Licensing in East Midlands

Poppleston Allen

Lisa Sharkey heads the practice at licensing boutique Poppleston Allen and recently stepped up to the role of managing partner. Her team are cited as a ‘great bunch of lawyers’ who ‘lead the way’ on the full range of licensing matters. Jonathan Smith is well-regarded for alcohol licensing issues and Graeme Cushion  is a household name in the casual dining space. At associate level, Hannah Price  represents large corporate clients in relation to health and safety, food safety, trading standards and environmental law

Practice head(s):

Lisa Sharkey

Other key lawyers:

Andy Grimsey; James Anderson; Jonathan Smith; Graeme Cushion; Hannah Price

Key clients

Mitchells & Butlers Leisure

Stonegate Pub Company

Pizza Express

Burger King


Bourne Leisure

Azzuri Group Limited

The Deltic Group

Amber Taverns


Work highlights

  • Working with the client to change conditions and increase capacity at some of its biggest venues.
  • Obtaining new premises licences for the client’s three hotels developments in Leicester Square and Piccadilly.
  • Advising the client on all aspects of its licensing strategy during its Company Voluntary Arrangements.
  • Obtaining a new Premises Licence for the client’s new 250 occupancy restaurant on Kings Road, Chelsea, despite opposition from a number of residents.

Flint Bishop LLP

Flint Bishop LLP handles licensing matters on behalf of a wide range of clients with a particular focus on pubs and hotels. The group undertakes ordinary and expedited license reviews, major and minor premises license variations and transfer changes. The highly recommended Andrew Cochrane serves as practice head and his team also counts clubs, off-licenses and restaurants among its client roster.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Cochrane

Other key lawyers:

George Domleo

Key clients

Star Pubs & Bars Limited

Marston’s PLC

Youth Hostel Association

Macdonald Hotels

Kew Green Hotels

Derby Brewing Company

Work highlights

  • Transfer of licences for circa. 1,850 pubs in England, Wales and Scotland for leased pub business of Heineken UK.
  • Review of premises licence brought by neighbours supported by the authorities.
  • Handling annual fee reviews.
  • Application for license variation upheld despite appeals from neighbours.

Knights Plc

At Fraser Brown, practice head David Lucas handles the full range of licensing mandates, representing clients in the gambling, alcohol and entertainment sectors. Examples of work undertaken include applications for new premises licenses, applications for the variation of existing licenses and advice on legislation compliance.

Practice head(s):

David Lucas

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Soar;

Key clients

Cashino Gaming Ltd

DHP Family Ltd

Mellors Group

Ego Restaurants Ltd

Fraser Capital Management Ltd

HB Leisure Ltd

Majestic Bingo Ltd

Tynemill Ltd

Ever So Sensible Restaurants Ltd

Pesto Restaurants Ltd

Work highlights

  • Application for new operating and premises licences.
  • Application for new premises licence for multi-million pound development.
  • Application for variation of premises licence pertaining to the construction of a new fan zone.
  • Application for variation of gaming machine permit.

Freeths LLP

Noted for its ‘positive, knowledgeable and passionate approach’, the team at Freeths LLP is traditionally adept in alcohol licensing matters and is increasingly advising on health and safety, trading standards and fire safety matters. Lisa Gilligan, ‘an experienced expert in the field’, helms the practice and is engaged for personal licenses, premises licences and DPS applications. She represents a client base which includes various bars, pubs, supermarkets and leisure businesses.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Gilligan


Lisa Gilligan is a trusted adviser who understands the client’s business needs and has an excellent commercial approach

Lawyers are are extremely approachable and so make all interactions, particularly inquiries, very easy

Key clients

Aldi Stores Limited

Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars

Unique Hospitality


Davy’s of London

Butcombe Brewery


Laine Pub Company


Gangmasters Labour & Abuse Authority

Work highlights

  • Serving as sole legal provider to the client on licensing issues across its 800 stores in the UK.  
  • Acting for the client  in securing the licence for its Royal Festival Hall site.
  • Handling a range of license variation applications on behalf of the client.  
  • Ongoing support to the in-house legal team in relation to a range of regulatory and licensing matters.