Firm Profile > Poppleston Allen > Nottingham, England

Poppleston Allen

Crime, fraud and licensing > Licensing Tier 1

Poppleston Allen is a niche law firm, focusing on alcohol and gambling licensing matters. The team of ‘absolute subject matter experts’ includes managing partner Lisa Sharkey, who provides 'invaluable' support, and Jonathan Smith, who advises on the full range of relevant matters, including the licensing aspects of large M&A deals. The 'extremely knowledgeable' James Anderson defends clients against reviews and other enforcement actions brought by authorities, while Graeme Cushion specialises in crime related to licensing, such as underage sales of alcohol and drunkenness. During the COVID-19 pandemic the team was involved in licensing policy work, representing the hospitality industry’s views and opinions.


‘Poppleston Allen have been superb at managing a challenging customer during a very challenging trading period: they have always been available to offer advice and support, with a real can do attitude, and delivering on that.’

‘They promise – and deliver on that promise, even when timelines seem impossible.’

‘They consistently demonstrate exceptional knowledge of the detailed issues involved in our business requirements.’

‘I am not aware of any other firms dealing with licensing issues in the unique way that they do.’

‘James Anderson is our key partner, he is extremely knowledgeable in the area and very well connected.’

‘Absolute subject matter experts. The go-to firm for licensing issues.’

‘Approachable, helpful and pragmatic.’

‘We have worked with Poppleston Allen for just over a year now, and have been incredibly impressed by the level of professionalism, communication and licensing expertise we receive from the team. The practice offers seamless support from legal support through to billing.’

‘We have been pleased with the performance of the team as a whole, notably their advice and direction on complicated licensing matters and strong communications. Lisa Sharkey in particular has performed exceptionally on our account – her support through some quite difficult work has been invaluable.’

Key clients

Mitchells & Butlers Leisure Retail Limited

Stonegate Pub Company Limited

Pizza Express (Restaurants) Limited

Five Guys

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Bourne Leisure

Azzuri Group Limited

The Deltic Group




Fuller’s Plc


‎Criterion Capital Limited

Crime, fraud and licensing > Licensing Tier 1

With strong expertise both in London and throughout the UK, Poppleston Allen offers clients support on all forms of alcohol, premises and development licensing. The Nottingham-based firm's clients include notable national restaurants, local chains, pub companies, new experiential entertainment businesses and developers. It has been particularly notable advising on Covid-19 related issues, working closely with trade body UKHospitality to provide advice to its members on changing licensing regimes, and helping to form a coalition of businesses to create an exit strategy for hospitality in lockdown. Lisa Inzani leads the team, offering 'unrivalled knowledge of licencing departments,' advising on a number of high value, national licensing applications. The 'incredibly professional' David Inzani is also well regarded for his work on entertainment and gaming properties. Partner Clare Eames retired.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Inzani

Other key lawyers:

David Inzani; Steve Burnett


‘Poppleston Allen has unparalleled strength and depth when it comes to providing strategic, pragmatic and assured licensing support. With Poppleston Allen in our corner, we rest assured that the needs of our business will be competently and robustly met.’

‘Poppleston Allen solicitors are always a pleasure to deal with. They are engaging, show a genuine interest in our various business projects and have a wealth of licensing knowledge which is second to none. In the last year, we have worked particularly closely with David Inzani who continues to provide exceptional support and guidance.’

‘A small, communicative, knowledgeable and friendly team that remains remarkably stable.’

‘Lisa Inzani has unrivalled knowledge of licencing departments in both London & Manchester.’

‘David Inzani is incredibly professional and works at pace in detail. Quite frankly takes the stress and pressure away from me at the client.’

‘Responsive, proactive and engaged. Always seemingly managing to prioritize our business and work to demanding timelines.’

‘David Inzani understands our business and our needs very well, offers advice, manages stakeholders effectively and always delivers what we need.’

‘Lisa Inzani is a formidable business partner, leveraging her deep sector experience and extensive personal connections and to achieve the desired outcome time after time. She has helped us navigate complex and critical premises licensing matters with expert ability.’

Key clients

Bill’s Restaurants Limited


Caprice Holdings/The Birley Group.


Honest Burgers Ltd.

