Partner, Head of Wye Valley office
Direct Dial: +44 (0)1905 744812
Mobile: +44 (0)7966 492 929
Heath leads the specialist Licensing and Regulatory team, as well as heading the firm’s Wye Valley office. His clients include a number of national restaurants, bars, hotels, theatres and entertainment venues in respect of applications under the Licensing Act 2003, Gaming Act 2005 and associated legislation.
He is noted in the Chambers legal directory as “an expert who clearly knows his stuff” with “a broad licensing practice with regular work advising clients on contentious issues including hearings and reviews.”
He also has a growing regulatory law practice, helping clients achieve regulatory compliance, and, where necessary, acting in investigations and prosecutions in matters such as health and safety, fire safety, environmental protection and trading standards.
Heath Thomas attracts strong client praise for his “first-class service, pragmatic, trustworthy advice and knowledge of our business that’s reflected in the quality of his work.” He is also acclaimed for “a knowledge of licensing law which is second to none and a nationwide network of connections which equips him to act anywhere in the country.” He acted as lead partner on the Restaurant Group representation.
Chambers and Partners rankings
See the services offered by our Wye Valley Solicitors
Heath’s experience in the licensing industry was reassuring and his gentle and calm manner instilled some confidence in me and changed my view on what the outcome may be. He helped me to succeed in my defence and remained friendly and professional at all times. Heath made a difficult situation easier to deal with and I wouldn’t think twice about going back to Heath if needs be. He is just what taxi drivers need to succeed against claims which are totally unfounded.
Heath Thomas (Band 2 – Licensing – The Regions) frequently acts for clients in contentious licensing hearings and appeals. “He is thorough in his preparation and able to clearly explain how we should approach situations,” reports one grateful client.
Harrison Clark Rickerbys’s ‘simply excellent’ licensing practice is led by ‘outstanding lawyer’ Heath Thomas, who ‘is devastatingly effective at hearings’ and has particular strength in contested applications on the grounds of the Licensing Act of 2003. Thomas led the advice for The Restaurant Group on 24 new premises applications and over 30 variation applications in light of refurbishments to its establishments, and acted for a licence holder with regards to an expedited review launched by the West Midlands Police following suspicions of drug handling on the premises and the death of a teenage New Year’s reveller.
Clients say that Heath Thomas “puts his argument across well.” He continues to work with the Restaurant Group, dealing with a high volume of licensing applications for its premises. He advises clients on a full range of licensing matters.
Harrison Clark Rickerbys handles a full range of licensing matters, including licensing reviews, appeals and investigations. Clients include Liberty Retail, Aston Villa FC and The Hippodrome Birmingham. Heath Thomas heads the department.
Heath Thomas leads the practice and attracts substantial praise from sources for being “very charming, with a nice bedside manner.” He is noted for his advocacy skills and is commended for being “very thorough and articulate” when cross-examining.
Chambers and Partners 2015
Thank you for all the work you put on for our application. My experience of Harrison Clark Rickerbys so far has been excellent and I always know where to come for my legal advice now of course!
Lyde Court & Left Bank
Heath Thomas at Harrison Clark Rickerbys is a ‘cutting-edge practitioner’; and James Lowe, who joined the team as a senior associate in April 2013, is an ‘expert’ in regulatory law and ‘works tirelessly and thinks laterally to find the most positive angle’. The firm’s long list of clients includes The Restaurant Group, The Sargeant Partnership, Aston Villa FC, and Birmingham City Council.
The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2014 Rankings
Heath was a phenomenal support and we thank him for his guidance.
Broad Street BID, via Twitter (@MyBroadSt)
Heath Thomas recently joined Harrison Clark from Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP. Sources say that he is “very energetic, enthusiastic and plugged-in – he likes a challenge and is not afraid to take a novel point.” He is a premises licensing specialist and undertakes mandates that include new applications, licensing and reviews for restaurants, pubs and other clients in the night-time economy. He successfully handled the new licence application for cash and carry retailer East End Food’s new site in Aston, in Birmingham.
Chambers and Partners
I am the managing director of a LTD company trading as Angels gentlemen’s Club in Leicester. We are a Lap dancing club and a late licensed bar.
I always use Harrison Clark Rickerbys for all licensing issues relating to my business. The firm’s knowledge and experience in this field of work was one of the main reasons I went to them. The firm had been recommended to me by a friend who had used Harrison and Clark for a licensing hearing in court.
The service I have received from the law firm has been excellent and very helpful every time, I have always had quick responses from my emails and phone calls.
My cases are handled by Heath Thomas who is one of the partners and heads the licensing team. I have worked with Heath for over 4 years now. Heath works extremely hard on his cases and his knowledge in Licensing is a great contribution to the company and their clients. Some of Heaths strengths are knowledge, confidence and his quick responses, these strengths together give him the ability to handle any court room legal arguments regarding licensing. He is always alert and organised in the court room.
Due to new licensing Laws all gentlemen’s Clubs had to have the new Sexual Entertainment licence if they wanted to continue trading as a Lap dancing Club.
In December 2011 my club, Angels Gentlemen’s Club in Leicester was refused the new Sexual Entertainment Licence by Leicester City Council.
My case was handled by Heath Thomas and we appealed against the council’s decision. The Council refused my club the SEV licence on two grounds, the first was that I was not a suitable person to hold a SEV licence. The appeal hearing was held at the Magistrates court and we won the case and were rewarded £5000 compensation.
The Council’s second ground for refusing the licence was the location of the Club. Judicial Review proceedings were commenced.
After nearly a year in court fighting appeals, thanks to Harrison Clark and Heath Thomas we were successful in getting the SEV licence and in December 2012 we continued trading as a gentlemen’s club.
I would recommend Harrison Clark Rickerbys law firm to anyone who has any licensing issues and needs legal help. I have been to other law firms in the past but found Harrison Clark to be the most successful in getting me positive results.
They are easy to work with and are great value for money.