Meet our Team – Sarah Smith
What is your role at Sintons and how long have you been with the firm?
Tell us about your career to date…
I trained at Mincoffs Solicitors and worked there for 13 years, initially as a personal injury solicitor before becoming a partner and head of their licensing department.
Can you tell us about your department and the work it does
We deal with all licensing matters relating to alcohol, entertainment and late night refreshment, sex establishments, gaming operations (such as adult gaming centres, betting, lotteries etc) and we also advise on taxi licensing.
We are involved in obtaining licences, maintaining and varying licences and defending licences from enforcement action. If you want or have a licence, we are the people you want to have on your team.
What have been your personal career highlights to date?
There have been lots of very interesting and high-profile matters that I have worked on. More recent highlights include obtaining the premises licence for STACK Newcastle after a six-day appeal hearing and securing the licences for Hard Rock Café, Alnwick Castle and Alnwick Gardens. In my personal injury years I was involved in the first case in which the MOD paid out compensation in excess of £1m. And of course the day, many years ago, that I met Ant and Dec to advise them on their proposed foray into the licensing trade will always be remembered!
Sintons enjoys a first-rate reputation regionally and nationally for its work. What is it like to work here?
Sintons is a great place to work. We work hard but we have fun. There are always lots of community and charity-based initiatives which helps to maintain a real sense of Sintons as a team, and we invest a lot in the younger staff as they are the future of the firm.
And finally, tell us about your interests outside work…
As with many working mums, my interests are usually limited to my kids’ interests. In the winter it’s watching my daughter play rugby and in summer watching my son play cricket or golf. I have been known on occasion to swing a tennis racquet or golf club but if I get time to myself it’s usually a chance to walk the dog, catch up with friends or expand my knowledge of gin (for research purposes only, of course).