Our Advocates

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Robert Skinner

Robert Skinner

A ''stand out'' figure for licensing with a ''really impressive track record'' (Legal 500, 2011).

Professional Information:

Year of Call: 1987
Devil Masters: Lord Davidson of Glenclova QC; Donald Findlay QC
Qualifications: LLB (Hons)


Robert Skinner is one of Scotland’s most experienced and well known licensing counsel. In recent years he has represented most of the major supermarkets, public house chains, petrol station operators and casino operators, as well as a number of licensing boards. He frequently appears before licensing boards and committees and in the Sheriff Court and Court of Session. His experience includes liquor licensing, civic government licensing, security industries act licensing, firearms, betting and gaming, adult entertainment and the licensing of most other well known vices.

A frequent speaker at conferences, he is a member of the Law Society of Scotland Licensing Sub Committee and a consultant editor of Scottish Licensing Law and Practice. He was described in the Legal 500 Directory as a “stand out “figure for licensing with a “really impressive track record”.

Although best known for his work in the field of licensing, Robert practices in numerous other fields. He was a partner in a well known commercial law firm, and has experience in a wide range of commercial and administrative law work, including contract law, judicial review and land law. He also has substantial experience in professional negligence cases and reparation work. For many years he has acted as duty lawyer for a leading national newspaper and has an interest in defamation and media law. He is keen to develop his expertise in the field of tax, driven partially by his desire to pay less of it.

Robert has a keen interest in sport, mainly football, golf, rugby and boxing. He is a beer snob. To the astonishment of many who know him as a cultureless oaf, he has a love of opera and has attended various operatic performances both in this country and on the continent. He is very approachable and while he works extremely hard on his case load, he enjoys not taking himself too seriously.




Robert has published articles in the SLT and in SLLP on various aspects of licensing law.



Recent Reported Cases:

  1. Brightcrew Ltd v City of Glasgow Licensing Board – 2012 SLT – extent of jurisdiction of licensing board
  2. Ritchie v Aberdeen City Council 2011 SLT – taxi licences – adequacy of reason
  3. Mitchells and Butler Ltd v Dundee Licensing Board – legality of licensing promotion
  4. Glasgow City Council v Kelly 2011 – Traffic Commissioner- legitimacy of challenge to taxi fares fixed by Council
  5.  Reid v Equiworld 2011 GWD – reparation – duty of care owed by equestrian establishment
  6. D Petitioner – 2011 SLT judicial review; competency of mode of challenge of refusal to grant legal aid.
  7. Drinkcafe ltd v City of Glasgow 2011 SLT – legitimacy of licensing conditions
  8. Tesco Stores Ltd v Falkirk Licensing Board 2010 GWD – interpretation of stated case procedure
  9. Tesco Stores ltd v Aberdeen Licensing Board 2010 GWD – interpretation of overprovision section
  10. William Morrison Supermarkets PLC v South Aberdeenshire PLC 2010 SLLP Judicial review justiciability of licensing board practice
  11. WWCM Ltd v Renfrewshire Licensing Board 2011 SLLP – variation of premises licence.
  12.  Kell (Scotland) Ltd v Glasgow Licensing Board 2010 SLT – licensing conditions
  13. ROC UK Ltd v City of Edinburgh Licensing Board 2010 SLT – licensing of Petrol stations
  14. Co-operative Group Ltd v Aberdeen Licensing Board 2009 GWD – licensing of petrol station
  15. Tesco plc & Morrisons plc – review hearing on objectors challenge on drinks promotion
  16. Ormsby v Chief Constable 2008 SCCR – reparation – duty of care owed by Chief constable to police officers
  17. Killen v Dundee City Council 2008 SLT –licensing of HMO premises
  18. Alldays stores Ltd v Central Fife Divisional 2007 GWD – licensing – fit and proper person test
  19. BP Express Shopping Ltd v Perth & Kinross Licensing Board 2005 SLT – licensing of petrol stations
  20. Haddow v Glasgow City Council 2005 SLT Reparation – employers’ liability
  21. Chief Constable, Lothian and Borders v Lothian and Borders Police Board 2005 SLT – judicial review of decision of Police Appeals Tribunals
  22. Davis v Renfrewshire Council 2005 SC – licensing of taxi cabs
  23. Robson v Law Society of Scotland 2005 SC – Appeal – ECHR compliance of Solicitors Discipline Tribunal
  24. Malik v Ali 2004 SLT – illegality of performance of contract
  25. WRG Trading Ltd v Ali 2003 SLT Judicial review of decision on regular extension
  26. Harrison’s Executors v Student Loans Company Ltd – wrongful dismissal of Chief Executive
  27. Newman Shopfitters v Gleeson 2003 SLT – delay in prosecution of arbitration

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