Andrew Woods is a founding member of the practice, having specialised in licensing law since 1992. He brings with him a wealth of experience in licensing, betting and gaming law. He is highlighted in recent editions of the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession and ranked as joint No.1 in the North East, whilst being commended for his “responsive and attentive service and easy-going manner”. He is commended for his ‘stellar’ client list which cannot be matched by any competitors.

Andrew is a Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Courts All Proceedings), having attained his Higher Rights of Audience from the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This allows him to represent clients in all UK courts and gives clients the advantage of having their advocate in court being the same lawyer they instruct from the early stages from any proceedings. Andrew was responsible for the Clermont Leisure Limited Casino Project. This involved thirty applications around the UK. This was the largest casino project to be undertaken in the UK and each application was heavily contested by existing operators. Andrew conducted his own advocacy against QC oppositions on many occasions. All competitors would use solicitors who would instruct QCs to represent them whereas Andrew not only advised clients but also represented them.

Betting and Gaming

Andrew has an impressive and unparalleled range of major betting and gaming clients and has either acted for or still acts for the following: William Hill, Ladbrokes, Corals, Silverbond Enterprises Limited, Jennings, , Blackheath Bookmakers and Clermont Leisure. He has also represented many on line gambling operators.

Andrew has received commendation for his skill in running large projects, winning praise for the detail of the systems he brings to ensure they run smoothly. As well as representing national operators he has always represented individual operators with niche applications. He was also successful in conducting the Dusk Till Dawn Poker Club Licence Application in Nottingham against significant trade opposition.

Andrew was the lead lawyer in the successful move of the Casino Licence from the Paddington Hilton to the Park Lane Hilton and is retained by the operator, the successful move of the Gala Piccadilly Casino Licence to Park Lane and is currently instructed by overseas operators looking to enter the UK Market. He has significant experience of representing gambling operators of all types with applications and regulatory guidance before the Gambling Commission.

Alcohol Licensing

Andrew has appeared throughout the UK in contested liquor licensing cases. He is particularly renowned for appearing in front of the City of London , Camden and Westminster City Council on a number of important cases. He understands the stress areas and policies of both the City and Westminster and regularly advises key clients on their ability to maximise their commercial benefit in these areas. In addition, he has represented Novus Leisure, Thistle Hotels, Camden Market Group , Travelodge, the Spirit Group, Guoman Hotels, Bar Fever Group, Eclectic Bar Group, Intertain Limited and Revolution Bars Group Plc, around the UK in significant cases before various licensing authority committees.

In addition to this Andrew has also many years experience of speaking at industry events, training courses and contributes to the trade press. Andrew wrote “Gaming in Licensed Premises” published in 2010 with Paddy Whur and Stephen McGowan which analyses the relationship between gambling and alcohol licensed premises.

He is currently writing the Gambling Licensing Law text book along with Colin Manchester, Paddy Whur and Anna Mathias.

Andrew and Paddy were delighted in 2017 to be awarded ‘ Niche firm’ 2017 at the Yorkshire Legal Awards ahead of many specialist firms. It was noted that they are viewed as leaders nationally in their field , had been involved in some of the leading and iconic cases of recent years but retained their ability to always give their clients pro active advise in an easy going manner.

Please contact Andrew Woods on 07738 170138 or andrew@woodswhur.co.uk if you would like further information.