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Freeths - Law firm

Drinks, Hospitality & Leisure

A refreshingly clear approach

What is involved?

What sets our team apart is our dedicated focus on working solely for operators of pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels and drinks and leisure businesses. We can offer your hospitality business an in-depth understanding of the particular challenges you face, and the reassurance that we speak your language.

Visit our specialist Drinks, Hospitality & Leisure website to find out more

Our passion for the industry is what underlies the longstanding relationships we have with many hospitality & leisure businesses and our vision is to be the leading legal supplier for the sector in the UK. We understand the commercial pressures driving your business – such as securing the right site, opening on time and delivering value for money.

Why choose Freeths?

  • Over 30 years’ experience of working with some of the biggest names in the drinks, hospitality and leisure sector
  • A team focused on nothing but advising businesses in the sector, meaning we are not distracted by other demands
  • Our extensive knowledge of the regulatory regime means we truly understand your day-to-day operational concerns
  • You can benefit from the wide ranging expertise and resource of our national team of specialists
  • A variety of pricing models offer you budget certainty

In addition to our knowledge of the industry, you will benefit from a multi-disciplinary team – whether you are buying or selling sites, facing property disputes, commercial agreements, employment issues, dealing with regulatory or licensing issues, planning new developments, or looking for finance to allow further growth. What is unusual about our team is that our lawyers are well versed in business issues beyond their core areas of expertise – which means they can handle all aspects of a transaction, providing you with a truly seamless service.

You’ll be in good company if you work with us; our client base ranges from start-ups/SMEs and regional pub groups to large national restaurant, hotel and pub and late night operators, as well as brewers and drinks companies.

Who we work with

  • Bella Italia
  • Novus Leisure
  • Balls Brothers
  • Charles Wells Pub Company
  • Brakspear
  • Davy’s Wine Bars
  • Las Iguanas
  • La Tasca
  • Cafe Rouge
  • Butcombe Brewery
  • JW Lees
  • bb’s coffee & muffins
  • Brunning & Price
  • Wadworth
  • Hawthorne Leisure
  • Peach Pubs
  • The Restaurant Group
  • Road Chef
Meet the team

Drinks, Hospitality & Leisure Lawyers

Christopher Ainsworth, Partner

Christopher Ainsworth

0845 271 6757

Simon Barker - IP Partner

Simon Barker

0845 634 2583

Jonathan Bennett

0845 126 4381

Iain Bowler - Commercial Lawyer

Iain Bowler

0845 030 5767

Adam Boyd

Adam Boyd
Senior Associate

0845 271 6773

Andrew Bretherton, Partner

Andrew Bretherton

0207 440 5849

Mark Brown, Partner

Mark Brown

0845 271 6764

Robert Bruce, Partner

Robert Bruce

0845 128 6958

Isobel Callaghan - Insolvency Lawyer

Isobel Callaghan
Senior Associate

0845 404 4175

Francis Dalton, Senior Associate

Francis Dalton

0845 128 6954

Heather Davies

0845 050 3619

Natalie Drought, Director

Natalie Drought

0845 271 6752

Nigel Gardner

Nigel Gardner

0845 128 6969

Keith Gilbert, Partner

Keith Gilbert

0845 050 3616

Lisa Gilligan, Partner

Lisa Gilligan

0845 272 5723

Jonathan Hambleton, Managing Partner - Milton Keynes

Jonathan Hambleton
Managing Partner

0845 271 6750

Tom Holden, Solicitor

Tom Holden

0845 271 6772

Chris Holwell

Chris Holwell

0845 050 3667

Oliver Jackson, Partner

Oliver Jackson

0845 128 7985

Eleanor Kerr

Eleanor Kerr

0845 271 6731

Serra Lee, Solicitor

Serra Lee

0845 271 6761

David Marsden - Property Litigation Partner

David Marsden

0845 404 1757

Andrew Maxwell, Partner & Head of Competition

Andrew Maxwell

0845 128 6997

Hayley Payton, Senior Associate

Hayley Payton
Senior Associate

0845 128 7986

Charlotte Rees-John

Charlotte Rees-John

0845 404 1749

Rebecca Sawbridge, PArtner

Rebecca Sawbridge

0845 634 2589

Tristan Sharples - Commercial Dispute Management Lawyer

Tristan Sharples

0845 271 6737

Christopher Sing, Partner

Christopher Sing

0845 017 1345

Leo Skinner, Partner

Leo Skinner

0845 271 6755

Julia Thurston, Senior Associate

Julia Thurston
Senior Associate

0845 271 6782

Related news

"Always accessible and gives an immediate response."

"Very proactive and always responds quickly."

"Freeths always meet their deadlines on work with a time frame."

"Freeths don't overcomplicate things...their advice is in plain English and is accessible."

"The detailed exceptions report highlights any points with potential financial impact...this is a very helpful and efficient way of reporting."

"We recognised Leo as an expert in hospitality and the restaurant/bar sector and he demonstrated to us it is a reputation well earned. Leo is thorough and provides sound commercial advice as well as providing us with a timely service."

(Managing Director, Gondola Group)

"I have worked with Heather for over 20 years delivering multiple turn key developments of internationally branded hotels (IHG, Hilton and Radisson). She is much more than a lawyer; she is proactive, solves problems and gives me answers, all in a commercially focused way. She always makes herself available when required and never lets me down."

(Alastair Cattrell, MD Wylam Investments Limited and VEC Envisage Group Limited)

"Sources highlight new department head Christopher Sing for his ‘outstanding client service, tactical ability and expertise.’ Although best known for his background with clients in the education sector, his recent experience includes advising on cases concerning industries such as finance and leisure."

(Chambers & Partners)

"'Highly experienced corporate lawyer' Jonathan Hambleton is held in high regard for both his strong sector knowledge in the leisure and hospitality industry and his private equity expertise. One client reports: 'He provided expertise and outstanding advice from a corporate perspective, helping guide us through complex corporate challenges that definitely improved our business'."

(Chambers & Partners)

Notable Work
  • Acquisition of hotel development sites, both freehold and leasehold, including many individual sites for Premier Inn.
  • Advised Carlsberg UK Limited on the acquisition of London Fields Brewery.
  • Acting for Wells & Young’s on the acquisition of the Courage, Directors, McEwans and Youngers beer brands from Heineken.
  • Acting for the owner in the removal of Vince Power from the Kensington Park Hotel in Notting Hill following a two week trial. The case received press coverage in the Guardian and Evening Standard, as have some of the other cases Freeths have been involved in.
  • Acting for the administrators of a group of companies in the UK beverage industry operating off-license stores trading under various high-street brands. Freeths advised on the trading and ultimate disposal of over 150 stores to over 8 separate purchasers (Winerack, Victoria Wines, the Local).
  • Various matters at London’s O2 arena (including two refinancings, a joint venture for a new 452-room hotel, the development of the roofwalk and proposals for the new designer outlet village).
  • Acting on a number of conditional acquisitions of sites for hotel developments, guiding and advising throughout the conditional period, managing the funding and construction process and advising on the management and disposal either by way of property or corporate structure.
  • Acting for the owner in connection with the development of what will be Europe’s first new build Radisson Red hotel in Scotland. This was on the agreement with the brand owner Carlson Rezidor for the management and operation of the hotel.
  • Acting for an investor on the sale of a pub listed as an Asset of Community Value and general advice on the moratorium period under s95(1) of the Localism Act 2011.
  • Advising national and regional brewers and pub companies on competition issues and the regulatory framework including the statutory code for tied pubs and the voluntary code of practice, Article 101 TFEU and the associated block exemption.

Client service

‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

Our service


Talk to us

Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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