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Addleshaw Booth & Co is facing the demise of its licensing practice following the pending departure of head of licensing Anthony Lyons
The Lawyer can reveal that Manchester-based Lyons is one of the 11 equity partners being culled by Addleshaws' management in April as part of the firm's strategy for national growth. For the time being, Lyons remains at the firm and has yet to finalise his future plans. It is understood that the firm is now looking at closing the practice altogether. Addleshaws' licensing practice in Leeds was hit when Paddy Whur left to join niche licensing practice Poppleston Allen in Nottingham at the beginning of this year, taking key client Ladbrokes with him. Manchester then became the only base for Addleshaws' licensing practice, which was headed up by Lyons. Lyons is a very highly-regarded licensing lawyer in the region. One partner from a rival firm told The Lawyer: "He's a very smooth operator and a model licensing advocate." With Lyons at the helm, Addleshaws built up an enviable licensing practice in Manchester and Leeds, especially in the pub and nightclub industries. The firm acted for clients such as Inventive Leisure, which opened up a stream of Revolution Vodka Bars throughout the UK. Lyons has also had a major role in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games, which Addleshaws is sponsoring, having applied for special late licences for many of its existing clients in Manchester and for the venue itself. However, the firm is understood to have taken the decision to focus on other core areas to boost revenue. Addleshaws was unavailable for comment.