Practice Profile

Gary Grant is recognised as one of the country’s leading licensing barristers. He is top ranked in the “Legal 500” independent guide to the legal profession where he is described as:

a star performer; very flexible to deal with"  (2014 edition)

With over 20 years experience at the Bar, he divides his time evenly between acting for premises operators on the one hand and representing local authorities, police forces and resident groups on the other. Areas of work include alcohol and entertainment, sexual entertainment, gambling, firearms and explosives, and taxis and private hire vehicles.

He is particularly renowned for his experience in hard-fought Premises Licence Reviews, late-hours applications within cumulative impact areas, and conducting appeals in the magistrates’ court where, the legal directories observe, he displays complete command and is extremely eloquent, forceful, persuasive and impeccably prepared”. (Chambers Guide, 2009)

Having been cited as the "first-choice licensing barrister for the Metropolitan Police" (Chambers Guide, 2011) he is increasingly instructed by high-profile private clients including Spearmint Rhino, Pacha nightclub and many of the leading West End and national nightclub, bar and restaurant operators (from Michelin-starred premises to fast-food chains) as well as sex entertainment venues.

Gary has acted and advised in cases involving venues as diverse as the 2012 London Olympics Sites, The O2 (formerly Millennium Dome), Twickenham Rugby Stadium, Notting Hill Carnival, Lingfield Park and Folkestone racecourses and numerous major music and cultural festivals.

Gary also has a wealth of experience in the criminal courts from the Magistrates’ Court to the Old Bailey to the House of Lords/Supreme Court. He regularly prosecutes and defends in regulatory matters involving health and safety, trading standards, environmental, planning, licensing, and road traffic offences.

He is widely experienced in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court/House of Lords and has appeared in several of the leading reported cases of recent years (including R v Rimmington, the leading modern case on Public Nuisance, and “Funky Mojoe on procedural defects).

Gary also advises local authorities, governments (in the UK and abroad) and public bodies on aspects of licensing law and Policy, is a frequent contributor to law journals and has been described as an “outstanding” and “charismatic” speaker at licensing conferences and training events around the United Kingdom.  Gary has been a Vice-Chairman and Director of the Institute of Licensing since 2012.

He has a reputation for representing all his clients with fierce independence, skill and tenacity.

Additional directory comments include the following:

"Interviewees heap praise on Grant, describing him as ‘a methodical and robust speaker.'"
Chambers & Partners (2011)

“Always handles matters in a very prompt fashion … someone with considerable drive”
Chambers & Partners (2012)

“Particularly recognised for his expertise in acting both for and against the police in premises licence reviews and appeals”
Chambers Directory (2013)

“One of the licensing stars of the future”
Legal 500 (2013)



Gary acts for all those involved in the licensing field including major leisure industry operators, local authorities, police forces and resident groups. He is top ranked in the “Legal 500” independent guide to the legal profession where he is described as (in the 2014 edition) as:

“a star performer; very flexible to deal with”

His varied clients range from Spearmint Rhino to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. He has a formidable depth of knowledge and experience before licensing sub-committees and on appeals in the magistrates' courts, High Court and above. Gary has been instructed in many of the most hotly-contested and high-profile cases of recent years including numerous reviews, closure orders and applications involving leading West End nightclubs, restaurants, private members clubs, music and sporting arenas (including the O2 and Twickenham Rugby Stadium), cultural festivals and London Olympic events, hotels and lap-dancing venues. His advisory work includes drafting Statements of Licensing Policy for local authorities, guidance to police forces on their powers under the Licensing Act 2003 and in legal challenges by way of Judicial Review for private clients and public bodies. For several years both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 have recognised Gary as a Leader in his field.

Areas of work include alcohol and entertainment, gambling, taxis and private hire vehicles, firearms and explosives, defending and prosecuting licensing/regulatory offences in the criminal courts, appeals and judicial reviews. Gary is a sought after speaker at legal conferences and training events and is widely published in licensing law publications.

Regulatory & Criminal Offences

Noted as a powerful and intelligent criminal advocate before the Magistrates, Crown Court and Criminal Appeal Courts. With a wealth of experience in high-profile, serious general crime his practice has now developed to include white-collar and regulatory offences in particular. Gary has successfully appeared at all levels of criminal tribunals up to and including the House of Lords/Supreme Court. His clients range from individuals to public bodies and multi-national Plc's.

Areas of specialisation include environmental and planning offences, serious fraud and other financial crime, health and safety offences (including corporate manslaughter), computer and hi-tech crime, extradition and international crime, money-laundering and confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act, trade mark & trade description offences, violent and sexual offences (including murder and rape), serious organised crime (including drug conspiracies and firearms), road traffic offences (with particular expertise in death by dangerous/careless driving, drink-driving and speeding cases). Gary has contributed numerous articles on criminal and regulatory law to leading legal publications.

Cases of Note


  • London Olympic Festival 2012, Greenwhich Peninsula - a series of successful licence applications for 20,000 person music concerts, leisure complex, campsites and Europe's largest "urban" beach
  • St. Katharine Docks, London Olympic Festival - securing Premises Licence on behalf of Danish Tourist Board
  • The Queen (Raphael) -v- LB of Islington [2011] EWCA 462 (Court of Appeal) - leading authority on powers of delegation under, and implementation of, the Licensing Act 2003
  • Spearmint Rhino, London - late hours extension for lap-dancing venue
  • Okku - late night licence application for leading new restaurant venture in St James', London
  • River Lounge, St Katharine's Dock - successful appeal against revocation (involving Rt Hon David Mellor QC, naked dancing girls and covert audio recordings of un-neighbourly disputes. Widely reported in the National Press on 10 June 2010)
  • Gilgamesh, leading London restaurant - summary review
  • O2 Arena (formerly the Millenium Dome) - premises licence application
  • Twickenham Rugby Stadium - series of applications
  • Pacha, London nightclub - premises licence review
  • Whisky Mist, London nightclub - premises licence review
  • Princi, Soho "boutique" bakery/restaurant - late hours application (exception to stress)
  • Cha Cha Moon, Whiteleys and Soho branches - late hours applications (exception to stress)
  • Piano Lounge, lap-dancing venue - acting in series of reviews, prosecutions and late-hours appeal (exception to stress) and review
  • Test Bed and Doodle Bar, Wandsworth - major licence application for arts and entertainment complex
  • Lingfield Park and Folkestone Racecourses - premises licence applications and advisory work
  • Fridge Bar, Brixton - premises licence review and appeal
  • Opium Lounge, Romford - UK's first summary/expedited review of Premises Licence
  • HSE v Alpha & Festival Fireworks - appeal against revocation of explosives licence following the fireworks explosion in Lewes in which two firemen were killed.
  • Cuckoo, West End nightclub - late hours application (exception to stress)
  • 79CXR, iconic West End gay bar - premises licence review
  • Chinatown Zone - applications/variations
  • Molton House, West End, private members club - premises licence review
  • Kabaret West End, private members club - premises licence review
  • Corals - UK's first review under the Gambling Act
  • Numerous cases involving Tesco's, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, McDonalds and various JD Wetherspoon venues.
  • Lock 'n' Load Music Festival on Clapham Common - appeal

Criminal & Regulatory

  • LB of Richmond v Johnson - landmark prosecution involving demolition of a house within a conservation area - Kingston Crown Court (Daily Mail 1.8.11)
  • R v Fletcher, Bradford Crown Court [2009] - alleged gangland conspiracy to murder
  • R v Lincoln Crawford, Blackfriars Crown Court, Telegraph, 22.7.08: defence of barrister and Recorder of the Crown Court for breaching a restraining order.
  • R v Gil Magira [2008] EWCA Crim 1939, The Times, The Mirror 1.3.08: defence of husband accused of clandestinely administering abortion drugs to his pregnant wife.
  • R v Foster & ors, The Times, 10.12.07: Court of Appeal - murder - alternative verdicts
  • R v Mendel Rand - [2007] EWCA Crim 840, Daily Mail 30.3.07: Court of Appeal - obtained release of 76 year old Holocaust survivor from prison sentence for money laundering as an "exceptional act of mercy"
  • R v Goldstein & Rimmington [2006] 1 AC 459, [2005] UKHL 63: Post-9/11 Anthrax Hoaxer acquitted on appeal to the House of Lords - public nuisance - common law offences - Human Rights Act - retroactive offences - freedom of expression & privacy of correspondence - mens rea
  • United States of America v H [2005-6, advisory]: major US banking fraud involving director of leading investment bank/ extradition to USA
  • R v Ramzan, Israel & Ors [2007] Crim.L.R. 79,[2006] EWCA Crim 1974: Court of Appeal - conspiracy to money launder - mens rea - reopening old convictions following change of law.
  • Duffy v R [2005]: Privy Council appeal from Isle of Man Court of Appeal - death by dangerous driving - careless driving (advisory)
  • East Herts DC v Bishop's Stortford Football Club et al [2005, St Albans Crown Court] - breach of planning enforcement notices - park & ride operation to Stansted Airport - anti-competitive planning policies - European Union Law
  • R v Lehman, The Times, 7 Jan 2005: Israeli with loaded gun in Heathrow Airport
  • Birmingham City Council v Chiltern London Ltd [2005]: "FCUK" & "Louis Vuitton" major trade marks prosecution
  • R v Roberts, The Guardian, Mar 2005: teacher at Jews Free School - acquitted of sexually assaulting student
  • London Borough of Newham v Estates & Lets Ltd [2004]: corporate criminal liability under Protection from Eviction Act 1977 - abuse of process - local authorities' prosecuting guidelines
  • R v Mansoor, Central Criminal Court, The Times, 18 Aug 2004: Stamford Hill Orthodox Jewish Murder
  • R v Horner and others [2004]: corporate manslaughter - death by dangerous driving - mechanical defect
  • London Borough of Camden v JT Publishing Ltd [2004]: criminal liability of West End theatre promoter under Town and Country Planning Act 1990
  • R v Israel [2003] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 79: Court of Appeal - money laundering - sentencing
  • R v Mazar, The Times, 4 Dec 2002 - "King-Pin Fraudster" - multi-million dollar international credit card fraud
  • R v Graham [2002]: "Peterborough Sex Beast" - serial rape - attempted murder
  • R v Johnson [2002] 1 Archbold News 1, Archbold 2006 para 4-348: Court of Appeal - criminal evidence - defence statements - reopening of prosecution case
  • R v Morris, Daily Telegraph, 21 Dec 2001: "RAF Cadets Death Coach" - death by dangerous driving
  • R v Sylvana Nottingham, [1999] News of the World: "Nurse's Lifer Lover" - pregnant prison nurse aided and abetted escape of her lover who was serving life for manslaughter.
  • R v Zafar [2000]: "Internet Domain Name Blackmail" - prosecuted first UK case of corporate blackmail via computer hacking.
  • HSE v Behrouzi - Health and Safety - supermarket owner - razor blades in food

Other Civil

  • Talanga Stiftung et al v Shurland et al [2006] UKPC 58: Privy Council appeal from Bahamas Court of Appeal - civil fraud - judicial bias, natural justice & right to fair trial - secret communications to judge - quantum meruit
  • "Paddington Prostitutes ASBOS" (Daily Mail, Evening Standard, 22.11.06) - acted for Westminster Council in obtaining ground-breaking civil ASBOS against prolific prostitutes



