Philip is Head of Ince's Regulatory Solutions Department. He has over 20 years’ experience in alcohol and entertainment licensing, criminal litigation, where he concentrates on motoring and licensing, and regulatory law, including gaming and betting.
Philip specialises in alcohol and entertainment licensing, betting and gaming, criminal and regulatory law. He has appeared in over 100 contested licensing hearings before licensing committees and in the magistrates' courts for clients ranging from multi-site restaurants, convenience stores, stately-homes hosting music festivals, and breweries.
Philip’s criminal practice has seen him successfully defend businesses, obtaining acquittals for licence holders in criminal proceedings for various regulatory offences. He is a well-known and highly regarded road traffic lawyer. He has secured acquittals for clients in speeding and drink-driving cases and has appeared on BBC Watchdog and Radio 5 Live. He also has a niche practice relating to DVLA driving licence medical appeals and has acted for many drivers who have had their driving licences revoked.
Philip has been instructed by gambling operators to assist with applications for both land-based and online casino licence applications. This has included acting for a US-based casino operator, as well as both European and African-based licensed operators.
Philip designed our Bribery Act training to hit the target audience of our operationally-focused directors and senior managers. By understanding our business he was able to give tailored examples of issues from our industry sector. He referenced our own internal policies, compliance teams and legal contacts so that our managers knew who to contact within our own organisation when the training was done. His delivery was lively and engaged our managers to participate in the discussions.
Professional Associations & Memberships
Former Standards Panel Member of British Parking Association
Previous Company Secretary to Association of Cart Fleet Operators
What you may not know about Philip
Philip is an accomplished ultramarathon runner, having completed a number of 24 hour, 100 mile races. He is a member of Advent Running Club in London. In 2019 Philip completed Centurion Running’s four 'Grand Slam' 100 mile races in a year for which he received a coveted finisher’s belt buckle. His next challenge is the arduous 'Race Across the Skies' 100 mile race in Leadville, Colorado.
My matter highlights
Obtaining new premises licences in cumulative impact zones
Acting for a national restaurant chain in licensing matters
Advising a supermarket/convenience store chain on due diligence and training
Advising a national opera on licensing law
Obtaining a shadow premises licence in Westminster City Council.
Securing acquittals for countless motorists facing drink driving related charges
Acting for numerous individuals who have had their driving licences revoked by DVLA due to visual field defects or other medical conditions
Acting for a shopkeeper who faced 23 charges under the Licensing Act 2003. The shopkeeper was acquitted of all charges
Defending a pharmacist who was accused of dishonesty by the GPhC. The allegations were subsequently not proceeded with following Philip’s intervention.
My testimonials and accolades
Chambers and Partners UK, 2022
“He is very responsive, down to earth and a very good communicator.”
The Legal 500 2022
“Philip Somarakis and Joanna Onisiforou deserve special mention for the quality of their work, responsiveness and fee transparency.”
“Always willing to go the extra mile.”
“Excellent knowledge and advice.”
“Client-friendly approach and responsiveness.”
“Friendly, approachable and knowledgeable.”
“Practical approach to problem solving and excellent mediation skills.”
My recent publications
Insights / VIP Schemes Deadline 31st October 2020 – Are you ready?
08-10-2020 / Gaming & Betting
From 31 October 2020 gambling operators in the UK must adhere to strict guidance relating to High Value Customer or “VIP” schemes.
Insights / Keeping bars, casinos and bingo halls trading legally through the coronavirus outbreak
05-03-2020 / Gaming & Betting
Licensed premises, including bars, pubs, clubs, casinos and bingo halls should take legal advice from specialist licensing lawyers to ensure they can continue trading through the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
News / Driver who had fitted parking sensor to car not guilty of perverting the course of public justice
Philip Somarakis of Ince has successfully defended a motorist accused of committing this serious offence.
News / Ince secures client win in driving license medical appeal case
Philip Somarakis was mentioned in the Sunday TimesPhilip Somarakis was mentioned in a Sunday Timesnbsparticleconcerning one of his cases The client in question, had voluntarily given up her driving licence after she suffered a mini-stroke However, she was forced to appeal to her local Magistrates Court after the DVLA persistently refused to give her driving licence back on the grounds she was still unfit to drive
News / Increased sentences for using a mobile phone while driving
March 1 2017 marked a significant change in the sentencing powers available to Magistrates when dealing with people caught using their mobile phones while driving
News / Tougher fines for speeding offences
Yesterday the Sentencing Council for England and Wales published revised sentencing guidelines for various offences in the Magistrates' Court following a consultation on the draft guidelines between 19 May 2016 and 11 August 2016 The guidelines will come into effect on 24 April 2017
News / Night Tube services presents opportunities for London's night-time economy
Last month saw the grand unveiling of another of Boris Johnson's projects to make certain tube lines across Central London run 24 hours during Fridays and Saturdays Sadiq Khan finally pushed this long awaited scheme over the line after the original announcement was made back in September 2014 We now currently have the new service operational on the Central and Victoria lines with further additions expected this autumn to the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines