Charles has a busy and well-established chancery/commercial practice, with a particular emphasis on business and property matters. He aims to provide pragmatic, business-focused resolutions to disputes, with advice delivered promptly in user-friendly terms. 

Charles is also well known nationally as a specialist licensing advocate and has acted in a large number of licensing applications relating to a wide range of venues and events, including high profile matters such as  the Newcastle Carling Academy, the Birmingham Carling Academy, Darlington FC's stadium, the York Barbican Centre, the Sage Gateshead international music centre and the "HiFi North" festival.

He has also had many years’ experience in lap dancing applications, now regulated as sexual entertainment venues. His betting and gaming practice concerns betting shops (multiples and independents), amusement arcades, bingo, casinos and online gaming. He frequently appears in firearms matters. He also deals with the licensing of scrap metal dealers.

Charles has a very active taxi licensing practice representing both operators and local authorities, and has advised statutory bodies in relation to matters as diverse as the use of former fire engines for mobile hen parties to the processing of applications for drivers’ licenses from non-UK applicants unable to furnish Criminal Records Bureau checks. His licensing practice involves a significant amount of work in the Administrative Court, where Charles also conducts public law Judicial Review cases largely concerning local authorities.


Pubs, clubs, music venues, festivals, tableside dancing clubs, hotels, sports stadia, betting, gaming and amusement centres, casinos, internet gaming, sex shops, sex cinemas, sexual entertainment venues, firearms (shotgun appeals in particular), buses, taxis, taxi drivers (revocations in particular), houses in multiple occupation, scrap metal dealers. In addition, policies, CRB checks, Data Protection, Freedom of Information, Human Rights Act, Judicial Review and enforcement proceedings. Represents the trade, local authorities and the police.

Landlord & Tenant

Commercial and residential landlord and tenant, lease renewals. dilapidations, tied leases and licensed premises.

Real property

Conveyancing and related land disputes including easements, covenants and boundary disputes, fairs and markets, village greens, caravan sites. Particular emphasis on licensed/regulated properties.


Contentious Probate, Inheritance Act claims, guarantees, mortgages, construction disputes, contract disputes, civil fraud, solicitors' disputes, sport and businesses. Particular emphasis on licensed/leisure sector.

Company partnership

Share sale agreements, warranty claims, directors' disqualification, shareholder disputes, fiduciary duties.

Social Housing

Possession claims, anti-social behaviour injunctions, leasehold valuation, tribunal applications. Acting for local authorities and other social landlords.

Professional negligence

Claims involving solicitors, architects, engineers, surveyors, estate agents. Particular emphasis on professional negligence claims in the licensing field.


Corporate and personal.


Junior Counsel to the Crown (Provincial Panel) (2000-2007)


  • North Eastern Circuit
  • Institute of Licensing
  • Chancery Bar Association


Charles is a Workshop leader on the Bar Vocational Course at Northumbria University. He regularly presents seminars to local authority clients on licensing and social housing matters.


  • Inns of Court School of Law
  • Diploma in Advocacy (National Institute of Trial Advocacy)
  • University of Nottingham: LL.B.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Clerking team

Steve Walker

Lead Civil Clerk

0191 245 9589

Lead Employment Clerk & Civil Clerk

0191 300 9359

Civil & Criminal Silks' Clerk

0113 3235 955

Civil Clerk

0191 245 9556


01642 247 569
  • "Charles is second to none when it comes to advising on licensing matters and his research for preparation for hearings is exceptional." "Charles is great with lay clients. His written advocacy is strong, which translates into his oral advocacy. "

    Licensing, Chambers & Partners 2024

  • "Charles is a very good commercial litigation barrister who understands complex material easily." "Charles is very clever, hard working and excellent on his feet"

    Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers & Partners 2024

  • "Charles is an incredibly dedicated barrister. His research skills are phenomenal. He is pragmatic, thinks strategically and can really be relied on in a crisis. His advocacy skills are excellent."

    Licensing, Legal 500 2024

  • "He has it all at his fingertips, he retains detail and knowledge of the law and you can ask him almost anything." "He is very approachable, client-friendly and very efficient." "He addresses matters before they arise and does not have to be specifically instructed on a point prior to offering the benefit of his experience and expertise.""

