Poppleston Allen

Jonathan Smith

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Practice Areas

Jonathan has been a licensing solicitor at Poppleston Allen since 1997. After being made partner in 2002 he succeeded founder Jeremy Allen as managing partner in 2006; splitting his time between developing the firm and advising clients.

In April 2018 Jonathan handed over the managing partner reigns to Lisa Sharkey, allowing him to concentrate fully on helping licensed operators solve their alcohol licensing problems.

Typical work Jonathan is involved in includes new premises licence applications, licence variations, advice in relation to mergers and acquisitions and licensing review hearings, of which he has attended over 150 hearings. He has been involved in every Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) appearing as advocate for the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers.(Now UKHospitality). This included what were widely regarded as the ‘death knells’ for EMROs, the successful challenges involving the London Borough of Lambeth and Blackpool Council, both after five day hearings. He holds five licensing qualifications covering England, Wales and Scotland. He regularly speaks at conferences and seminars. Jonathan sits on the Institute of Licensing’s operational and development committee and has sat on various Home Office and Department of Culture, Media and Sport advisory groups. By request he was called to give evidence as part of a The House of Lords Select Committee in a review of the Licensing Act 2003.


Trained Hunt Dickins (now Freeths); Qualified 1992; Partner Poppleston Allen 2004.

Professional Memberships

Member of the Institute of Licensing BBPA Midlands Executive Committee Member


Chapter on Personal Licences in Philip Kolvin QC’s Licensed Premises Law, Practice and Policy 2nd Ed). Articles in The Publican's Morning Advertiser and regular news updates to clients. Licensed Trade Guide, all editions.


Golf, football, cricket.


The Deltic Group, Moto Motorway service stations, Arena Racing, LT Management Services, Bourne Leisure, Haven Holidays, Butlins, Warner Leisure Hotels. Smashburger and Domino’s Pizza.