Transparency Statement



  • Our team has over 70 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to licensing applications with the founding partners Andrew Woods and Paddy Whur having 25 years’ experience themselves.


  •  The Licensing team consists of Andrew Woods and Paddy Whur who are supported by Chris Rees-Gay and Amanda Usher who are qualified solicitors. Carole Collingwood who has over 25 years’ experience and is our office manager as well as Amy Hayward, Kirstan Lounsbach and Beth Mortell, who work in our admin department.


  • Woods Whur is ranked number 1 in the North East by Chambers and Legal 500, Andrew Woods and Paddy Whur are ranked number 1 individuals and in 2017 Woods Whur won the Yorkshire Legal Award for niche firm of the year.


  • We are required to provide price information to businesses in relation to applying for new premises licences or variations to allow these premises to be used for one or more licensable activities. This means applications for premises licences under Section 17 of the Licensing Act 2003 and applications to vary a premises licence under Section 34 of the Licensing Act 2003.


  • We will in all cases agree fees with you prior to undertaking any work and the fees will be set out in a client care letter which we will ask you to approve. In some cases the fees will be a fixed fee and in other cases the fees will be an hourly rate and we will always specify whether these fees include VAT. There will always be application fees to pay to the local authority for either application as well as fees to advertise the applications in a local newspaper. Where possible we will give you as clear an indication as we can as to those fees. In summary we will confirm to you our fees, the application fee payable to the local authority, an indication of the fee payable to newspapers to advertise the application and VAT. We will also indicate whether our fees are fixed fees or hourly rates, and if hourly rates, we will give you an indication as to the expected charges. In most cases we will give you a fixed fee.


  • The fees that we will charge will depend on whether the application will be a simple application, an application of medium complexity or an application of high complexity. The factors which will determine whether your application is likely to be a simple one or medium or high includes: whether or not the application relates to premises in a cumulative impact policy area; the type and size of the premises; whether the area is a residential area;  whether our firm has experience of applications in the area. These factors will determine what type of application is being submitted.
  • We set out below a guide to our fees. The guide below does not include VAT, does not include the application fee payable to the local authority and does not include the advert fee payable to the local newspaper.


The fee does include the following:


–              Taking instructions

–              Advising on promoting the licensing objectives and completing the application form

–              Advising on plans

–              Completing and submitting the application

–              Disclosing the application to the responsible authorities

–              Making arrangements for the necessary advertising of the application


Please note that additional costs on top of those stated above will be incurred for any work undertaken after the submission of the application which may include some of the following:


–              Liaison with the responsible authorities over queries or representations

–              Liaison with the local authority or residents with regard to queries or representations

–              Attending any meetings with other parties

–              Preparing for and attending any hearing


We will endeavour to give you an indication of these additional costs in our client care letter but some of these additional costs will not be known until the application is submitted.

 Please note the following points:

 VAT will always be payable on legal fees. 

 Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties such as the application fee and the newspaper fee. We will always require these disbursements to be paid up front. These fees do vary depending on the rateable value of the premises and the cost of the newspaper advertisement.


The legal fees quoted do not include:


–              Obtaining suitable plans

–              Attending pre-consultation meetings with the licensing authority or responsible authorities (unless agreed with you)

–              Dealing with or advising you in relation to queries or representations received from either the responsible authorities or other interested parties

–              Advising on varying the licence

–              Attendance and representation at a Licensing Sub-Committee.


Please note that applications usually have a 28 day consultation period during which representations can be made. The 28 day consultation period starts after the application is submitted. If there are no objections or representations then the application is deemed granted after the 28 day period. If there are representations then the matter will be referred to a Licensing Sub-Committee hearing unless agreement is reached.


Fee guide


Simple application          –             £500 – £1,500 plus VAT and disbursements

Medium application      –              £1,500 – £2,500 plus VAT and disbursements

Complex application      –                  £2,500 – £5,000 plus VAT and disbursements



Motoring offences

The following pricing structure is based on the provision of advice and representation at the Magistrates’ Court in relation to summary only road traffic offences dealt with at a single hearing. This pricing structure is based on a guilty plea:

  • Advising and attending magistrates’ court following a guilty plea
    • Not exceeding £800 +VAT plus travel and other disbursements (e.g. expert fee)
  • Advising and attending magistrates’ court following a guilty plea and submissions made to avoid endorsement or disqualification (special reasons and/or mitigating circumstances)
    • Not exceeding £1,000+VAT plus travel and other disbursements (e.g. expert fee)
  • Advising and providing mitigation in writing where no attendance is required:
    • Not exceeding £600 +VAT

These fees include:

  • Taking initial instructions (should this request be to take instructions in person additional travel costs and travel disbursements will apply);
  • Consideration of the evidence provided;
  • Advising on the strength of the evidence;
  • Representing at court and providing submissions in mitigation.

These fees do not include:

  • Advising and representing a client in respect of a not guilty plea;
  • Advising on appeal.

The following pricing structure is based on a guilty plea which requires a single hearing in the Magistrates’ Court.

Those dealing with the matter will be Sarah Frow, a qualified solicitor. Sarah may be assisted by a trainee solicitor and/or paralegal as necessary.


Debt recovery

Where a debt is undisputed, our fees for dealing with pre-litigation and issuing proceedings up to a value of £100,000 are as follows:

               Pre litigation

  • Letter of claim                                                £175.00 +VAT
  • Solicitors letter                                               £50.00 +VAT

Issuing proceedings and applying for default judgment

Debt value

Court fee

Our fee

Up to £10,000

Up to a maximum of £455

Up to £700 +VAT

£10,001 to £50,000

5% of the value up to a maximum of £5,000

Up to £1,000 +VAT

More than £50,000

Between £5,000 and a maximum of £10,000

Hourly rate


This includes:

  • Taking instructions and considering evidence;
  • Where applicable, issuing proceedings;
  • Where no acknowledgment of service or defence is received, applying for default judgment;
  • Where no payment is received, providing you with advice on next steps and relevant time scales and fees involved.

This does not include:

  • Where a debt is disputed, upon which we will discuss with you and set out an appropriate fee structure;
  • Considerations as to interest and compensation having an impact on the debt being recovered
  • Other court fees such as application fees
  • Negotiations with the other party in person or in writing/telephone/video call

VAT of our costs cannot be recovered from your debtor and, on some occasions, our fees may not be recoverable depending on the circumstances.

Our hourly rates for non-disputed debt recovery are as follows:

Solicitor                                             £161 per hour

Paralegal/Trainee                            £118 per hour