    Licensing, Chambers UK 2023

  • "Charles is very thorough and pays great attention to detail." "His advocacy and written submissions are very good"

    Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers UK 2023

  • "Charles' knowledge of licensing law is unsurpassed. He is an extremely intelligent and responsive barrister. Ranked: Tier 1 "

    Licensing, Legal 500 2023

  • "Extremely knowledgeable about licensing matters." "Phenomenally bright." "He is very measured and personable and can be passionate but is always friendly and amiable"

    Licensing, Chambers & Partners 2022

  • "Charles Holland was very thorough, paid great attention to detail and was proactive in the case." "We had a very good experience with Charles Holland. He goes the extra mile and offers very insightful advice"

    Chambers & Partners 2022

  • "He is very thorough, his attention to details is great and goes the extra mile. He is very reliable and his knowledge is outstanding"

    Commercial Litigation, Legal 500 2021

  • "He has an eye for detail, is not afraid of challenging situations and has a commercial approach to clients' needs"

    Licensing, Legal 500 2021

  • "Licensing forms a large part of his broad civil practice. He predominantly acts for licensees and has substantial expertise in taxi licensing matters, as well as a broad range of licensing issues associated with music and other entertainment venues. He regularly acts in judicial reviews and appeals". “He really gets to grips with everything you give him and really drills down into the work to get you the best deal possible.""

    Licensing Band 1, Chambers & Partners 2021

  • "He always provides practical advice and has an ability to navigate problems. He is one of the top licensing barristers in the country." "He is an exceptional advocate with fantastic research skills. He gives 100% to every case to ensure the client has the absolute best chance of success."

    Licensing Band 1, Chambers & Partners 2020.

  • "Very thorough and very proactive." "He has excellent knowledge in licensing."

    Licensing Band 1, Chambers & Partners 2019

  • "His practice includes cases of contentious probate and solicitors’ disputes"

    Commercial, Banking, Insolvency & Chancery, Legal 500 2019

  • "An absolute terrier; the barrister to have on your side to dig you out of a hole"

    Property, Legal 500 2019

  • "Very well known for his extensive expertise in licensing law"

    Licensing, Legal 500 2019

  • "An extremely effective advocate. Very practical and straight to the point." "He's very clever and won't leave a stone unturned"

    Licensing, Chambers & Partners 2018

  • "An expert in the art of persuasion"

    Commercial, Banking, Insolvency & Chancery, Legal 500 2017

  • "He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all aspects of Licensing law"

    Licensing, Legal 500 2017

  • "Licensing forms a large part of his broad civil practice and he has developed expertise across the full range of licensing matters. He is respected both for his tenacity and his strong advocacy skills.” "Charles has a gift for dealing with the uncomfortable truth head on. He pulls no punches in his advice, and is highly valued for that"

    Licensing Band 1, Chambers & Partners 2017

  • "He is an expert in persuasion and provides frank advice"

    Commercial, Banking, Insolvency & Chancery, Legal 500 2016

  • "a key name, handling possession claims and landlord and tenant disputes...Focused on the details; he uncovers arguments that would have never been found"

    Property, Legal 500 2016

  • "He is straightforward to deal with and always puts 100% into researching his cases, delivering great results"

    Licensing, Legal 500 2016

  • "his paperwork is particularly impressive and thorough - he covers all angles and goes through the case in fine detail" "Fast on his feet and pulls no punches"

    Licensing Band 1, Chambers & Partners 2016

  • "Reassuringly knowledgeable and confident"

    Commercial, Banking & Insolvency, Legal 500 2015

  • "Able to digest large amounts of information, and get to a few points upon which a matter will turn"

    Property, Legal 500 2015

  • "He is able to advise a client as to the likely outcome of following a course of action"

    Licensing, Legal 500 2015

  • "Handles the gamut of licensing work, including liquor, gambling and entertainment licensing. He is particularly noted for his expertise in large-scale venue licensing and taxi licensing. "He is extremely personable and very thorough, and goes the extra mile for the client - he does an immense amount of research." "He stands out for his advocacy, his approach is not aggressive but firm and he doesn't talk down to anyone." He successfully retained the licence of the Inside Out club in Darlington after it came under police review.""

    Licensing Band 1, Chambers & Partners 2015

  • "Has a strong commercial and chancery practice focused on business and property matters. He is noted for his considerable expertise in the leisure sector. "He is absolutely first-class. His paperwork is thorough, and his attention to detail on drafting is excellent." He acted in a High Court claim and a subsequent £20 million counterclaim related to monies invested in the Dubai property market"

    Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers & Partners 2015

  • "A reassuringly knowledgeable and confident practitioner, who is good at dealing with difficult individuals"

    Commercial, Banking & Insolvency, Legal 500 2014

  • "His no-nonsense but approachable manner is refreshing"

    Property, Legal 500 2014

  • "His varied licensing practice includes applications for large-scale and high-profile events"

    Licensing, Legal 500 2014

  • "Acts nationally across a comprehensive range of liquor, gambling, entertainment, sexual entertainment, firearms and transport licensing issues. Taxi licensing is a key area of specialisation. "He is capable, highly amenable and always goes that extra mile to win the case." "He has good knowledge of the local market, and is also good at developing tactics and strategy for difficult cases.""

