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Tilly Bailey & Irvine Scoops Two Awards at Inaugural Northern Law Awards

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Staff from Tilly Bailey & Irvine Solicitors took to the stage twice to collect awards at the inaugural Northern Law Awards.

Northern Law Awards

The firm picked up the Law Team of the Year Award (Litigation and Dispute Resolution) and Alison Leith, who heads the firm’s Commercial Litigation Team, was named Lawyer of the Year.

The awards come at the conclusion of a year when the Commercial Litigation Team, led by Alison Leith, concluded the landmark Harrison & Others v Shepherd Homes & Others case securing significant, multi million pound damages for Tilly Bailey & Irvine’s clients, 77 Hartlepool home-owners.

Mrs Leith said: “In recent years this team has grown in size and reputation, and I am so proud that our achievements have been recognised with these two wins.  This is the ideal way to celebrate our successes in the cases we have worked on.”

The Commercial Litigation team is based at Tilly Bailey & Irvine Solicitors’ Wynyard offices.  Since 2005, it has grown from one solicitor to a team of six full time specialists.

With its growth in size, the Commercial Litigation team has expanded its areas of industry expertise.  In addition to each member dealing with general commercial disputes, each has developed niche areas.  Alison Leith deals with partnership and shareholder disputes and education related matters. Partner Kenton Bazeley specialises in professional negligence and insolvency-based litigation.  Associate Solicitor Debra Burton, who worked alongside Alison Leith on the Shepherd Homes case, deals with contentious probate.  Solicitors Gemma Smith and Helen Lyne specialise in property litigation. Paralegal, Ellie Gilbert handles general debt recovery and enforcement.

Alison Leith’s award for Lawyer of the Year reflects both her achievements in her legal work and as a partner in the Law Firm.  It acknowledges her knowledge and tenacity in leading the team in the Shepherd Homes case, a unique case in that, although there were multiple claimants with the same causes of action, they each had individual claims which had to be considered separately.  Harrison & Others v Shepherd Homes & Others is now being cited in other claims, and in legal training.  Amongst her other roles within the firm, Alison has been actively involved in the development of staff, leads the marketing for the firm and regularly speaks at seminars.

On winning the Lawyer of the Year award, Mrs Leith commented: “This is recognition not only my achievements as a lawyer, but also as a partner of the firm, and active member of our local business community.  When I joined Tilly Bailey & Irvine Solicitors ten years ago, my aim was to build a team that works successfully together, with our clients’ needs at the heart of everything we do.  I also believe it’s important to encourage junior staff to develop their own careers within Tilly Bailey & Irvine, those with a legal background and also our support and secretarial staff.

“We are absolutely thrilled today to be celebrating these two awards.”

The winners of the first Northern Law Awards were announced at a ceremony at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle upon Tyne on Thursday, 11th June, 2015.

Photo : The Tilly Bailey & Irvine Solicitors’ team celebrate their two wins – Alison Leith is on the left, with (from l to r) Debra Burton, Helen Lyne, Gemma Smith, Kenton Bazeley and Ellie Gilbert.