Nicola Smith specialises in regulatory compliance. Her expertise is broad ranging and covers alcohol and entertainment licensing, food and feed law, and general product compliance, safety and recall. Nicola also specialises in road vehicle/driver laws, including public inquiries before traffic commissioners.
Nicola acts for a wide range of businesses, from listed companies to entrepreneurs, and she represents clients in enforcement action, including at interviews under caution, as well as hearings. She prides herself on providing commercially minded advice as part of a “one-stop shop” for clients dealing with the management of all of their licensing and food law issues, or with their other regulatory requirements around products and the operation of goods vehicles.
Nicola provides support on corporate, property and insolvency transactions, as well as advises on the licences required for the playing of copyright music. Nicola is experienced in reviewing and advising upon due diligence systems and has drafted operations manuals and compliance documents for numerous clients following such reviews.
Nicola has also provided training at both a legal and operational level, including general updates and training on specific changes in law. She has trained numerous managers on licensing requirements, including inspections, test purchases and even conducting mock interviews. Nicola has also presented on the management of global product recalls. In addition, she has provided training and advice to clients and externally on food law requirements, including in relation to allergen laws and the impact of Brexit on labelling requirements, as well as presenting twice to representatives of the Chinese Food and Drug Enforcement Agency visiting the UK to understand the application of medicines and food and drink laws. In addition, Nicola has written for the Food edition of the American Bar Association (ABA) publication on recalls due to labelling errors, as well as authoring numerous practice notes on alcohol licensing for LexisPSL.
Nicola has successfully represented clients at numerous contested hearings across the country, including for the grant of licences in cumulative impact zones (in the fact of numerous residential objections) and for applications that are contested by the police. She has also dealt with threatened and actual licence reviews, including a review following three test purchase failures, where the committee were nevertheless persuaded that the licence should not be revoked or suspended.
Nicola writes client updates on topical legal issues for the licensed trade in England and Wales and is a member of the Institute of Licensing.