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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Midlands > Crime, fraud and licensing > Licensing > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Licensing
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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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 ‘strategicGraeme 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.

Flint Bishop LLP acts for owners and operators of licenced premises, with a client roster that includes Heineken UK, Marston’s and Macdonald Hotels. Licence reviews form a significant portion of the caseload, but the team’s experience also includes licence variations and licence applications. Senior partner and practice head Andrew Cochrane is the key practitioner.

Fraser Brown’s ‘very experienced and reliable’ team combines ‘sound commercial judgement’ with ‘first-class’ client service. The group’s expertise spans a vast range of licensing mandates, from alcohol and entertainment premises to gambling premises and sex establishments, with gambling matters making up an increasing portion of the caseload. ‘Immensely knowledgeable’ practice head David Lucas is ‘a great communicator’, ‘works hard for his clients’ and ‘has a deep knowledge of the licensing industry’. Together with licensing executive associate Joanne Soar, Lucas advised Ego Restaurants on an application to extend a licensed area for a new conservatory area of premises in Warrington. A recent gambling highlight saw Lucas successfully avoid enforcement action for a client whose gambling premises had faced enforcement action by Cornwall Council.

The ‘consummate professionals’ at Freeths LLP are experts in alcohol licensing, but also handle ancillary regulatory work involving trading standards, health and safety, and food safety. Fire safety is another area of strength. Practice head Lisa Gilligan’s ‘greatest strength, aside from her in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, is her passion and dedication to her work’. Supermarket licensing is another area of expertise.

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