  • “The Use and Abuse of Summary Reviews” – Institute of Licensing National Conference (2012)
  • “Alcohol – the nation’s favourite drug” - Institute of Licensing National Conference (2012)
  • “Licensing Hearings – a fair hearing” - Institute of Licensing National Conference (2012)
  • "Just Another Roll of the Dice? the Changing Nature of Licensing Appeals" - Paterson's Licensing Conference (2012)
  • “The Government Alcohol Strategy” – Journal of Licensing, July 2012
  • “Prosecutions under the Licensing Act 2003” – Institute of Licensing (2012)
  • “Licensing Applications, Reviews and Appeals” – MBL Seminars (2012)
  • "Reform for reform's sake? Amendments to the Licensing Act 2003" - Journal of Licensing, Leading Article, March 2012 (with Gerald Gouriet QC)
  • "Preparing for Licence Reviews - guidance for police, responsible authorities and operators" - Institute of Licensing National Conference (2011)
  • "Licence Reviews: practice, procedure and strategy" - Central Law Training (2011)
  • "Licensing Prosecutions" - Central Law Training (2011)
  • "Licensing Appeals in the Magistrates Courts" - Central Law Training (2011)
  • "Temporary Event Notices" - Institute of Licensing London Conference (2011)
  • "Section 19 Closure Notices and Closure Orders", MBL Seminars (2011)
  • "Late Review - delegation under the Licensing Act", Local Government Lawyer (June 2011)
  • "Licensing Appeals following Hope and Glory" - MBL Seminars (2011)
  • "Enforcement under the Licensing Act - from investigation to trial" - Institute of Licensing 3-day conference (2011)
  • "The Art (and Law) of Delegation under the Licensing Act 2003", Local Government Lawyer, (September 2010)
  • "Premises Licence Reviews" - ACPO National Licensing Conference, 2009
  • "The Gambling Act 2005" - New Scotland Yard Police Licensing Conference, 2009
  • "Closure Orders, Reviews & Police Powers under the Licensing Act" - New Scotland Yard Police Licensing Conference (2009)
  • "The Gambling Act 2005: An Introduction" - CPD Channel (2006)

Regulatory & Crime

  • "Knockdown - prosecuting cases of demolition in a conservation area" - Local Government Lawyer, (4.8.11)
  • "Experts in the Criminal Courts, Fraud and Confiscation Proceedings" - keynote address to Network of Independent Forensic Accountants' Annual Conference, (2009)
  • "Fraud Act 2006" - CPD Channel, (2006)
  • "Insurance Fraud: the industry strikes back" - CPD Channel, (2006)
  • "Conspiracy and money laundering: the end of the affair" - New Law Journal, 14 July 2006
  • "Public Nuisance, the Orthodox Jew and the Racist" (with Jonathan Goldberg QC) - New Law Journal, 2 December 2005
  • "Disclosure and Public Interest Immunity": regularly lectures Kent Police, Customs & Excise and other forces (2005-present)
  • "Future of Fraud" - Gibraltar Law Conference (2004)
  • "Proceeds of Crime Act 2002: Confiscation & Money Laundering" - Legal Practitioner, DVD (2003)
  • Legal Practitioner, Contributing Editor (Criminal Law) (2002-5)
  • CPD Channel, Contributing Editor (Criminal Law) (2006 - 2010)


  • Gary is a frequent contributor to television news channels (including Sky News, ITV News, Al-Jazeera) on matters of international and domestic legal interest.

Qualifications, Appointments and Professional Memberships

  • BA Hons (Law and Philosophy)
  • Inns of Court School of Law, 1994
  • Sir Raymond Phillips Award, Gray's Inn, 1994
  • Institute of Licensing (Vice-Chairman)
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Extradition Lawyers Association
  • International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
  • Planning and Environmental Bar Association

Direct Access

  • Gary Grant is qualified to accept instructions directly from professionals and members of the public in appropriate cases.

Practice Areas

Contact Clerks

Paul Coveney, Senior Clerk
Tom Rook, Principal Clerk
Max Smy, Clerk

020 7353 8415


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