In the interest of public safety, the sale of alcohol is closely regulated and enforced, with local authorities conducting regular licensing reviews on your business to ensure you are fulfilling your licensing objectives.
Licensing authorities make decisions to prevent crime, disorder and public nuisance, however the decisions they make can have lasting commercial, reputational and financial repercussions for your business. If you believe that the authorities have made the wrong decision regarding your premises you can lodge a licensing appeal through the Magistrates Court.
Appealing a Decision Made Against Your Business
If you don’t like a decision the licensing committee has made about your business, don’t worry: everything except a minor variation can be appealed in the Magistrates’ Court.
The timeframe for lodging licensing appeals is 21 days from the date on which you receive the written reasons for the decision. This timeframe cannot be extended so it is important that you act quickly to minimise any damage that may be caused.
However, before you rush to start turning the wheels of justice, you should ask yourself some very important questions:
- What are my chances of success?
- How much will the appeal cost?
- Will I have to pay the other side’s costs if I lose?
- Is there a better, cheaper way to get the result I want?
In order to have a chance of winning your appeal, you must be able to prove that the decision made was the wrong one, not just one that you disagree with. As with all matters involving the court, seeking legal advice before you begin the process is paramount in order to understand your situation and the options available to you and your business.
We can help you answer any questions and form any licensing appeals you may need and take the steps necessary to bring your case to a satisfactory close. As experienced solicitors we regularly represent clients with licensing appeals and will help give your case the greatest possible chance of success. Get in touch for more information.
In England and Wales, a magistrates' court is a lower court, where all the criminal proceedings start and some civil matter including appeals against decisions of local licensing authorities.