Prof Roy Light

Roy Light

Call 1992 (Gray’s Inn)
Qualifications LLB, LLM (London), M Phil, PhD (Cantab)


Roy’s practice covers the actions of administrative and judicial agencies of government, particularly in regulatory, adjudicatory and enforcement matters. He has extensive experience of defending and challenging public law decisions. Roy advises and acts in statutory appeals and judicial reviews and has appeared in a number of leading administrative law cases.

Roy is one of the UK’s leading licensing barristers and has appeared in a number of important High Court cases. His extensive experience includes alcohol and entertainment, late night refreshment, open-air festivals, race courses, gambling, taxis and firearms.

Roy advises and acts for local authorities, police forces, independent operators and public corporations throughout England and Wales. He is pleased to take instructions on all matters from simple preparatory advice for independent traders and residents to High Court challenges on behalf of multi-national corporations and local authorities.


  • “An extremely able lawyer who understands the commercial reality of what the client needs.” “He demonstrates an in-depth knowledge of many areas of licensing.” “Energetic, experienced and charming.” Chambers UK (2018)
  • “Very well known for his expertise in licensing matters.” Legal 500 (2017)
  • “Roy principally acts for operators in appeals across the country. Recently, he has spent much of his time dealing with late-night alcohol and taxi licensing matters. ‘Very hands-on, he breaks down complex issues in a client-friendly way.’ ” Chambers UK, Licensing (2017)
  • “A widely recognised expert in licensing disputes.” Legal 500, Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing (2016)
  • “Roy is an expert licensing advocate who frequently acts on behalf of both operators and licensing authorities. He is particularly well versed in contentious taxi licensing issues. ‘He has a clear and patient delivery in court, and is particularly good at explaining complex legal arguments to licensing committees.’ ‘He has a good relationship with clients and is very knowledgeable on licensing.’ ” Chambers UK, Licensing (2016)
  • “Roy handles alcohol, entertainment, taxi and sexual entertainment venue licensing. He has particular expertise in the licensing issues governing large-scale venues and online alcohol delivery services. ‘He is very pragmatic in his advice, and a personable and client-friendly advocate0.’ ” Chambers UK, Licensing (2015)
  • “Roy has deep licensing knowledge and researches meticulously into the issues of a case.” Legal 500, Regulatory, Health and Safety, and Licensing (2015)

Roy is pleased to accept instructions on all planning matters. Recent appeal work has included inquiries involving refusal of permission for a large housing development in a heritage landscape and an enforcement notice in respect of a general purpose forestry building. Recent advice work includes the proposed siting of a leisure complex close to residential accommodation, the expansion of industrial use in a green belt and the effect of delay in bringing judicial review of a planning decision.

Practice Overview

Consistently recommended by the leading legal directories Roy is highly commended for his communication skills, approachable client-friendly manner and advocacy. These, together with his strong negotiating expertise, are used to achieve the best results for his clients.

Roy is happy to advise and act for individuals and small businesses as well as public authorities and international corporations. Clients include supermarket chains, convenience store operators, petrol companies, breweries, restaurant businesses, nightclub operators, gaming machine manufacturers, national stadiums, festival organisers, police authorities, private individuals and licensing and planning authorities.

Roy is qualified to undertake public access work in appropriate cases, for further information, please visit our Public Access page.

Professional development

Roy writes and lectures extensively, regularly speaks at national conferences and provides training for local authorities and others. He is professor emeritus, Bristol Law School, a member of the Portman Group Independent Complaints Panel, sits on the editorial board of Licensing Review and is on the advisory group of the ESRC funded research study A Full House: Developing a New Socio-Legal Theory of Gambling Regulation which is due to report in 2016.