Shaftesbury plc

Stonegate Pub Company

wagamama Limited

Whistle Punks Axe Throwing


Crime, fraud and licensing > Gaming and betting Tier 2

Nottingham-based firm Poppleston Allen specialises in licensing and has considerable expertise in the betting and gaming sector, advising major gambling operators and suppliers in the land-based and online gambling spaces. Nick Arron, who is the lead partner in the 'knowledgeable' betting and gaming team, has a particular strength in acting for web-based operations.


‘A knowledgeable team of subject matter experts. They are approachable and always go over and above to support their clients.’

‘They take time to really understand your business and offer practical advice.’

‘Extremely good at understanding the operational needs of their clients.’

‘Professional, knowledgeable and extremely personable, which helps with their relationships both internally within our business and with other stakeholders.’

Founded in 1994 and driven by vibrant, collaborative and dedicated people, we have grown into the largest firm of licensing solicitors in the UK.

We work exclusively in the alcohol, entertainment, gambling and retail sectors and help clients ranging from small, one off independents through to national multi-site operators.

But no matter what size of operator we are working with, big or small, our objective is the same: To use legal knowledge and hard work to get clients the results needed to run their business how they want to. General speaking, we give legal advice to:

  • Obtain, vary and protect the numerous licences needed on licensed and gambling premises
  • Defend licensing, gambling, food hygiene and health and safety reviews
  • Manage due-diligence on mergers and acquisitions

Many of our solicitors work with professional bodies such as UK Hospitality, British Beer and Pub Association, Institute of Licencing (IOL) and the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII). They also speak at industry events and write for the national trade press. In addition, we co-wrote the Live Music Act 2012, advising on its course through both Houses of Parliament. We advised the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003. And we continue to be consulted by the Home Office and we were involved with the legal experts panel giving evidence for the 10 year review of the Licensing Act 2003. 

So, we do not see ourselves as just legal advisors to the licensed trade, but part of it.

Some of our licensing and gambling / gaming clients include: Bandai Namco, BBPA, Bill’s Restaurants, Blueprint Gaming, Bongo’s Bingo, Bourne Leisure, Brunning and Price, Buzz Bingo, Caprice Holdings, Cashino, Chelsea Flower Show, Cote Restaurants, Deliveroo, Dominio’s Pizza, Faces Nightclub, Fuller’s, Gauselmann Group, Honest Burgers, Ivy Collections, Laine’s, Mitchells & Butlers, Paddy Power, Parkdean Resorts, PizzaExpress, Praesepe, Selfridges, Shepherd Neame, Stonegate Pub Company, The Bingo Association, Thunderbird Fried Chicken, UK Hospitality, wagamama.

Other offices: London



Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Lisa Sharkey 0115 953 8500
Licensing Jonathan Smith 0115 953 8500
Gambling Nick Arron 0115 953 8500
Licensing and festivals Andy Grimsey 0115 953 8500
Licensing and regulatory Graeme Cushion 0115 953 8500
Licensing (London office) Lisa Inzani 0203 859 7755
Licensing Sarah Taylor 0115 953 8500
Licensing James Anderson 0115 953 8500
Photo Name Position Profile
 James Anderson  photo James Anderson James joined Poppleston Allen as a solicitor in September 2003 and was…
 Nick Arron  photo Nick Arron Nick is a solicitor and the lead partner in the Betting &…
 Natasha Beck  photo Natasha Beck Paralegal – Gaming and betting.
 Richard Bradley  photo Richard Bradley Solicitor
 Graeme Cushion  photo Graeme Cushion After qualifying as a solicitor in 1996, Graeme developed advocacy skills as…
 Suraj Desor  photo Suraj Desor Solicitor
 Andy Grimsey  photo Andy Grimsey Andy has practiced both as a Barrister and Solicitor in the Midlands,…
 Lisa Sharkey  photo Lisa Sharkey Lisa Sharkey if one of the founding members of the firm and,…
 Jonathan Smith  photo Jonathan Smith Jonathan has been a licensing solicitor at Poppleston Allen since 1997. After…
 Sarah Taylor  photo Sarah Taylor Partner
Number of UK partners : 8
Number of other UK fee-earners : 20