Paul Whitford

Managing Director

Paul serves as Managing Director of Licensed Solutions, and formed the company, along with Tony Tilden in 2002. Paul’s primary duties are to manage our relationships with clients and other stakeholders, ensuring that assignment parameters are clearly established, and customer retention is maintained. With a background spanning more than forty years, focussing on the fine dining sector, Paul is an industry professional and has worked alongside insolvency practitioners for the past twenty years, managing thousands of turnaround projects.

Tony Tilden


Tony is a stalwart of the UK and international hospitality scenes, and boasts impressive experience spanning the UK, Europe and Africa. Since starting his career over fifty years ago, Tony has become a recognised expert in hotel development and operations, and along with Paul Whitford, has for the last twenty years focussed on implementing turnaround solutions predominantly on behalf of our insolvency sector clients. Tony’s career prior to Licensed Solutions saw him hold numerous senior positions with large hotel chains and lead the hotel development operation for His Highness the Aga Khan.

Ben Elder

Head of Leisure

Ben is a hotel specialist with a career spanning international brands and private holdings, going back more than twenty years. As Head of Leisure, Ben is responsible for all of our turnaround projects, as well as liaising closely with various private clients on advisory matters such as acquisitions, openings, operational rationalisation and development investment. Prior to heading up the operational activities of Licensed Solutions, Ben held senior and executive positions for a number of recognised brands and has worked extensively throughout the UK and the US.

Steve Thick

Head of Leisure Development

Steve has worked in the leisure industry for his entire career and having gained experience in practical management and senior strategic roles, he is well placed to develop practical solutions to maximise commercial opportunities. Project development has been a cornerstone of Steve’s career and he thrives on managing customer expectations and delivering expected solutions. Steve’s career has spanned the broad spectrum of the leisure industry with previous executive roles in national bar and restaurant operators.

Ray Penney

Senior Case Manager, London

Ray has worked with Licensed Solutions for over ten years and oversees all of our teams and projects in and around London. A seasoned hotelier with senior and executive experience in large, multi-site operations, Ray boasts a substantial network of industry contacts and unparalleled operational understanding. As well as an impressive hotel pedigree, Ray has headed up high profile restaurant and bar projects in the capital, including numerous Michelin star rated eateries and a wide spectrum of pub and bar assignments.

Costa Betianu

Senior Case Manager, North

Costa joined Licensed Solutions three years ago after a successful period with Marriott Hotels International, and previously as a senior hospitality executive within a five-star cruise line. Costa coordinates the rapid deployment of our teams throughout the UK and specialises in hotel and restaurant turnaround.

Tom Snell

Food Development Director

Tom brings a wealth of food knowledge to our team and draws upon over twenty years of industry experience in the development of food concepts and supply efficiency. After serving as Sous Chef in a Michelin starred fine dining gastro operation, Tom progressed his career with various Head / Executive Chef roles and ultimately, as an in-flight chef to the Saudi Royal Family. For the last ten years, Tom has worked within Licensed Solutions to bring his unique experience to hundreds of turnaround projects and manages our relationships with a host of key suppliers and purchasing vehicles, ensuring our clients benefit from continuity of supply at competitive price points.

Penny Evans

Head of Finance

A chartered accountant by trade, Penny has worked exclusively in the hospitality finance sector for most of her career. Having held senior financial management positions within a host of hotel companies, Penny is deeply experienced in every nuance of financial reporting, planning and management. Penny supports our operational and executive teams in all matters of financial rationalisation and ensuring timely and accurate reporting to clients..

Stephen Broome

Non-Executive Advisor, Hotels

Stephen has over fifty years of experience in the hospitality and leisure industry in a career which has spanned both operational and advisory consulting aspects. Throughout Stephen’s ten years’ involvement with Licensed Solutions he has consulted on an extensive volume of assignments, supervising the trading of single unit and multi-site group operations. Stephen also sits as a Non-Executive Director of Sir Richard Sutton Limited, the owner and operator of The Athanaeum and the Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotels in London.

Simon Bower

Non-Executive Advisor Finance & Turnaround

Simon’s pedigree as a chartered accountant and operational turnaround specialist stretches back more than thirty years, and he has held executive appointments with a number of top tier insolvency practitioners, as well as most recently as COO of Zenith Hygiene PLC, the UK’s largest distributor of cleaning and hygiene products. Simon works with the team to provide concise and reliable financial analysis and turnaround strategy input on his areas of expertise, including hotels, pubs, bars and restaurants, from an individual, owner-managed basis, up to large PLC’s.

Barrie Williams

Non-Executive Advisor Banking and Property

Barrie has worked in the City of London for nearly 30 years. The first 25 years were spent at various Banks, working in debt markets – origination, participation and syndication of senior debt, mezzanine and quasi equity both in the UK and across Europe. The last 6 years within the Banking sector, he was responsible for leading a dedicated, London based team facing into the hotel industry, responsible for the portfolio management of over 100 hotels across more than 25 borrower relationships and a debt value of c£1.5bn. Having left the banking sector in 2015, Barrie was then responsible for managing the Hotel, Pubs and Rest