Top licensing lawyer Malcolm to head Harrison Drury’s leisure team

One of the region’s foremost licensing experts, Malcolm Ireland, has taken up a new role as head of the leisure and licensing team at North West law firm Harrison Drury.

Malcolm has over 15 years’ experience advising and representing clients including hotels, bars, restaurants, pub companies, breweries, and holiday and caravan parks, among others.

As a partner and head of leisure and licensing, he will advise hospitality and leisure businesses on all legal matters around the sale of alcohol, regulated entertainment, and late-night refreshment, including new licence applications, transfers, variations, the defence of review applications, appeals and judicial reviews. 

Malcolm, who joins Harrison Drury from Napthens, will also lead a team of lawyers working across a range of legal disciplines to offer a tailored service to businesses in the leisure sector.

John Chesworth, executive chairman of Harrison Drury, said: “There are very few people with Malcolm’s level of legal knowledge and experience in the leisure sector. For many years he has been the region’s ‘go to’ person on licensing matters for a wide range of businesses, from individual bars and restaurants to some of the largest pub companies in the UK.

“These are crucial times for the leisure and hospitality sector as the industry gets back on its feet after the pandemic. Access to quality legal advice will be essential for businesses looking to make the most of the opportunities presented. We’re thrilled to have Malcolm leading our licensing and leisure sector team at this pivotal time.”

Malcolm added: “My approach has always been based on finding solutions for clients and focusing on their goals, values that are shared by Harrison Drury. I’ve joined an excellent team that already has so much experience, not just in licensing matters but a broad range of other specialisms that help to support businesses in the leisure sector.”

Malcolm is a member of the British Institute of Innkeepers (BII) and the Institute of Licensing. In 2008, Malcolm dealt with a judicial review which resulted in the High Court delivering a judgment believed to be the first of its kind under the Licensing Act 2003, creating case law that still stands.

The former Bowland High School and Clitheroe Royal Grammar School student worked in the hospitality sector prior to entering the legal profession. He is a member of CAMRA, holder of a personal alcohol licence, and holder of the Award in Responsible Alcohol Retailing.