Philip Kolvin QC: Licensing Lawyer Legal advice & representation

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About Philip Kolvin QC


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Philip is a nationally renowned legal expert in licensing work. He became a barrister in 1985 and was appointed as Queen’s Counsel for his licensing work in 2009.

He is Head of Cornerstone Barristers, which is one of the top barristers chambers in London specialising in licensing, planning, property and regulatory law.

Philip is a Patron and past Chairman of the Institute of Licensing which is the professional body for licensing practitioners.

He has written and edited a number of leading licensing books:

  • Licensed Premises, Law, Practice and Policy published by Bloomsbury Professional. This is a leading textbook on law and policy about the licensing of alcohol, pubs, nightclubs, off-licences, restaurants, takeaways, cinemas, theatres, music venues and festivals.
  • Sex Licensing published by the Institute of Licensing. This deals with the law relating to sex shops, lap dancing and gentlemen’s clubs – known as Sexual Entertainment Venue or SEV licences – and sex cinemas.


Philip is a board member of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, the Government body concerned with stadium safety.

He is on the Advisory Board of the Night Time Industries Association and is an adviser on licensing to the British Pub Confederation.

Philip was the Chairman of Purple Flag which is a national scheme promoting safe and diverse night time economies, run by the Association of Town Centre Management. Purple Flag recipients include Heart of London through to Stockton Heath. The scheme now also operates in Ireland.

He is a past Chairman of Best Bar None a national scheme promoting safe bars, run by the British Institute of Innkeeping.

Philip acted as a co-opted expert on Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 for the Olympic Games, dealing with licensing issues.

Philip was educated at Oxford University, where he graduated in law, and at the Bar Vocational College in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


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Philip Kolvin's knowledge and advice is of the highest standard and I would recommend him to both licensed operators and local authorities.

Neil Robertson, Chief Executive, British Institute of Innkeeping
May I thank you for your patience and competence. It restores faith in humanity when you come across someone who can actually deliver what they say they can.

Licensee client
I have always had a great admiration for him, not only for his legal knowledge on licensing laws but his endless enthusiasm for the subject and the capacity to inspire others.

From time to time, I am asked for details of a good barrister in this field, and there is no better person than him in my opinion.

Licensing consultant.