Martin Heslop QC enjoys a reputation as a leading Silk in the field of casino, gaming and other forms of licensing, bringing to this work his recognised advocacy skills from his substantial and extensive criminal trial practice, including his appointment as Treasury Counsel for nine years.
He advises on all major issues in this area of law, and represents the key principal companies and numerous independent operators. He is regularly asked to advise on the interpretation of new legislation, accompanying regulations and proposed gaming schemes.
In addition, he represents numerous major operators in the entertainment industry dealing with their general licensing matters and specifically appearing for them in licensing hearings.
Re Crockfords & London Clubs International
He was exclusively retained by Crockfords and thereafter LCI. As part of his work for these companies he was the lead objector in the Ritz Casino application and appeal, and has been involved in almost all contested casino cases heard in London and elsewhere in the UK over the last 10 years.
He obtained, against objection, the first new casino licence granted in London in a five-year period, and the first in North Westminster since 1988.
Empire, Leicester Square
He successfully won the gaming licence for London Clubs International at the 47,000 sq ft Empire Building in Leicester Square – the 2nd largest casino in London, and a leading entertainment venue. This was a multi-million pound project objected to by all the existing casino and entertainment operators.
He successfully obtained the Stage 1 Licence and in doing so made the very first application under the new gaming legislation for casinos, which has formed the template of all other applications.