Timothy Dutton QC leading Robert O’Donoghue of Brick Court Chambers advised and acted for four regulators, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Bar Standards Board, Architects Registration Board and Farriers Registration Council in their successful intervention in the appeal to the UKSC by Westminster City Council against the judgment of the Court of Appeal which held that Westminster’s licensing scheme was unlawful under the European Services Directive and the Provision of Services Regulations 2009. The Court of Appeal had found that Westminster was not entitled to include in the licence application fee the cost of enforcing the licensing system. The Court of Appeal’s decision had a potentially wide ranging impact on regulators who charge practitioners for the cost of enforcing their regulatory regimes eg as part of the Practising Certificate Fee. The Supreme Court has held that the Directive provisions have no application to ongoing charges. Accordingly, the restriction to the costs of administrative processes does not apply and the conventional application by regulators of revenue to enforcement activities is unobjectionable. A discrete issue was referred to the European Court on the question of whether the making of a payment on first application for a licence, which is refundable if the licence is not granted, nevertheless gave rise to a charge for authorisation. The judgment can be found here.