Category Archive: News

Sintons take part in Newcastle Quayside Race 2022

A team of runners from Sintons are set to take part in a much-loved Newcastle Quayside Race.

The team will take part in the Quayside 5k, an annual event organised by Gateshead Harriers and Athletics Club which brings together runners from across the region.

 The race begins on Newcastle Quayside by the Millennium Bridge to Newcastle Business Park, then under the Tyne Bridge to cross the iconic Millennium Bridge to finish in Gateshead’s Baltic Square.

 The event – to be held on Wednesday, August 10 – continues to grow in terms of reputation and participation levels each year, with the Quayside 5k 2022 hailed as being the biggest yet.

 Sintons, which pays the team’s entry fee, has supported the event regularly over the years and has a number of keen runners among its staff.

 David Pritchard, head of marketing at Sintons, said the firm is pleased to support the Quayside 5k by entering a team.

 “The Quayside 5k has become a very well known and loved event in Newcastle, attracting runners from across the region. As a business proud to be based in this city, we are always keen to lend our support to events in any way we can,” he said.

 “We have a number of very capable runners in the firm, and health and wellbeing through fitness is a message we are very keen to promote to all of our staff. We are very pleased to support them to take part in an event like this, which is also a great way of strengthening the relationships we have within our team.

 “We wish everyone the best of luck in the Quayside 5k and hope it is another very successful event.”

Private client specialist Ed Liddell joins Sintons

The specialist wills, trusts and estates team at Sintons is continuing to expand through the appointment of a new solicitor to its team.

Ed Liddell, a specialist in a range of private client matters, is relocating back to his native North East to join the award-winning team.

An affiliate member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP), Ed advises on matters including the preparation of complex wills, lasting powers of attorney, trusts, and the administration of estates.

He joins Sintons at a time of strong growth for the wills, trusts and probate team, which is receiving increasing numbers of instructions as a result of its national reputation.

“I am delighted to join a private client team which is recognised throughout the UK for its technical expertise and is committed to providing an outstanding level of service to each and every client,” says Ed.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to build the capability and reputation of Sintons even further on a national basis.”

Paul Nickalls, head of wills, trusts and estates at Sintons – who is regularly named by Legal 500 and Chambers as being one of the leading private client lawyers in the North of England – said: “We are delighted to welcome Ed to our growing team.

“For more than 125 years, Sintons has been entrusted by generations of the same families to help them plan and safeguard for the future, and the number of new clients who are turning to us for advice is growing all the time.

“Our levels of expertise and experience, particularly in high value matters, mean that we are appointed in matters of the highest complexity. When this is combined with the reputation that we have earned in delivering the best possible service to each and every client, the result is that we are the private client advisor of choice for more and more individuals nationally.

“We look forward to working with Ed as we continue to take the department forward, while maintaining our core values of legal and service excellence.”

Debt Recovery for self-employed has never had a more important role to play

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) has warned of the impact of late payment on the self-employed freelancers across the UK. The IPSE has highlighted that the problem is bigger than ever today and worsening.

Its thought that the average amount owed to them rose in 2022 to circa £5230.00 and unpaid invoices are crippling the finances of many self-employed workers, as much as 1 in 5.

Late payment is challenging for every business and very often self-employed freelancers are reliant on every invoice being paid on time, for their day to day living expenses.

The late payment crisis is so bad for some that they have little or no money to cover basic living expenses and it’s reported that late payment crisis is causing mental health issues for many self-employed people. According to reports from the IPSE, 49% of self-employed freelancers have felt anxiety due to unpaid invoices. Many have also admitted that the situation has affected their productivity and a number also said they have lost sleep worrying over unpaid invoices and questioned their careers.

Restricting the problem of non-payment of invoices has always been a challenge for the self-employed and small businesses. Despite previous government reforms to try to prevent late payment, such as the prompt payment code, the situation appears to be worsening. The average amount owed to self-employed freelancers has climbed to a new high

Latest research from IPSE shows that 35% of self-employed workers have not been paid on time within the last year and nearly 1 in 5 self-employed freelancers say they have waited well over three months to get paid on some jobs.

IPSE is calling upon the government to step up and improve previous reforms by making businesses more accountable for non-payment and penalising them.  In the USA, there is a ‘freelance isn’t free’ law. This was introduced in 2017 and forces companies to pay self-employed workers within 30 days.  The IPSE claims that the UK needs to implement its own version to protect freelancers and self-employed workers.

If you are a small business or self-employed freelancer and have not been paid on time, please contact a member of our dedicated debt recovery team for help. Many clients turn to us to ensure they get paid and whilst there may be a small cost, this is viewed by most as an essential strategy to ensure they get invoices paid on time.

If you have any queries about debt recovery please contact Allison Thompson on 0191 2267878.

Quiz night raises over £1,597 for The People’s Kitchen

A quiz night was held to help boost the fundraising total for the 2022 Sintons’ Trainee Challenge, an annual event which sees the firm’s aspiring lawyers take on an ambitious feat for charity.

The Trainee Challenge Quiz Night was attended by scores of professionals from across the North East, and raised over £1,597 for The People’s Kitchen, Sintons’ newly-nominated staff charity.

The event, held at Shearer’s Bar in Newcastle, is a much-anticipated annual event in support of the firm’s Trainee Challenge, which this year will see the 11-strong group taking on the Paddle the Bann.

The canoeing expedition follows an ambitious 58km route from Lough Neagh in Ireland to Coleraine on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

The group, comprising eight trainees and three solicitor apprentices, will take on the two-day challenge in September, with all funds raised going towards The People’s Kitchen.

Sintons’ Trainee Challenge is now a renowned event in the firm’s calendar, with previous escapades including the 136-mile Coast to Coast cycling route from Whitehaven to Tynemouth; the Three Peak challenge of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon, and the 140-mile Port2Port cycle from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

Collectively, over the years, the challenges have raised thousands of pounds for local charities to support their work in the North East community.

“Our Trainee Challenge is not only a fantastic challenge for our young lawyers and an excellent means of team-building, but also a very important fundraising initiative,” says Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons.

“Through their efforts, we are able to add significantly to the total we are able to donate to our nominated charity, which we have recently named as being The People’s Kitchen for the next two years.

“The Trainee Challenge Quiz Night is a keenly-anticipated occasion and this year was as enjoyable as ever, with a brilliant turnout in team numbers and an excellent total raised. We are very grateful for the support, as ever, and wish our trainees the best of luck with their training as Paddle the Bann draws nearer.”

Key changes in the Liberty Protection Safeguards – the new DoLS regime

Key changes in liberty protection safeguards under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) regime are to be analysed at an upcoming seminar.

The specialist Neurotrauma and Court of Protection teams at Sintons are hosting an event which will look at the new approaches and how clients can best be supported.

The event, to be held in York on July 5, will hear from expert speakers Eleanor Tallon, an independent best interest assessor (MCA/DoLS) and case manager at Social Return, alongside Susan McKendry, a specialist Court of Protection, community care and adult social care work barrister at KBW Chambers.

The seminar is the latest in a series of events held by Sintons’ nationally-known Neurotrauma team to examine many of the pertinent issues affecting professionals working in the sector.

The team works closely with Sintons’ Court of Protection specialists to ensure a client who has sustained life-changing injuries and their family can be given bespoke support throughout their claim and beyond.

Neurotrauma specialist Alistair Elliot and Court of Protection solicitor Sophie Moore are leading on the event.

“Safeguarding our clients is at the core of everything we do, and enables us to ensure their best interests are being protected – changes in the key regulations surrounding these DoLS measures are very significant and something everyone working in this area must be alive to,” says Alistair.

“With our event and expert speakers, we will analyse the key changes and how they will impact on how we can best support our clients.

“Our seminar programme is known for tackling the topical issues which affect all of us, and attract some of the leaders in their fields to help us all better understand them. We look forward to welcoming colleagues from across the sector to our latest event.”

The seminar will be held on Tuesday, July 5, from 6pm, at Tower House Business Centre, Fishergate, York, YO10 4UA. Refreshments will be served from 5pm and the seminar will last for around one hour.

Road Traffic Offences: Increased Penalties

Yesterday the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 comes into force, increasing the criminal penalties available to the Courts for serious driving offences.

Background Information

In personal injury litigation a motor vehicle is often referred to as a weapon. Afterall  it has the potential, if proper care is not taken, to inflict injuries of the upmost severity and turn somebody’s life (and their families) upside-down.

Yet until today, the severity of the penalties available to the Criminal Courts have not reflected the severity of those injuries and their consequences. For example, the offence of careless, and inconsiderate, driving had a maximum penalty of a fine whilst causing death by dangerous driving attracted a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.

Road safety charities and those working in the area of serious injury/rehabilitation who support individuals that have sustained life changing injuries as a result of a road traffic accident have campaigned for a long time to see a change in the law.

As result of those campaigns, in December 2015 the Government launched the Driving Offences and Penalties Relating to Causing Death or Serious Injury consultation. The consultation ran until February 2017 and the response was published in October 2017 recommending the following:

  • a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving;
  • increase the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving from 14 years to life imprisonment; and
  • increase the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs from 14 years to life imprisonment.

The Current Position

More than 5 years later, those recommendations have become law. Part 5 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 provides for the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 to be amended to include the following:

  • A new offence of causing serious injury by careless, or inconsiderate, driving will be liable to prosecution for a specific offence which carries a maximum penalty of a custodial sentence of 2 years on indictment. “The offence is committed if a person causes serious injury by driving a car or other mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users.”
  • A maximum custodial sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving
  • A maximum custodial sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment for the offence of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs.
  • Increased the driving disqualification periods where custodial sentences have been given. Notably where a driver has been convicted of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs more than once within a 10 year period the disqualification period has increased to 6 years.

These changes seek to address the historic injustice of the leniency of the criminal penalties that were available to the Court as they aim improve driving standards and make the roads safer for all users.

Click here to find out more.

Sintons named Personal Injury Team of the Year at Northern Law Awards 2022

Sintons has won the Personal Injury Team of the Year accolade at the Northern Law Awards 2022.

The awards, held last night, acknowledge excellence across legal practice in the North of England, and specialists at Sintons were singled out for their outstanding work in personal injury.

The team – which also includes Sintons’ renowned Neurotrauma department – is known nationally for its work, particularly its expertise in serious injury claims, including brain and spinal cord injury cases.

Sintons is regularly acknowledged by both Legal 500 and Chambers as a leader in its field in personal injury, combining first-rate legal capability with service excellence to create an unrivalled offer to clients.

The team’s outstanding client service is particularly highly regarded, with Sintons being by the sides of clients and their families from the earliest traumatic days post-injury, helping them to rebuild their lives and achieve the best possible outcome for them and their circumstances.

The Northern Law Awards 2022, the first since pre-pandemic – when Sintons also won recognition in a number of key areas of practice in the firm – come as further independent recognition of the performance of the capability of law firms, in addition to Legal 500 and Chambers.

Mark Quigley, head of personal injury at Sintons, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be named Personal Injury Team of the Year 2022.

“The reputation we have for our work has been built over many years, and is based on the tireless efforts our team make for each and every client – to again be independently recognised for the legal and service excellence we deliver is fantastic.

“We are absolutely committed to our clients and are regularly appointed in highly complex, high value cases – particularly in life-changing injury matters – from throughout the UK, and are appointed in the knowledge that we will fight hard to secure the best possible packages of rehabilitation and support.

“This recognition from the Northern Law Awards 2022 is hugely-deserved endorsement of the work done by our whole team, and I am very proud to be part of the Personal Injury Team of the Year.”

Dumpling and Bun secures licence with support from Sintons

A popular Grainger Market eatery has secured a licence with support from Sintons, which will allow it to develop its offering even further.

Dumpling and Bun serves an array of authentic handmade Chinese dumplings and stuffed buns, and attracts a growing clientele to its central Newcastle site.

The venture had hoped to expand its offering to customers to include alcohol, with its owners believing Asian lager and Sake would complement its food menu.

Its application to Newcastle City Council attracted objections from the Licensing Authority, Police and Environmental Health Team, but through the support of the specialist licensing team at law firm Sintons, has since been approved.

The business is now able to diversify its offering even further through the addition of authentic Asian alcohol to its menu.

Dumpling and Bun was represented by Sarah Smith, head of licensing at Sintons and regularly acknowledged as one of the leading lawyers in the North of England.

“This is a well-known food business in the Grainger Market which has very much become part of the community there, and its dumplings and buns prove immensely popular with a wide clientele,” said Sarah.

“Securing a licence is not always a straightforward process, even when it may appear to be, and unfortunately Dumpling and Bun met with some initial resistance when they submitted their application.

“Through turning to us, we were able to support them in making a case as to why their licence would be a positive for the business, the Grainger Market and wider local area, adding further to the diversity and vibrancy it already enjoys and is known for.

“As a highly experienced licensing advisor, we can support on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious applications, with our unrivalled expertise ensuring we continue to be the go-to advisor for small businesses and multi-site leisure groups alike.”

Settlement secured following workplace accident

A man who sustained physical and psychological injuries in a workplace incident has been supported in securing a settlement by law firm Sintons.

The worker was injured after slipping on an oily liquid on the floor while moving between stands in the warehouse where he worked.

He sustained an injury to his back, which ultimately led to his employer terminating his employment due to the chronic and limiting pain and stiffness experienced since the incident.

Medical experts said that as a result of his injury, an underlying degenerative back condition was accelerated, and he has remained unemployed since the incident in January 2018.

Additionally, he developed a psychological adjustment disorder with acute stress symptoms, mood and sleep disturbance, anxiety, concentration issues and social withdrawal.

The man turned to Sintons for help in securing a settlement from his employer, with the law firm having a national reputation for its personal injury legal expertise and client service.

Associate David Knipe, who has over 20 years’ experience in personal injury litigation, acted for the claimant, and was able to secure interim payments to assist with the man’s financial situation after losing his job.

The case settled only after court proceedings had begun, meaning the early interim payments were particularly valuable to the claimant.

Praising the service he received from David and the team at Sintons, the claimant said: “I really appreciated the professional approach and help in every aspect of my case.”

David Knipe said: “This has been a distressing time for our client, who was injured while going about his job and has sadly been left unemployed. He shows great stoicism in continuing to battle both the mental and physical impact of what happened to him that day.

“We were able to intervene on his behalf and settle the case, securing a settlement which will help in moving on with his life. The fact we were able to obtain interim payments was very important in this case, given our client’s financial circumstances as a result of being made unemployed.

“We are very pleased to have been able to support him in accessing the justice he deserves, and wish him the very best for the future.”

