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UK’s leading licensing law firm celebrates 30 years at the top

Poppleston Allen is now celebrating its 30th year as the largest and most respected licensing law firm in the UK

Captured are Poppleston Allen’s Partners. Pictured standing (left to right); Carl Weston, Richard Bradley, Nick Arron, Graeme Cushion, Jonathan Smith, James Anderson, and David Inzani. Pictured seated (left to right); Tracey Robottom, Lisa Sharkey, and Lisa Inzani


In May 1994, Jeremy Allen and Susanna Poppleston launched Poppleston Allen: a specialist licensing firm for the hospitality sector. At the time, the general feeling from many outsiders about the new venture was that it would not last.

From humble beginnings, Poppleston Allen is now celebrating its 30th year as the largest and most respected licensing law firm in the UK, with offices in Nottingham’s Lace Market and Kings Cross, London. From having just a handful of clients, the firm now gives specialist licensing, gambling and regulatory advice to 100s of businesses covering every sector imaginable, from outdoor festivals and pop-ups through to pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, leisure complexes, arcades, betting and bingo premises, gaming software developers and machine manufacturers.

Clients include such brands as wagamama, Mitchells & Butlers Plc, Stonegate Pub Company, Yo!, Bourne Leisure, D&D, The Ivy Collections, Buzz Bingo, Merkur, Bandai Namco Amusements Europe plus 100s of independent operators.

Though Jeremy died in 2011 and Susanna retired a few years later, the firm has enjoyed 20+ years’ service from many of its staff, including founding member and current Managing Partner, Lisa Sharkey.

Commenting, firm Managing Partner Lisa Sharkey says, “It’s been an incredible journey and one which I have been lucky enough to have been on since day one. It might sound cliched, but without the commitment of our bright and enthusiastic team and our many incredible clients – both present and past – we simply would not be the force we are today. I am beyond grateful to our clients for entrusting us with their business and letting us share their journey.

Sharkey continues, “One of my fondest memories was winning The Lawyer’s ‘Law Firm of the Year’ Award and sharing that stage with Jeremy and Susanna celebrating their foresight and bravery in going it alone and setting up Poppleston Allen. Next year I will be standing down as Managing Partner and Graeme Cushion will be taking up the helm. I am excited to see what the future holds under Graeme’s leadership.”

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