Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith Managing Partner

Just wanted to say thank you for all your advice in the run up to our event. It all went smoothly thank god! Really appreciate you being so available for contact even when you were away!

Sophie Bickerstaff, Pop-Up Event Manager, Soho House Group

Jonathan Smith joined Poppleston Allen at the beginning of 1997, and has been a Partner in the firm since April 2002, succeeding Jeremy Allen as Managing Partner in 2006.

The latest Chambers and Partners Guide describes Jonathan as “forthright, and able communicator and a skilled negotiator”, with a particular key strength in licensing reviews, having resulted on excellent outcomes for clients.

The Legal 500 Guide notes Jonathan as being “Particularly accomplished when it comes to complex cases”.

Other legal directory Feedback includes:

  • "valued for his intellectual capacity and sheer graft”
  • “Top-drawer”
  • “If you have an immediate problem he will drop everything to make sure you do not lose a licence”

Prior to becoming a licensing specialist at Poppleston Allen, Jonathan practised exclusively in commercial and corporate law, with a specialism in insolvency.

He is now firmly established as a national licensing advocate, having developed a recognised expertise in the field of late night licensing and reviews of Premises Licences, having dealt with over 150 licensing reviews.

With his previous incarnation in corporate and commercial work, Jonathan is able to combine the commercial awareness with his licensing knowledge to the benefit of clients.

Key clients of include:

  • The Deltic Group
  • Moto
  • Arena Racing
  • London Town Management Services
  • Bourne Leisure
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Smashburger.

Jonathan regularly speaks at trade and professional conferences, enjoying excellent working relationships with authorities. He provides training on the Licensing Act 2003, and other related legislation, to Council Officers, elected Council members and Police Forces, including at a national level through the Institute of Licensing, with Cornerstone Barristers.

Jonathan is also the principal licensing advisor to the British Beer and Pub Association, and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, together with the British Institute of Innkeeping.

He has appeared, either with or without Counsel, at all the hearings to consider Early Morning Restriction Orders, and has also recently appeared at hearings concerning the introduction of Late Night Levies. Jonathan holds the in-house record for the longest hearing before a Licensing Committee, when he appeared before the London Borough of Lambeth’s Licensing Committee, when it considered an Early Morning Restriction Order.

Jonathan is one of the firm’s principal legal editors to the Publicans Morning Advertiser, and writes articles for other trade publications as well as commenting regularly on key issues for the Publicans Morning Advertiser.

Jonathan has been invited by the Home Office to sit on various specialist licensing advisory panels, when considering changes to the Licensing Act 2003.

Contact Jonathan