Over £1,000 raised for The People’s Kitchen through cake boxes

Aspiring solicitors at Sintons have raised over £1,000 through creating cake boxes for colleagues in the firm to enjoy during their coffee breaks.

Sintons’ trainees and solicitor apprentices have created boxes of sweet treats on a number of occasions over the past six months, which are delivered to desks around the firm’s Newcastle headquarters.

The latest initiative will centre around the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, with a Jubilee-themed coffee morning being held to allow staff to mark the momentous occasion, while also raising money for charity.

In return for the cake box, which also comes with tea or coffee, a minimum donation of £5 must be made to Sintons’ staff charity, The People’s Kitchen, whose Bath Lane base is just metres away from Sintons’ headquarters, The Cube on Barrack Road.

And in just six months, the trainees and apprentices have raised over £1,000 through their thoughtful project, which will help to support The People’s Kitchen in their work with homeless and vulnerable people in Newcastle.

The much-loved charity, which has been tackling hunger and loneliness in the city since 1985, is Sintons’ nominated charity for the next two years, and will be the focus of all the firm’s fundraising efforts.

David Pritchard, head of Sintons’ CSR committee, said: “At Sintons, we always try to do things a little bit differently, so that we engage staff throughout the firm in initiatives they’ll want to take part in.

“I think the cake boxes is a great example of that, where our trainees and solicitor apprentices have taken this idea and run with it, delivering very welcome sweet treats and drinks to desks around the firm and raising vital funds for our staff charity in the process.

“To hit the £1,000 mark is quite a milestone, and great recognition of their efforts, as well as the generosity of our colleagues who have donated. This will go directly to The People’s Kitchen, as we continue to support them and their team of selfless volunteers in their work with some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Sintons’ charity golf day raises over £4,000 for The People’s Kitchen

Law firm Sintons hosted its biggest-ever golf day last week, raising thousands of pounds for its new firm charity, The People’s Kitchen.

The golf day saw 18 teams competing in the event, held at Close House, home to the world’s only two Lee Westwood courses and host of the British Masters in 2018 and 2020.

A grand total of £4,088.33 was raised from the event, which will go towards the fundraising target Sintons has set for The People’s Kitchen.

The People’s Kitchen was established in 1985 when its founder, Alison Kay, heard about the death of a homeless man in the city.

Since then, the charity has grown to support countless people from its base in Newcastle city centre – aptly named the Alison Centre – by offering food, vital supplies, conversation and friendship.

Its support for vulnerable people in Newcastle today has never been more needed, with poverty and homelessness continuing to rise.

The People’s Kitchen is Sintons’ firm charity for the next two years, and is the focus of the firm’s fundraising efforts during this period.

David Pritchard, head of marketing at Sintons, said: “This was another superb Sintons event, organised to perfection by the marketing team, which attracted a record number of participants for one of our golf days.”

David added “The success of this charity golf day has been made even sweeter by the fact that this event is now, the single highest money raising event in Sintons history.”

Sintons rewards staff through bonus scheme

Law firm Sintons has once again demonstrated its appreciation for its people through a bonus scheme to reward the collective efforts of everyone working within the firm.

Sintons announced its first ever firm wide bonus scheme last year, to incentivise and reward people throughout the business .

And in the year ending March 2022, as a result of strong performance across all areas of the firm, Sintons was able to pay the maximum bonus payment to everyone working within the firm – both in legal and support roles.

The law firm, renowned for its legal and client service excellence, is widely known for investing in its people and in continually introducing new initiatives to make Sintons an attractive place to work.

And through enabling its team to share in its success financially, Sintons continues to find new ways to show its appreciation for the commitment of its people.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, said: “Our people are at the heart of everything we do. We could not achieve what we have as a firm, or deliver the excellence to our clients for which we are renowned, without them.

“For that reason, it is vital we invest in their development and that we both acknowledge and  reward their commitment wherever we can – particularly after the dedication which all our colleagues displayed during the huge challenges presented by COVID-19, which collectively we were able to overcome and deliver an uninterrupted and first-rate service to clients.

“Our firm wide bonus scheme was a new way for us to show our appreciation of their efforts, and the role which everyone has to play in the ongoing development of the firm.

“It was especially important to us as a firm to introduce a fully inclusive scheme, which benefitted everyone working at Sintons. This lets us recognise everyone’s contribution to the achievement of the firm’s goals and really does make sure that we are all in it together. We’re delighted that in the first year of operation of the Scheme that we have been able to reward them with the maximum bonus payment.”

Employment Law E-Bulletin – Issue 81

  • Ali v Heathrow Express and Redline Assured Security Ltd [2022] EAT 54 – Conduct may not be classed as harassment if there was no intention
  • Covid-19 – Living with Covid-19 in the workplace from April 2022
  • Mr R Rimal v BSS Associates Ltd 2204538/2021 – Failing to provide a contract of employment can increase compensation awards

 

Ali v Heathrow Express and Redline Assured Security Ltd UKEAT/0105/19 – Conduct may not be classed as harassment if there was no intention

The claimant, Mr Anis Ali, worked as a security guard at Heathrow airport (“First Respondent”. Redline Assured Security Ltd (“Second Respondent”), was responsible for security checks at the airport which involved creating and leaving suspicious objects to test how the security officers responded to such threats. This would then allow analysis to be undertaken to identify any weaknesses and the necessary improvements to be made. In this instance, a test was carried out using a bag containing a box, some electric cabling and a visible piece of paper with the word ‘Allahu Akbar’ written in Arabic. Mr Ali, who was a Muslim, received an email with the images of the testing which was circulated by the First Respondent. He claimed that this associated Muslims with terrorism and therefore amounted to direct discrimination and harassment.

Under section 26(1) of the Equality Act 2010 (“EqA 2010”) harassment occurs when an individual engages in unwanted conducted relating to a protected characteristic (in this case religion or belief) towards another individual and that conduct has the purpose or effect of violating that person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.

In the first instance, the Employment Tribunal decided that the conduct by the Second Respondent amounted to neither direct discrimination nor harassment. In terms of harassment, in all the circumstances, it was not reasonable for Mr Ali to perceive the conduct as having the effect required under 26(1) EqA 2010. Mr Ali should have understood that the Second Respondent was not seeking to associate Islam with terrorism. The item was used in the context of recent incidents in which the phrase had been used by terrorists, and the Second Respondent produced the item based on possible threats to the airport.

Mr Ali appealed against the Employment Tribunal’s decision in relation to the harassment claim, stating that this was either perverse or insufficiently reasoned. The Employment Appeal Tribunal dismissed both grounds of appeal. It held that Mr Ali’s perception was just one of the matters for the Employment Tribunal to consider when considering whether the conduct amounted to harassment under the EqA 2010. It held that the conduct ‘related’ to religion rather than being ‘on the grounds of/because of’ Mr Ali’s religion. Mr Ali should have appreciated or reasonably appreciated its purpose and intention.

Points to note:

This decision highlights the importance of context when it comes to concluding the perceived effect of conduct on an individual and whether this is reasonable. Here the conduct was found not to have been directed at the claimant because of his religion and it was held that he should have appreciated the reason for it.

Covid-19 – Living with Covid-19 in the workplace from April 2022

From 1 April 2022, the health and safety requirement for every employer to explicitly consider Covid-19 in its risk assessment was removed. The Government has now put the onus on employers to take responsibility and to have the autonomy to make an assessment based on their particular requirements and circumstances. The Working Safely During Coronavirus (COVID-19) has now been replaced with new guidance from 1 April 2022 – ‘Reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace’. The guidance includes the symptoms to look out for, what to do if a member of staff has symptoms of a respiratory infection (including COVID-19), actions to reduce the spread of respiratory infections (including COVID-19) and management of members of staff who are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

Although the Government has now removed the requirement to explicitly consider COVID-19, employers will still need to consider their statutory and common law health and safety duties.

Mr R Rimal v BSS Associates Ltd 2204538/2021 – Failing to provide a contract of employment can increase compensation awards

The claimant, Mr Rimal, was employed by the respondent, BSS Associates Ltd (“BSS), as a Senior Accountant for five years from 1st March 2016 until 30th June 2021. In June 2021, he received his P45 from BSS which confirmed his employment would be ending at the end of June 2021. This did not contain the reasons why his employment would be ending. Mr Rimal subsequently contacted BSS to request the reasons why he had been dismissed. This was met with an unhelpful response from BSS which did not clarify the reason. Mr Rimal brought claims for unfair dismissal, the wages owed to him for June 2021, holiday pay and notice pay.

The Employment Tribunal (the “ET) noted that Mr Rimal was dismissed by BSS without any disciplinary process and that BSS failed to follow the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. More importantly, BSS had failed to make any attempt to comply with any legal requirements when dismissing Mr Rimal.

Additionally, the ET found that BSS had not provided Mr Rimal with a written statement of employment particulars during his employment. Most notably, the ET decided to increase the award for this specific failure from two weeks’ wages to four, because it held that it was just and equitable to do so. This was because, as a firm of professionals, BSS was used to dealing with legal rules in its business and use to instructing other professionals such as lawyers. The starting point for an award where there has been a specific failure to provide written particulars of employment is a minimum of two weeks’ pay. The ET may award the higher amount (four weeks’ pay) if it considers it just and equitable in all the circumstances, as it did so in this case.

All other claims succeeded against BSS and Mr Rimal was awarded £36,664.76.

Points to note:

Although this is a first instance decision and therefore not binding, it is an important reminder that the ET will take into account the type of business/organisation a respondent is when considering what is ‘just and equitable’. Here, the fact that BSS was used to dealing with legal requirements was a factor taken into account, and ultimately led to increased damages being awarded against it for failure to provide written particulars of employment.

Sintons secures settlement following workplace accident

A man who sustained serious injuries in a workplace incident while unloading a lorry has been supported in rebuilding his life by specialists at law firm Sintons.

The man was injured while using a pallet lifter to unload from the back of a lorry, but the ramp used to access the vehicle was too small and the lorry had not been correctly aligned, leaving a significant gap between the loading bay and the edge of the trailer.

The claimant fell down this gap and suffered a catalogue of injuries, including extensive laceration to his left shin, an injury to his right knee which required urgent surgery and damage to his thumb and middle finger, all of which are continuing to impact on his life.

He also continues to experience psychological trauma from the incident, including stress, mood and sleep disturbance and anxiety.

Furthermore, his long-term employability is not yet known, and is dependent on his ongoing recovery.

The man, a Polish national, turned to the serious injury team at Sintons for support in making a claim and being able to access the specialist rehabilitation and support he desperately needed in rebuilding his life.

The law firm, known nationally for the strength of its personal injury work, also has a dedicated Polish team to help support claimants in their native language, and was able to support the man in securing a significant sum to support his ongoing recovery needs.

“The service provided by Sintons has been exceptional,” said the client.

“They have been nothing but professional, understanding and helpful with my case. Everyone I came in contact with provided me with exceptional service. I want to especially thank David Knipe for the Polish team for the outstanding customer service and professionalism. They were the key to success in my case and I highly recommend Sintons to anyone looking for assistance.”

David Knipe, an associate with over 20 years’ experience of personal injury work, led the claim on behalf of the injured man.

“This was a wholly avoidable incident which has resulted in our client suffering significant physical injuries and psychological impact, the true extent of which may not yet have been realised, with doubt continuing to hang over his ability to work in the longer-term,” he says.

“We were able to intervene at what was a very distressing time for our client and help him access the support and rehabilitation he needed to enable the best possible chance of recovery.

“Our dedicated Polish team also played a significant role in this matter, delivering important information about the case to him in his own language, which gave him great reassurance and clarity during a very difficult period.

“We are very pleased to have been able to support our client in this matter and wish him the very best in his ongoing recovery.”

Sintons and Park Lane Plowden supports Day One’s 100k in June Challenge

A joint team from Sintons and Park Lane Plowden are taking on a 100km one day challenge to raise vital funds to help support people and their families from the very earliest days after life-changing injury.

Serious injury and Neurotrauma specialists from Sintons are supporting Day One’s 100k in June challenge, which encourages teams to come together to complete the distance however they wish.

Sintons’ team including Phil Davison, Alastair Elliott, Andrew McGowan, Mark Quigley, Sophie Moore and Nicki Waugh, supported by David Pritchard – have opted to walk 100km along Hadrian’s Wall.

Working in conjunction with a team from Park Lane Plowden, the route will be split into four parts, with individuals from both firms taking on the challenge in one day.

The challenge will help to grow the work of Day One, which is expanding beyond the Leeds General Infirmary base where it was established into other Major Trauma Centres nationally.

Working by the sides of patients and families from the very earliest stages of their recovery, Day One provides practical and emotional interventions to help deliver holistic support to people when they need it most.

Statistics show there are around 20,000 major trauma cases in England and Wales every year, with the average age of patients being under 40 years old, highlighting the need for support to enable the best possible chance of recovery.

In recognition of Sintons’ reputation as a leading serious injury specialist law firm, acting for people with life-changing injuries on a national basis, it was named part of Day One’s legal panel.

Mark Quigley, head of personal injury at Sintons, said: “We see first-hand the work of Day One in supporting individuals and their families from the earliest stages after life-changing injury, often in the most traumatic circumstances imaginable.

“The way in which their team assist with a range of issues to help them get through this period is hugely valuable and can help change the outlooks of those affected during what can be very dark times. This kind of support is invaluable, but can only be maintained and enabled to grow further by securing the finances to support this.

“Through the 100k in June challenge, we have committed to walking this distance in one day, in conjunction with our valued colleagues at Park Lane Plowden.

“At Sintons, we are always keen to take on a challenge on behalf of a good cause, particularly one whose work has such a positive impact on the lives of so many people during the most difficult of times, and we are delighted to commit to raising vital funds to support Day One.”

To pledge support for the team, visit Day One Trauma Support: 100k in June (enthuse.com)

A live Q&A with Sinton’s Family team – Episode 6

In episode 6 of our monthly live Q&A sessions with Sintons family team, solicitor Sophie Dodds answers three of your family related questions. Just a reminder that these sessions have come about due to the volume of questions we received for our live Q&A session during the recent Good Divorce Week. We weren’t able to answer anywhere near the questions we received and we thought these sessions would therefore be a great idea. Moving forward we are going to be running them at 10am on the third Friday of each month, live, on Teams.

Please click on the play button in the bottom left corner of the below video image to start viewing.

We have also included a podcast version, the link is also below.

