Blog posts by - Nigel Musgrove

Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Christmas is nearly upon us so if you have not yet applied for any TENs (Temporary Event Notices) for any events which are not covered by a Premises Licence, then you need to act now. Soon it will be too late.Remember that Christmas Eve and New Years Eve fall on a Sunday, so it would be a good idea to check your Premises Licence conditions to see if it allows you to open for the hours required, to...
Tuesday, 8 August 2017
What licences do you need to screen entertainment and play music in your venue?These requirements apply if you are entertaining the public in your venue or just entertaining your staff.Screening TV and filmsFirst of all you may need appropriate licenses from a satellite broadcaster to screen such things as live sport. But that is not all you will need if you show TV shows and films.Over a year ago...
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
The recent high profile case between Jeffrey Blue and Mike Ashley has brought a reminder from the High Court on how a contract is formed in English law and why it is so important to record any agreement in writing.On 26 July 2017 Mr Justice Leggatt gave his judgment in a claim brought by the investment banker Jeffrey Blue against the well known tycoon Mike Ashley, owner of Sports Direct and Newcas...
Thursday, 6 April 2017
On 21 March 2017 the Ministry of Justice published thenew and long anticipated Pre-Action Protocol (“PAP”) on debt recovery . It willcome into force on 1 October 2017.So what will this mean in practice? It has long beenthe requirement of the Civil Procedure Rules that parties should follow aPre-Action Protocol before issuing court proceedings. The underlying principle ofthe pre-action ...
Thursday, 16 March 2017
It is nearly a year since the Immigration Act 2016 hit thestatute books on 12 May 2016. So what parts of it are in force and how does itaffect the trade?The first relevant measures came into force on 12 July 2016.It is of course not without significance that the Brexit Referendum vote hadbeen only a few weeks before.Although there were existing laws having more or less thesame effect, the governme...
Monday, 23 January 2017
Why should licensees be concerned with red tape affecting wholesalers of alcohol? Because if they buy from a wholesaler who is not registered they could face a fine of up to £10K!The Alcohol Wholesalers Registration Scheme requires those UK business who sell alcohol to other business at or after the duty point to obtain HMRC approval under the scheme from 1 January 2016. And from 1 April 201...
Monday, 28 November 2016
Sometimes you cannot help but think that the internet of things is moving so fast that it is difficult for old established laws and customs to adapt and keep up with innovations.The global explosion of short term lets via organisations such as Airbnb is a prime example. It is a huge challenge to the hotel industry, but brings problems of its own to the housing sector. Many countries and cities are...
Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Licensing authorities have the option of introducing a cumulative impact policy which will apply to one or more defined areas or zones within their area of authority. So how do they go about introducing such a policy, and what effect will it have on existing licences and new applications?Firstly, the relevant regulations are not to be found in the Licensing Act 2003. A rather back door method has ...
Thursday, 11 August 2016
A recent High Court case has highlighted the extent to which commercial landlords need to take care when carrying out works to property which are likely to cause disturbance to tenants.Timothy Taylor Limited had a high class modern art gallery in Mayfair, for which it was paying a very substantial rent to the landlord Mayfair House Corporation. The Landlord carried out extensive redevelopment work...
Thursday, 14 July 2016
In December 2015 I discussed the problems posed to pubs and other established premises with a premises licence by changes in use and development of nearby property which would add residential occupants likely to complain about noise nuisance. See my blog on this issue.The government has since stepped in to provide some protection where there is a proposed change of use of existing nearby prem...
Tuesday, 5 July 2016
Back in June 2015 I posted a blog on forfeiture of commercial leases, which is the term for when a landlord recovers possession due to a breach of the lease by the tenant. That blog looked in particular at forfeiture where the tenant was in arrears of rent.A recent case of Pineport Limited v Grangeglen Limited is a very useful reminder of the points which a court will consider in any applicat...