    Licensing Band 1, Chambers & Partners 2014

  • "Recognised on the North Eastern Circuit for his knowledge and experience across a range of commercial issues. He is especially noted for his work with leisure sector clients"

    Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers & Partners 2014

  • "The ‘very commercial and analytical’ Charles Holland is recommended for his licensing work"

    Legal 500 2013

  • "One source said Charles Holland of Trinity Chambers is "inventive, gets facts very quickly and has a nice habit of getting to the heart of what a case is about." He undertakes a variety of work in the field including matters relating to the Licensing Act 2003 and taxi licensing"

    Band 1 Licensing, Chambers & Partners 2013

  • "frequently instructed on a range of commercial disputes. He recently handled a professional negligence case brought by a house builder against an environmental consultant"

    Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers & Partners 2013

  • "a waspish, effective advocate who has earned the respect of the local judiciary.” He is recognised as a “leading regional expert in a range of property-related disputes"

    Chambers & Partners 2011

  • "Charles is an incredibly dedicated barrister. His research skills are phenomenal. He is pragmatic, thinks strategically and can really be relied on in a crisis. His advocacy skills are excellent"

    Licensing, Legal 500 2024

  • Ahmeds & Ors v Mukith & Ors [2022] EWHC 315 (Ch) - representing the successful Claimants in a dispute as to the ownership and control of the Shahjalal Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre, a significant community asset in the west end of Newcastle.
  • R (on the application of XY) v (1) Crown Court sitting at Newcastle (2) Chief Constable of Northumbria, (3) DPP [2016] EWHC 1872 (Divisional Court) - representing a covert human intelligence source (CHIS) in his judicial review of decisions to that there was no public interest immunity in his identity and to reveal that identity to defendants in the "Operation Sanctuary" trials.
  • Ghura, Ghura, Singh, Boi Trading Co Ltd and Chan Casuals Ltd v Dalal, Dalal and Blackburn Clothing Company Ltd [2015] EWHC 605 (Ch), [2015] EWHC 1685 (Ch) - claims and cross-claims involving property developments in Dubai.
  • Cuban Cigar Club, Newcastle - obtained a premises licence for this specialist tobacconist. Involved issues as to what constitutes "sampling" for the purpose of the smoke-free legislation.
  • Lifestyle Express, Newcastle - appeal relating to a condition requiring compliance with "reducing the strength" scheme.
  • Newcastle City Juniors FC Sports Club - licensing clubhouse for this successful junior football club.
  • Fusion Festival - securing a licence for this well-established festival upon its move from Birmingham to Liverpool. The new licence has a capacity of 60,000 and was granted against heavy opposition. Instructed by the event organiser on a direct public access basis.
  • Eleven Arches - the UK's largest open air night spectacular, based on Puy de Fou, part of Jonathan Ruffer's £100m vision to regenerate Bishop Auckland. Premises licence application.
  • Abbeyfield Newcastle upon Tyne Society Ltd v Newcastle City Council [2014] EWHC 2437
  • R (Ruby May (1) Limited) v Leeds City Council [2014] EWHC 878 (Admin) "Counsel who appeared for Ruby May, Mr Holland, was first instructed very shortly before the hearing. Despite that, he presented Ruby May's case cogently, succinctly and persuasively so that his clients were not (so far as I could tell) disadvantaged in any way." Stuart-Smith J
  • Wilcock v Lancaster City Council [2013] EWCA Civ 1607
  • Wilcock v Lancaster City Council [2013] EWHC 1231 (Admin)
  • Paynter & Anor v Hinch [2013] EWHC 13 (Ch)
  • R.(on the application of Care North East Newcastle) v Newcastle City Council [2012] EWHC 2655 
  • Gateshead Council v Henderson [2012] EWHC 807 (Admin)
  • North Eastern Properties Limited v. Coleman and Quinn : [2010] 1 W.L.R. 2715
  • R.(on the application of Newcastle City Council) v. Berwick upon Tweed Borough Council : (2009) B.L.G.R. 195
  • R.(on the application of Bushell) v. Newcastle Licensing Justices : [2005] 1 W.L.R. 1732
  • R. v. Newcastle City Council : ex parte The Christian Institute [2001] L.G.R. 165
  • Newcastle City Council v. Morrison (2000) : 32 H.L.R. 891