Gemma Smith
  • Gemma Smith

  • Associate Solicitor


2:1 Sociology with Law BA (Hons)- University of Durham

Legal Qualifications:

  • GDL, College of Law, York (2006-2007)- Commendation
  • LPC, College of Law, York(2007-2008)- Distinction

Year Of Admission:


Career History:

  • Trainee Solicitor, Leeds, 2009-2011
  • Solicitor (various in Leeds/Newcastle) 2011- 2013
  • Solicitor, Tilly Bailey & Irvine LLP, September 2013 to March 2018
  • Associate Solicitor, Tilly Bailey & Irvine LLP, April 2018 

Experience and Expertise:

I undertake a wide variety of commercial litigation work, including property litigation, residential landlord and tenant issues, commercial property disputes, professional negligence, contractual disputes, insolvency and contentious probate. I am also currently undertaking a course to develop my expertise as part of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists which will be completed in 2019.

I act on behalf of a wide variety of clients including private individuals, local and national businesses and charities. 

I have recently dealt with a multi-track contentious probate matter acting for a claimant pursuing funds out of an estate, which resulted in success after a lengthy trial. The matter was very document heavy and concerned numerous issues, which extended outside of the remit of a simple contentious probate claim.

I have also advised in a number of professional negligence matters which have resulted in success for the clients, one of which had added complexity as a result of various parties entering into liquidation.

Client Feedback:

Mr F: “Beyond Expectations”

Mr and Mrs F: “Gemma’s efficiency was at all times 100%”.

Legal 500:

2017 - Recommended for Property Litigation

Career Highlights:

I am very proud to be part of the team who won Commercial Dispute Team of the Year 2015 at the Northern Law Awards.

I have also assisted on a multi-million pound civil fraud matter, from which I gained invaluable experience and which gave me the opportunity to go the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Corporate Social Responsibility/Pro Bono/Community Relations:

I have been involved with the ‘Building My Skills’ programme, which is a course for students designed to assist them in preparing for interviews and getting jobs. As well as presenting at a number of schools in the area, I then participated in an interview day where I interviewed students and then gave feedback. 

I also joined a number of other professions at a ‘Skills Boost’ event, again intended to give students an insight into various different careers and to help prepare them for interviews and the world of work. The event involved speaking to students about my role as a solicitor and what this involved, before conducting mock interviews for those students with a particular interest in law.


I have delivered a number of presentations around the North East in relation to residential landlord and tenant matters.  Some of these have been in conjunction with the National Landlords Association. In addition, I also presented at the Tees Valley Landlord Forum (2015, 2016 and 2017), which is an annual event ran by the NLA.  

I have been involved in the 'Building My Skills' programme where I presented to a number of students on interviewing skills and the best ways to present themselves to help gain

Awards and Memberships:

I was part of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team of Year – Northern Law Awards 2015.

I am also a member of Tees Valley Law Society.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Due to my love of animals, I always wanted to be a Vet. However, I found I was a bit too squeamish to pursue this as a profession.

Why law as a career?

I chose law as it offered a challenging and respectable career.  It also gave me the opportunity to translate the academic side of study into practical solutions for clients, which I found I really enjoyed.

Describe an interesting fact about yourself

Despite my height(!), I used to row at university. I even managed to win a few races and ended up being at Novice level.

What one thing could you not live without?

Copious amounts of tea!!

Hobbies and Interests

Horse riding, running and keeping fit.