Dixon Ward has been assisting clients with licences for the supply of alcohol and other licensable activities since the introduction of the Licensing Act 2003 and indeed for many years before that. Our clients in the hospitality industry return to us because of the quality of service we provide and indeed recommend us to other acquaintances.  As we do not advertise externally or gain work through paid-for referrals, our success is dependent on us continuing to match or exceed their expectations in our work for them.

The Licensing Act simplified many of the procedures involved in any changes required to a licence once it has been granted.  As a consequence, our services now focus on applications for new Premises Licences or Club Premises Certificates and any major variations thereto.

The ethos of the current legislation is to recognise the important role of the hospitality sector in communities and give greater freedom for innovation to responsible operators whilst encouraging collaboration with the public who are given increased opportunity for involvement in licensing decisions.

We believe that the experience we bring to that balancing act in considering the terms of the application to be made and its presentation to the relevant authorities gives our clients the best prospects of a successful outcome in the long-term interests of their business.


Rod Horler is our partner who deals with licensing matters.  Rod has over 20 years’ experience of this work.  His hourly rate is currently £290 plus VAT.  He will be assisted by a trainee solicitor where appropriate whose time is charged at £180 plus VAT per hour.  Those rates are reviewed at the end of March of each year.

Our total fees will be between £1,500 and £2,000 plus VAT and disbursements for most applications.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties.

• Application fee (payable to licensing authority) £100 - £635 depending on the rateable value and size of the premises*

•Advertising costs (local newspaper) £300 - £450 plus VAT**

*These fees vary depending on the individual premises. The fees can be higher than the ranges given above in relation to very large premises. We will give you an accurate figure for each item as soon as we have the relevant information to do so.

**This fee varies from publication to publication and depending on the wording/space required.

Our charges include:

•Taking your instructions and advising you on the terms of your application and related documents

•Advising you as to the type of plans you are required to submit with your application.

•Completing the application form for a new premises licence (including the operating schedule) in accordance with your instructions and submitting this to the local licensing authority alongside suitable plans. You must provide suitable plans, but we can assist with what is required and in sourcing a suitable supplier of those if required.

• Calculating the fee levels payable to the licensing authority.

• Preparing and serving the premises licence application and supporting documents on the responsible authorities.

• Drafting the notice advertising the premises licence application and submitting the notice to the local newspaper for publication as required by the legislation.

• Arranging with you for you to display the notice(s) advertising the premises licence application and advising as to where and how this should be done by you in order to comply with the requirements of the Licensing Act.

• Providing a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) consent form for signature by a personal licence holder proposed by yourself.

• dealing with and/or advising you in relation to queries or representations received from either the responsible authorities or other interested parties if those can be resolved within the statutory period without the need for a hearing.

•Checking the licence once granted and correcting any errors with the licensing authority.

Our charges do not include:

•obtaining suitable plans.

•attending pre-consultation meetings with the Licensing Authority or Responsible Authorities, nor their fee for this meeting.

•advising on varying the licence

•attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee hearing. If representations are received and attendance and representation at a hearing is required, we will provide a separate fee estimate for this work which will be charged at the hourly rate set out above.


Matters usually take 6 to 10 weeks from receipt of full instructions from you. This is on the basis that you are able to provide all the necessary documents promptly. If your matter is more complex, for example, if there is substantial opposition from interested parties which cannot be resolved without a hearing, or if there is a delay in receiving the documents we need, it may take longer.