A leading Warwickshire licensing lawyer is urging the Government to call time on its latest licensing legislation.
The new law, under which councils will take over licensing responsibilities from magistrates, has produced a "bureaucratic quagmire", according to Peter Lockley, of Blythe Liggins Solicitors in Leamington.
Mr Lockley said few people understood the new legislation and the August 6 deadline for new-style licensing applications should be extended, adding that anyone missing the current deadline could lose their licence and be forced to close until they got one.
"The Government could not have produced a more complicated form had it tried," he said. "Even seasoned licensing lawyers and experienced licensees are on the whole totally confused."
Legal challenges are already taking place and the pub trade has won a landmark case after a High Court judge ruled that Canterbury City Council's licensing policy was unlawful.
Mr Lockley added that many others were trying to impose unnecessary and unlawful conditions on applicants.
The initial cost will be round £190, followed by an annual fee of £180. At present, most village halls pay £30 for a three-year licence. The new law also restricts the number of temporary permissions that can be obtained without a full licence to 12.