Specialist premises licensing lawyers - Ince Licensing Solicitors

Philip Somarakis

Expert Licensing Solicitor
Philip Somarakis

Philip Somarakis Partner, Head of Regulatory Solutions, London

Regulatory solutions, Betting and Gaming, Licensing (alcohol & entertainment)

T. +44 (0) 20 7759 1364

Regulatory solutions, Betting and Gaming, Licensing (alcohol & entertainment)


Chambers UK, Legal 500


Philip is Head of the firm’s Regulatory Solutions Department. He has over 20 years’ experience in alcohol, gambling, entertainment licensing and criminal litigation.  

Philip specialises in alcohol and entertainment licensing, betting and gaming, criminal and regulatory law. 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’s criminal practice has seen him successfully defend businesses, obtaining acquittals for licence holders in criminal proceedings for various regulatory offences. He is a well-known and highly regarded road traffic lawyer. He has secured acquittals for clients in speeding and drink driving cases and has appeared on BBC Watchdog and Radio 5 Live. He also has a niche practice relating to DVLA driving licence medical appeals and has acted for many drivers who have had their driving licences revoked.

Philip has been instructed by gambling operators to assist with applications for both land based and online casino licence applications. This has including acting for a US based casino operator, as well as both European and African based licensed operators.

Highlight Matters

  • Obtaining new premises licences in cumulative impact zones
  • 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.
  • Securing acquittals for countless motorists facing drink driving related charges
  • Acting for numerous individuals who have had their driving licences revoked by DVLA due to visual field defects or other medical conditions
  • Acting for a shopkeeper who faced 23 charges under the Licensing Act 2003. The shopkeeper was acquitted of all charges
  • Defending a pharmacist who was accused of dishonesty by the GPhC. The allegations were subsequently not proceeded with following Philip’s intervention. 

Legal Directory Quotes

"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 


"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.” Jane Li, UK Company Secretary, DHL.

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Former Standards Panel Member of British Parking Association
  • Previous Company Secretary to Association of Cart Fleet Operators

What you may not know about Philip

Philip is an accomplished ultramarathon runner, having completed a number of 24 hour, 100 mile races. He is a member of Advent Running Club in London. In 2019 Philip is aiming to run Centurion Running’s four “Grand Slam” 100 mile races in a year, as well as competing in the arduous “Race Across the Skies” 100 mile race in Leadville, Colorado.