If you do not agree with the decision of a licensing authority, there is normally a route of appeal through the magistrates’ courts.
Lodging an appeal needs to be considered very carefully from the outset, commencing with the drafting of the grounds of the appeal and ensuring that it is lodged in time along with the correct fee (£410 for Licensing Act 2003 appeals, £205 for most other appeals). Normally, you will need to be able to show that the decision made by the local authority was wrong at the time that it was made, not just that you disagree with it. The court will normally assume that the Council made the correct decision until you prove otherwise.. A clear strategy is therefore needed to provide the best prospects of success.
Any appeal should be entered into with assumption that you will not be reimbursed for any of your costs, even if you win, but that you may be ordered to meet the other side’s costs if you lose. Whilst costs awards can be made for those that successfully appeal, they are increasingly rare and will more often than not depend on the conduct of the parties through the appeal process.
It is true that not all appeals are fought to conclusion. Sometimes it is possible to reach an agreement and sign a document known as a ‘consent order’ if this happens.
We offer a fixed-price service for preparing and lodging your appeal. We are able to represent you through the rest of the process, even if we did not act on your behalf at any earlier hearing. Lodging an appeal is a serious matter and we therefore advise that you seek formal legal advice before doing so.