Regulatory Compliance and Licensing

MKB Law advise clients across the leisure and licensed sector on a range of matters. Our team work closely with bars, restaurants and other outlets to obtain all the necessary licences, including, but not limited to liquor licence, entertainment and amusement permits, required to trade, and deal with any objections raised by third parties.

Once licensed, it is important to ensure the appropriate regulations are followed. Our dedicated Licensing Team will advise clients around the statutory and regulatory framework connected to liquor licensing and gaming.

Our specific areas of focus include:

Advised complex acquisition transaction involving Grade A listed building

Review hotel, restaurant and liquor licence and liaise with external consultants, including, but not limited to planning consultant and architect

Assistance with the court application for a hotel licence and restaurant licence

Assistance with the court application for the transfer of a liquor licence on sale of a business

Assistance with the alteration of the premises licence if the hours or activities are changing.

What We Do

MKB Law are a full-service firm, which means we can offer expert advice on a broad spectrum of practice areas. Our highly experienced teams are accessible and approachable, and provide expert advice to help guide our clients navigate through complex laws and regulations. It is not only our “can do” attitude and technical ability that drive projects success but also our wide professional connections that we can effectively utilise to deliver a successful outcome.

You must apply to the local County Court for a liquor licence and pay an application fee. The court grants a licence for a licensing period. When applying for an off-licence or pub licence, you must surrender the existing licence for the premises to the court as the court won’t grant a licence if they think the area has enough off-licences or pubs.

A protection order authorises you to use the licence until an application for the transfer or renewal of the licence can be made whereas a transfer is transferring the licence from the existing licensee to a new licensee. If the protection order expires prior to a transfer application is approved, a further protection order may be considered.

The legislation requires that planning for the project is appended to the application before service on the court and the statutory notice parties.

We have been involved in some projects where planning has been outstanding at the date of submission, but expected before the actual hearing date. In these circumstances, we have opted to submit a defective application. This is where we submit the formal notice of application with the supporting licensing plans (floor plans delineating the areas to be licensed) less the planning permission.

Gordon McElroy
028 9099 3111

Maria Conway
028 9099 3115

Lynsey Henderson
Associate Director
028 9099 3117

Jose Lazaro
028 9099 3114

MKB Law understands business. We are pleased to work with clients across a range of sectors, including:


Our experience and expertise allow our team to provide an unrivalled service to all clients.


Our personal understanding ensures our clients are at the forefront of our services.


Our team provides clear legal guidance to complement your business structure.


Our clients span all industries, from technology to agriculture and hospitality to renewables.

Or please call us on 028 9024 2450 or email

MKB Law is regulated by the Law Society of Northern Ireland. Content is copyright © MKB Law 2022. Terms & Conditions apply.