Sintons’ Trainees launch Paddle the Bann challenge 2022

An ambitious fundraising challenge which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 is now being launched by Sintons’ trainee group. The challenge scheduled for 2020 – Paddle the Bann, a two-day 58km canoeing expedition from Lough Neagh in Ireland to Coleraine on the coast of the Atlantic – had to be postponed after falling victim to pandemic restrictions. However, it has now been revived for 2022 by the 11-strong trainee group, which comprises graduate trainee solicitors and solicitor apprentices.

The 2022 Trainee Challenge will raise funds for Sintons’ staff charity The People’s Kitchen, which will be the focus of the firm’s fundraising for two years. In this podcast, David Pritchard, Peter Jennings, Charlotte Johnston and Charlotte Gunn discuss the upcoming challenge.

Please click on the play button below to listen.

Quiz night to be held to raise money for 2022 Trainee Challenge and The People’s Kitchen

The event, which will be held at Shearer’s Bar in Newcastle will raise money for The People’s Kitchen, which is Sintons’ nominated firm charity, and will form part of the fundraising for this year’s Trainee Challenge.

Each year, Sintons’ group of graduates and solicitor apprentices take on a gruelling physical challenge to generate vital funds for the firm’s charity. This year, the 11-strong group are paddling the Bann, a two-day 58km canoeing expedition from Lough Neagh in Ireland to Coleraine on the coast of the Atlantic.

To date, the firm’s trainee group has raised thousands of pounds for local charities through their previous challenges, which have included the 136 mile Coast to Coast cycle from Whitehaven to Tynemouth; the Three Peaks Challenge of scaling Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon; walking St Cuthbert’s Way; and the 140-mile Port2Port cycling expedition between Newcastle and Amsterdam.

The quiz night, hosted by David Pritchard and Peter Jennings from Sintons’ marketing team, will include the quiz, a raffle, heads and tails and other activities.

“It is absolutely fantastic that we have had such a huge level of interest in this quiz night from people who are clearly keen to get back to socialising with colleagues and contemporaries in person,” says David Pritchard, head of marketing and chair of Sintons’ CSR committee.

“As well as providing a much-needed opportunity for people to socialise again, our quiz night will raise vital funds for The People’s Kitchen. We’d urge people to come along, have a great time, and help support a great cause which does so much for people in our region.”

Click here to register.

Aeroplane Passenger turns to Sintons to secure Montreal Convention settlement

An aeroplane passenger who sustained injuries when an item fell from an overhead luggage compartment has settled her case against the airline with support from personal injury specialists at Sintons.

The woman was seated onboard a flight in June 2018 when a fellow passenger opened an overhead locker, resulting in a heavy item falling and striking her on the head.

She sustained an eye injury, which has resulted in permanent sensitivity to bright light requiring the use of spectacles with tint for the rest of her life.

As well as initial shock and mild concussive effect, the head impact aggravated pre-existing problems and caused psychological trauma in the form of a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with features of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Headaches became exacerbated as was her experience of pain which was perpetuated by the ongoing psychological trauma of the incident.

Pre-existing neck symptoms were also aggravated for six months afterwards.

These consequences significantly impacted on her employment and social life, with an ongoing reluctance to travel by air.

Supporting her in her claim, serious injury specialists at Sintons pursued a claim under Article 17 of the Montréal Convention 1999, which covers damage sustained in case of death or bodily injury when the accident takes place on board an aircraft, or while embarking or disembarking.

The law firm, nationally renowned for its personal injury work, has expertise in handling such claims and was able to secure a settlement that included her ongoing rehabilitation needs as she recovers from the psychological effects of the incident.

Her claim was led by associate David Knipe, who has over 20 years’ experience of handling serious injury claims from clients across the UK.

“I was highly impressed by the service that David Knipe provided,” said the client.

“He listened to everything, explained things clearly and I’m very pleased with the result.

“After having experience with other firms of solicitors for injury cases, I can honestly say that David’s level of service and attention to detail surpassed any others.

“He is a wonderful lawyer to work with who I would happily recommend to anyone needing personal injury advice.”

David added: “This was a very distressing incident on board an aircraft which happened through no fault of our client, yet deeply impacted her both physically and psychologically, with the effects continuing to be felt years later.

“We were very pleased to be able to support her in her claim, and to secure the funds to enable her to access bespoke rehabilitation and therapy needed, which will continue to make a positive difference to her life.

“At Sintons, we are absolutely committed to securing the very best outcome for our clients, so they have the best possible chance of moving on with their lives, and we are delighted to have secured a great result for our client in this case.”

Neurotrauma team expands with appointment of new specialist

The specialist Neurotrauma team has expanded again through the appointment of a new specialist.

Caitlin Ord has joined the department to offer additional support to clients nationally who instruct the firm on the strength of its legal and service excellence.

A Northumbria University graduate who has also completed her Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), Caitlin combines her legal knowledge with a background of supporting people with disabilities.

During her time as a student, she took on a number of roles within the care sector, including working as a support work team leader in a short-stay children and young adults’s care service, as well as being a one-to-one care assistant for a teenage boy with disabilities.

“Having worked closely with people living with disabilities and their families, I appreciate the importance of building relationships and establishing strong lines of communication, to ensure they feel supported and able to speak to you about their concerns,” says Caitlin.

“That really impresses me about the service Sintons delivers – the Neurotrauma team works with people with life-changing injuries and the client service delivered by the team during the most traumatic times makes a huge difference to the families affected.

“The team’s reputation is very strong for its legal work too, and I’m very much forward to being part of it going forward, learning from some of the best lawyers in their field.”

Andrew McGowan, head of Neurotrauma at Sintons, said: “We are seeing growing amounts of instructions nationally, the majority of which come from referral or recommendation on the strength of our work, so we continue to grow to ensure we can deliver the legal and client service excellence for which we are known.

“We’re delighted to welcome Caitlin to the team, whose background in care and achievements in her legal studies combine to ensure she has both the professional and personal skills to support our clients in every way possible. We look forward to working with her to develop our department even further.”

Sintons Virtual Kilimanjaro Climb

Neurotrauma specialists at Sintons are throwing their weight behind a campaign to empower people with spinal cord injury by committing to climb the equivalent height of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise vital funds for charity. 

The Martin’s Mountain challenge is inspired by Martin Hibbert, who was left paralysed through spinal cord injury sustained in the terrorist attack on Manchester Arena, and is now dedicating himself to raising £1million for the Spinal Injuries Association.

His latest fundraising initiative revolves around ‘My 19’ in recognition of his intention to climb Mount Kilimanjaro – which stands at 19,308ft tall – in June, and encouraging supporters to complete an activity themed around the number 19.

To back his cause, a nine-person team from Sintons – Alastair Elliot, Hannah Fitzpatrick, Sarah Askew, Charlotte Gunn, Andrew McGowan, Kate Oliver, Mark Quigley, Emma Redhead and Nicki Waugh – are set to climb the equivalent height of Kilimanjaro in June, to help raise vital funds to support people living with paralysis.

Martin has spoken of his desire to shift the emphasis from him being a victim of the bombing onto the ability of disabled people, particularly in a Paralympic year.

And as a team well used to supporting people with life-changing spinal cord and brain injuries, Sintons’ Neurotrauma team are only too keen to lend their backing to the My 19 campaign.

“We see all too often the effects of paralysis on the lives of individuals and their families. It can be utterly devastating but it is absolutely possible to rebuild from there and lead a fulfilling life after spinal cord injury – the positivity with which Martin is doing so is wholly inspiring,” says Andrew McGowan, head of Neurotrauma.

“We are very pleased to be able to support his My 19 campaign by collectively climbing over 19,000ft, which is a big undertaking, but one we are keen to aspire to. Shining a light on paralysis and what is possible is hugely important, as is raising funds for the Spinal Injuries Association, an organisation we know well and whose support we have seen benefit many of our clients greatly.

“We look forward to playing our role in this challenge and helping Martin to come closer to his £1million milestone.”

To sponsor the team, click here

Woman knocked off her bike secures settlement thanks to Sintons

After serious injury specialists at Sintons took over the case of Mrs R, who was left with a catalogue of injuries after being knocked off her bike, she was able to secure the rehabilitation she badly needed to enable her to progress her recovery.

Here, we look at the case of Mrs R, and how moving to a law firm with the expertise to secure the best possible outcome can prove crucial – in this case, securing a settlement almost 20 times the amount her initial solicitor considered it to be worth.

Leading a busy life as a cleaner and working in a local shop, Mrs R’s life as she knew it was devastated one morning, when she was knocked off her bicycle by a car.

She sustained a head injury with post – concussion symptoms and multiple orthopaedic injuries as a result of the collision, including fractures to her cheekbone and skull, several rib fractures, a left knee fracture and a left ankle fracture.

The injuries resulted in significant pain, restriction in mobility, as well as facial scarring and psychological difficulties.

Although left with an array of serious physical and psychological effects, the solicitors she initially approached decided to submit her claim against the motorist responsible for the accident via a portal only intended for straightforward, low value cases worth up to £25,000.

Mrs R was unable to work due to her injuries and became increasingly concerned about her financial circumstances. She was also unhappy with the lack of communication from the law firm about her case.

She approached Sintons for an initial, no obligation discussion, where we advised that a more pro-active approach was required. Sintons recommended that she appoint a case manager, funded by the insurers of the motorist responsible for the accident, to work with Mrs R and her family so that urgent steps could be taken to meet her rehabilitation needs.

She decided to transfer her case to Sintons and a case manager with suitable experience, who our client felt able to work with, was identified.

We also secured an interim payment to ensure that her immediate financial concerns were addressed.

Working with colleagues in our private client team, we also arranged for Mrs R to establish a Personal Injury Trust, which meant that she could secure financial compensation without this affecting her entitlement to means-tested welfare benefits.

The case manager arranged for Mrs R to see a physiotherapist and a psychologist to assist with her recovery.

Unfortunately, she developed complications due to an allergic reaction to the metalwork inserted into her leg as a result of the fractures, which added a further dimension to her needs. The case manager continued to support Mrs R and liaised with her, the treating NHS team and the private therapists to assist with her rehabilitation.

Whilst her rehabilitation was ongoing, we sought to secure medical reports from appropriate experts so that her case could be properly valued.

These experts acknowledged the likelihood of ongoing difficulties and restrictions in her ability to work and undertake various tasks of daily living. The medical reports also identified the need for ongoing treatment to address both physical and psychological injuries.

Once these reports were finalised, settlement negotiations with the solicitors appointed by the insurers of the motorist commenced, resulting in settlement of the claim for a substantial six-figure sum, almost 20 times more than the amount her first solicitors considered it might be worth.

Speaking after settlement of her claim, Mrs R said: “The accident has had a devastating effect on me and my family.

“I used to enjoy my work as a cleaner and helping out in our local Polish shop, meeting and talking to people all day.

“Being unable to get out and about as I used to and help in and around the house has been very difficult for me to come to terms with.

“I am very grateful to Mark Quigley and his colleagues at Sintons for everything they have done for me, particularly after my bad experience of appointing solicitors who failed to appreciate the severity of my injuries and did nothing to help with my rehabilitation.”

Head of Neurotrauma takes part in RideLondon 2022

The head of Sintons’ nationally-renowned Neurotrauma team is set to raise vital funds through taking part in an event hailed as the world’s greatest festival of cycling.

Andrew McGowan is to cycle the RideLondon 100, a route from London to Essex on traffic-free roads, to raise money for the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA).

RideLondon comprises a series of events, and was established in 2013 as an Olympic legacy event to help people celebrate and enjoy the benefits of cycling.

Team SIA is aiming to raise £45,000 through its participation in RideLondon 100, held on May 29, as well as raising awareness of spinal cord injury and its impact on the lives of those affected.

Sintons’ Neurotrauma team works with people across the UK who have sustained spinal cord injury, supporting them and their families to rebuild their lives with access to the bespoke rehabilitation and therapies they need.

Andrew, a keen cyclist, has taken on the RideLondon 100 previously on behalf of SIA, raising hundreds of pounds for the charity – a goal he aims to repeat for 2022.

“Through our work, we regularly see the hugely positive impact the Spinal Injuries Association has on people with spinal cord injury and their families, delivering vital support and intervention at times they need it most,” says Andrew.

“Through taking part in the RideLondon 100, Team SIA is not only raising vital funds which will help to sustain and grow its work, but is also promoting awareness of spinal cord injury and the huge challenges people face and overcome in their lives.

“I’m delighted to again have the opportunity to take part and to support the SIA in its work, and training is now very much underway with only a few weeks to go!”

To support Andrew, click here.

Sintons personal injury team shortlisted for prestigious awards

The specialist personal injury team at Sintons has been shortlisted for the Northern Law Awards 2022.

The firm has been named as a finalist in the Personal Injury Team of the Year category, in recognition of its commitment to excellence in both legal and client service.

Sintons’ personal injury team acts for clients across the country in a wide range of matters, supporting them and their families through what can often be a very distressing time in their lives.

The team – which also includes Sintons’ renowned Neurotrauma specialists – has built a national reputation for its expertise in handling serious injury claims, including brain and spinal cord injury cases.

Sintons has a long and successful track record in its personal injury work, fighting hard on behalf of its clients to secure the best possible outcome for them and their individual circumstances, while also supporting the client and their loved ones through every stage of their claim.

It is regularly hailed as a regional leader in personal injury work by both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners independent legal publications.

Many of the team are also named as leaders in the field, including head of general personal injury Phil Davison, who is regularly named as one of the go-to lawyers in the North of England.

Mark Quigley, head of personal injury at Sintons, said: “We are delighted to be named as a finalist in the Northern Law Awards 2022, which is further independent recognition of the outstanding service we strive to deliver to each and every client.

“Our reputation for excellence is well-deserved and hard-earned, with our team dedicating themselves to their clients from the very earliest stage of their claim and are by their sides throughout the process, however long that may take.

“Our legal capability is well known, particularly in life-changing injury, and we have a strong record of securing comprehensive packages of rehabilitation and support which give the very best chance of the client and their family rebuilding their lives and being able to look to the future.

“This shortlisting is excellent news and is worthy recognition of the efforts of our first-rate team.”

The Northern Law Awards 2022 will be held on June 23, when the winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Hilton NewcastleGateshead.

Sintons’ charity pool tournament returns for 2022

More than 50 people are signed up to take part in a bi-annual charity pool tournament to raise funds for Sintons’ new, nominated firm charity The People’s Kitchen.

The event is attracting professionals from across the region and is organised by Sintons’ trainee group and marketing team to help generate funds for their annual trainee challenge.

