Blakes toasts Inzani

South-East firm Blake Lapthorn is setting up a specialist liquor licensing department in its London office by poaching a partner specialising in the niche area.

Partner Lisa Inzani has joined Blake Lapthorn from the London office of 13-partner firm Bates and Partners.

A spokeswoman for Blake Lapthorn says: “She has been appointed to establish and head a dedicated licensing team to handle Blake Lapthorn's London clients.”

Inzani says the move will expand the firm's client base, which will include independent and major breweries, restaurants and clubs in London.

“They act for large breweries and I act for independents,” she says.

Blake Lapthorn says the appointment strengthens its London office as well as its licensing expertise. The firm merged with Abbot King & Troen in January, doubling its London operation to five partners and 32 staff.

Roger Wheaton, Blake Lapthorn's marketing director, says the firm is now keen to consolidate its position in the City. He says: “Expansion is in our business plan.”