A LAWYER specialising in hotels, bars and restaurants has joined a Lancashire firm ahead of a busy time for the hospitality industry.

Malcolm Ireland, who has over 15 years' experience representing clients across the industry and has previously worked with Blackburn-based Napthens, will be joining Harrison Drury, which works with businesses across the county, as a partner.

The firm hopes that this will increase its offer to leisure and hospitality companies.

Mr Ireland said: “My approach has always been based on finding solutions for clients and focusing on their goals, values that are shared by Harrison Drury.

“I’ve joined an excellent team that already has so much experience, not just in licensing matters but a broad range of other specialisms that help to support businesses in the leisure sector.”

The former Bowland High School and Clitheroe Royal Grammar School student worked in the hospitality sector prior to entering the legal profession.

As Harrison Drury’s new head of leisure and licensing, he will advise on legal matters around the sale of alcohol, regulated entertainment, and late-night refreshment, including new licence applications, transfers, variations, the defence of review applications, appeals and judicial reviews.

Executive chairman John Chesworth said: “There are very few people with Malcolm’s level of legal knowledge and experience in the leisure sector.

“For many years he has been the region’s ‘go to’ person on licensing matters."