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Essence: A triumph of substance over form

Leo Charalambides and Katherine Barnes discuss a recent case on the right to appeal to the magistrates' court where the complainant has been incorrectly named

24 March 2016

In Essence Bars (London) Ltd (t/a Essence) v Wimbledon Magistrates' Court [2016] EWCA Civ 63, in the context
of a licensing appeal but with implications for any kind
of statutory appeal to the magistrates' court, the Court of Appeal took a liberal approach to the rules governing the amendment of a complainant's name in the complaint.

The case initially concerned an appeal under the Licensing Act 2003 against the decision of the Royal Borough of Kingston
upon Thames, in its capacity as licensing authority, to revoke
the licence of a nightclub called Essence. Importantly, the 2003 Act limits the right of appeal
to the magistrates' court to particular persons or entities (including the premises licence holder) and indicates that the appeal must be filed within 21 days of notification of the decision in question.

Distinct legal entity

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