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Varying premises licences on several properties for one of London’s largest real estate investors

Licensing legal advice for bars and restaurants in and around London's West End


Due to conflicts with other solicitors, one of our large London-based real estate clients required a range of licensing legal advice across several properties in their portfolio.

Partner Lisa Inzani advised in relation to obtaining new premise licences and varying existing licences on several properties in London’s West End.

This included some highly technical legal advice in relation to shadow licences and ensuring that, should a tenant vacate the premises, the client would retain the premise licence so they can attract another licensed operator.

Shadow licences are becoming more popular as premises licence can obviously add significant value to a property – especially if the premises is located within a cumulative impact zone where councils are extremely reluctant to grant new licences – and therefore many landlords wish to protect this asset against the risk posed by potentially insolvent or irresponsible tenants.

Although landlords often seek to protect themselves against such risks through provisions in the lease, these will rarely have a bearing on the licensing process. Such provisions may provide a landlord with a right of action against a tenant, but they cannot prevent a licence from lapsing or being reviewed. A shadow licence solves this problem for the landlord.

Furthermore, Lisa has also assisted the client in the production of documentation that is being used to audit their tenants operations to ensure they are compliant with the various licensing laws. This information can then be presented to the various licensing authorities as proof of compliance.

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