Anna is a barrister with twenty years’ experience as a licensing lawyer. Called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1994, she practised in Chambers for 10 years, with licensing and regulatory law prominent among her specialisms. In 2003 she was recruited by the legal team at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to assist the Borough in taking on its new responsibilities under the Licensing Act 2003. From there, she joined West End law firm Joelson Wilson, where for nearly ten years she practised exclusively in alcohol and entertainment licensing and the law of betting, gaming and lotteries. During this period, she also developed her expertise in associated regulatory and criminal law spheres that affect the leisure industry, such as planning, health and safety, food safety, food labelling, consumer protection, trading standards and weights and measures. She left Joelson Wilson in early 2015 for Woods Whur, with a view to focussing particularly on our London client base, although the nationwide nature of the practice she enjoyed at Joelson Wilson continues.
As a barrister, Anna has full rights of audience and she has extensive experience of appearing before courts and tribunals at all levels and before Local Authority Licensing Sub-Committees across the country. She represents clients in the pub, bar, restaurant, nightclub, off-licence, hotel, corporate event, catering and brewing trades and acts for both remote and land-based operators in the casino, bingo, betting, lottery and gaming machine and arcade sectors, and for tracks.
She has frequently advised residents’ groups in connection with licence applications and reviews and has, over the years, developed excellent working relationships with a broad base of professionals and regulatory authorities involved in licensing and gambling, including Local Authority officers and representatives of the Gambling Commission. This understanding of both sides of the process has played its part in enabling Anna to become considered as one of the leading lawyers in the field. This has been recognised by legal directory The Legal 500. Clients whom that publication interviewed commended Anna for her ability to “convey complex concepts in a comprehensible way”. Anna thrives on acting for start-ups and, in the gambling field, this has brought her into contact with many operators and developers who have innovative gambling products to bring to market. One of her particular strengths lies in the ability to analyse a new idea, appraise how it falls to be classified under GB gambling legislation and translate the idea into reality, via the appropriate operating licence.
As of 1 November 2014, any remote gambling operator who wishes to transact with, or advertise to, British customers has been required to obtain an operating licence issued by the GB Gambling Commission, regardless of where they – or their servers – are based. Anna has helped numerous operators from all over the world through that process. She has also developed considerable expertise in the licensing of gambling software, which forms a considerable part of her practice.
Anna is one of the most experienced lotteries sector regulatory lawyers in the market. She’s been retained as adviser to the Lotteries Council and all of its members for many years, dealing with all manner of enquiries from charities and their commercial lottery partners. She’s advised major charities such as Comic Relief and Macmillan, Cancer Research UK, Marie Curie, The Air Ambulance Society, The British Red Cross, Guide Dogs for the Blind, The PDSA, The Royal Air Force Association, and countless hospices and other charities that are less well-known. Commercial partners have included Capen Consultants, CFP Data and 1-2-1 Fundraising. Anna has also acted for several football clubs including Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Norwich City.
Anna has acted for a wide spectrum of clients in the alcohol and entertainment sectors, ranging from celebrity chefs to late night, multi-site clients such as iNtertain (the operator of the Walkabout chain) and The Barracuda Group. She has established a strong record in obtaining licences and extensions to hours for sites located in stress areas, in circumstances where granting the application runs counter to policy.
Anna is a frequent contributor to publications such as Casino Review, Estates Gazette and Betting Business and writes a monthly legal column for the pub trade magazine Inapub. She has spoken at many trade events such as ICE 2014 and participated in a great number of seminars aimed at lawyers, regulatory authorities and operators. She is regularly quoted in specialist resources such as Gambling Compliance and in the national press on the subject of licensing and gambling law.”
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