Tuesday, 7 June 2016
Many written contracts contain a clause stating that only the written terms will apply and that they can only be varied by agreement in writing.So what happens when the written terms do not reflect what has happened during the performance of the contract? Is it possible that terms could have been varied by verbal agreement or conduct without any confirmation in writing?Often this situation only co...
Monday, 6 June 2016
Now that summer is truly with us it is worth looking how you can maximise your profit by taking advantage of what looks like being a summer of music sport and fun.We start off with the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations on Saturday 11th June, which handily coincides with the start of the Euro 2016 football. But everywhere there are music festivals and events which will be televised. If you have th...
Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Commercial landowners should always take care to avoid claims for noise nuisance where any activity on their premises is likely to cause nuisance to neighbours.A recent case has highlighted the issues. In 2006 Mr and Mrs Peires bought a 6 bedroom mansion in Denham, Buckinghamshire. The property borders on Denham Aerodrome. Flying activity has been carried on there since the early 1900's, and the D...
Thursday, 21 April 2016
The High Court has recently upheld a Licensing Authority decision to revoke a Premises Licence where the owner had knowingly employed an illegal immigrant.A restaurant and takeway owner had employed a chef who did not have a right to work in the UK. He was paid cash in hand, below the minimum wage, and the owner did not account to HMRC for PAYE.The owner was not prosecuted for the offence, but was...
Monday, 21 March 2016
Normally a director, or indeed a shareholder, will not have any personal liability for any debt of a limited company, but there are exceptions.One exception that I will cover in this blog is where an insolvent company is pursuing (or defending) litigation which is unsuccessful, and the company cannot or does not pay any costs orders made against it. In that situation the successful party will look...
Friday, 18 March 2016
Back in December 2015 I posted a blog about the problems which often occur when there is a new development next door to an existing and usually long established venue which generates noise. A bit like people who move next to an airport and then complain about the noise.There have now been some sensible steps taken by the government to ensure that the risk of noise nuisance from existing commercial...
Wednesday, 2 March 2016
It has been very quiet for some time now but the Home Office has once more turned its attention to the Licensing Act 2003 and is now pushing through some relatively minor but no less important changes. These include changes to the summary review procedure, including powdered and vaporised alcohol in the legal definition of alcohol, updating the list of "relevant offences", and giving licensing aut...
Wednesday, 2 March 2016
It is quite often the case that trade suppliers will require personal guarantees before they will open a credit account and trade with an organisation. An unsuspecting employee may sign off the contract without realising they have signed a personal guarantee with personal implications for them which could be ruinous.Personal guarantees will not be necessary from an individual/sole trader who ...
Tuesday, 2 February 2016
So you want to sell alcohol at a one–off event such as a festival, or perhaps have some form of entertainment, or maybe provide late night refreshment? Or maybe you already have a Premises Licence but wish to relax any restrictions for a particular event, maybe a quiz night, fancy dress ball, or a charity fundraising event? If you already run a location with a Premises Licence you may find y...
Monday, 4 January 2016
On 1 January 2016 the total number of temporary event notices (TENS) that can be applied for in respect of any one premises in a calendar year increased from 12 to 15. This change was made by section 68 of the Deregulation Act 2015.Whilst any increase will be welcome to the trade and event organisers, the extra 3 offers only a small benefit, and it should not be forgotten that there was no change ...
Tuesday, 8 December 2015
When it comes to noise, pubs are a bit like airports. For both, noise is an ever present issue, and it is always surprising how often people move next to long present airports and pubs, and then complain about the noise. Another annoying aspect for operators of both establishments (and night clubs and other music venues) is the new development, particularly of residential property, right next door...
Wednesday, 2 December 2015
It is quite common for pre-estimated compensation for specific breaches of contract to be provided for in the written contract at the outset, avoiding the difficult and costly process of calculation of loss when breach occurs. The other advantage is of course certainty, allowing each party to understand their risks and obligations from the beginning. Such clauses are referred to as “liquidat...
