At Morton Fraser we have highlighted clarity as our guiding principle.
This directs the way we communicate, the way we advise, the way we conduct relationships with our clients and the way we are totally transparent and upfront about our charges. This applies to all our services from the straightforward to the more complex.
All of these businesses require a licence to operate legally. If you are finding it tricky working your way through the rules for these licences, we can help. Our highly regarded licensing team helps businesses of all sizes progress through the licensing maze to obtain the permissions they require to operate lawfully.
Our licensing lawyers are plain speaking and pragmatic with advice being delivered in clear and practical terms. We ensure that the advice we give makes clear any deadlines and dates which can have a bearing on your business and its licensing needs.
Benefits we bring
Our licensing team has the experience and expertise to guide you through what is required from licensing authorities. We provide strategic advice as to how best to progress a licence application. First we want to get a real understanding of your business objectives and then to engage with the relevant authorities at any early stage of a project. Whether your project is just beginning, well underway or encountering problems we'll be pleased to help.
Licensing update - changes to applications for premises licences
Those who require to hold a premises licence should be aware of a change to the regulations which govern applications for premises licences which came into force on 30 March 2018.
It is a requirement (under section 20 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005) for those applying for an alcohol premises licence to provide an operating plan, a layout plan and certain certificates along with the application for the licence. From 30 March 2018 (following the change which is set out in the Premises Licence (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2018) it will be necessary for applications to also contain a disabled access and facilities statement.
A form for the disabled access and facilities statement will be added to the 2007 regulations. The form initially asks whether there is disabled access to the premises, whether there are facilities for those with a disability or whether there are any other provisions available to aid the use of the premises by disabled people. If the answer to any of these questions is yes then the applicant is asked to provide further details of the disabled access to, from and within the premises, the facilities available and the other provisions.
Our approach to fees
We understand the importance of knowing the cost of legal advice at the outset of a piece of work for you. To provide value for money, we seek to agree fixed fee packages for licence applications. If it is not possible to provide a fixed fee for a particular piece of work, then we will provide a clear indication of the likely fee to be charged based upon an agreed scope of work.
Sources say: "They've got strong technical knowledge and understanding of the legal structure. They also have the contacts and experience, and know how particular licensing boards and councils operate."
Clients also emphasise the team's responsiveness: "They are quick to respond to our queries and always take time to discuss options."
Chambers and Partners 2019
"[David Hossack]... is particularly knowledgeable about Scottish licensing and clearly has a good working relationship with the licensing boards." He is further characterised as "fast, accurate and a good communicator."
Chambers & Partners
The ‘quick and efficient’ team at Morton Fraser is ‘proactive in dealing with changes in licensing laws and regulations’. The practice frequently acts for private and public sector clients and is particularly known for its licensing appeal practice. Other areas of expertise include premises licensing, licence variations, transfer and audits as well as insolvency-related licensing work.
Morton Fraser’s team stands out for its ‘thorough understanding of niche licensing law, and ability to make it simple’.
Legal 500 2018/19
The licensing practice is led by the ‘diligent and tenacious’ David Hossack, who has extensive experience appearing before Scottish Licensing Boards and dealing with licensing appeals and applications.