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  • Philip Somarakis

    Philip Somarakis
    Partner, Head of Regulatory Solutions, London (Aldgate Tower)

    Regulatory Solutions, Licensing (Alcohol & Entertainment), Motoring offences

    T. +44 (0) 20 7759 1364

Philip has over 20 years’ experience in alcohol and entertainment licensing and criminal litigation (dividing his time 30% licensing and 70% motoring).   

Philip was previously a Partner at Blake Lapthorn and more recently Davenport Lyons. He has appeared in over 100 contested licensing hearings before Licensing Committees and in the Magistrates Courts for clients ranging from multi-site restaurants, convenience stores, stately homes hosting music festivals, and breweries. Philip has successfully defended licence holders in criminal proceedings for various licensing and consumer-related offences.

Philip is recognised expert in motoring offences; securing acquittals for clients in speeding and drink driving cases and has appeared on BBC Watchdog and Radio 5 Live.

Recent experience includes:

  • Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing
  • Obtaining new premises licences for 1000 capacity venue in Hackney Acting for a national restaurant chain in licensing matters
  • Advising a supermarket/convenience store chain on due diligence and training
  • Advising a national opera on licensing law
  • Obtaining a shadow premises licence in Westminster City Council.
  • Representing a motorist arrested for drink-driving who was acquitted after trial
  • Advising a driver who had failed to provide a breath specimen and was found not guilty
  • Acting for numerous individuals who have had their driving licences revoked due to visual field defects or other medical conditions
  • Acting for a client on 9 penalty points who faced three speeding offence charges by three different police forces and successfully keeping her licence

"practical approach to problem solving and excellent mediation skills"CHAMBERS UK
"friendly, approachable and knowledgeable"CHAMBERS UK
"client-friendly approach and responsiveness"CHAMBERS UK
"excellent knowledge and advice"LEGAL 500 uk 
"always willing to go the extra mile"LEGAL 500 uk 


  • LLB Hons Degree
  • Law Society Final Examinations


  • The Legal 500 – recommended lawyer for Licensing in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Chambers UK – ranked in Chambers UK 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 in Band 2 for Licensing
  • Jane Li, UK Company Secretary, DHL - “Philip designed the Bribery Act training to hit the target audience of our operationally focused directors and senior managers. By understanding our business he was able to give tailored examples of issues from our industry sector. He referenced our own internal policies, compliance teams and legal contacts so that our managers knew who to contact within our own organisation when the training was done. His delivery was lively and engaged our managers to participate in the discussions.”


  • Company secretary to ACFO Limited (representing the interests of car fleet operators)
  • Member of DVLA Consumer Forum focusing on DVLA’s services to the consumer and parking industry
  • Member of British Parking Association Standards Panel
  • Member of DVLA’s Industry Liaison Group

Regulatory Solutions, Licensing (Alcohol & Entertainment), Motoring offences