Monday, 2 November 2015
This blog looks at the use of exclusion clauses to limit liability or perhaps the scope of performance under contracts between businesses. It does not apply to exclusion contracts between businesses and consumers, which are now governed by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Many businesses have their own standard terms which they will attempt to incorporate into any contract. Obviously those standard t...
Thursday, 29 October 2015
There have been recent calls by the 3 emergency services to abandon the so-called 24 hour licensing and return to the days of limited hours for the sale of alcohol. They claim an unacceptable demand on the services brought about by the new night time economy with its associated alcohol fuelled self harm and anti-social behaviour. In these days of drastic budget reductions the services claim that t...
Wednesday, 23 September 2015
Firstly, what are minor variation applications and when can they be used?If anyone who holds a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate wishes to alter the structure of the premises or layout which will differ from the filed plan, or wishes to add or remove licensable activities, change the hours of such activities, or add or remove conditions, the main way of doing this is by way of a formal...
Monday, 7 September 2015
Last month I blogged about the need for a PPL and/or a PRS licence if playing music. They cover the licensing of the authorship and artistic rights. But do you also need to have music covered by a Premises Licence? That depends.The playing of music, whether live or recorded, is usually classed as "regulated entertainment", which is a licensable activity requiring a Premises Licence or Club Premise...
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
Step 1 - Identify your position • Prepare a chronological statement dealing with all the issues and identify all key documents such as any relevant contract, terms and conditions, correspondence and e-mails. • Identify your key personnel who would be called upon to give evidence. Get written statements from them as soon as possible. • Get early legal advice as this could dictate how...
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
In the news this week is the apparent drastic decline of the night club, almost halved within a decade, with various comments on the reasons behind the closures. Some have suggested that it is a change in habits, with outdoor festivals and live music events more popular. Others have suggested that it is the competition posed by pubs and other venues since the relaxation of licensing hours which ca...
Monday, 6 July 2015
Back on 2 June I blogged on forfeiture, and said that "Note that if the Landlord forfeits the lease he no longer has the right to seize any goods or possessions of the Tenant remaining on the premises."But I must point out a very important distinction between "goods and possessions" and "tenants fixtures".Normally a tenant would be allowed to remove "tenants fixtures" on or before the end of a lea...
Monday, 6 July 2015
In this blog I talk about the need to have an appropriate licence to play recorded music from the organisations which represent the composers or performers of the original material. In a later blog I will go on to cover the additional need for a Premises Licence if the playing of music constitutes "regulated entertainment".A recent court case involving the owner of a South Wales nightclub has...
Monday, 8 June 2015
In this age the courts expect that parties will make every effort to resolve their dispute before any court action is taken. But there are risks if the parties enter mediation, a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Read on to find out more about ADR and mediation in general.There is a set procedure which parties should follow before issuing a Claim Form. They should set out details of&nb...
Tuesday, 2 June 2015
Forfeiture for non payment of rent (which may include service and other charges reserved in the Lease as rent).The ancient law of distraint, allowing the landlord to use bailiffs to arrive unannounced and seize goods without due notice, has now been consigned to the history books. See my blog last year. But the landlord still has a nuclear option where there are arrears of rent. If the l...
Wednesday, 8 April 2015
The Licensing Act 2003, which came into force in 2005, brought with it far reaching and often nonsensical regulation of entertainment. Since then a series of deregulation measures have addressed the over abundance of red tape. The latest, and probably last, changes came into effect on 6 April 2015.Let us first of all recap on what constitutes "regulated entertainment", which is a licensable activi...
Wednesday, 1 April 2015
In legal circles it is called the "Battle of the Forms".Contracting parties usually have their own standard terms and conditions which they will wish to incorporate into any contract they have with the other party. Most commonly these can be found in supply contracts. But they are often forgotten about and an issue only comes to light when there is a dispute. Whose T&Cs apply?This could be of ...
Monday, 30 March 2015
The Government has rushed through various changes during the last few working days of Parliament and the new Deregulation Act came into force on 26 March. We now also know when the various provisions will come into force.Personal Licences Personal Licences which expire on or after 1 April 2015 will no longer require renewal.Live Music The changes will come into force on 6 April 2015...
Thursday, 5 March 2015
So Gordon Ramsay got himself into a bit of a pickle and came off worst.It was all about a Personal Guarantee on a lease of a restaurant and hotel held by his company Gordon Ramsay Holdings International Limited.He challenged the personal guarantee on the basis that he did not personally sign it. His signature was put on the document by a signature writing machine used by his father-in-law. In fact...
Tuesday, 3 March 2015
Back on 29 January I blogged on the massive court fees hike proposed by the government.It was thought that in view of the consultation period and controversial nature of the hike that any proposals would not be in force for many months. But it seem that the government is hell bent on forcing through the increases, and we have just learnt that the increases will most likely take effect this Monday,...
Thursday, 29 January 2015
The Ministry of Justice has fine tuned it's proposed massive hike to court fees and it is now out for a final consultation which closes on 27 February 2015.So what are the changes, when are they likely to come into effect, and what impact will they have?The MoJ claim that the vast majority of claims are for values of less than £10K. For those claims there is no proposed change in the co...
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
A commercial lease often contains a covenant by the tenant to keep the premises in repair and deliver them up in repair at the end of the lease. In some cases the lease also requires the tenant to “put” them in repair, whatever their state at the commencement of the lease, which is a far more onerous obligation. Dilapidations are the repairs which the tenant has not carried out, in bre...
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
I will now take a look at what is in store for the licensing world in 2015.The unknown quantity is of course the looming general election in May. I suspect that whatever happens it may have an impact on parliamentary business, and legislation in the pipeline may well be delayed yet further. And of course there may be changes afoot if there is a change in government. Oh for a crystal ball! Per...
Tuesday, 6 January 2015
As we start 2015, it does look as though the prospects for commercial landlords in opposing lease renewals under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954  has become a lot easier as a result of the Court of Appeal decision in Youssefi v Musselwhite.To recap on the law, a landlord who does not want to grant a new tenancy must establish one or more of the seven statutory grounds in sect...
Monday, 8 December 2014
Not for the first time the government, much like its predecessor, has got itself in a muddle due to delay in introducing otherwise worthy legislation. This time it is all to do with the renewal of Personal Licences. You may recall that the current licensing regime came into force in November 2005, and that licensing authorities were in a position to accept applications under the new regime from 7 ...
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
The recent case of Century Projects Ltd v Almacantar dealt with the competing interests of the landlord and tenant. The landlord wished to carry out repairs and renovation which it was entitled to do, but the tenant was concerned with the potential catastrophic impact on its business by the method proposed by the landlord.The case involved Centre Point Tower in London. The tenant had a lease of 2 ...
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
New Statutory GuidanceOn 13 October the Home Office published the new Statutory Guidance under Section 182 Licensing Act 2003. This was necessary to take into accounts changes since the last update in June, notably the new mandatory conditions, and Temporary Event Notice application forms.The new Guidance also clarifies some advice an procedures, for example the process for licensing authorities w...
Monday, 6 October 2014
The law on adverse possession is complicated. First principlesWhat exactly is “adverse possession”? Basically it is an occupation of land inconsistent with the right of the “true” owner. By “true owner” I mean someone who holds the “paper” title of either registered or unregistered land. Registered land means land registered under the Land Registrati...
Tuesday, 23 September 2014
The Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions)(Amendment) Order 2014 comes into effect on 1 October 2014, and to mark this event the Government have issues a new Guidance on the mandatory conditions.Essentially the 5 mandatory conditions have bee condensed into 4, the evil dispensing directly into the mouth, the so-called Dentist's Chair trick, losing it's separate billing and appear...
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
The problem with trees-a landowner’s liability Two recent cases have highlighted the extent of a landowner’s liability where trees growing on their land have damaged a neighbour’s property. In 2013 a court decided in favour of the landowner where Stagecoach South Western sued her for damage caused to their railway track and a passing train when a branch came crashing down in a st...
