We’re one of the very best licensing practices not only in Nottingham but in the country. Here’s how we’re viewed by industry bodies
The Chambers UK Guide 2019
The Chambers directory is a 'Who's Who' guide for the legal industry and is drawn from independent research and recommendations by clients and solicitors alike. Below is the entry in the 2019 guide.
The Firm – Nottingham and Surrounds
Comments from the guide:
"Acclaimed specialist licensing firm that counts a host of leading names from the retail, food and drink, hospitality and late-night entertainment industries among its clients. Equipped to handle the licensing aspects of large-scale acquisitions, and also sought after for its representation of clients in contested hearings and licence reviews. Additionally noted for its work on behalf of betting and gaming operators."
Successfully secured a new premises licence for a restaurant and bar in a new hotel opened by Sofitel in Leicester Square. The licence was granted following a contested hearing before Westminster City Council's licensing committee.
The Solicitors: Notable practitioners
One of the founding partners and current managing partner, Lisa Sharkey has extensive licensing experience across the pub, restaurant and late-night sectors. Sources say: "She is one of the best licensing lawyers; she is personable, straightforward and gets good results."
Partner Jonathan Smith has experience licensing both pubs and hotels and is particularly noted for his work in the late-night sector. Sources praise him as "incredibly hard-working and organised," adding: "He always plans ahead and pays lots of attention to detail."
Graeme Cushion is an experienced licensing solicitor for household-name restaurant chains. Sources say: "He is very charismatic, humorous and charming as well as tactical and very hard-working."
James Anderson has experience advising clients on licensing for alcohol and entertainment with particular expertise in the pub sector. Sources laud him as having "good knowledge and experience."
Nick Arron handles licensing work for gaming clients including both large industry players and single-site operators. Sources describe him as "a fount of knowledge" in the area.
The Firm - London
Specialist licensing firm, focusing on premises licensing matters. Well known for advising large retail chains on licensing applications across the country. Expertise also includes contentious matters such as reviews and enforcement proceedings, as well as handling licensing issues arising from M&A activity. Impressive client roster counts prominent names in the restaurant, pub and hospitality industries.
Acted for 180 The Strand on obtaining a new premises licence within the jurisdiction of Westminster City Council.
The Solicitors: Notable practitioners
Clare Eames advises high-profile operators in the retail and food and drink sectors on licensing matters. "She's strategic and no-nonsense," praises one source, who adds: "She always has the best advice. She's just very straight and I really appreciate it. She's very timely, with good communication."
Lisa Inzani is active on all licensing and enforcement matters on behalf of major casual dining brands. A client reports: "It's been a great experience; Lisa's knowledge of each borough and licensing department is second to none. I've never had an issue, there's always a clear strategy in place."
The Legal 500 Guide 2018
The Legal 500 directory has been published for over twenty years and provides comprehensive coverage on legal services providers. Below is the entry in the 2015 directory:
Poppleston Allen - Nottingham: Licensing
Poppleston Allen fields a ‘pre-eminent licensing practice’ that stands out for providing ‘knowledge in the field that is second to none’ and for its ‘faultless help and support’. The boutique firm has an exceedingly deep bench: key figures include managing partner Jonathan Smith who ‘is exceptionally hard-working, highly experienced and determined to succeed on all levels’; Lisa Sharkey, who ‘is thorough and dedicated to her clients’; the ‘highly personable’ and ‘strategic’ Graeme Cushion, who demonstrates ‘great determination to succeed for his client’; Andy Grimsey , whose ‘attention to detail is equaled by the energy in his willingness to help’; and James Anderson.
The practice recently handled due diligence for Ten Entertainment Group in preparation for the client’s planned flotation on the stock market, which involved reviewing all licences and reporting full disclosure for each going back over four years. It also advised Sofitel on a new premises licence for a new hotel with a restaurant and bar in a heritage site building in Leicester Square within the jurisdiction of a cumulative impact zone, involving a hearing before Westminter City Council’s licensing committee in which Sharkey carried out her own advocacy and successfully obtained new licences for the client. PizzaExpress, Azzuri Group and Carluccio’s are also clients.
Jonathan Smith, is ‘‘is exceptionally hard-working, highly experienced and determined to succeed on all levels”;
Lisa Sharkey is "thorough and dedicated to her clients’; the ‘highly personable’ and ‘strategic’;
Graeme Cushion "demonstrates great determination to succeed for his client";
Andy Grimsey, "attention to detail is equaled by the energy in his willingness to help";
James Anderson is recommended as a licensing solicitor.
Nick Arron is recommended for Betting and Gaming
Poppleston Allen - London: Licensing
Poppleston Allen ‘is a firm that has a real industry specialism’. The firm acts for a wide range of well-known restaurants, hotels and venues nationwide, and is regularly instructed on planning and property acquisitions, redevelopment projects and licensing-related enforcement matters. In a recent highlight, the team acted for Eataly, an international restaurant brand, in its first London site opening.
The firm continues to advise The Ivy Group on its licensing needs including securing new premises licences and licence variations for its rapid expansion of 24 restaurants.
Clare Eames, has ‘second-to-none’ understanding of client business and whose ‘anticipation of the businesses needs and strategic aims is exemplary";
Lisa Inzani is ‘utterly reliable and goes beyond what would be expected for trusted clients”.