The firm’s young lawyers are renowned for their ambitious and gruelling annual challenges, which this year we see them Paddle The Bann, a two-day 58km canoeing expedition from Lough Neagh in Ireland to Coleraine on the coast of the Atlantic.

Previous challenges have included have included the 136-mile Coast to Coast cycle from Whitehaven to Tynemouth; the Three Peaks Challenge of scaling Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon; walking St Cuthbert’s Way; and the 140-mile Port2Port cycling expedition between Newcastle and Amsterdam.

“The People’s Kitchen makes a huge contribution to our local community and is truly a lifeline for many vulnerable people in our city,” says David Pritchard, head of marketing at Sintons.

“Being in the immediate vicinity of The Cube, we see first-hand the demand for its resources and the outstanding work of its team of volunteers. The commitment The People’s Kitchen shows in giving support to those who need it most, during times which are extremely and increasingly difficult for so many, is absolutely admirable.”

“We are delighted to be working with The People’s Kitchen for the next two years.”

The pool tournament, will be held at Spot White in Newcastle and if you would like to take part, you can register here.

In addition, to donate to Sintons’ fundraising on behalf of The People’s Kitchen, please click here.

School worker secures settlement with support from Sintons

A school cook was left with permanent injuries sustained in an incident whilst serving food.

The incident happened when she was using a new dinner trolley, which, unbeknown to the catering team, was too wide to fit through the door hatch from the kitchen into the dinner hall.

Working under significant time pressures and against staff shortages, the team were required to lift the trolley over the countertop to ensure the children could have their lunch.

While doing so, one of the dinner staff knocked the hatch door, causing her to briefly drop her side of the trolley resulting in her having to take the full weight of the trolley.

The woman sustained an injury to her left hand and arm rapidly developed pins and needles, numbness and pain from elbow to wrist, exacerbating existing underlying Carpel Tunnel Syndrome symptoms to significantly impact on all aspects of her life and work.

She has since undergone surgery, and has been left with permanent symptoms and restrictions which have forced her to leave her job.

The woman turned to serious injury specialists at law firm Sintons for support, after the council which ran the school denied liability for the incident.

David Knipe, a personal injury specialist with over 20 years’ experience, supported the woman through her long-running claim, which was denied throughout the process until settling shortly before trial.

“The advice I was given from Mr Knipe and Sintons was brilliant from start to finish,” said the claimant.

“My case was drawn out over a few years but Mr Knipe kept me updated regularly with emails and telephone calls, everything was explained to me so that I could understand what was going on through every step.

“I felt comfortable discussing all aspects of my case and was never made to feel stupid if I did have questions.

“I would highly recommend Sintons and especially Mr Knipe, thank you again for all the support and, of course, for winning my case.”

Associate David Knipe said: “While trying to ensure the children could receive their lunch despite being supplied with unsuitable work equipment, our client was left with a serious injury which has sadly meant she had to leave the job she loved. This was a very avoidable incident and one which has lasting consequences for our client.

“We were very pleased to step in and support her in her claim, persisting despite lengthy denials from the defendant and securing a settlement which we hope will help her in moving on with her life.

“At Sintons, we have a well-deserved reputation for fighting hard on behalf of our clients to secure the very best outcome for them and their families, during what are often very difficult and distressing times, and it gives us great pleasure to know that our intervention has brought justice to our client in this case. We wish her the very best for the future.”

Sintons’ charity golf day returns for 2022

A golf day is being held by Sintons to raise vital funds for its newly-appointed staff charity.

Each year, Sintons organises an array of events on behalf of its nominated charity, which is the focus of the firm’s fundraising for two years.

Its golf events are always especially popular and attract teams and players from across the North East.

This year, Sintons’ charity golf day will be held on Wednesday, June 1, at its usual location of Close House, home to the world’s only two Lee Westwood courses.

Sintons recently announced its new staff charity as being The People’s Kitchen, which will be the beneficiary of the law firm’s fundraising efforts until 2024.

The golf day, which will cost £300 per team of four to enter, will comprise bacon sandwiches on arrival at 10am and a shotgun start for the golf thereafter. A two-course meal and prize-giving will round off the day.

Prizes will be given for the longest drive, and for the the hole in one and ‘beat the pro’ challenges.

“Our golf days are always hugely popular events in the Sintons’ calendar, and this year looks to be no exception with strong interest already in our charity golf day,” says Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons.

“For many months, our events had to be postponed due to the restrictions of the pandemic, so it is fantastic to see their return being so well supported by clients and contemporaries alike.

“Our charity golf day is always a hugely enjoyable occasion, enjoyed by golfers and non-golfers alike, the latter – like myself – making an appearance in the 19th hole!

“But while enjoying what will be a great day, we will be raising vital funds for our new staff charity, an organisation which does so much good for so many people and one which we are really delighted to help support.”

Trainees launch Paddle the Bann challenge after COVID cancellation

An ambitious fundraising challenge which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 is now being launched by Sintonstrainee group.

Each year, the law firm’s thriving group of young lawyers choose a gruelling physical task for the now-renowned Trainee Challenge, which routinely raises significant sums for Sintons’ nominated charity.

The challenge scheduled for 2020 – Paddle the Bann, a two-day 58km canoeing expedition from Lough Neagh in Ireland to Coleraine on the coast of the Atlantic – had to be postponed after falling victim to pandemic restrictions.

However, it has now been revived for 2022 by the 11-strong trainee group, which comprises graduate trainee solicitors and solicitor apprentices.

The 2022 Trainee Challenge will raise funds for Sintons’ staff charity The People’s Kitchen, which will be the focus of the firm’s fundraising for two years.

Previous challenges have raised thousands of pounds for an array of much-loved regional causes, and have included the 136-mile Coast to Coast cycle trek from Whitehaven to Tynemouth; the Three Peaks Challenge of scaling Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon – a combined height of 3,408 metres – and the 140-mile Port2Port expedition, a three-day cycling route from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

Last year, the trainee group completed the St Cuthbert’s Way route, a challenging 32-mile walk over two days from Kirk Yetholm to Holy Island, which was able to be completed within the COVID restrictions in place at that time.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, said: “Our Trainee Challenges are now an established part of life at Sintons, and give our thriving group of young lawyers the opportunity to challenge themselves, build relationships and raise vital funds for our staff charity.

“It was very unfortunate, although entirely understandable, that the Paddle the Bann challenge could not take place in 2020, but testament to the determination of our trainee group that it has been revived at the first opportunity.

“This will be our trainees’ first water-based challenge, which proves they are willing to go well out of their comfort zones in the name of fundraising. Our young lawyers are already working very hard in combining their legal training with studies, so to add in a physical challenge of this nature is a reflection of their commitment.”

* To support Sintons’ Trainee Challenge with a donation to The People’s Kicthen, please click here.

Sintons chooses The People’s Kitchen as new firm charity

An organisation which has supported homeless and vulnerable people in Newcastle for over three decades has been named by Sintons as its new firm charity.

The People’s Kitchen was established in 1985 when its founder, Alison Kay, heard about the death of a homeless man in the city.

Since then, the charity has grown to support countless people from its base in Newcastle city centre – aptly named the Alison Centre – by offering food, vital supplies, conversation and friendship.

Now, The People’s Kitchen will be Sintons’ staff charity for the next two years, and will be the focus of the firm’s fundraising efforts during that period.

Its support for vulnerable people in Newcastle has never been more needed, with poverty and homelessness continuing to rise.

As part of the charity’s work – all of which is done by volunteers – 250 meals are given out each day, 365 days a year, and packages of clothing, toiletries, food, mobile phones and sleeping bags are given to those in need. Its friendship outreach also plays a vital role in supporting people in their mental wellbeing.

Sintons – whose head office, The Cube on Barrack Road, is a near neighbour of The People’s Kitchen on Bath Lane – is a longstanding supporter of the charity, with its staff volunteering regularly over the years.

As part of its charitable giving to mark the law firm’s 125th anniversary, Sintons also donated the cost of 125 Christmas dinners to the charity, to help it meet the soaring demand it saw during the festive season.

Through events and generosity of staff and supporters, Sintons has raised tens of thousands of pounds for regional good causes over the years. Most recently, Children’s Cancer North was its staff charity, which is supported during the pandemic period and helped to generate vital income during that particularly difficult time.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, said: “For 37 years, The People’s Kitchen has supported some of the most vulnerable people in our city, and have been a lifeline to countless individuals in need over the decades.

“Sadly, the current climate is such that more people than ever before are needing the support of The People’s Kitchen, and we are absolutely delighted to be able to fundraise on their behalf to generate vital funds for them to be able to meet this demand.

“The People’s Kitchen is a charity we have come to know well over the years, with the selfless work of their volunteers being an example to us all. We have lent our support through volunteering and donations previously, but it is fantastic that we can now make the charity the focus of our fundraising as a firm.

“We look forward to getting started on this new partnership and to supporting The People’s Kitchen for the next two years.”

Trainee Times – episode 14

In episode 14 of our Trainee Times podcast series, Head of Marketing David Pritchard and fifth year Solicitor Apprentice Leah Greenwell held a Q&A session with all our podcast speakers – where they answered some of the questions our listeners had asked us throughout the full series.

Please click on the play button below to listen.

Neurologic Music Therapy in Neurorehabilitation: An Introduction

The power of music in neurorehabilitation is to be explored at a seminar hosted by Sintons.

Neurologic Music Therapy in Neurorehabilitation: An Introduction will look at how the therapy is used to achieve positive progress in their ongoing recovery, and can deliver life-changing outcomes.

Elizabeth Nightingale, neuro services lead at Chiltern Music Therapy, and speech and language therapist Matthew Nakonesky from Speech Therapy North East, will be among the guest speakers.

The seminar marks the first of the 2022 series of events from Sintons’ specialist Neurotrauma team, which has a national reputation for its work in supporting individuals and families across the UK.

Andrew McGowan, head of Neurotrauma at Sintons, said: “As a specialist advisor working across the field of neurotrauma nationally, we are keen to share expertise and best practice with our fellow professionals working in this area.

“Neurologic music therapy is a fascinating concept, and forms a key part of the rehabilitation process. By engaging people with life-changing injuries in music therapy, the outcomes can be beyond all expectations, supported by the specialism and great commitment of the therapists.

“Elizabeth and Matthew are both highly-respected professionals in their specialist fields and we look forward to hearing from them, as they share their insight and experience with our guests.”

The seminar will take place on April 7, from 5.30pm to 7pm, with time for networking and discussion. The seminar itself will start at 6pm.

To reserve your place, click here

Sintons once again secures Lexcel reaccreditation

Leading law firm Sintons has again been recognised for its ongoing commitment to delivering the highest standards.

Following a stringent assessment process, Sintons has secured reaccreditation for Lexcel, the Law Society’s quality mark in legal practice management standards.

Sintons has held the coveted Lexcel mark since 2016 and remains in the minority of firms which hold this accreditation.

Since that time, the firm has continued to build its quality standards further still, with ongoing work and investment in its infrastructure and development of its people, to ensure the highest standards are continually being met.

“We are absolutely committed to delivering the best possible service to our clients, and a central part of that is building an infrastructure that enables us to do that,” says Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons.

“Over many years, we have invested significantly in our internal systems and development of our people, and that ongoing commitment to quality has again been recognised through our Lexcel accreditation.”

Injured cyclist supported in his recovery by Sintons

A cyclist who was left with both physical and psychological trauma after being knocked off his bike has been supported in his recovery by serious injury specialists at Sintons.

The man was cycling at night, with lights on his bicycle and on a well-lit roundabout, when he was hit on his left side by a car emerging from the junction.

He sustained fractures to his tibia and fibula, which needed surgery to fit metalwork in his lower leg, although this later needed to be removed after the man suffered significant pain. The surgery resulted in extensive scarring to his lower leg, with pain continuing to run into his thigh and lower back.

The cyclist has also suffered from the psychological impact of the incident, displaying symptoms of PTSD until 18 months after he was hit by the car, and continuing to live with the emotional consequences.

As a result of what happened, he has been unable to return to the same level of pre-accident employment, both in terms of the type of work he undertakes and the level of overtime he can perform.

He turned to law firm Sintons for support after the incident, having struggled to overcome the effects of what happened.

The law firm, known nationally for its legal expertise and first-rate client service, secured a settlement for the man, which enabled him to access support for his psychological trauma, alongside ongoing medical assessments to establish if further interventions will be needed into the future.

The client said: “I confidently recommend Sintons. As a victim of a road traffic accident, I received full support from them, including the organisation of treatment and necessary medical examinations.

“They were helpful, patient and committed at every stage. My case manager was David Knipe, who was in constant contact with me and guided me step by step through the whole process. I sincerely thank Sintons and recommend them to everyone.”

David Knipe, associate in Sintons’ serious injury team, acted for the claimant in this case.

“This is another example of the hugely traumatic impact of drivers not paying attention to vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, and the damage that can be caused,” he says.

“In this case, our client not only sustained serious physical injuries and ongoing pain – with the resultant scarring causing great distress – but he continues to be traumatised by what happened that night, through no fault of his own.

“We were very pleased to be able to support our client in the aftermath of this incident, enabling him to access the support and therapy he badly needed in rebuilding his life. At Sintons, we have a deserved reputation for our commitment to fighting on behalf of our clients to secure the best possible outcome for them at a time they need it most.

“We wish our client the very best in his ongoing recovery.”

Miles in March challenge returns

Sintons is renewing its commitment to promoting health and wellbeing among its people, while also supporting team-building, through the return of its Miles in March challenge.

The challenge encourages people across the business to rack up as many miles as possible across the month of March through activities including running, cycling, walking or swimming.

Teams of four people have been formed so participants’ mile totals will be added together, with one team emerging victorious at the end of the month.

A number of prizes will be awarded, including for overall winners, best team average, top walkers, top cyclists and top runners.

Last year, Sintons’ staff accrued 7,421 miles during March, with hopes this can be beaten for 2022.

Miles in March is an annual initiative run by Sintons, and forms part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to promoting health and wellbeing of its staff, with exercise and its related health benefits being a key part of that.

Staff from across the firm have eagerly taken on the challenge.

Trainee Solicitor and keen athlete Emily Richardson said: “I’m doing it as a personal challenge and also to encourage me to get the gym membership I’ve been putting off for months!

“I want to get involved to see if I can push myself and get as many miles as I can for my team.”

Fellow trainee solicitor and fitness fanatic Ben McMurdo added: “I am doing Miles in March to test my capabilities for swimming, running and cycling – almost like triathlon prep.

