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Sheffield-based niche licensing practice John Gaunt & Partners has won a series of new appointments.
Laurel Pub Company, the vehicle now operating the recently sold pub estate of Whitbread, has appointed the firm as exclusive national licensing solicitors for the entire estate, which comprises over 800 managed houses and 1,500 leased properties. John Gaunt was one of a handful of licensing firms advising Whitbread before its acquisition by Morgan Grenfell Private Equity for £1.62bn in May. When Laurel came about, these firms were cut to just one. The newly restructured Whitbread has also slimmed down its panel for its retained estate. John Gaunt became national licensing solicitors for its Brewers Fayre, Brewsters and Beefeaters divisions. In a third win, Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries has appointed it for the whole of its managed estate. John Gaunt had been assisting on a temporary basis for 10 months before this formal appointment. The work was previously kept in-house.