Andrew Woods

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 and gambling legislation and has been highlighted in editions of the Chambers guide to the legal profession and ranked as joint number 1 in the North East. Andrew has been commended for his “responsive and attentive service and easy going manner” as well as for his “stellar” client list, which is unparalleled in the sector.

Andrew is a solicitor/advocate (higher court 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 in the proceedings. He is the firm’s compliance officer for legal practice, compliance officer for finance and administration and the money laundering reporting officer.

Gambling Licensing Remote and Non Remote

Andrew has an impressive and unmatched range of major betting and gambling clients and has either acted for, or still acts for the following: William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Caesars International, Mayfair Casino Limited, Silverbond Enterprises Limited and Jennings Racing.

He has received commendation for his skill in running large complex projects, winning praise for the detail of the systems he brings to the process to ensure that they run smoothly as well as bringing nearly 30 years of experience to the table when advising clients. Although well known for representing major national and international operators, he also represents many individual operators with niche applications and has been the lead lawyer in many successful applications.

In recent years, Andrew has developed the firm’s international client base representing clients from Hong Kong to America and from Cambodia to Latvia and has advised new entrants both to the UK remote and non-remote market as well as the Isle of Man and other jurisdictional areas. He has been involved in most of the recent large casino acquisitions in the UK, including the acquisition of the Clermont Club in Berkley Square and the Park Lane Casino situated in the Hilton Hotel.

Andrew has also represented many gambling operators in their dealings with the UK Gambling Commission both in submitting applications for new entrants to the market, dealing with compliance issues raised by the Gambling Commission and in certain circumstances dealing with significant regulatory cases brought by the commission. This work involves land based and online operators ranging from major international operators to independent companies.

Andrew continues to be very successful before local licensing committees with applications under the Gambling Act 2005. In 2020/2021,  Andrew dealt with a large number of applications for Adult Gaming Centres, many of which received objections, and all of which were ultimately granted. Andrew was successful in an appeal against Tower Hamlets Council, who had initially refused an Adult Gaming Centre. Andrew represented the appellant himself in Stratford Magistrates Court, and a 24 hour licence was granted. Andrew was also due to take a 2 day appeal against Lambeth Council for an Adult Gaming Centre, but having served all the evidence and legal submissions, Lambeth Council agreed to grant the licence and not contest the appeal

Alcohol Licensing

Andrew has appeared throughout the UK in many contested alcohol licensing applications as well as representing major companies on acquisitions and mergers. He is particularly renowned for appearing in front of Westminster City Council, the City of London and Camden Council on a number of important cases. He understands the intricacies of Cumulative Impact Areas and licensing policies of both the City of London and Westminster and regularly advises key clients on their ability to maximise their commercial benefit in these areas. Andrew’s stellar list of clients has included Novus Leisure, Revolution Bars, Intertain (Walkabout Group), the Eclectic Bar Group, Bar Fever, Camden Market Group, Thistle Hotels, Travelodge, The Big Table group and The Spirit Group.

Andrew deals with his own advocacy either before local authorities or on appeal to the Magistrates Courts himself and regularly advises clients on business strategy and compliance issues.

Andrew has many years experience of speaking at industry events, training courses and contributed to the trained press. Andrew wrote “Gaming in Licensed Premises” with Paddy Whur and Stephen Mcgowan, which analysed the relationship between gambling and alcohol licensed premises.

Andrew and Paddy were delighted in 2017 to be awarded “Niche Firm of the Year” at the Yorkshire Legal Awards, ahead of many other specialist firms and at the awards ceremony It was noted that the firm and individuals were viewed as leaders nationally in their field. It was also noted that they have been involved in some of the leading and iconic cases of recent years, but have retained their ability to give proactive and down to earth advice to their clients.

If you want to contact Andrew, please contact him on 07738170138 or