Mayor appoints Philip Kolvin QC as Chair of the Night Time Commission


  • Top licensing lawyer Philip Kolvin QC heads up the Mayor’s Night Time Commission​​​​​​​
  • Sadiq Khan extends the work of the Night Time Commission to protect London’s venues and safeguard the night time economy

The Mayor Sadiq Khan today (15 December) announced he is appointing top lawyer Philip Kolvin QC as Chair of the Night Time Commission. Philip will preside over a revamped Night Time Commission, bringing together stakeholders from across the night-time economy including local authorities, the Metropolitan Police, club and venue owners, and residents.

Philip Kolvin QC

Philip Kolvin QC is head of Cornerstone Barristers and a Patron and past Chairman of the Institute of Licensing. He is also on the advisory board of the Night Time Industries Association.

Philip recently acted on behalf of Fabric nightclub and played a pivotal role in securing an agreement between the world-famous venue and Islington Council to regain its licence and reopen with stringent new conditions to protect the safety of clubbers.

Philip is widely regarded as the UK’s top expert on licensing. He is the editor of several books about the leisure economy, licensing, planning and regeneration and recently published a Manifesto for the Night Time Economy1.‎

He has acted for many of London’s local authorities, the police and the industry and has recently taken the first licensing case to the Supreme Court and European Court.

Starting on Monday 9th January, Philip will work alongside the newly appointed Night Czar, Amy Lamé, to develop and implement a vision of London as a 24-hour city.

His appointment demonstrates the Mayor’s commitment to the capital’s night-time economy, which includes safeguarding the future of clubs and live music venues.

Since 2008, the capital has lost 50 per cent of its nightclubs2 and 40 per cent of its live music venuesand the Mayor has made a manifesto commitment to protect these vital cultural spaces.

The Night Time Commission was established to review the capital’s night-time economy. The Commission seeks to understand the challenges faced by night-time businesses, authorities and residents and develop way to balance these as London’s night-time economy grows.

It has worked with Westminster University’s Music Tank to carry out research into London’s night-time economy and this will be published in the coming months. The Commission brings together people from across the night-time industries, including local authorities, business operators, Metropolitan Police and Government departments.

Recent research shows that the night-time economy contributes £26.3bn to London’s annual GDP, equivalent to ‎40 per cent of the equivalent figure for the UK. This figure is expected to rise to £28.3bn by 20294.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Our city’s flourishing nightlife attracts millions of visitors from the UK and abroad every year. However, with the loss of so many clubs and venues from around the capital, we cannot afford to be complacent. That’s why I’m delighted to appoint Philip Kolvin QC as Chair of a revamped Night Time Commission. Working alongside my newly-appointed Night Czar Amy Lamé, Philip’s expert knowledge in the field of licensing, regulation and policy will be crucial in ensuring that our live music venues and nightclubs are protected from closure and that they are recognised as a distinctive part of our cultural heritage.”

New Chair of the Night Time Commission, Philip Kolvin QC said: “At the heart of every great city is a great night-time economy. London’s night life is internationally renowned and forms a key reason for people wanting to live, work and invest here.

“As the capital grows, we must plan for a growing night-time economy for the whole of Greater London – something that can only be achieved through proper partnerships with stakeholders, strategic planning, and investment in infrastructure.

“It’s vital that we ensure that everyone benefits from a thriving night-time economy – from those who want a great night out, to those who want a good night’s sleep. I look forward to working with the capital’s new Night Czar, Amy Lamé, so that we can develop the role of London as the global leader of the night-time economy.”

Night Czar, Amy Lamé said: “I’m delighted that I’ll be working alongside Philip to develop the capital’s night-time economy. Together, we will make it our mission to ensure that London thrives as a 24-hour city. We understand the need to protect night clubs, pubs and live music venues, but we’re also keenly aware that the capital’s night-time economy needs to work for everyone – including those who simply want to sleep at night.

“I look forward to meeting members of the public in my forthcoming Night Surgeries, and will ensure that we strike a fine balance between the needs of revellers, residents, local authorities, the Metropolitan Police and developers.”

The Commission’s work has been expanded beyond the original end date of October 2016 and it will continue to advise on measures to support the night time economy. The findings of the Commission’s research, carried out by Westminster University’s Music Tank, will be published in 2017.

Quotes from spokespeople across the Night Time Industries:

Alan D Miller, Chairman, Night Time Industries Association: “Philip Kolvin is one of Britain’s treasure troves of knowledge, experience and insight when it comes to the *night-time economy*. Having been Chairman of both Purple Flag and Best Bar None initiatives, Philip understands the complex and critical issues facing local councils, the police and the night time industries and is passionate about finding ways these relationships can improve for the benefit of all. A lifetime of practising licensing law has made him a reference point for many when thinking about how to best manage and enhance the benefits of nightlife while mitigating costs. Philip’s energy and enthusiasm for developing vibrant and sustainable night time economies will bring enormous dividends to The Night Time Commission, as he leads this assembly of all stakeholders to ensure London’s future as a truly leading global city.”

Mirik Milan, Night Mayor of Amsterdam: “Philip’s Manifesto for the Night Time Economy is the perfect starting point for creating a balanced and successful strategy to support London as a 24-hour city. I recommend cities follow Amsterdam and co-create a manifesto with all the night-time stakeholders. Philip working alongside Amy will make a cracking team!”

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) Chief Executive Kate Nicholls: “The Mayor has made some very positive moves since taking office and we are pleased to see him taking the issue of London’s night-time economy seriously. It is vitally important that we have an effective Night Time Commission to complement the work of the Night Czar and we would like to congratulate Philip on his appointment.

“Philip has always been a passionate advocate for licensed hospitality and the UK’s night-time economy. He has extensive experience working with all stakeholders including hospitality businesses, local authorities and the police. Philip has the nous and the credibility to lead the Commission and his experience will be key to the success of the Mayor’s plans for London.

“We look forward to working closely with Philip and the Night Czar to promote London’s valuable and crucial night-time economy.”

Metropolitan Police Service Assistant Commissioner Territorial Policing Martin Hewitt said: “We welcome the appointment Phillip Kolvin QC as the Chair of the Night Time Commission, and we look forward to working with Philip to support London’s world-renowned night-time economy, and ensure that Londoners, those working here and all visitors to the capital can enjoy it safely. Philip’s wide-ranging experience in licensing will be very valuable as we work together, alongside businesses and partners, as part of the Commission.”

Marianne Fredericks, Past Chairman, City of London Licensing Committee and Founder of the London Licensing Forum, said: “As founder of the London Licensing Forum I know what can be done to boost the night time economy when people work together. Philip Kolvin QC brings a 360 degrees perspective on this issue having represented councils, businesses and the police. His insight and vision has been invaluable for my work at the City of London. With his experience the whole of London could start to realise the huge potential which exists for our residents and businesses through growing the night time economy.”

John Dickie, Director of Strategy and Policy at London First, said, “Embracing the 24-hour economy will mean a more vibrant and thriving London. We look forward to working with Philip, alongside the new Night Czar Amy Lame, to tackle issues from planning and licensing through to freight, deliveries and road use, to help create the right conditions for the capital to prosper and grow.”