Information

Complaints
 

Our complaints policy
We are committed to providing a high-quality
legal service to all our clients. When
something goes wrong, we need you to tell us
about it. This will help us to improve our standards.


If you have a complaint, please contact us with
the details. We have eight weeks to consider
your complaint. If we have not resolved it within
this time you may complain to the Legal
Ombudsman.


What will happen next?
1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint
within three days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.


2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve
James Button, the firm’s principal reviewing your matter file and
discussing the matter with Janet Button, who is the Office Manager


3. Janet Button will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully
resolve your complaint. She will do this within 14 days of sending
you the acknowledgement letter.


4. Within three days of the meeting, Janet Button will write to you to confirm
what took place and any solutions she has agreed with you.


5. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Janet Button will send
you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including her
suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the
acknowledgement letter.


6. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the
"Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ"

about your complaint. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to

the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written
response from us about your complaint or within six years of the act or
omission about which you are complaining occurring (or if outside of this
period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been
aware of it). For further information, you should contact the Legal
Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333 or at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk.

EU Online Dispute Resolution
 

If you are a client and we have made a contract with you by electronic means you may be entitled to use an EU online dispute resolution service to assist with any contractual dispute you may have with us. This service can be found at https://ec.europa.eu/odr. Our email address is  secretary@jamesbutton.co.uk

Licensing Application Costs
 

We are required by the SRA to provide pricing information on our website for two types of licence application under the Licensing Act 2003: an application for a new premises licence under Section 17 and an application to vary a premises licence under Section 34.


A premises licence is required for the sale of alcohol (whether for consumption on the premises, off the premises or both), the sale of hot food or hot drink between 11 PM and 5 AM (again whether for consumption on or off the premises), and for a wide range of entertainment.


An application can be made to vary an existing premises licence to alter the licensable activities (adding or removing the sale of alcohol, late night refreshment or entertainment), extending or reducing opening hours, or altering conditions attached to the licence.


Both applications follow the same process and the work for both is very similar. The pricing below sets out the estimated costs for both types of application. These figures are only a guide, because any application will be individually tailored to the particular circumstances.


Before we will undertake any work, we will always take full instructions from you, the client, and provide you with full details of the likely cost. The costs will always relate to the complexity of the application, and will therefore be tailored to the particular circumstances of the case. We will also explain the method of calculating that cost and the additional costs that may be incurred. These are often referred to as disbursements and mean the fixed costs that we have to pay on your behalf to enable an application to be completed. VAT is not payable on disbursements, but is payable on all our charges and expenses, and will be charged at the current rate (currently 20%).

New premises Licence Application


As no two premises are identical, and are likely to be situated in very different places, many different factors can alter and impact on the costs of an application. These can include the following, but this is by no means an exhaustive list:

 

  • The Licensing Authority’s Statement of Licensing Policy place where the premises are located

  • Whether the site is within a Cumulative Impact Zone

  • The nature and size of the premises

  • The location (e.g. town centre, residential area, commercial area etc.)

  • The proposed hours of operation

  • The type of operation

  • The type of venue

  • The likely clientele

We usually split the process into three sections: Pre-application, application and post application:

Pre-application:
This is not be strictly necessary, but experience suggests that on many occasions, pre-application discussions with the licensing authority and the responsible authorities (e.g. the police) and neighbours assists the process and can reduce the possibility of objections.


This work usually takes between 1 and 3 hours and is charged at our hourly rate which is agreed with you at the outset.

Application
For the application we charge a fixed fee which ranges from £750 to £3,000 (plus VAT and disbursements). The costs depend entirely on our estimate of the complexity of the particular application.


This fee will cover the following matters:

  • Taking your instructions and advising you on the steps to promote the licensing objectives within your application

  • Advising you on the plans you are required to submit with your application. You must provide suitable plans but we can put you in touch with people to assist with the preparation of plans if need be.

  • Completing the application form for a new premises licence (including the operating schedule) in accordance with your instructions and submitting this to the local licensing authority.

  • Providing guidance on the fee levels payable to the licensing authority.

  • Preparing copies of the premises licence application for distribution to the responsible authorities and serving copies of the application on the responsible authorities.

  • Drafting the notices advertising the premises licence application and submitting the notice to the local newspaper.

  • Providing you with the Public notice(s) advertising the premises licence application and advising you where and how this should be done in order to comply with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003.

  • Providing a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) consent form for signature by a personal licence holder proposed by yourself (only required where the premises licence authorises the sale of alcohol).

  • Checking the licence once granted and correcting any errors with the licensing authority.

Post Application


Once the application has been submitted there are a number of outcomes which would affect the overall cost:

 

  1. No representations received - if within the consultation period (28 days of submission), your application attracted no representations, the application would be automatically granted and there would be no further charges from us (unless other issues arose that needed to be resolved).

