Licensing law for commercial property solicitors

October 23rd


Licensing law for commercial property solicitors: the practicalities and pitfalls of buying and selling licensed businesses

October 23rd

2 - 5pm

Speakers: Niall Hassard; Barry McNeil

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£135+VAT (Member price)

3hrs CPD

This seminar will cover both the commercial and legal aspects of acquisitions and disposals of premises with liquor licences and makes it the must attend CPD event for commercial property solicitors.

Understanding the commercial landscape in Scotland during this volatile political and economic period is vital to give clients the best possible advice. The session will benefit from insight from Barry McNeil, Director at Cornerstone Business Agents, who has 20 years' experience in buying and selling businesses in the sector.

In terms buying and selling licensed businesses, the licensing aspects can involve as much art as science! An overview of the liquor licensing regime sets the scene for a more in-depth look at the necessary due diligence which requires to be undertaken from the viewpoint of both the purchaser and seller's solicitor. Exploring the legal and practical issues around the current licence transfer provisions highlights perils and pitfalls to be avoided, whilst also explaining the often hard to determine timeframes for longstop dates.

Amendments are pending to the current legislation relating to the transfer of liquor licences. New law has been passed by the Scottish Parliament and is awaiting commencement orders. You will receive an invaluable update to allow you to prepare for the changes.

The seminar will help delegates understand from the viewpoint of their transactional work what paperwork to ingather and how to assess risks and timings and will close with exploring the issues arising from deals which are agreed subject to a variation of the licence.

The session will include -

  • What's hot and what's not in the hospitality sector? - A commercial overview by Barry McNeil covering what the market has been doing in the last 12 months and his view of where it is heading in the year ahead
  • The "art and science" of licensing law - understanding the framework and the licensing boards
  • Acquisitions and disposals - the due diligence pack, standard contractual terms and the licence transfer practicalities
  • Changes to the law on licence transfers
  • Who does what? - handling deals agreed subject to a variation to the licence
  • The event begins at 2pm. Delegate registration is open from 1:30pm.

    Niall Hassard, Legal Director, TLT LLP advises licensed businesses across the entire licensed retail, licensed leisure and hospitality sector and handles high profile, contentious and multifaceted licensing applications across Scotland. He has specialised in licensing since 2009 and is recognised in Chambers & Partners as having "an in-depth knowledge of the law and the licensing boards" whilst commentators note that "he has a lot to offer" and "admire his pragmatic approach."

    Barry McNeill, Director, Cornerstone Business Agents first worked buying and selling licensed premises in 1996 at agents Bruce & Co. He went on to take a senior position with a national PLC business sales agency, specialising in selling licensed trade, catering and hospitality based businesses. He now harnesses his 20+ years' experience as a Director at Cornerstone Business Agents. Cornerstone are unquestionably Scotland's busiest independent business agents.

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