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Stephen McGowan

His understanding of and presence in the licensing community is second to none
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About Stephen

Stephen is a partner and was made TLT’s Head of Licensing (Scotland) in November 2012. One of Scotland and the UKs most renowned licensing lawyers, Stephen has appeared for clients before licensing boards all over Scotland and has a vast range of experience in liquor licensing, gambling and civic licensing. Stephen has represented every conceivable type of licensed operator carrying out all aspects of work from submission of applications to highly contentious hearings and appeals as well as advising on policy matters, and is hugely passionate about his clients and the work of the team.

Stephen is a leading expert in licensing law in Scotland. He has sat on a number of Scottish Government expert groups. He has given oral evidence to Parliament in connection with both alcohol and gambling licensing reforms. He holds and has held a number of prestigious positions within the industry. He is the Chairman of the Institute of Licensing (Scotland) (appointed 2016), the former Chairman of BII Scotland (2012 – 2016), and he is also the President of the Benevolent Society of the Licensed Trade in Scotland (“The Ben”) (appointed 2018). Stephen has been a member of the Law Society of Scotland Licensing Sub-committee since 2010 and he was Accredited as a Specialist in Licensing by the Law Society of Scotland in 2018, one of only five solicitors to hold that status.

Stephen is also a leading author in this area, having written four books including Licensing and Gambling Law in Scotland (2009) and Local Government Licensing Law in Scotland (2012), and he contributes regularly to legal journals, trade publications and is also a sought-after speaker. He is the author and tutor of the CLT Licensing Law Paralegal course.

In addition to his vast experience of liquor licensing, Stephen has significant experience in civic licensing such as public entertainment, taxis, markets and street trading, such as having acted for dozens of licensees in the leading case of McLuskey v North Lanarkshire Council 2014. He is also considered to be Scotland’s leading expert on gambling law and has represented all manner of gambling operators from national chains and local independent premises such as casinos, bookmakers and arcades, to various online providers including traditional remote gambling operators as well as white-labelling/peer to peer software and host licence holders.

Jurisdiction: Scotland

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