“It is also a great opportunity to meet other members of the firm through the random draw and develop those professional relationships, whilst working as a team and spurring each other on.”

Claire Atkins, head of people services at Sintons, said: “The health and wellbeing of our team is at the heart of everything we do and we continually look for opportunities to promote this.

“Miles in March is a way of encouraging our people to get active, which has both physical and mental benefits, while also promoting teamwork and building the strong relationships we enjoy in the workplace – as well as encouraging a bit of healthy competition!

“We’ve had a fantastic response from our teams and wish them well in their personal and team-wide challenges.”

Real estate specialist joins Sintons

The real estate team at Sintons has added further to its expertise with the appointment of a new specialist.

Stephen Bennett moves to Sintons to bring new capability to its esteemed real estate department, which attracts instructions from across the UK and has a client base comprising some of the biggest property owners in the country.

He specialises in commercial landlord and tenant work, acquisition and disposal of freehold and leasehold property, and also acts for property investors.

The appointment of Stephen comes at a time of progress for Sintons’ real estate team – whose capability was again shown through its win of the Property Deal of the Year Award at the North East Property Awards 2021 – with its expertise across a range of property-related matters being sought throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Sintons has a very strong reputation for its real estate work and its client portfolio really sets it apart from competitors and is an endorsement in itself of the quality and capability that exists within the team,” says Stephen.

“I am delighted to join and look forward to playing my role in building the department even further.”

Mark Dobbin, head of real estate at Sintons, says: “Our expertise has been in continual demand over the past two years on a wide range of matters arising from the opportunities and challenges of the pandemic, and we are keen to bring in new talent to support our work wherever possible.

“Stephen is a very capable young solicitor who we are very pleased to add to our team. We are known across the North of England and beyond for the significant expertise we have in the team, and are regularly involved in transactions of the highest levels of complexity and value, so adding to our team can only increase our capacity to be the choice for clients nationally in such matters even further.”

Sintons supports National Apprenticeship Week 2022

Law firm Sintons is again committing its support to National Apprenticeship Week to highlight the vital impact such appointments can make in a business.

Sintons is a longstanding champion of offering career opportunities to young people, with a growing array of apprentices now forming part of its people.

The law firm has recruited apprentices in a number of areas of the business over several years, from solicitor apprentices through to marketing and front of house roles, and currently employs five.

Leah Greenwell and Nathan Johnson are senior solicitor apprentices, who are in year five of their six-year qualification process, and Saffron Sinclair and Sabrina Jackland are solicitor apprentices. Andrew White became Sintons’ most recent addition, becoming a digital marketing apprentice with the firm.

Sintons commits to offer training and development to each apprentice, with many leading figures in their field, both regionally and nationally, overseeing their progress.

The solicitor apprentices also spend one day each week at university to study for their law degree, which runs alongside their workplace training.

National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from February 7 to 11, celebrates the contribution of apprentices and the value they bring to businesses. It also helps to show young people who are looking to enter the world of work the apprenticeship opportunities that exist in a host of sectors.

Claire Atkins, head of people services at Sintons, said Sintons are pleased to support National Apprenticeship Week and shine a light on the value of apprenticeships.

“We are very proud of the long and successful track record we have in offering career opportunities to young people, and our commitment to apprenticeships forms a key part of that,” she said.

“Over the years, we have recruited apprentices in a number of areas of the business, and see the value excellent young people bring to Sintons and the huge progress and experience they gain in return, all while securing a qualification and receiving a salary.

The 2022 Highway Code Changes

On Saturday 29th January 2022 the new Highway Code (the Code) comes into force. Sarah Askew highlights what the new rules are and why they are important.

The Highway Code has been updated to improve the safety of people walking, cycling and riding horses.

One of the most significant changes is to introduce what is termed a hierarchy of road users.

Hierarchy of Road Users

It is clear that the purpose of the changes to The Highway Code is to put the safety of the most vulnerable road users first. This is expressed quite simply in Rules H1, where the new code sets out a hierarchy of road users and highlights that:

Those in charge of vehicles that can cause greater harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger that they pose to others.”  [Rule H1]

The Hierarchy:

  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists, Horse Riders and Horse Drawn Vehicles
  • Taxis, Car Drivers and Motor Cycles
  • Van and Minibus Drivers
  • Heavy Good Vehicles and Passenger Vehicles

I was also pleased to see that the Code highlights the fact that some individuals have impairments that may not always be obvious.

Pedestrians

The most vulnerable road user is the pedestrian. Rule H2 of The Code makes this unequivocally clear and formalises what was good practice or otherwise offered as guidance.

Pedestrians Crossing: cyclists, horse riders and motorists must stop if people are on a zebra crossing, parallel crossing or light controlled crossing. The rule goes further and requires cyclists, horse riders and motorists to stop if a pedestrian is waiting to cross a zebra crossing or a parallel crossing. [Rule H2]

Turning at Junctions: when a driver is about to turn into a junction the driver should give way to pedestrians (cyclists, scooters or horse-riders too) crossing or waiting to cross the road. [Rule H2]

Giving way: in slow-moving traffic, drivers should allow pedestrians (the same applies for cyclists) to cross in front of them [Rule 151]

Shared Cycle Paths: Cyclists should also give way to pedestrians when using shared paths [Rule H2]

Responsibilities of the Pedestrian

It is not only motorists and cyclists that have an obligation to take care when on the roads. It is correct that pedestrians are at the top of the hierarchy, but it is also right that pedestrians also have a responsibility to take care of their own safety.

The are many rules for pedestrians but the key take aways are:

(1) walk on a pavement wherever possible,

(2) when crossing a road do so at a place where drivers can see you; and

(3)  be aware of surroundings and avoid distractions.

Cyclists

In September 2021 the Government published the first pedal cycle fact sheet, which recorded a 46% increase in pedal cycle traffic in 2020, but sadly this came with a 41% increase in pedal cycle fatalities. It is hoped that the changes to the Code will bring about a decline in the number of injuries and fatalities to cyclists on our roads.

Road Position: when using busy fast roads cyclists should be no less than half a metre from the kerb. The Code also makes it clear that cyclists should use the centre of the lane at certain times, for example when they are approaching a junction or on narrower roads [Rule 72].

Cyclists can now ride two abreast if it is safe to do so [Rule 66].

The Code also makes it clear that cyclists are not required to use cycle lanes, but only pedestrians can use the pavement [Rule H2].

Passing distances: Car drivers must pass cyclists with at least 1.5 metres of space up to 30 mph.  If the car is travelling at a speed over 30mph more distance is required. However, on quieter roads cyclists should pull into the left [Rule 163].

Parallel Crossings: motorists must stop if a cyclist is waiting to cross a parallel crossing [Rule H2].

Turning at Junctions: Cyclists should be treated like a motor vehicle and a motorist should not turn into or out of a junction if it would cause a cyclist (or horse rider or horse-drawn vehicle) that is travelling straight ahead to stop or swerve. The same applies when changing direction or lane [Rule H3].

Exiting a Motor Vehicle: drivers should check their mirrors and over their shoulder before exiting the vehicle. The Code recommends opening the door with your left hand (that is in a righthand drive vehicle) – this will force you to turn towards the outside of the vehicle and notice any passing cyclists [Rule 239].

Other Important Changes

Hand Held Devices: are banned. The use of any handheld devices for any reason, even when the vehicle is not moving, is not allowed. A mobile phone can be used for hands free calls and directions, but it must be securely fixed to the vehicle [Rule 239].

The changes should reduce the risks to vulnerable road users and hopefully we will see a reduction in the number of individuals who are injured on the roads.

In the unfortunate event that there are accidents, the new rules more clearly define the responsibilities of different road users. This should make it easier to determine fault. The clarifications and more specific rules should help resolve disputes of liability in road traffic accident cases, which are so often challenged. More importantly, as a direct consequence of The Highway Code and a speedier resolution of liability injured persons will be able to secure access to funds under The Rehabilitation Code and or Interim Payments to help meet their rehabilitation needs.

A live Q&A with Sinton’s Family team – Episode 2

In episode 2 of our monthly live Q&A sessions with Sintons family team, solicitor Sophie Dodds answers three of your family related questions.

Just a reminder that these sessions have come about due to the volume of questions we received for our live Q&A session during the recent Good Divorce Week. We weren’t able to answer anywhere near the questions we received and we thought these sessions would therefore be a great idea. Moving forward we are going to be running them at 10am on the third Friday of each month, live, on Teams.

For your convenience we have also recorded this session as both a webinar and podcast, links to both are below.

Freight services and road haulage provider snaps up two firms

A Burnley-based provider of freight services and road haulage has acquired two haulage firms, supporting growth to a projected annual turnover of £100m.

The deals follow a number of other acquisitions made by EFS Global Ltd in recent years and further expands its reach across the UK.

EFS has acquried the entire issued share capitals of Gees Haulage Ltd which is located in Wakefield, and Gateshead-based Tyneside Express Transport.

Both provide a comprehensive range of haulage, distribution and warehousing services. The acquisition team at EFS was led by Jordan Kellett.

As a result of the acquisitions, 235 vehicles – including trailers – and 115,000 sq ft of warehousing space have been added to the company’s portfolio. The values of the transactions have not been disclosed.

Mark Jones, managing director of EFS Global, said: “2021 saw substantial growth for EFS and we are delighted to start 2022 by announcing these new deals.

“They both mark significant steps in our ongoing growth strategy and will enhance our ability to service our clients around the country.”

Nadeem Hussain from Pierce Accountants provided tax advice to EFS Global.

Other acquisitions made by EFS in recent years including Euro SDB, CS Brunt, Bradtrans International, Horizon Distribution, Euro-Tran Despatch, JRS Traction, PDQ Specialist Courier Services, FWD Freight Services, Caistor Distribution, AFI UK Ltd, Austin Wilkinson & Sons Ltd, Courier Connections (Scotland) Ltd and Thomas Harwood & Son.

This article appeared in Insider Media, 18th January 2022.

Sintons supports Brysons Animal Shelter

Law firm Sintons is continuing to mark its 125th anniversary by supporting good causes across the region by making a donation to a North East animal shelter.

Brysons Animal Shelter has been looking after and rehoming animals since 1947, and each year finds new loving homes for over 150 dogs, 200 cats and many small animals.

The shelter, in Gateshead, has a team of ten people to look after the increasing numbers of animals coming into its care and relies on donations to continue its work.

To help support its vital role in looking after animals in need, Sintons has made a financial contribution to Brysons to help fund its vets’ bills.

The shelter received scores of generous donations of toys and other goods for its animals over Christmas, but there remained a need for support with its veterinary costs.

The law firm, which was founded in 1896, continues to mark its milestone anniversary by extending its support to a number of regional charities which help those in need throughout the North East.

Sintons’ 125th anniversary pledge continues its work of more than a century in supporting communities, raising tens of thousands of pounds for an array of charities and organisations which help to improve lives and futures.

“Since our foundation, we have recognised the role a business like ours can and should play in giving back to those organisations who do so much good in their local areas,” says David Pritchard – head of marketing at Sintons.

“That is why supporting a number of regional charities is so important to us in our 125th year – for many, the economic climate is now more challenging than ever, so support is absolutely vital.

“Brysons Animal Shelter has a long and proud history of rehoming animals, with a dedicated team giving them the care and attention they deserve in the interim.

“By helping to meet some of their veterinary costs, we are delighted to play a small role in their outstanding work in helping animals in need from across the region.”

Sintons supports cyclist after hit-and-run

A cyclist left seriously injured in a hit-and-run has been supported in rebuilding his life by specialists at Sintons, whose expertise enabled him to secure provisional damages with the option to re-open the case pending future health problems as a result of the incident.

The man was cycling one Sunday morning in 2019 before planning to return to attend Church with his wife – but he did not return as planned. As his wife prepared to go out to look for him, police arrived at their home to tell her he had been involved in a serious road collision.

Having been struck at speed, the car then drove off from the scene, although was traced through CCTV cameras on the road. He has since been prosecuted for the incident.

The man, a Polish national who has lived and worked in the UK since 2006, was left with an array of injuries including a brain injury.

He turned to Sintons’ Neurotrauma team to help him secure the rehabilitation he needed, on the strength of its national reputation for its work in brain injury and dedicated team to support Polish claimants.

Partner Kate Oliver, an APIL brain injury accredited lawyer, supported the man in his case.

Having quickly secured an interim payment to help cover his essential ongoings while unable to work, and to fund his rehabilitation and a case manager, Sintons settled the case taking into account his loss of earnings as a result of his incident.

Sintons were also able to secure provisional damages for their client, meaning the case can be re-opened in future to obtain more compensation if required.

Provisional damages, which are rarely awarded, were secured in this case on the strength of expert medical evidence which confirmed that as a result of the type of brain injury the man suffered, he would remain at an increased life-long risk of developing post traumatic epilepsy.

“Our client in this case was left with serious injuries, the full impact of which may not be realised for years to come, which is why the award of provisional damages is so significant,” says Kate.

“While regularly pleaded, they are not often awarded, but thankfully our client came to us on the strength of our reputation and renowned expertise in complex brain injury work. As an APIL accredited lawyer with years of experience in the field of Neurotrauma, I was able to identify the unique circumstances of this case and translate that into a very good outcome for our client.

“Happily, he is progressing well in his recovery and has managed to return to work, albeit in a reduced capacity with less hours, but the rehabilitation we enabled him to access at an early stage is delivering big rewards for him and his family.

“This case again highlights the importance of instructing specialist, expert lawyers to handle claims of this type, who have the capability to secure the very best outcome and the dedication to fight hard to achieve that.”

Client secures six-figure settlement after serious shoulder injury

A man who was seriously injured after an electric shock at work has secured a six-figure settlement with support from Sintons.

The man, a team leader in the packing department of a meat production company, suffered a badly injured right shoulder in the incident.

Having undergone surgery following his injury, with further surgery planned, he is faced with the prospect of having long-term implications which was impeding his ability to work.

Following the incident, in October 2019, the man – a Polish national – turned to serious injury specialists at Sintons for support. As well as being a nationally-renowned personal injury law firm, Sintons also has a specialist Polish-speaking team, which delivers bespoke support to Polish clients.

Through the work of the team, led by associate Ian Burns and Polish lawyer Lucas Wojcik, the man was able to access high-quality rehabilitation in the crucial early stages after his injury, as well as securing two interim payments to help with his financial worries.

His employer, the defendant in the case, admitted liability after some delay, and Sintons was able to secure a six-figure settlement for the man, to enable him to rebuild his life.

Sintons also set up a personal injury trust for the man, which will allow him to retain his entitlement to benefits, to further assist him into the future.

