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Philip Somarakis

Partner, Head of Regulatory Solutions London T +44 (0) 20 7759 1364

Department Regulatory solutions, Licensing (alcohol & entertainment), Motoring offences Qualified 1996 Languages English

Philip Somarakis

You, Philip Somarakis
& Ince, in any case

Philip is Head of the firm’s Regulatory Solutions Department. He has over 20 years’ experience in alcohol and entertainment licensing and criminal litigation, where he concentrates on motoring and licensing.

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 designed the bribery act training to hit the target audience of or 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 is aiming to run Centurion Running’s four “Grand Slam” 100 mile races in a year, as well as competing in the arduous “Race Across the Skies” 100 mile race in Leadville, Colorado. 

Chambers UK, Legal 500

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

Philip Somarakis

“Always willing to go the extra mile.”

- LEGAL 500 UK

Philip Somarakis

“Excellent knowledge and advice.”

- LEGAL 500 UK

Philip Somarakis

“Client-friendly approach and responsiveness.”


Philip Somarakis

“Friendly, approachable and knowledgeable.”


Philip Somarakis

“Practical approach to problem solving and excellent mediation skills.”


My recent publications

News / 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.

Keeping bars, casinos and bingo halls trading legally through the coronavirus outbreak

News / Driver who had fitted parking sensor to car not guilty of perverting the course of public justice

22-06-2019 /

Philip Somarakis of Ince has successfully defended a motorist accused of committing this serious offence.

News / Ince Gordon Dadds secures client win in driving license medical appeal case

19-05-2017 /

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

Ince Gordon Dadds secures client win in driving license medical appeal case

News / Increased sentences for using a mobile phone while driving

03-03-2017 /

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

Increased sentences for using a mobile phone while driving

News / Tougher fines for speeding offences

25-01-2017 /

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

Tougher fines for speeding offences

News / Night Tube services presents opportunities for London's night-time economy

02-04-2016 /

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

Night Tube services presents opportunities for London's night-time economy