Monday, 18 August 2014
In my last blog in the series on personal guarantees, I will look out how you can bring a personal guarantee to an end, and what to do if the creditor takes action against you under the personal guarantee. Discharging a personal guarantee The only sure way to bring your liability under a personal guarantee to an end is either to ask the creditor, usually a bank, to release you in writing (don't ho...
Monday, 4 August 2014
It is useful for both landlords and tenants to remember the possibility of applying for an interim rent at the end of the business lease, to take effect during the period from the end of the current lease until a new lease is either agreed or ordered by the court. This is because in the meantime the lease will continue on the same terms, and therefore the same rent, and it may be some time before ...
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
In my last blog I looked at the nature of personal guarantees, explaining what they are and how they work. In this blog I will consider what you should do if asked to give a personal guarantee, the advisability and requirement for legal advice before signature, and the position where legal advice was not taken.Points to consider 1. Explore other options you might have that would allow the business...
Friday, 20 June 2014
Fines Increase The industry seems to be getting itself into a bit of a pickle over the Government’s recent proposed hike of maximum fines for various offence relating to alcohol and the Licensing Act 2003. Reading the comments you would think that underage drinking had been specifically targeted. It hasn’t. The fines hike applies across the board to all offences which have their maximu...
Wednesday, 18 June 2014
A personal guarantee is a security given by one person or company for a loan or other obligation of some other person or company (the “debtor”). The personal guarantee is given to a creditor or potential creditor (usually a bank, trade supplier, or landlord) of the other person or company. In Part 1 of this Guide I will look at the basic principles of a personal gurantee. In Part 2 I w...
Friday, 16 May 2014
During the last few days both Houses of Parliament have approved the Licensing Act (FIFA World Cup Licensing Hours) Order 2014, which will extend licensing hours between 12 June and 14 July 2014.There are some important points to note: it only applies to pubs and clubs etc in England it only applied to England games the full details of dates and hours are specified in the order it does not extend ...
Friday, 16 May 2014
Tenants often ask the question “Can I assign my lease?” There are 3 possible scenarios: 1. The lease is silent. There is no written condition preventing assignment. In this case the tenant can assign or underlet to whoever he pleases and does not need the consent of the landlord. 2. The lease contains an absolute condition preventing the tenant from assigning or under-letting or partin...
Monday, 24 March 2014
The new system of commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR) comes into force on 6 April 2014.All the necessary regulations have now been published. So from 6 April landlords will not be able to send in the bailiffs without notice to recover arrears. A whole new system of rent enforcement comes into play, with statutory notices. To recap on my previous blogs on the subject, the key points are as foll...
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
In my last blog on the subject I looked at the current powers to close premises. So what is coming up next?The current government is attacking anti-social behaviour and is looking to give more powers to individuals to hold authorities to account on their response to complaints. We have already seen this philosophy implemented in the changes in recent years to the Licensing Act 2003 to widen the ob...
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
The Government has surprised us all with the announcement last month that there will after all be minimum pricing for alcohol intended to take effect on 6 April this year.. We all thought this was a dead duck when they dropped the proposals for a minimum price per unit last year. But the new regulations are based on “cost” price. The full implications are set out in the Home Office Gui...
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
 The law of Defamation has finally in the 21st Century arrived in the on-line media and social networking age.The Defamation Act came into force in England and Wales on 1 January 2014. It is designed to modernise the law of defamation and strike a fair balance between competing interests whilst maintaining the right of free speech. Key Points: • A new requirement that to have a reme...
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
On 6 April2014 there will be a new dawn for commercial rent recovery. The new regulations abolishing the ancient law of distress come into force on that date. For details see my blogs of 3 March 2013 click here and 17 September 2013 click here.It will no longer be possible to send in the Baliffs without notice to distrain on goods to recover rent and other arrears under a commercial tenancy. ...
Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Two recent news items caught my attention. The first one was about a Kent pub where they are no longer allowed to use their patio due to noise issues. The second the police drive in London to make all pubs and venues open after 12 midnight use plastic glasses.In each case the issue relates to one of the 4 licensing objectives, which are the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the...
Wednesday, 8 January 2014
A Happy New Year to you all!What will 2014 mean to the licensed trade?We may see an change to the Personal Licence as a result of the consultation late last year-see my blog of 23 October 2013. But my comments have been largely echoed by the trade. Do not throw the baby out with the bath water! I hope that  the Personal Licence will continue, albeit in a more streamlined form, but we could se...
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
In the case of PGF II v OMFS Co and another, the Court of Appeal on 23 October has confirmed that refusal to mediate without giving good reason is itself unreasonable, and can deprive an otherwise successful party of their costs.In the circumstances of the case the defendants ignored the claimants' offer to mediate. Mediation is a form of  alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Later the claim...
Wednesday, 23 October 2013
The government has launched a consultation on abolishing Personal Licenses. The consultation is running from 12 September to 7 November 2013. Now I am all for getting red of red tape, but is this a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater? So what is proposed? 1. Personal Licenses will be abolished 2. All alcohol sales to be made or authorised by a Designated Premises Supervisor 3. No one ...
Tuesday, 17 September 2013
Back in March I did a blog on the end of distress and the introduction of a new system of commercial rent recovery. We now know that the new system will come into force on 6 April 2014. Regulations have been made and commercial landlords and tenants, and commercial  bailiffs, will need to brush up on the new system which sweeps away ancient common law rights, which some rightly regarded as dr...
Monday, 16 September 2013
This week is the so-called Police "week of action". So all operators of premises selling alcohol, providing late night refreshment, and providing regulated entertainment, and those holding temporary events, must be extra vigilant.At the top of the police list will be tragetting under age drinking and selling alcohol to drunks. So expect a wave of test purchasing nationwide. It would be p...
Monday, 2 September 2013
Are you bound by a contract and need to get out of it? The options available to you depend on the terms of the contract and any relevant legislation. You must first look carefully at the terms of the contract and identify the type of contract and any provisions for termination. Is it a fixed term contract? If it is a fixed term contract you will not be able to cancel before the terminal date unles...
Thursday, 25 July 2013
On 23 July the Government published its response to the consultation on delivering on its alcohol strategy policy of March 2012. One of the main policies the Government was proposing was of course a minimum unit price for alcohol. It has decided not to introduce this, for the time being. It has also dropped its proposals for restricting multi-buy promotions. But it will be introducing by no later ...
Wednesday, 3 July 2013
Since the new licensing regime came into force in 2005 I have seen countless examples of CCTV conditions needlessly demanded on Premises Licences and Club Premises Certificates by police and environmentlal health officers. I recall one EHO declaring pub dance floors the root of all evil and demanding CCTV coverage. All too often these demands were accepted by licensing committees, or reluctantly a...
Monday, 3 June 2013
Back in June 2011 I posted a blog on copyright infringement by unauthorised use of photographs.The explosion in social media and prolific posting of photographs has made it incredibly easy for photos to be downloaded and used by others without consent of the photographer holding the copyright.A recent case has highlighted the issue, and indicated the sort of compensation which can be ordered.In Sh...
Monday, 3 June 2013
The Live Music Act came into force on 1 October last year, and this was the first phase of the government's drive to cut red tape on entertainment. See my blog for details.New regulations are now before Parliament which will relax further the need to have a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice if the proposed entertainment is an indoor sporting event or a performance of a play or dance which...
Friday, 19 April 2013
From October 2012 every Licensing Authority has been able to decide whether to introduce a Late Night Levy in its area. In making the decision they must consider the costs of policing and other arrangements for the reduction of crime and disorder relating to the supply of alcohol between midnight and 6am. Current soundings suggest that very few licensing authorities are currently considering ...
