Suraj graduated from the University of King's College London with a Law degree (LLB) and received a distinction in the Legal Practice Certificate in 2010.
Suraj joined Poppleston Allen in April 2011, training and qualifying as a Solicitor with the firm in July 2014. He is a Senior Solicitor with many years of experience in advising in licensing law.
Suraj acts for a wide range of clients from individuals and independents to national operators with multiple sites including leading major pub and restaurant chains, entertainment venues, wine retailers, hotels, late night operators, developers and online alcohol delivery and food businesses.
He advises clients on all aspects of premises licensing law, including licensing requirements on acquisition of a premises including undertaking due diligence, reviewing and drafting licensing clauses in agreements and leases, new premises licence applications and variations. He advises on complex licensing applications in difficult areas, reviews and appeals and has achieved notable success in obtaining new premises licences and material variations in towns and cities with a cumulative impact policy in place where there is a presumption to refuse such applications, providing a pragmatic commercially minded approach tailored to the client's needs to ensure best chances of success.
Suraj represents clients advocating on their behalf at contested hearings in front of licensing sub-committees and representing their interests in meetings with the responsible authorities and police. He also provides training to clients, stakeholders and local authorities on licensing, including practical and interactive licensing committee training on processes and decision-making.
He has a particular expertise in relation to weights & measures and consumer protection from unfair trading legislation and its impact on licensed operators.
Suraj is a regular contributor to the trade press including the trades key national magazine. He works with various stakeholders and trade bodies within the industry and is the author of various Poppleston Allen trade guides, articles, licensing blogs and research surveys and reports, including country-wide Poppleston Allen surveys on the Late Night Levy, EMROs and cumulative impact policies and various reports on the Late Night Levy and councils which have adopted them, which have been widely reference and published in the trade and national press.