“I rate our work together very positively and thank you for all your help. I am grateful to the whole firm,” said the client.

“I recommend Sintons to everyone.”

Ian Burns, a personal injury specialist with over 20 years’ experience, said: “This was a very serious incident in which our client sustained an injury which could affect him well into the future. We do not yet know the full implications of his injury on his life, and his ability to work could be significantly affected. This continues to hang over his head.

“We were very pleased to be able to intervene and give him the support he needed. By securing interim payments we gave him the financial stability he lacked as a result of his injury, and the early access to rehabilitation will give him the best possible chance of recovery. He is very pleased with the settlement, which will enable him to look to the future with confidence, in the knowledge he does have some security.

“At Sintons, we are proud of our reputation for fighting hard for our clients to secure the very best outcome for them and their unique situation. We were very pleased to again deliver that on this occasion, and we wish our client the very best for the future.”

Sintons opens graduate recruitment for 2024 training contracts

Law firm Sintons has continued its longstanding commitment to supporting the next generation of legal talent by launching its latest training contract recruitment program.

For decades, Sintons has offered opportunities to young lawyers, supporting their training and development and enabling them to have long and successful careers in law. Many of the firm’s current partners and senior figures began as trainees at Sintons.

Even during the most difficult economic climates, most recently including the COVID-19 pandemic, Sintons has continued to bring in new graduates to the firm, recognising the need to continue to invest in young talent.

Sintons is now recruiting for training contracts which will begin in September 2024.

Recruitment for the roles will begin on January 1 and will close on April 30.  Those shortlisted to the next stage of the recruitment process will be invited to spend some time in the firm in June with our graduate recruitment team and people across the firm, and final interviews are held for those shortlisted in July.

Claire Atkins, head of people services at Sintons, said: “Our commitment to offering opportunities to graduates has been a staple of Sintons for many years. The fact a number of the most senior lawyers in the firm began their careers here as trainees speaks volumes about the quality of our training and development, as well as the culture we have here.

“Our trainees are a very vibrant and dynamic group of people, who work closely together, as well as with our solicitor apprentices, to support each other in their development. They also play a vital role in our CSR activities and their annual trainee challenge is always a highlight of our fundraising calendar.

“Becoming a trainee at Sintons holds many opportunities in terms of professional and personal development, as well as being a fantastic group to be part of. The quality of applicants is always extremely high, and we look forward to meeting more outstanding people as part of our recruitment process for 2024.”

Sintons’ training contract recruitment brochure gives more information about the opportunities available including more information about the law firm and tips and guidance to help those applying for a position.

For more information about Sintons’ training contract recruitment, or to apply, visit sintons.co.uk.

Sintons helps 125 homeless people in the North East to keep warm this winter

Sintons will help 125 homeless people in the North East to keep warm this winter through the donation of warm clothing to North East Homeless.

The clothing will be given to vulnerable people throughout the region as part of the charity’s outreach sessions which deliver food and emergency equipment to those who need it most.

The charity – which began life as a Facebook group in 2014 and has grown into a significant regionwide organisation – has a hub on North Shields’ Fish Quay and runs a number of innovative initiatives to support local people, suppliers and businesses.

Having been part of the North East community since 1896, Sintons has been keen to play its role in supporting local people and charities for 125 years. Its donation of 125 items of clothing forms part of efforts to mark the landmark anniversary by giving back to others.

“Homelessness is affecting increasing numbers of people, particularly during these very difficult times, and the work of charities like North East Homeless in delivering outreach support on the ground is absolutely outstanding,” says managing partner of Sintons, Christopher Welch.

During such inclement weather conditions as we’re seeing recently, items to help people keep warm are in particularly high demand, so we hope our donation of 125 items of clothing will deliver much-needed practical support to those in need.

Throughout our 125 year history, we have been committed to giving out support to local people and charities wherever possible, and we’re delighted to be able to support homeless people and the work of North East Homeless during such times as these.

On Christmas Eve North East Homeless will also be providing around 200 Christmas Dinners at Newcastle Central Station.

If you would like to donate to North East Homeless click here

Sintons pledges support to People’s Kitchen

One hundred and twenty five vulnerable and homeless people in Newcastle will be able to enjoy a Christmas dinner this festive season through a donation from law firm Sintons.

Sintons has pledged its support to the People’s Kitchen, a project which has been at the heart of the city’s community since 1985 which helps local people who experience hunger and loneliness.

The People’s Kitchen is just around the corner from Sintons’ headquarters, The Cube on Barrack Road, and the law firm has shown its support over many years through staff volunteering. The project is staffed entirely by volunteers and is funded by donations.

Now, in Sintons’ 125th anniversary year, the law firm is continuing its support by funding 125 meals for those in need at Christmas time.

“The People’s Kitchen makes a huge contribution to our local community and is truly a lifeline for many vulnerable people in our city,” says Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons.

“Being in the immediate vicinity of The Cube, we see first-hand the demand for its resources and the outstanding work of its team of volunteers. The commitment The People’s Kitchen shows in giving support to those who need it most, during times which are extremely and increasingly difficult for so many, is absolutely admirable.

“We are genuinely delighted to be able to make this gift of 125 Christmas dinners. Giving back to our community has been at the heart of what we do at Sintons for the past 125 years, and never more so than in our milestone anniversary year and the hugely challenging times we are living through.”

Sintons supports Cash for Kids Mission Christmas

Sintons is donating 125 gifts to Metro Radio’s much-loved Cash for Kids campaign, which helps children and young people across the North East who need it most.

The law firm is donating presents to Cash for Kids Mission Christmas, its festive appeal which gives toys and other items to some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children across the region.

The move comes as part of Sintons’ ongoing efforts to mark its 125th anniversary, in which supporting the local community plays a key role.

The donation will ensure 125 children and young people receive a special gift this Christmas, with Cash for Kids handing out the presents in the coming weeks.

Cash for Kids is a regional grant-giving charity which support children and young people, whose lives are affected by illness, poverty, neglect or additional needs.

Claire Atkins, head of people services at Sintons, handed over the gifts to the team at Cash for Kids.

“Cash for Kids is a longstanding and much-loved appeal which has touched the lives of so many children and young people in need across our region over the years,” she said.

“As a prominent business in the North East, we are committed to supporting the local community wherever we can, and this is particularly important to us in our milestone anniversary year.

“To be able to give Christmas gifts to children who need them most is very special and is something the whole Sintons team are absolutely delighted to be able to do.

“We’re so pleased to be able to support Cash for Kids Mission Christmas in this way.”

Sintons continues to mark its 125th anniversary by supporting a number of charitable causes in the region

Law firm Sintons is continuing its dedication to the local community as it marks its 125th anniversary by supporting a number of charitable causes in the region.

Throughout its 125 year history, Sintons has been fully committed to supporting local charities and good causes in the North East, raising many tens of thousands of pounds and assigning thousands of hours of staff volunteering time.

Sintons will therefore support 5 initiatives over this festive period and into the new year, all with a connection to the number 125.

Three projects have already been identified – Sintons will buy 125 Christmas dinners at the People’s Kitchen, to help support vulnerable people in Newcastle during the festive period; supply 125 blankets for homeless people via North East Homeless; and donate 125 presents to Metro Radio’s Cash for Kids Mission Christmas appeal.

Two further regional good causes will be chosen into the new year, as Sintons continues its support into its 126th year and beyond.

“Throughout our 125 years, we have recognised the role a business like ours can and should play in its local community. As we have grown, our commitment has increased, and we are very proud of the significant sums we have raised to date through fundraising and support we have given through our CSR and volunteering work,” says Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons.

“In marking our landmark anniversary, we wanted our commitment to our community to feature prominently in our efforts to mark the occasion. Giving our support at Christmas time to three initiatives is something that has been championed by our people across the Sintons business. We are really delighted to be able to make a contribution in this way.

“We will be continuing that commitment into 2022 and beyond. Sintons’ dedication to helping local people and communities in any way we can will continue, as it has for 125.”

Welder secures six-figure settlement to help rebuild his life

A welder who sustained serious injuries during an incident while at work has secured a six-figure settlement to help rebuild his life with support from Sintons.

The man was injured while working at height in industrial premises, after an unsecured platform on which he was standing moved.

The welder was left with a serious brain injury, multiple left-sided fractured ribs, a fracture of the tailbone and left collarbone, fractured fingers and an injury to his back.

He also suffered from psychological injuries including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a fear of working at height.

The welder, who was working his first night shift had not received an induction prior to working on the site and was provided with unsuitable work equipment for working at height.

The man, a Polish national who was working on a short-term contract in England when the incident happened, turned to Sintons for support in enabling him to access justice.

In addition to the expertise of Sintons’ specialist Neurotrauma team, the law firm also offers a dedicated Polish service through the support of Polish-speaking lawyers, which enabled the claimant in this case – who spoke no English – to be actively engaged without the need for an interpreter.

The case, which had added complexities due to both the industrial company and an employment agency being involved, was settled in May this year, after the initial incident happened in 2017.

Specialist Neurotrauma solicitor Nicki Waugh acted for the man in his claim, alongside Polish associate Lucas Wojkic.

“This was a dreadful case where our client had been brought over from Poland for work, but was not given an induction and was required to work at height on an unsecured platform. He clearly was also vulnerable by the fact he spoke no English,” says Nicki.

“He sustained a catalogue of injuries, which he continues to recover from, alongside the significant psychological effects of what happened to him through no fault of his own.

“In addition to our significant experience in handling cases of great complexity, our in-house Polish team were of great benefit to our client in this case. Had we not been able to communicate with him verbally and translate key documents, both we and our client would most probably have faced a much greater challenge.

“We are very pleased to have secured a very good outcome for him, which we hope will enable him to continue to rebuild and move on with his life as best he can back with his family in Poland. We wish him all the very best.”

Sintons sponsor BABICM conference

Sintons has been announced as sponsor of one of the key events for professionals working in brain and complex injury.

The law firm, whose specialist Neurotrauma team supports clients nationally, is sponsoring the BABICM Conference 2021, renowned as a flagship event in the calendar which has the added significance of being in the organisation’s landmark 25th anniversary year.

‘Decisions, Decisions – The Way Forward: Supporting Capacitous Choices in Litigation and Beyond’ will analyse the challenges facing case managers, clients and legal teams when supporting clients who have capacity to make decisions in key areas that impact on their rehabilitation and aspects of litigation.

Andrew McGowan, head of Neurotrauma at Sintons, will chair the conference, which will also be attended by several other members of the specialist team, which works closely with fellow professionals in the sector throughout the UK.

The event, held in York on December 1st, will be the biggest in-person case management event since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020.

It will also be the first event in the tenure of BABICM’s new chair, Vicki Gilman, who takes over at the helm from Angela Kerr.

“The BABICM annual conference is always a much-anticipated event in the calendar for people working across the field of brain and complex injury, and this year I think is even more keenly awaited after 18 months of having to communicate via Zoom rather than in person,” says Andrew McGowan.

“We are very pleased to lend our support to BABICM, a body which does so much to support its members and effect positive change in case management, and in being part of such an insightful conference, which tackles capacity, a major issue which confronts us all in our work every day.

“We’re very much looking forward to welcoming delegates to York for this event, and to welcoming Vicki to her new role. Vicki is absolutely dedicated to the profession and to making BABICM the best possible resource and support for its members it can be, and we wish her all the very best in her time as chair.”

Sintons’ Family team supports Good Divorce Week

From 29th November- 3rd December, Resolution are promoting their annual Good Divorce Week campaign to raise awareness of the work of family justice professionals.

This year Good Divorce Week is focusing on how parents can embrace a child-focused approach to separation.

(Resolution is a community of family justice professionals who aim to resolve family law issues in a constructive way. Members take a non-confrontational approach when resolving disputes and the aim is to deal with matters as amicably as possible).

To support Good Divorce Week, the family team at Sintons will be posting articles and podcasts about relevant family law issues throughout the week and hosting two events which are open to all. These include:

  • On Thursday 2nd December 2021, the team will be hosting a live Q&A session, answering any family law related questions you may have
  • Do you have a family law query either personally or professionally which remains unanswered? We are here to help
  • Your question can be anything family law related including divorce, separation, finances, children or domestic violence
  • Questions can be submitted via email to Sophie Dodds or anonymously via the following link
  • You can also watch the session live here.

Please submit your questions by Friday 26th November 2021.

&

  • On Friday 3rd December 2021, the team will be offering a free family law clinic from 1pm-5pm
  • If you are going through a separation, considering a divorce or cannot agree the arrangements for your children, we are here to discuss your next steps
  • The sessions will be held remotely via Teams
  • If you are interested in a free 30 minute session, please send your details by Tuesday 30th November 2021 to Saffron Sinclair and complete the initial enquiry form on our website.

For anything further, one of our specialists would be delighted to meet you to talk through your options and answer any questions. Please contact us at any time.

Law firm Sintons is again committing its support to an annual initiative to promote road safety

Road Safety Week, the UK’s biggest road safety event, seeks to raise awareness of the role we can all play in making the roads a safer place to be for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike.

The initiative, which this year will run from November 15 to 21, is run by road safety charity Brake, which works with thousands of schools, organisations and communities throughout the country to take action on road safety and enable more people to make safe and healthy journeys every day.

Each year’s Road Safety Week is themed to address one vital aspect of road safety, and for 2021, will highlight the role of road safety heroes – the professionals who work tirelessly to improve safety for everyone…read more >>

Law firm Sintons is again committing its support to an annual initiative to promote road safety

Road Safety Week, the UK’s biggest road safety event, seeks to raise awareness of the role we can all play in making the roads a safer place to be for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike.

The initiative, which this year will run from November 15 to 21, is run by road safety charity Brake, which works with thousands of schools, organisations and communities throughout the country to take action on road safety and enable more people to make safe and healthy journeys every day.

Each year’s Road Safety Week is themed to address one vital aspect of road safety, and for 2021, will highlight the role of road safety heroes – the professionals who work tirelessly to improve safety for everyone.

Sintons is a long-standing supporter of the initiative and each year commits its backing, combining both awareness-raising and fundraising activities to help the crucial work of Brake in campaigning for better safety, while also supporting families affected by tragedy on the roads.

The law firm’s specialist serious injury and Neurotrauma teams regularly act for people who have sustained life-changing injuries in road collisions, and see first-hand the devastation this can have on individuals and their families.

“Road Safety Week is a hugely important initiative which provides a reminder to us all of the need to do all we can to make the roads a safer place, particularly for more vulnerable road users,” says Phil Davison, head of general personal injury at Sintons.

