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Durham Law Firm Starts Financial Year With Eleven New Appointments

Durham City’s leading law firm, Swinburne Maddison LLP (Swinburne Maddison) has started a new financial year with a further eleven appointments and promotions as part of its continuing  expansion plans.

The firm announced its intention to reorganise its management team a year ago to streamline its decision-making process and become more outcomes-focused in a bid to increase turnover, achieve greater profitability and facilitate expansion following an exceptional 2020-21 financial performance.

Now, one year later, Jonathan Moreland, managing partner and head of the firm’s dispute resolution and employment teams, reports that the benefits of the new strategic leadership to both its employees and clients have been dramatic, with an increase in fee income of 19% and a rise in net profits of 5%, placing Swinburne Maddison within the top quartile of all law firms nationally.

Leading this new wave of appointments and promotions are Catherine Lowther and Andrew Allon, who have both been promoted to managing associates.  Catherine, who is an expert in family law, has worked for Swinburne Maddison for eight years while Andrew, who specialises in residential property, has three years with the firm.

Three legal directors have also been appointed – associate solicitor in the corporate and commercial  team, Mike Ward, who has been at Swinburne Maddison for nine years; Kath Hill, head of the family law department and a CILEX Lawyer, who is a much-valued long-term employee with over 25 years at the firm and David Canwell, a solicitor with ten years of employment in the residential property team. All took up their new roles from May 1.

The firm has also appointed six new associates – Charlotte Excell and Lauren Rutherford, (commercial property), Rebecca Harper (residential property), Lewis Brown (dispute resolution) and Eleanor Bradshaw and Sophie Allerton (corporate and commercial law).  With 33 years of service between them at Swinburne Maddison, these latest appointments will provide each member of staff with a springboard for further career development in the future if they so wish.

Commenting on the appointments, Mr Moreland said: “As managing partner and on behalf of the firm, it gives me great pleasure to announce these promotions, which have been made in recognition of some extremely hard work over the last year and in accordance with our published career path.  All are richly deserved, and we hope, demonstrate our commitment to the development of our team and their career progression.”

Reviewing the firm’s 2021-22 performance, he continued:  “We are extremely busy across all areas of the firm and there is no sign of things slowing down any time soon.

“It has been another very good year for us, punctuated by several highlights.  Internally, we were delighted to welcome Craig Malarkey and Anna Stephenson as partners; we invested more than £150,000 in new IT equipment and we launched our new ‘Made to Measure’ advertising campaign, which celebrates what we do best – delivering exceptional, tailor-made client service.

“Commercially, we represented Atom Bank plc in the completion of more than £75m Coronavirus Business Interruptions Loan Scheme transactions; we continued to act for a large local authority in its housing disrepair claims and have already saved the client over £10m in settlements since receiving our first instruction in 2015; and in the tech sector, we completed a six-figure pre-seed investment deal on behalf of gaming company, Yakkr, now valued at over £2m.

“We are looking forward to more of the same success in the coming year with further recruitment in the pipeline across our property, corporate and commercial and dispute resolution teams, which will enhance the range of legal support we already offer and further consolidate our prominent position in the marketplace.”

Two further trainee solicitor appointments have also been made – Liam Musgrave, who joined the firm in 2021 as a paralegal in the commercial property team following completion of his Masters and Legal Practice Course at Leeds Beckett University and Brooke Jefferson, who obtained her Legal Practice Course and Masters combined (LLM) after joining the firm in February 2021, taking up the role of paralegal in the private client team in November.


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