Melissa Toney

Head of Regulatory and Licensing

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Mobile contact number: 07516 503950

Melissa is an experienced Regulatory and Licensing Solicitor, and Higher Rights Advocate, qualified for 15 years. Highly regarded for her work with the Bristol and wider South West Hospitality, Food and Drink sector, Melissa is an expert in licensing law including the sale of alcohol, use of premises, and running of sporting and cultural events. GL Law is the official legal partner of the British Association of Restaurants, Bars and Independent Establishments.

Specialist technical knowledge enables Melissa to deal effectively with professional disciplinary proceedings as well as challenges to regulatory and licencing decisions on appeal. As a Higher Rights Advocates,  she has the capacity to advise in respect of parallel criminal investigations and prosecutions, inquests and disciplinary inquiries.

Melissa has an interest in sports law and regularly advises sports people, organisations and coaches. She is committed to the cost-effective resolution of sports-related disputes, specifically in areas of regulation, governance, anti-doping, stadia licensing, policing and event organisation.

Originally trained as a criminal solicitor and advocate, Melissa spent time as a regulatory lawyer for Bristol City Council. She worked with the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team, advising on the interpretation of newly introduced legislation whilst advising the national team of investigators on prosecutions which protected tenants. Melissa was intrinsic in the drafting of the LEA’s Enforcement Guidance and Toolkit, as well as BCC’s Penalty Policy.

In the 2022 edition of the legal directory Legal 500 Melissa was recognised as a ‘Rising Star’ and the licensing team ranked in Tier 2. Client and peer testimonials described Melissa as “very helpful and generous with her time. Very easy to talk to, offering sound advice and going above and beyond when taking a case.”

“The team has a solid reputation in the Bristol law scene and further afield.”

“Melissa Tovey is a strong leader, an excellent lawyer, and has a real passion for diversity and inclusion.”

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Examples of work Melissa specialises in:

  • Acting for Birmingham’s largest rock and alternative bar, reinstating their premises licence following the suspension of the licence following a summary review.
  • Representing nationwide Accor Hotels with due diligence and variation of the premises licences for their M Gallery and Ibis brands.
  • Advising client on Biocidal Product Regulations
  • Working with a chain of West End pharmacies, preventing prosecution from Trading Standards for a potential breach of EU Legislation.
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