  2. Representations Received – if representations are received, we would try and resolve them through mediation with a view to avoiding a Committee hearing. Time spent on mediation would be charged on the agreed hourly rate and depending on the nature and amount of representations this could be between 1 and 5 hours, or perhaps more if a face to face meeting is arranged.

  3. Hearing - It may be necessary to go to a hearing for which we usually charge on a time spent basis at the agreed hourly rate and this is required to take place within 20 working days of the end of the representation period. Again we would discuss likely costs if such with you at that time.

  4. Appeal – Usually on a time spent charge based on the hourly rates set out below. Depending on the nature of the appeal this would usually be between 10 and 60 hours work and charged on our hourly rates.

There are also a number of disursementes and expences that we will need to discharge on your behalf for all premises licence applications:

  • Application fee payable to the local authority – £100 - £1905 depending on the rateable value of the premises

  • Advertising fee –£250 - £1500 + VAT.

  • Agent to display public notices – £100 - £500 + VAT

  • Special delivery charges to serve applications – £10 - £30 + VAT

  • Printing additional copies of plans if required - £10 -£40 + VAT

How long will my application take? 
Matters usually take between 6 and 8 weeks from receipt of full instructions from you. This is on the basis of the application being dealt with promptly by the local authority and you being able to provide all the necessary documents promptly. If your matter is more complex, for example, if there is substantial opposition from interested parties, or if there is a delay in receiving

Application to vary an existing premises licence

As no two premises are identical, and are likely to be situated in very different places, many different factors can alter and impact on the costs of a variation application. These can include the following, but this is by no means an exhaustive list:

  • The Licensing Authority’s Statement of Licensing Policy place where the premises are located

  • whether the site is within a Cumulative Impact Zone

  • the nature and size of the premises

  • the location (e.g. town centre, residential area, commercial area etc)

  • the proposed hours of operation

  • the type of operation

  • the type of venue

  • the likely clientele

We usually split the process into two sections: variation application and post variation application:


Variation Application
For the variation application we charge a fixed fee which ranges from £500 to £2000 (plus VAT and disbursements). The costs depend entirely on our estimate of the complexity of the particular variation application.
This fee will cover the following matters:

 

  • Taking your instructions and advising you on the steps to promote the licensing objectives within your variation application

  • Advising you on any plans that you may be required to submit with your variation application. You must provide suitable plans but we can put you in touch with people to assist with the preparation of plans if need be.

  • Completing the application form for a variation of a premises licence (including the operating schedule) in accordance with your instructions and submitting this to the local licensing authority.

  • Providing guidance on the fee levels payable to the licensing authority.

  • Preparing copies of the variation application for distribution to the responsible authorities and serving copies of the application on the responsible authorities.

  • Drafting the notices advertising the variation application and submitting the notice to the local newspaper.

  • Providing you with the Public notice(s) advertising the variation application and advising you where and how this should be done in order to comply with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003.

  • Checking the licence once granted and correcting any errors with the licensing authority.

Post Variation Application

Once the variation application has been submitted there are a number of outcomes which would affect the overall cost:

  1. No representations received - if within the consultation period (28 days of submission), your variation application attracted no representations, the variation would be automatically granted and there would be no further charges from us (unless other issues arose that needed to be resolved).

  2. Representations Received – if representations are received, we would try and resolve them through mediation with a view to avoiding a Committee hearing. Time spent on mediation would be charged on the agreed hourly rate and depending on the nature and amount of representations this could be between 1 and 5 hours, or perhaps more if a face to face meeting is arranged.

  3. Hearing - It may be necessary to go to a hearing for which we usually charge on a time spent basis at the agreed hourly rate and this is required to take place within 20 working days of the end of the representation period. Again we would discuss likely costs if such with you at that time.

  4. Appeal – Usually on a time spent charge based on the hourly rates set out below. Depending on the nature of the appeal this would usually be between 10 and 60 hours work and charged on our hourly rates.

There are also a number of disbursements and expenses that we will need to discharge on your behalf for all premises licence applications:

  • Application fee payable to the local authority – £100 - £1905 depending on the rateable value of the premises

  • Advertising fee –£250 - £1500 + VAT.

  • Agent to display public notices – £100 - £500 + VAT

  • Special delivery charges to serve applications – £10 - £30 + VAT

  • Printing additional copies of plans if required - £10 -£40 + VAT

How long will my application take?

Matters usually take between 6 and 8 weeks from receipt of full instructions from you. This is on the basis of the application being dealt with promptly by the local authority and you being able to provide all the necessary documents promptly. If your matter is more complex, for example, if there is substantial opposition from interested parties, or if there is a delay in receiving the documents we need, it may take longer.