“Too often, we see the life-changing and even fatal consequences road collisions can have, and this can have an absolutely devastating effect on whole families. We see first-hand the great work Brake do in helping to support families in the aftermath of such tragic events, a role they combine with their excellent work in raising awareness of road safety, and are very proud to support them both during Road Safety Week and beyond.”

For more information on Road Safety Week, visit brake.org.uk

Chambers hails personal injury team as ‘excellent choice’

The personal injury team at Sintons has been hailed as an “excellent choice” of advisor by Chambers and Partners 2022.

The team, regularly acknowledged as being a leader in its field in the North of England, was praised for its work in high-value and life-changing injury claims in particular.

Its “broad offering” of specialism, taking in “expertise” in brain and spinal cord injury work through its Neurotrauma department, as well as occupational and industrial diseases, workplace injuries and road accidents, were all highlighted by Chambers.

The team also wins praise for its all-round service to personal injury clients through its Court of Protection department, which supports in issues around loss of capacity.

Chambers quotes client testimonials which point to Sintons as a “communicative and supportive team” and highlights the quality of its legal and personal service.

The latest high rankings from Chambers come only weeks after similar praise was received from Legal 500, where the team were also hailed for the quality of its legal service and client care.

Phil Davison, head of general personal injury at Sintons, was again named as a notable practitioner, continuing many years of being named by both Chambers and Legal 500 as a leading figure in the field of personal injury.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, says: “Our personal injury team is known nationally for the quality of its legal advice and client service; we fight hard for our clients to get the best possible outcome at what are often the most traumatic of times, while being by their side at every point in the process.

“We are very pleased that this unrelenting and successful commitment to delivering an outstanding service to our clients has again been recognised by Chambers. Their findings echo that of Legal 500, and deliver yet more independent endorsement of what we are doing here.”

Pool tournament raises funds for Children’s Cancer North

More than 50 people took part in a charity pool tournament to raise yet more vital funds for Sintons’ nominated charity.

The event attracted professionals from across the region and was organised by Sintons’ trainee group to help generate funds for their annual challenge.

The firm’s young lawyers are renowned for their ambitious and gruelling annual challenges, which this year saw the 11-strong group take on the St Cuthbert’s Way expedition.

Previous challenges have included have included the 136-mile Coast to Coast cycle from Whitehaven to Tynemouth; the Three Peaks Challenge of scaling Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon; and the 140-mile Port2Port cycling expedition between Newcastle and Amsterdam.

The pool tournament, held at Spot White in Newcastle, raised over £500 for Children’s Cancer North, Sintons’ nominated charity for two years.

Thousands of pounds have been raised for the much-loved cause, with Sintons holding an array of inventive online initiatives to help maintain the fundraising during lockdown, and is now returning to in-person events now restrictions have been lifted.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, said: “Each year, our vibrant trainee group turn their attention to a challenge which really challenges them personally, while collectively strengthening the dynamic of their group. Crucially, their efforts also raise vital funds for a regional charity which we have committed to supporting.

“This year fundraising is probably more important than ever before, with Children’s Cancer North, like all charities, seeing a significant decline in donations due to the pandemic. We have committed to do all we can to help and our trainee group have again raised a brilliant sum through a great event for all concerned.

“Our thanks go to everyone who supported the event, either through donation or attendance, and we look forward to announcing our latest fundraising event in due course – we know how much they have been missed and we share the enthusiasm of participants at their re-introduction.”

To donate to Sintons’ fundraising on behalf of Children’s Cancer North, please click here.

‘Strong reputation’ sets banking team apart

The banking and finance team at Sintons has again been confirmed as a key advisor in its specialist field by Chambers and Partners 2022.

The team has a “strong reputation”, says Chambers, and has specialism in acting for lenders and borrowers on banking and finance transactions, as well as real estate acquisition finance matters.

The breadth of its client base is also highlighted, spanning the banking, leisure and health and social care sectors.

Head of banking Jane Meikle is again named as a notable practitioner in her field, and is hailed as being “very straightforward, practical and easy to talk to”.

Client testimonials quoted in Chambers point to Sintons’ banking team as being “proactive…they break things down” and that its service is a key part of the offering to businesses from an “excellent all-round firm”.

The latest endorsement from independent legal publication Chambers comes only weeks after Legal 500 had a similar verdict of Sintons’ banking expertise, with both its legal and client service winning praise.

Legal 500 also said Sintons stood out in the marketplace for its support of clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, says: “Our expertise in banking and finance is well-renowned and our presence in this area of work continues to grow.

“We are regularly involved in very significant transactions on behalf of major clients and are known for the excellent service we deliver alongside a bespoke service, both of which are values at the very heart of Sintons.

“It is excellent news this has again been recognised by Chambers, with its independent endorsement coming only weeks after that of Legal 500, and confirms Sintons’ position at the very forefront of this sector.”

Neurotrauma team glow in support of GloWeek

Sintons is again lending its support to a national campaign which urges children to be seen and not hurt on our roads.

GloWeek, which runs throughout this week, is an annual initiative from the Child Brain Injury Trust, the launch of which coincides with the days becoming shorter and darkness descending earlier, meaning children are more at risk of not being seen.

As the clocks prepare to change, the charity is again promoting the importance of road safety with an education campaign aimed at primary school-age children, alongside a fundraising drive to enable it to continue its vital work in supporting young people and families affected by brain injury.

The charity encourages people to ‘glow’ in support of their message, promoting the importance of children being seen and remaining safe.

Sintons’ specialist Neurotrauma team has again committed its support, and is a longstanding supporter of the campaign for safer roads.

The firm – which is regularly acknowledged as one of the leading specialist brain injury advisors in the UK and handles cases of the greatest complexity from across the country – is also the North East legal support provider of the Child Brain Injury Trust, in recognition of its legal expertise and renowned client service excellence.

“All too often, we see first-hand the impact of injuries sustained on the roads, which can be life-changing for all involved. The consequences can be utterly devastating for whole families and support circles and we will always do all we can to promote the importance of road safety,” says Andrew McGowan, head of Neurotrauma at Sintons.

“The Child Brain Injury Trust plays an outstanding role in supporting young people and families affected by acquired brain injury, and we have seen how vital that can be during the darkest of times. We are very proud to work with the charity and to again lend our support to GloWeek.”

Licensing team again wins Band 1 ranking

The specialist licensing team at Sintons has again been named as being at the top of its game, retaining its Band 1 ranking from Legal 500 2022 and its head of department being featured in the Hall of Fame.

Sintons’ licensing team has been regarded as a go-to advisor for leisure groups across the UK for many years, with its expertise in both contentious and non-contentious matters meaning it is the law firm of choice for growing numbers of operators.

Legal 500 praises it for its strong relationships with licensing authorities and responsible bodies and for “leveraging its strong reputation” to gain the best possible result for clients, with particular success in securing positive outcomes in cumulative impact policy and stress areas.

Its ability to deal with responding to Government and Local Authority Consultation documents on behalf of trade associations is also highlighted.

The “very experienced and effective” Sarah Smith is again named in the Hall of Fame, an elite group of lawyers who have been recognised as leaders in their fields consistently for over a decade.

In an array of testimonials confirming the department’s strength, Sarah is hailed as being “one of the best licensing solicitors in the country – an exceptionally competent individual”.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, says: “We are known nationally for our capability and expertise in licensing matters, with leisure operators throughout the North East and well beyond trusting Sintons to support them. Many of our clients have been with us for many years, with more coming to Sintons all the time on the strength of our unrivalled reputation in licensing work and the outstanding service we deliver each and every time.

“Sarah is an absolutely outstanding lawyer in her specialist area and is regarded in the highest terms by her clients and licensing authorities alike. A place in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame is again richly deserved, and recognises her as one of only a few lawyers in the North of England to have continually excelled for many years.”

Sintons’ charity golf day raises over £3,400 for Children’s Cancer North

Law firm Sintons has hosted its biggest-ever golf day, raising thousands of pounds for its staff charity, Children’s Cancer North.

The golf day saw 18 teams competing in the event, held at Close House, home to the world’s only two Lee Westwood courses and host of the British Masters in 2018 and 2020.

The winners of the event were Thompsons of Prudhoe, second place was Glenn Ford Private Finance and finishing third was design and creative agency SHA.

A grand total of £3,459.69 was raised from the event, which will go towards the fundraising target Sintons has set for the charity.

The event raised vital funds for Children’s Cancer North, the much-loved regional charity which funds support for children living with cancer and their families, as well as revolutionary research into future treatments.

David Pritchard, head of marketing at Sintons, said: “This was another superb Sintons event, again organised to perfection by our marketing team, which attracted a record number of participants for one of our golf days. It was an informal and hugely enjoyable occasion and congratulations go to Thompsons of Prudhoe for being the winning team.

“Extremely impressive” personal injury team hailed for expertise

The “extremely impressive” personal injury team at Sintons has won praise from Legal 500 2022 for its expertise in complex and life-changing injury cases.

Its capability in brain and spinal cord injury, polytrauma and amputation cases “form the cornerstone” of the practice, says Legal 500, and is what differentiates Sintons from its rivals.

The department is hailed for its depth and breadth of expertise, alongside its commitment to fighting hard to secure the very best outcome for clients, with an “excellent understanding of how to put the medical and therapeutic side of the case together and structure it towards a settlement”.

Sintons is known nationally for its serious injury and Neurotrauma capability and is appointed in complex and high-value cases from throughout the UK on the strength of its expertise and the outstanding service it delivers to clients.

Phil Davison, head of general personal injury and known as one of the region’s most capable personal injury lawyers, is again named as a leading individual in the North of England. One testimonial credits him as being “a standout partner…vastly experienced as well as being approachable…he is never fazed”.

Andrew McGowan, head of Neurotrauma, is named as a rising star.

In client testimonials quoted by Legal 500, Sintons is hailed as being “really hardworking, efficient and first rate. They go the extra mile and nothing is too much trouble. The client comes first.”

“The team is extremely impressive in depth and breadth and are vastly experienced in high value PI claims. They have a wealth of knowledge as to complex medical conditions and their preparation is faultless,” said another testimonial.

Christopher Welch, managing partner at Sintons, says: “Our personal injury team is known for its unrivalled capability in serious and life-changing injury work, supporting clients through the most traumatic times and securing the very best outcome for them and their family. The reputation we have for the legal expertise and client service we deliver is something we are very proud of.

“To again be praised by Legal 500 for our strength in these areas is very pleasing, and confirms our commitment to putting our clients at the heart of everything we do. Our personal injury specialists work tirelessly to deliver the best outcomes possible in every situation and we’re delighted to again secure independent recognition of what makes us stand out from our competitors.”

Healthcare again confirmed as a national leader

The nationally-renowned healthcare team at Sintons has again been confirmed as a leader in its field by Legal 500, which renews its top-tier ranking and hails its depth and breadth of experience and expertise.

The team is the advisor of choice to NHS Trusts across the country, as well as working with GPs, dentists and other healthcare organisations nationally.

It is regularly cited as being one of the leading specialist advisors in healthcare nationally with an unrivalled knowledge and understanding of the complexities of the NHS and the fast-changing situation in healthcare.

Legal 500 2022 again names Sintons a Band 1 advisor and points to its strength in a host of areas, including handling procurement issues and mergers.

It also highlights the firm’s focus on assisting with collaborations between all the main NHS bodies in the region, particularly in relation to digitisation projects.

Head of NHS Healthcare Amanda Maskery is again named as a leading individual in the North of England in recognition of her work with growing numbers of NHS and private healthcare organisations.

Victoria Armstrong is also hailed as a key figure in transactional and property healthcare work.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, says: “Our healthcare team is a true leader in its field, advising NHS Trusts, alongside healthcare organisations and businesses, nationally and becoming the trusted advisor of choice to increasing numbers of healthcare clients throughout the UK. We are proud of our stellar reputation in this very specialist area, which has been built over many years.

“We are delighted to again be confirmed as a top-tier provider by Legal 500, which rightly recognises the deep expertise we have in our healthcare team alongside the outstanding client service we deliver. Healthcare is a growing and ambitious part of the Sintons business and we will continue to build further, while maintaining the highest standards of legal and client service for which we are renowned across the country.”

Sintons again commits support to Newcastle Legal Walk

A team from Sintons will again be committing its support to the Newcastle Legal Walk, to help raise funds so that the poorest and most vulnerable people in society are not prevented from accessing justice.

The Legal Walk has become a fixture in the calendar for the region’s lawyers and law firms, and marks a social occasion for those taking part as well as being a fundraising opportunity for a vital cause.

Sintons is a longstanding supporter of the event, organised by the North East Legal Support Trust, and members of its CSR team will again be taking part.

This year’s walk, to be held on the evening of October 5, will again raise money for the Access to Justice Foundation, to help fund its work with families and individuals for whom justice may be out of reach without its support.

The Foundation works with elderly and disabled people, families living in sub-standard housing, those who have been victims of discrimination, and women and children who have been trafficked to the UK.

“As a law firm which fights hard on behalf of our clients to secure the best possible outcome for them, we will always do all we can to ensure justice or a fair outcome is achievable for everyone,” says David Pritchard, head of Sintons’ CSR committee.

“While some people’s circumstances may prevent them from having that right, the work of the Access to Justice Foundation is absolutely vital in enabling that. Through raising funds to support their work, we are collectively ensuring that more people and families in our region can get the legal support they need.

“We’re very much looking forward to the event, after last year’s fell victim to COVID-19, and to playing our part in fundraising. It also marks an opportunity to meet with our peers from across the region’s legal scene – opportunities to meet have been few and far between in recent months, and having a working relationship with our contemporaries is very important, so this will be a very welcome evening for a number of reasons.”

Sintons’ charity golf day supports Children’s Cancer North

A golf day is being held by Sintons to raise vital funds for its nominated charity, Children’s Cancer North.

Several teams have already committed their support for the event, to be held at Close House, with places still remaining for teams of four.

The golf day, held on October 8 at the home of the world’s only two Lee Westwood golf courses and recently the official venue of the British Masters, will include 18 holes of golf on the renowned Filly course.

It will also feature a number of prizes for participants, including for longest drive, hole in one and Beat the Pro. Breakfast and a two-course meal are also included.

The event will raise vital funds for Children’s Cancer North, the much-loved regional charity which funds support for children living with cancer and their families, as well as revolutionary research into future treatments.

The charity is Sintons’ nominated cause for two years, and is the focus of the firm’s fundraising during that period. Thousands of pounds have already been raised through generous support of a number of events and initiatives, despite the many challenges of the pandemic.

