Susan Nicholson

Susan Nicholson
Head of Practice – Liquor Licensing

Susan Nicholson assist clients in the Hospitality, Tourism and Property areas.

Susan is one of WA’s leading liquor licensing lawyers, with almost 20 years’ experience in liquor licensing, hospitality and property transactions. She has advised and acted on many of WA’s leading hospitality venues, and represented her clients in many of the major liquor licensing applications and cases in WA.

Susan enjoys understanding the big picture and learning about her client’s business to ensure she can tailor legal solutions that best suits their needs. She takes pride in providing advice and assistance that delivers solutions and outcomes that are commercial, pragmatic and cost effective.

Susan has acted for a large range of clients, from leading retailers and national public companies such as Woolworths, Lion Nathan and Venues Live (the operator of Optus Stadium Perth) to small business owners and property investors. With her in-depth knowledge of both property law and liquor licensing law, she is able to assist owners, operators and prospective buyers and sellers of liquor licensed premises on a variety of issues that relate to their business and premises. She is one of a handful of lawyers in Western Australia that deals with liquor licensing law on a daily basis.

Before joining Cullen Macleod, Susan worked at national and boutique firms, including Minter Ellison in Sydney, and Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Perth. Her legal experience is complemented by several years working in government and private enterprise in project management, policy and administration roles.

Susan’s expertise and experience include:

  • advising on and preparing liquor licence applications for a range of licensed premises and licence types, such as liquor stores, taverns, small bars, extended trading permits and “one-off” applications
  • providing advice on all aspects of liquor licensing, including compliance
  • reviewing and appealing liquor licensing decisions at the Liquor Commission of WA and WA Supreme Court
  • advising on and preparing documents relating to the sale and purchase of commercial property and businesses, particularly hospitality venues
  • drafting and negotiating contracts of sale, leases, licences, assignment of leases and related documents for a variety of clients in a range of industries;

Some examples of transactions Susan has worked on are:

  • successfully securing the liquor licence for Optus Stadium, Perth
  • successfully securing liquor licences for the majority of Woolworths liquor stores and licensed premises in Western Australia since 2006
  • advising Cullens Wines on a variety of liquor licensing issues associated with its winery and product promotions
  • advising Lion Nathan on their liquor licensing issues in WA
  • advising major developers and institutional investors on the development of food and beverage precincts at retail centres
  • acting for clients in the sale, purchase and leasing of commercial premises (particularly hospitality venues) and preparing relevant documents (such as sale agreements, leases and assignment of leases)