I qualified in 1993 in a less than conventional way, training in the Magistrates Court and undertaking my law degree via a distance learning course. I left the Court service in 1996 to specialise in Licensing and Criminal Defence work. In 2003 I worked for Portsmouth City Council before moving to Yates’s Pub Company as in-house Counsel in 2004 and thereafter at Laurel Pub Company on their acquisition of Yates’s, steering the company through the licensing reform in 2005.
I returned to private practice in 2006 where I headed up the Licensing Team at Blake Morgan LLP before joining John Gaunt’s in May 2018.
I have represented clients before Local Authorities, the Magistrates Court and the Adminstrative Court on judicial reviews. I have been engaged in training Magistrates and Local Authority Councillors on licensing law and their approach to decision making. I have spoken at the Paterson Licensing conference and provided training for the Law Society on licensing.
I have been a Council member for both the South East region and London region of the Bii and am currently the Vice Chair of the South East Region of the Institute of Licensing.
I have been ranked by Chambers and the Legal 500 as a leader in my field for many years.
“An established presence as a national player.”
Clients appreciate Jon Wallsgrove's in-depth market insight and knowledge of licensing legislation. "He always provides clear and concise advice," notes one impressed source, while another comments: "He has a very straightforward and practical approach and demonstrates a high level of knowledge."
“a knowledgeable advocate who provides clear and concise advice”
I have particular expertise in the retail sector acting for a number of household name clients and extensive experience of petrol forecourt applications.
Recent Case Studies
Home Wine Sales – new premises licence, Warkwickshire
Advised a Wine Supplier on their new start up selling “a wine experience” where an expert would attend your home and provide tastings coupled with expert advice. Hopefully for those attending the experience would then purchase wines sampled.
We guided our client through the law on selling alcohol and secured an appropriate premises licence
Internet Delivery Business – new premises licence in cumulative impact area, Bournemouth, Dorest
Secured a new premises licence for 8Dol “Student Cloud Supermarket” in Bournemouth who provide an on-line convenience store via an app with a guaranteed delivery time with 28 minutes. This included advice on due diligence processes and premises licence conditions.
The premises were in the cumulative impact area for Bournemouth Borough Council where the policy is to refuse new applications for licences.
Premises Licence review – Southampton, Hampshire
We were instructed by an owner of a shop in Southampton who had been investigated by HMRC and Trading Standings Standards into selling both alcohol and cigarettes on which the relevant duty had not been paid.
We supported the client both in the criminal investigation and the review of the premises licence. He was not prosecuted and avoided having his premises licence revoked.
Cumulative Impact Policy – Brighton, Sussex
We were instructed to advise a client on the probability of securing a new premises licence for a shop in Brighton’s cumulative impact policy area. The client wanted to sign a contract to purchase the property without a condition that the completion was subject to securing a licence. He was in a contract race with other purchasers and the freehold owner wanted an unconditional deal.
We advised the client that he should not proceed on an unconditional basis. The deal collapsed and another operator bought the shop unconditionally. Their application for a licence was refused and their appeal was refused. Subsequent applications made have also been refused and the premises remains unlicensed.
Live Music at Football Stadium – Portsmouth, Hampshire
I represented Portsmouth Football Club in an application for a new licence to allow the band Madness to play a stadium gig. The application was opposed but the Licensing Committee were persuaded by Jon that the event would have a significant community benefit and only a minimal and temporary disturbance to local residents.
Sexual Entertainment Licences – Weymouth, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Southampton
We act for the South Coast’s leading operator of Sexual Entertainment venues and have secured the grant and transfer of SEV’s in 4 different Local Authority areas.
Solent Forts – Wedding Licences Portsmouth, Hampshire
Certainly the most unique properties we have dealt with are the two forts in the middle of the Solent between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. We secured new premises licences and wedding licences which involved a site visit to one of the Forts with officers of the Local Authority and Police on a very windy day! We are always prepared to go the extra mile.
Noise abatement notice – bar in Torquay
We represented a bar in Torquay who had been served with a noise abatement notice as a result of noise from customers from their garden and subsequently a review of the premises licence. We advised the client to appeal against the abatement notice which was subsequently withdrawn by the Local Authority.
Working with the Environmental Health Officer and engaging with the local residents who were affected we ensured the client’s business could continue with appropriate conditions regulating the use of the outside area rather than an unreasonable curfew on its use.