I do allow members of the public to buy beer from me if they wish. A local Police officer has recently told me that I am not allowed to do this. Why not?
Sale of alcohol by retail (i.e. to the end consumer) is a licensable activity and should therefore be covered by a premises licence. The wholesale of alcohol (i.e. the sale to a retailer such as a pub) is not a licensable activity and so does not need a premises licence. Selling alcohol by retail without an appropriate permission is punishable by an unlimited fine and / or up to six months in prison so you should either make a decision only to sell alcohol wholesale or stop selling alcohol to the public until you have obtained a premises licence.

I run a nightclub and the Police have told me that I need to employ door supervisors over the weekend. I have never done that before and don’t see any need to. Do I have to do what they say?
It is common that a premises licence will contain a condition requiring door supervisors to be utilised at certain types of premises. If it is a condition on your premises licence then you would be advised to either use them (given that breach of a premises licence condition is punishable by an unlimited fine and / or six months in prison) or vary your licence to remove the condition. If it is not a condition on your premises licence then you are not legally required to use them, but if the Police feel strongly that door supervisors are needed then they could apply for the premises licence to be reviewed by the Licensing Committee to try to make it a condition. Conditions should only be placed on a premises licence where the committee considers them to be “appropriate” and “proportionate”.

  • Chris Boyle
    Head of Employment & HR
  • Claire Hynes
  • David Hill
    Commercial Property
  • James Allison
    Head of Cumbria and Real Estate
  • Malcolm Ireland
    Head of Leisure & Licensing
  • Martin Long
    Commercial Property
  • Oliver McCann
    Employment & HR
  • Phil Brown
  • Robert Richards
  • Samantha Faud
    Leisure & Licensing
Rely on your team...