Able to see not just the law but how it will affect operations on a practical level

The Legal 500

Clare joined the firm as a Partner in 2007 to head up the licensing team in the London Office.

Prior to joining the firm Clare had gained a formidable reputation in licensing, beginning her career at McLellans Solicitors in Hertfordshire between 1997 and 2004. Thereafter Clare worked as Legal Director for JD Wetherspoons, managing the legal team in one of the most high profile managed pub chains in the UK. Involved primarily in licensing, planning and property acquisitions, Clare’s key task was ensuring the smooth transition of the new licensing regime across the Estate of over 600 premises during 2005.

This client-side experience gives Clare a unique view on licensing, meaning clients benefit from Clare’s knowledge of working in-house.

Clare has developed a strong presence in London with her specialist knowledge and contacts and has experience of dealing with the London Boroughs and the difficulties that are often encountered. For example, in obtaining new licences or extending hours in areas of cumulative impact/stress such as in Westminster, Camden, Hackney, Islington and Southwark.

Clare’s key national client is Stonegate Pub Company Ltd. In addition, Clare advises a variety of high profile Operators including Caprice Holdings Ltd, The Birley Group, Selfridges, All Star Lanes, Drafthouse, Benito’s Hat, Nuno Mendes Holdings Ltd, Dorsett Hotels, The Ampersand Hotel and the Chelsea Flower Show. Clare also provides advice for Shepherd Neame and The Laine Pub Company in respect of their London premises. Clare also advises a number of independent operators both in and around the London area.

More recently Clare has been helping clients take advantage of the growth in outdoor events, festivals and pop-ups both in London and nationally. This includes:

  • Kopparberg Cider, on its 2015 Urban Forest in Hackney Wick;
  • Masterpiece London; the leading international cross-collecting fair for art, antiques and designs taking place at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea; and
  • Mutiny 2015, a major festival featuring music acts such as Snoop Dogg, Labrinth and Katy B.

Clare holds the prestigious accolades 'Leading Individual' and 'Leader in Field' awarded by research directories The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners respectively. Clare is also one of just a handful of solicitors to have a Chambers & Partners Band 1 ranking for licensing in London.

Feedback from these directories include:

- About the London office: "They are very efficient - all enquiries are dealt with really quickly and there is always good communication. I really rate the team very highly."
- "very tenacious advocate, extremely good and very well respected."
- "In-depth knowledge of the licensing trade."
- “Very clued up and understands the industry”;
- “Able to see not just the law but how it will affect operations on a practical level”.
- “Has great relationships with licensing authorities”
- “Highly regarded”
- “A Leading Light”
- “Outstanding in her field”

Clare provides comprehensive and pragmatic strategic licensing advice and also advises on related enforcement matters. Clare also works closely with planning advisor, Jonathan Phillips, to maximise opportunities for external trading areas, and to lift planning restrictions such as opening to allow for extended hours and on new acquisitions.

Clare is an experienced negotiator and ultimately, if required, an experienced advocate regularly representing clients in licence and review hearings.

Clare has a key role in the Institute of Licensing with her position as Secretary of the London Region. Clare hosts the Poppleston Allen annual Licensing Seminar in London and regularly comments in the Trade and National Press and contributes to the Publican’s Morning Advertiser.

You can contact Clare Eames on 020 3078 7485

Contact Clare