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High Court refuse judicial review claim in premises licence transfer case Published Date: 25/11/2021

The High Court refuse permission to bring a judicial review claim in premises licence transfer consent dispute.

Setting out his reasons, Mr Mathew Gullick QC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, said:

"The central question raised by this Claim is really, in my view, that identified in the final sentence of paragraph 22 of the Defendant’s Summary Grounds of Defence: i.e. whether section 44(6)(a) simply has no  application in circumstances where consent to transfer of the premises licence has been positively refused, and thus whether a premises licence holder who has refused a request to have their licence transferred in effect has a veto on any transfer to a person who fulfils the second criterion in section 44(6)(b). In my view, it is clear that if Parliament had intended this to be the case then it would have said so expressly. The language of “all reasonable steps” used in the statute is in my view clearly apt to include both circumstances where the proposed transferee has been unable to obtain any decision from the holder of the licence and also where the holder of the licence has (as in the present case) positively refused to transfer the licence."