September 17, 2020

A tsunami of fairly grim reading for the embattled licensed trade this afternoon, with the publication of a series of regulations under powers contained in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. As is now this government's style, not a single one has been debated by Parliament, nor in any other meaningful way consulted on with those they affect.

The first is the mandatory track and trace regulations, contained in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Collection of Contact Details etc and Related Requirements) Regulations 2020. They come into force at midnight tonight with the exception of the QR code provisions which apply from 24 September 2020.

Then there is The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Obligations of Hospitality Undertakings) (England) Regulations 2020, which come i...

September 17, 2020

Gerald Gouriet QC and myself are representing the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association as an interested party in the appeal brought by Uber London Limited against the refusal of Transport for London to renew its London PHV operator's licence. Our written submissions can be found on our client's website. The case is being heard by the Deputy Chief Magistrate, oral submissions will be made today, 17 September 2020, and the decision is expected to be reserved.

July 30, 2020

The judgment of Mostyn J. in R (on the application of Kuznetzov) v. Camden LBC [2019] EHWC 3910 (Admin) escaped my notice when it came out, but it was picked up today in the excellent Civil Litigation Brief blog run by the indefatigable Gordon Exall.

The case has one short, sweet point: it is a further application of the Re Eastwood principle, which featured in my blog last year on costs in licensing appealsRe Eastwood (Deceased) [1974] 3 W.L.R. 454 (CA) established that the proper method of assessment where government legal services are provided “in house” by employed solicitors is to treat the bill as if it was that of an independent, external solicitor, and so, essentially those are the rates that are recoverable.

As I wrote then, Re Eastwood has survived repeated attack, a recent example being...

July 23, 2020

The Business and Planning Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 22 July 2020.

The pavement licensing provisions in sections 1-10 of the Act come into force immediately.

The explanatory notes for the Act have yet to appear on the website. In advance of that, some indication of what they might state can be obtained from the explanatory notes to the Bill.

The statutory guidance for pavement licensing functions has been published.

As a result of Lords' amendments, the Secretary of State may no longer publish national conditions: instead these are to be made by Regulations. No Regulations have been made yet.

I have co-authored a note on behalf of NEXSTART on the new provisions. The note sets out an introduction to the new regime and then has a comprehensive list of Q&As. It intended to keep...

July 7, 2020

I've produced with my FTB colleagues Gary Grant and Leo Charalambides a guide on the "Independence Day" regulations and the tsunami of government guidance that accompanies it.

Topics considered include what comes out of the closure requirements, the importance of risk assessments for venues that are allowed to open, snooker halls and SEVs, the law on gatherings and enforcement.. 

It is V 1.0 because we don't expect any of this to stay the same for long. And it didn't! Here is V 1.10.

And here now - taking account of the most recent amendments to the regulations, is V 2.0.

A V 3.0 has been produced to take into account the latest guidance, the Face Coverings Regulations and local authority powers under the No. 3 Regulations.

As has been the theme in recent posts, the photo is from Tyne & Wear Archives &...

July 3, 2020

In what is now becoming the typical 11th hour and 59th minute publication, the regulations to remove the closure restrictions on pubs, bars cafés and restaurants with effect from 4 July 2020 were published at about 3.25 on 3 July 2020.

The regulations in question are The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020. They supersede the much-amended Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, about which I had promised regular updates, but when push came to shove, I lost the will to keep up.

Some immediate surprises about the new Regulations.

Firstly, not just cinemas but theatres are completely removed from the categories of business which must remain closed. The staged system that theatres are going through on their path to reopening...

June 30, 2020

This article first appeared in the Journal of Licensing for March 2020. 

What details should licensing authorities post on their websites about forthcoming hearings to determine applications under the Licensing Act 2003?

Many local authorities will tell you that this is governed by under Part VA of the Local Government Act 1972, which relates to “Access to Meetings and Documents of Certain Authorities, Committees and Sub-Committees”, and that the answer is that the 1972 Act requires the meeting agenda and report to be placed on the local authority website. Quite often you will hear that agendas and reports need to be on the website “five clear days” before the meeting to comply with the 1972 Act.

In this article, I am going to tell you that those local authorities are wrong: one of the many quir...

June 29, 2020

The Government is rushing through Parliament a new streamlined process for to apply for a “Pavement Licence”. This temporary authorisation will short-circuit the usual suite of consents required under the Highways Act, planning law and (in some cases) street trading regimes. The purpose of the new licence is to help the beleaguered hospitality sector in a time of social distancing. Together with Sarah Clover and Leo Charalambides of Kings Chambers, I have co-authored for Nexstart (the National Exit Strategy Advice & Response Team for the Hospitality and Entertainment Industry) a guide on this section of the legislation.

The document will be kept updated as the Bill passes and then to reflect its experience in practice. The current version is V 2.0.

Other relevant links are:

The Bu...

May 21, 2020

In his judgment in R (on the application of Susan Fisher) v. Durham County Council [2020] EWHC 1277 (Admin) handed down in the Leeds District Registry on 21 May 2020, Julian Knowles J. has dismissed a challenge brought by Susan Fisher, a woman with a neurological disorder which causes her to make involuntary sounds and noises, including words and phrases, frequently at very loud volume, against the decision of my client Durham County Council to serve her with a abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (“EPA 1990”).

The Judge has refused to grant permission to appeal.

I represented the local authority in resisting Ms Fisher's challenge.

The notice related to the statutory nuisance of noise Ms Fisher was causing from the premises in which she lived, a privately tenanted mid-terraced...

April 11, 2020

In the last few weeks this blog has been as guilty as others in unleashing a torrent of comment to respond to the torrent of regulations, guidance, practice directions and other verbiage as the legal world struggles to cope with COVD-19.

I'm afraid that isn't going to stop - when I find the time from moving every single object in my flat to a different place and then moving it back, whilst simultaneously ironing every shirt I own and making the entire contents of the "Good Housekeeping" cookbook like it's 1974, I am going to produce my long-promised second article on The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, considering in particular the controversial question of enforcement powers.

But in the meantime, here is the pilot episode of "Coffee & Counsel", where myself...

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Charles Holland - 

Licensing, chancery/commercial and property barrister.

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