Staff at licensing law firm, Poppleston Allen, have paid tribute to Jeremy Allen following his death at the age of 66 last week. A statement from Allen's former colleagues read:
Many words can describe Jeremy: a visionary, engaging, charming, witty, respected, the list could go on. One thing for sure, he meant something to everyone within Poppleston Allen, whether this be as a father figure, a mentor or a friend, but he was truly an inspiration to all.
Jeremy started Poppleston Allen with Susanna Poppleston 17 years ago and within that time the practice has grown five fold.
His knowledge of the industry helped Poppleston Allen to influence not only the development of the Licensing Act 2003 but the leisure industry in general.
He was highly competitive, both for himself, and for his firm and long sighted enough to position Poppleston Allen, with its huge store of knowledge and expertise about the operation of licensed premises and their need to comply with legislation without being strangled by it, at the forefront of licensing reform.
He had a distinctive and charming personality, and an adversarial advocacy talent, both in his early career as a criminal lawyer, and later in licensing forums which made him a formidable opponent.
He inspired great loyalty from both clients and staff alike. Poppleston Allen was, to him, his second family. It was truly a family business; at one time or another all of the family worked at Poppleston Allen. Maggie has only just retired and Jonathan, Charlotte and Nick earned their crust during the summer holidays.
Whilst he had started to work two days a week for the last 15 months, he retained the same passion, vigour and desire to influence any prospective legislative changes for the good of the Industry.
Jeremy continued doing what he loved in taking an active role in the Trade Associations; the British Institute of Innkeepers, British Beer and Pub Association, NOCTIS and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. Only very recently he had been appointed as the Chairman of the Institute of Licensing in recognition of his services to the licensing industry.
He remained at his death, the only star rated licensing solicitor in the country, awarded by his industry peers.
He was not without his faults; incredibly messy (but he could immediately lay his hands on a piece of paper on his desk when asked), stubborn and pig headed at times, for which one loved him. Jeremy thought he was a good driver, a view only endorsed by the garage carrying out the repairs. The sensors on the car got on his nerves so he switched them off and then wondered why there was the occasional bump to his car.
He was very dedicated to his family who, at this time, are together supporting one another. He had seen the birth of his first grandchild and the wedding of his son, Jonathan.
He was immensely proud when six months ago it was announced that Jonathan, his son, was to become an Ambassador to Sofia in Bulgaria at the age of 36.
Jeremy was never going to retire, he lived for his work, the industry and the firm founded in his name.
He was a legend and hero to all the staff and Partners at Poppleston Allen, loved by so many in the trade and respected by so many of the Council and Police Licensing Officers. In the words of one well wisher, "I wanted him in our tent rather than outside it". He taught us to work with authorities whilst always doing the best for the client and the industry as a whole.
There has been mention of "wide spread sadness" at his death, but we should be celebrating Jeremy's life and not mourning his death. He has shaped this firm that now so proudly bears his name and he will forever live in the hearts and minds of all at Poppleston Allen.
To finish with a quote from one Licensing Officer: "I can imagine he is now explaining to St Peter how the rules of life can be made better, and arguing the case for a modest extension of time".