Clients of the Cornerstone Barristers get access to some of the smartest licensing brains in the land. That is why we are much in demand across the board from the industry, national and local authorities and community groups in all the fields of licensing practice.

The team is headed by Asitha Ranatunga and Josef Cannon. The team has written many of the leading textbooks in the field, including Licensed Premises: Law, Practice and Policy; Gambling for Local Authorities; Sex Licensing: Atkins Court Forms on Licensing, and the Encyclopedia of Forms & Precedents on Licensed Premises.

The breadth of our work and our clientele, and the general knowledge we have in public and administrative law, and local government, means that we are usually a step ahead and have a bank of expertise to draw on.

Some of our industry work is for big operators – the large supermarkets, betting operators, sex establishments and providers. But a surprising amount is for small operators who don’t have to engage lawyers very often and need guidance through what can sometimes be a daunting process. These might be pubs, bars, restaurants, taxi operators, music venues and sex shops. All benefit from our energy, service levels and attention to detail.

Our planning and property expertise in Chambers means that we can offer teams of lawyers to meet all a client’s needs as leisure development proceeds.

We have a very large public sector client base. These include hundreds of local authorities, but also national authorities such as the Gambling Commission and the Security Industry Authority. We have built up a reputation and expertise in policy work which we believe is unparalleled at the Bar, and have defended authority decisions in courts at most levels.

Our commitment to sustainable town centres often leads us to act for local residents and community groups who have legitimate concerns about local amenity. We are in demand to act for such clients because our general expertise puts them in good stead in contested hearings.

Usually, our work comes to us through solicitors, and we are instructed by most of the leading firms. We are also really pleased to take instructions through licensing consultants and also direct from members of the public. The benefit of this is that it saves the client money to instruct one lawyer rather than two, and you get direct access to some of the best licensing lawyers in the land.

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