Philip Somarakis

Partner, Head of Regulatory Solutions

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I am a Partner at Gordon Dadds, specialising in both criminal litigation and alcohol and entertainment licensing law. After completing my LLB Hons law degree in Manchester, I pursued a career in law and I was made a Partner at Blake Lapthorn in 2008. In 2012 I joined Davenport Lyons as Partner, before coming to Gordon Dadds in 2014. I have a wide range of expertise, including experience in alcohol and entertainment licensing, motoring offences, driving licence medical appeals, road safety and business regulatory defence, and have appeared in over 100 contested licensing hearing/appeals. With my motoring law practise, I have appeared on BBC Watchdog and on Radio 5 Live. Some of my speeding offence cases have made national headlines.

When I have free time, I spend it running ultra marathons, reading, cooking and generally having a lot of fun.

What is your best legal anecdote?

A London barrister attended a shire Magistrates Court and threatened to take up the morning arguing a spurious point about hearsay evidence. The clerk of the court had a quiet word with him and said 'I wouldn't bother if I was you, as the Chairman of the Bench is a University Professor in Law and has just written a piece on this'. The Barrister withdrew the point. The Chairman was, in fact, a farmer.

What is your most interesting legal experience?

Hoping for a quiet day in the office between Christmas and New Year, and having to deal with an urgent extradition issue that landed on my desk.


The Legal 500 – recommended lawyer for Licensing in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, described as having “excellent knowledge and advice” and "always willing to go the extra mile".

Chambers UK – ranked in Chambers UK 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 in Band 2 for Licensing and described as having a "practical approach to problem solving and excellent mediation skills" as key strengths, is “friendly, approachable and knowledgeable” and is "complimented on his client-friendly approach and responsiveness".

Jane Li, UK Company Secretary, DHL - “Philip designed the 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.”

Company secretary to ACFO Limited (representing the interests of car fleet operators); a member of DVLA Consumer Forum focusing on DVLA’s services to the consumer and parking industry; a member of British Parking Association Standards Panel; a member of DVLA’s Industry Liaison Group.

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7759 1364


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