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
It is good to see a Licensing Authority setting out what it expects of licensed premises in its area. The recent Code of Good Practice and accompanying Traffic Light System introduced by the City of London do make it clear to licensees what, in the opinion of the City of London, they need to do to operate a successful business which does not undermine the licensing objectives and jeopardise the Pr...
Thursday, 11 April 2013
The recent changes in court cost rules mean that more and more business owners are likely to be forsaking solicitors and putting together their own cases and representing themselves in court. These Litigants in Person (LIPs) have a potential minefield of rules and regulations governing court proceedings to navigate if they are to be successful and get the results they want. Even before the case re...
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
Since I last blogged on the subject in November 2012 (click here to see it), there have been some changes which came into effect on 16 March 2013. The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013 only apply to contracts entered into on or after 16 March. You may recall that if there is no contract credit period for payment, and no convention such as 30 or 60 days has been established, then th...
Monday, 25 March 2013
Non lawyers are unlikely to have head of the so-called Jackson reforms which will come into force on 1 April, but they will certainly have an impact on you if you become involved in litigation in England and Wales after that date. So what is the fuss all about and how will it affect you? This is all about costs. The first thing all must understand, whether individuals or companies, is that there w...
Thursday, 21 March 2013
After what it seems like endless years of bad news for the trade, the government apprears to have woken up to the damaging declne in business and its effects both on the commercial well being and the social life of  of the nation.First came the news this week that the government is abandoning its plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol. Whilst the aims were and continue to be...
Monday, 4 March 2013
Physical alterations If you are thinking about carrying out any physical alterations to premises which have a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate for one or more licensable activities, the first thing to is to check the authorised plan of the premises. This is the plan which was filed with the licensing authority when the licence was first applied for, or if any subsequent application fo...
Sunday, 3 March 2013
It now looks likely that the ancient law of distress will be abolished this summer. But what does this mean for commercial landlords and tenants? The proposal was first made 22 years ago, and the legislation passed back in 2007, but it was never brought into force. But the government has recently announced that they will introduce it this summer. What it will mean is that landlords will not be abl...
Monday, 28 January 2013
Hot on the heels of my blog last week on under age sales of alcohol, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills Better Regulation Office has just issued a new Code of Practice on Age Restricted Products. To see it click here.It replaces the 2010 LACoRS guide, and whilst principally aimed at local authorities and others with responsibilities under the Regulators’ Compliance Code...
Friday, 25 January 2013
What are the offences? 1. It is a criminal offence for any person to sell alcohol to someone under 18, wherever the sale takes place. There are no exceptions. The maximum fine on conviction in a magistrates’ court is £5000. 2. In licensed premises, it is a criminal offence knowingly to allow the sale of alcohol to someone under 18. The offence includes anyone working at the premises in...
Wednesday, 2 January 2013
HMRC have extended the deadline for registration for Machines Duty to 11 January 2013. All those responsible for premises which have dutiable gaming machines must register with HMRC by then or risk penalties of up to 100% of the duty payable.The new tax comes into force on 1 February 2013. It replaces Amusement Machine Licence Duty and Output VAT on machine takings. Tax is payable on net takings. ...
Wednesday, 2 January 2013
Step 1 - Identify your position • look at exactly what has happened and gather together all key documents such as any relevant contract, terms and conditions, correspondence and e-mails. • identify your key personnel who would be called upon to give evidence. Get written statements from them as soon as possible. • consider obtaining early expert evidence on any key points • get...
Thursday, 29 November 2012
With cash flow problems in a difficult economic landscape, do not forget the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 which could be a useful tool to persuade prompt payment. If the threat does not work the Act provides for the debtor to pay compensation, which can be substantial. The Act only applies to commercial debt, and so will not help where the late payer is not a business or pu...
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
The government has today launched a 10 week formal consultaion on its plans for the minimum price for alcohol, which it sees as a key instrument in its battle against “binge drinking” and the social and health consequences of alcohol abuse. Basically it is proposing 45p per unit of alcohol. This is 5p more than it was suggesting in March. It is also proposing banning some pro...
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Perhaps the 2 most controversial parts of the licensing changes made by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 come into force today, 31 October 2012. Some will say that Halloween is an approriate day for such draconian measures!Heralded by the Home Office as "new powers to spread the cost of drink fuelled crime", both affect licensed premises authorised to sell alcohol bet...
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
I am often asked if a Personal Guarantee is unenforceable if independent legal advice was not taken before it was signed. The answer, as with many things, is “it depends”. It is always worth looking to see if the bank or other person or organisation taking the guarantee has followed their own procedures. It is now rare for a bank or other financial institution to make a mistake, but th...
Thursday, 13 September 2012
The Live Music Act comes into force on 1 October. The government (Department for Culture Media and Sport) has also issued a draft Guidance  for consultation by 28 September, so the Guidance will only come after the new provisions are in force!! A new revised statutory Guidance is due to be laid before Parliament on 31 October 2012. So what are the changes? Firstly, note that the Act only...
Friday, 24 August 2012
In hard economic times commercial landlords are often fighting a day to day battle to recover rent and enforce lease covenants. So here is a resume of the available options. Rent and Service Charges 1. Distraint: the first and most used remedy is to distrain for rent. This can also apply to service charges if they are reserved as rent in the lease. Distraint is an ancient remedy which was about to...
Friday, 24 August 2012
The Home Office have just published a 45 page updated Guidance on False ID, replacing the February 2011 edition. The full document can be found on the Home Office website.It seeks to offer best practice guidance on identification evidence, where it is required to prevent under age sales of alcohol, what types of ID are acceptable, checking for forgeries, checking for wrongful use of genuine ID, an...
Thursday, 23 August 2012
If you intend to carry out one or more of the 4 licensable activities, you must apply for a Premises Licence to the Licensing Authority for the place where the premises are situated. The four licensable activities are:- The retail sale of alcohol The supply of alcohol to members of a club Regulated entertainment (e.g. music, dancing, plays, karaoke, spectator sports, recorded visuals e.g. DVD/H...
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
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Wednesday, 22 August 2012
This article is no longer available. Please use the related content section or main menu to find information on Licensing and Licensed Premises.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
There are many times that work is carried out where no price has been fixed. Does this leave the workman without a claim? Not a bit of it. It has long been a principle of English law that someone should not have the benefit of unjust enrichment. There are 3 possible scenarios: 1. Work has been done under a contract that has subsequently been found to be invalid 2. Work has been done for someone wh...
Thursday, 21 June 2012
It is a mistake to assume that personal gurantees to banks are always enforceable. It is true to say that these days the high street banks usually have watertight paperwork and have covered off any potential loophole, but one recent case demonstrates how a lender can get it wrong with the result that the guarantee in unenforceable. My client was a relative of the lender’s client. The lender ...
Thursday, 26 April 2012
New and significant changes to the Licensing Act 2003 came into force on 25 April 2012, as a result of implementation of some parts of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. The remainder, including Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Orders, the Late Night Levy, and the power for licensing authorities to set their own fees, are likely to come into force in th...
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Since the Licensing Act 2003 came into force in 2005 there have been a number of occasions when certain police forces have closed down licensed premises with immediate effect where they consider that they are operating in breach of the conditions on their Premises Licences. Often the breaches are trivial. Examples have included CCTV systems not fully functioning, CCTV tapes not kept for the requir...
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Licensing Act 2003 general reforms The government have announced their intention to bring in some of the new measures contained in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 in April 2012. The remainder are likely to come into force in the autumn, as a major redrafting of the Statutory Guidance will be required. The changes for April will be: 1. Licensing authorities and Health authoriti...
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Be pro-active. Get yourself on the front foot and ready to deal with any issues. This means understanding the terms of your lease and the type of disputes that can crop up and when they are most likely. A good start would be to sign up to our Commercial Lease Renewal service. We will highlight the issues for you and give you diary dates for action. The most common issues with commercial leases are...

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