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Insolvency Warning for Licensed Premises

Napthens - November 25th 2011

We have come across a number of instances over the last few months where, following a licensed premises falling into the control of an insolvency practitioner, the premises licence has lapsed. 

Under section 27 of the Licensing Act 2003, a premises licence lapses with immediate effect if the holder of the premises licence becomes insolvent. If action is taken within 28 days then the premises licence can be reinstated with minimal delay and expense under section 50 of the Licensing Act 2003. 

However, if no action is taken and the 28 day period expires then the license lapses irreversibly and an application for a new premises licence is required before the premises can carry on any licensable activity (sale of alcohol, regulated entertainment, etc). Such an application involves a considerably greater time delay (a very minimum of 28 days) and considerably greater expense. 

It is therefore imperative that advice is sought and action is taken as quickly as possible whenever insolvency and a licensed premises are involved. We are more than happy to discuss matters on a case by case basis (initially without charge) either to ensure the licence is preserved in its existing form or to examine the premises licence to determine whether or not there is any way in which the licence can be altered to assist in the commercial success of the premises. 

If you would like further information or advice please contact Head of Licensing, Malcolm Ireland on 01254 686211or