All licences have a mechanism of appeal if a decision is made which you feel is not acceptable. Most appeals go to the magistrates court and if so, then there are particular procedures that have to be followed. It is not always necessary to engage the services of a licensing solicitor who is expert at undertaking appeals, but attempting an appeal with no experience is a very difficult and therefore frequently unsuccessful thing to do if you have no experience.
Many appeals have provisions which mean that the decision being appealed is suspended until the court has reached its own verdict.
You should bear in mind that with most licensing appeals ;
Sometimes, it is possible to reach agreement as the appeal progresses and there is no need to proceed to a full licensing appeal hearing. In these cases the matter is normally dealt with by a ‘consent’ or ‘compromise’ order.
Magistrates have the power to award costs as they see fit – this can mean that if you win, you may get some or all of your costs back but following a number of judicial decisions over recent years it is sensible to assume that you will not. Normally, costs awards against a local authority are only made if the authority as behaved unreasonably or irrationally in the appeal process. If you lose, you should be prepared for an order which means that you have to pay some or all of the other parties costs.
Appealing a licensing decision is therefore something that you should consider carefully and some people decide to take out an insurance policy in case things go wrong.
We recommend that if you are considering appeal, you talk the matter through with an expert licensing solicitor before you make your final decision. Because it is so important, we offer a short period of free informal advice or a fixed-fee consultation.