“Our golf days are always hugely enjoyable occasions, and it’s great they are returning after a long period of absence. As well as the social opportunity and great day of golf, this also has the added benefit of being able to support Children’s Cancer North in their mission to change the reality for children living with cancer,” says Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons.

“We have been highly creative with the events we have organised online during the pandemic to continue to fundraise, generating vital funds at what is a particularly difficult time for all charities. We are keen to continue to do all we can to support Children’s Cancer North, and hope as many teams of golfers can join us at Close House for what promises to be a great day for all concerned.”

* Sintons’ Charity Golf Day will be held on October 8 from 10am to 6pm at Close House, Heddon-on-the-Wall, Newcastle upon Tyne NE15 0HT. Entry cost for a team of four is £300. To sign up, click here

Sintons creates specialist Romanian-speaking personal injury team

Law firm Sintons is establishing a dedicated personal injury service for Romanian-speaking claimants, increasing its levels of support to the international community even further.

After the creation of its Polish-speaking team four years ago, Sintons has been able to secure justice for significant numbers of Polish people who sustained injuries while living or working in the UK, who may not otherwise have pursued a claim and accessed the rehabilitation and support they needed to rebuild their lives.

Now, to increase its support to under-represented communities in the UK even further, the law firm has established a specialist Romanian team, to deliver bespoke support to people who have been injured from the very earliest days of their recovery.

The firm has recruited Anisoara Boba, a Romanian-speaking lawyer, to help deliver its new dedicated Romanian personal injury service.

Anisoara ran her own law practice in Romania and has a strong track record in supporting people in both civil and criminal matters.

“I believe that working in the legal sector is an honour and a privilege, offering people the chance to have access to justice,” she says.

“I share Sintons’ commitment to fighting hard to secure this for our clients. I am very pleased to be able to represent people for whom English may not be their first language, and who may otherwise feel without a voice, and am delighted Sintons has established this service for Romanian-speaking people.”

Phil Davison, head of general personal injury at Sintons, says: “We are very pleased to add this new service to our offering. We have a very sizeable population of Romanian-speaking people in the UK, and we are all too aware of the need to increase the support available to them in rebuilding their lives after accident and injury.

“Through the creation of our Polish-speaking team, we have seen the huge benefit this has been to our clients, many of whom may not have otherwise pursued a claim and sacrificed the opportunity to access the support with their recovery they badly need.

“We hear time and again what a huge relief it is for them to feel they have someone on their side who speaks their language and makes what can feel like a very daunting process more understandable and accessible.

“We are delighted to be able to extend this very specialist support to Romanian claimants and to add Anisoara to our team. She has extensive experience of supporting people throughout the process of a claim, being by their side every step of the way in securing the very best outcome for them, and we look forward to working with her in the development of this new addition to our nationally-renowned personal injury offering.”

Three Trainees qualify at Sintons

Three trainees are to take up solicitor roles at Sintons after successfully completing their two-year training contracts.

The three have completed their training period despite the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and have been rewarded with permanent roles within the firm.

Ellie Marriott becomes a newly-qualified solicitor in the Neurotrauma team; Lewis McKeown takes up a role in the Corporate and Commercial department; and Sam Watts has been given a position in Real Estate.

The young solicitors have spent their training period gaining experience in different practice areas within the firm, having six-month seats in different departments to hone their skills and gain a wider and more in-depth knowledge of legal practice.

Ellie, Lewis and Sam officially take up their new roles within Sintons from Monday, September 13.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, says: “It is fair to say that Ellie, Lewis and Sam’s experience as trainees has been a little bit different from that of those who have gone before them, particularly over the last 12 to 18 months.

“However, they have each adapted well to the challenges over that time and we have ensured the support they were given to continue with and complete their training remained as uninterrupted as possible.

“Our congratulations go to them all on qualification, and on being awarded permanent roles within Sintons. We look forward to working alongside them going forward, with them continuing to support the firm in our ambitions and further development.”

Solicitor apprentice Sabrina Jackland joins Sintons

Sintons has added a new solicitor apprentice to its ranks, continuing its renowned commitment to supporting the development of legal talent in the North East.

Sabrina Jackland has become Sintons’ fourth solicitor apprentice as part of the North East Solicitor Apprenticeship (NESA) programme.

Sabrina now begins a six-year role within Sintons, which will combine the practical experience of working in departments across the firm with studying at Northumbria University, resulting in full qualification as a solicitor.

Sabrina will begin her apprenticeship in Sintons’ Neurotrauma team, where she will work alongside nationally-renowned specialists in life-changing injury work, who support clients across the UK.

Sintons’ three other solicitor apprentices – Leah Greenwell, Nathan Johnson and Saffron Sinclair – all continue their training on the way to full qualification in the years ahead.

Having successfully completed their law degrees, Leah and Nathan will become senior solicitor apprentices as they enter the  fifth year of their training period. Leah will take up a new role within real estate and Nathan will remain in residential conveyancing for the next six months.

Saffron, beginning the fourth year of her apprenticeship, will remain with the family department for the next year.

The NESA programme was the first of its kind in the North East and has been hailed for the groundbreaking impact it has had in redefining the traditional route into law, providing an alternative to young people for whom university may not have been an option or their first choice.

The recruitment of Sabrina adds further to Sintons’ young legal talent, with three new graduate trainees also joining the firm this month on two-year training contracts.

Claire Atkins, Head of People Services at Sintons, said: “We are delighted to continue to bring in new legal talent to the firm and welcome Sabrina to our team. The NESA programme is hugely significant in bringing opportunities to young people for whom law may not previously have been a career option, and we’re very proud to have helped introduce this into the North East.

“Sabrina will benefit from the training and support from some of the leading lawyers in their fields regionally and nationally, and will combine this invaluable experience with her study at Northumbria, who we are delighted to again partner with.

“Leah, Nathan and Saffron all continue to excel as they progress further towards qualification, and  the outstanding talent they all display in their legal careers demonstrates exactly why NESA is so important to the region and legal sector.

“We wish Sabrina every success as she begins her career with us and adds further to the vibrant and talented group of young apprentices and trainees we are so lucky to have here at Sintons.”

New trainees join Sintons

Three new trainee solicitors have joined Sintons as the law firm continues its commitment to investing in the next generation of legal talent.

Amy Carlton, Leigh Garbutt and Emily Richardson have joined Sintons on two-year training contracts, having been selected after a recruitment process which saw significant levels of applications from graduates across the North East and well beyond.

During their traineeships, they will each take up six-month stints in departments throughout the firm, meaning each trainee will gain experience in a number of different areas of law throughout their contract, being supervised by some of the leading lawyers in their field regionally and nationally.

Amy will take her first seat in the Neurotrauma team; Leigh will join Commercial Property; and Emily will begin in Employment.

To coincide with the arrival of the new trainees, Sintons’ existing cohort of trainees will move to the next phase of their training period with the firm.

Daniel Earle will move to Neurotrauma; Rose Foster will remain with Wills, Trusts and Probate; Charlotte Gunn will join Wills, Trusts and Probate; Charlotte Johnston will move to Corporate and Commercial; and Ben McMurdo will join Dispute Resolution.

Sintons’ commitment to young legal talent is renowned, with the firm having a longstanding policy of recruiting new graduates to its ranks every year.

“Our young people are the next generation of Sintons and the wider legal community, so it is vital we invest in them and offer opportunities to help ensure the very best people are enabled to make successful careers in law,” says Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons.

“We welcome Amy, Leigh and Emily to Sintons and wish them every success in their careers, and send our best wishes to Daniel, Rose, Charlotte, Charlotte and Ben in the next stage of their training contracts here. It is a pleasure to have them all with us, in what is another very vibrant and committed group of trainees.

“Sintons are committed to developing our trainees at every stage of their journey with us, and the practical training we give, alongside the mentoring from our lawyers – many of whom are leaders in their field nationally – equips them with the skills, knowledge and commitment they will need for the future.

“For many years, Sintons has been known for its commitment to bringing in graduates, and our training programme is regarded in the highest terms. A number of the partners and senior figures in the firm currently began their careers with Sintons as trainees, which I think is evidence of the quality of training we offer, as well as what a great place this is to work.”

Woman injured in pub fall secures settlement thanks to Sintons

A woman who sustained lasting injury when she slipped on a pub floor has secured damages with support from Sintons.

The case, which took four years to settle, dates to May 2017, when the woman slipped on an unknown substance while walking through the pub towards the toilets. There were no warning signs or indication of any hazard.

In falling, she struck her head on a wall, suffering bruising and swelling to her left eye, left cheek, jaw and left arm. She sustained permanent facial nerve damage, which continues to cause pain and tingling.

The woman also experienced shock and stress and developed a depressive disorder and anxiety disorder as a result of her experience.

She turned to the specialist personal injury team at Sintons for support in making a claim, which was eventually settled last month by associate David Knipe.

The claimant is now able to access cognitive behavioural therapy for her disorders, which will support her in moving on with her life.

“I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for me,” said the claimant.

“I am overwhelmed, you were fantastic. This claim has taken so long, four years is a long time, but we got there in the end. You are the best.”

The personal injury at team is renowned nationally for its commitment to its clients, fighting hard on their behalf to secure the very best bespoke outcome whilst delivering a first-rate personal service.

“Our client is now forced to live with physical and psychological effects in what was very avoidable circumstances that the owner of the premises should have taken steps to prevent,” says David.

“Through our intervention, and after a long process we have been able to secure a bespoke settlement package that will enable her to access the therapy she needs and move on with her life. Four years is a long time, but we are absolutely committed to seeking justice however long that takes.

“We take great pride in the excellent service we deliver to each one of our clients and are always delighted with feedback like this. We were very pleased our client had such a good experience whilst we supported her after her injuries, and wish her the best for the future.”

Neurotrauma lawyers raises vital funds through GNR

A specialist Neurotrauma lawyer is raising funds to help increase the vital support available to brain injury survivors through her participation in the Great North Run.

Hannah Fitzpatrick is running the world’s biggest half marathon to raise money for Headway Darlington & District, a group which helps people living with brain injury and their families to rebuild their lives.

Hannah, an associate in Sintons’ Neurotrauma team, works nationally with people who have sustained serious life-changing injuries, and has a strong track record in fighting on their behalf to secure the best possible outcomes and access to rehabilitation possible for their unique situation.

Now, through taking part in the Great North Run – which this year follows a new route which sees runners cross the Tyne Bridge twice and finish in Newcastle rather than South Shields – Hannah is helping to increase the community provision available for those affected by brain injury.

“Headway plays a hugely valuable role in the recovery of people living with brain injury and is a much-needed resource for so many families,” says Hannah, a committee member of Headway Darlington & District.

“Brain injury can affect people in so many ways, but one of the most common factors we hear time and again is the isolation survivors can experience, and how difficult their families find it to know how to best support them.

“Headway offers a really powerful combination of practical support and social interaction, with the opportunity to meet other individuals and families in the same position proving invaluable to so many people.

“I see this first-hand on a regular basis at Headway Darlington & District, and am keen to do all I can to sustain and build the great work they do. As a charity, they rely wholly on fundraising, and I am keen to do my bit to help the team by taking part in the Great North Run.”

To sponsor Hannah, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hannah-fitzp

Meet our Neurotrauma Team with Ben McMurdo

What is your role at Sintons and how long have you been with the firm? 

I am a trainee solicitor at Sintons starting in March 2021. I interviewed for the firm in 2018 following my degree and was offered a training contract. Since then, I completed my LPC and joined the firm in 2019 as a paralegal.

Tell us about your career to date…

I worked as a paralegal at Sintons in the commercial property department from July 2019 to May 2020. I started my training contract in March 2021 in the neurotrauma department.

Can you tell us about your department and the work it does

I work in the neurotrauma department. We act for client who have sustained traumatic brain injuries from accidents. We focus on securing rehabilitation for clients to begin their process of recovery as priority. We then seek to recover compensation to provide clients with the financial support necessary to continue their rehabilitation and manage the ongoing effects of often life changing injuries.

Can you tell us about the work you do

As a trainee solicitor, I assist on all aspects of the work we do in the department. One day I might be assisting by liaising with case managers to assist in the securing of rehabilitation, aids and equipment, the next I could be preparing documents for a court hearing or drafting documents to begin the litigation process.

What have been your personal career highlights to date?

Might be slightly difficult to put a highlight on, but every day is a new challenge and I am constantly learning to grapple with new technical concepts. However, starting my training contract in itself was a big milestone in the process to becoming a qualified solicitor.

Sintons enjoys a first-rate reputation regionally and nationally for its work. What is it like to work here?

Working at Sintons is a hugely positive experience for the following reasons. The quality of work that I (as a trainee) am engaged with is invaluable to my professional development. Dealing with challenging technical language and complex legal problems is engaging. Being able to find solutions to such complex problems is massively rewarding when assisting clients who have sustained life changing injuries. The firm is supportive and offers the opportunities to develop legal skills, soft skills and commercial awareness in every aspect of work.

And finally, tell us about your interests outside work…

Outside of work I enjoy keeping fit and healthy by competing in strength sports, swimming and playing rugby. I play music and have played guitar for over 15 years. I enjoy cooking and reading to relax and unwind.

Interim Payments

If a claimant has been significantly injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a defendant, the process of obtaining the right amount of compensation can sometimes be a lengthy and challenging journey.

This is particularly true if the claimant is suffering financially because they are not able to work as a result of the injuries they have sustained.

In many cases, claimant solicitors can request an interim payment at an early stage of the claim. An interim payment is an amount of money that is paid to the claimant before the total amount of compensation is decided.

However, in most cases an insurance company will only agree to pay an interim payment to the claimant where there has been an admission of negligence for the accident. A defendant who denies liability for an accident would not be willing to pay the claimant an interim payment of damages.

In some instances, even if there has been admission of liability, a claimant must also demonstrate that there is a reasonable need for the interim payment. If a claimant has been absent from work for some time because of the injuries sustained in the accident, then it is easier for a claimant to show their losses and to request an appropriate interim payment.

Where there has been no financial losses, a claimant can still make a reasonable request for an interim payment if, for example, he/she intends to use that money to assist with medical treatment. It may be that the claimant’s treatment needs are only available privately or there will be long delays if the treatment is awaited on the NHS

In addition, where injuries have been significant and the serious injury guide is followed, defendants are encouraged to agree to interim payments for rehabilitation/medical treatment, even if the issue of liability has not been resolved.

An interim payment can be extremely beneficial to a claimant to ease any financial pressures they may have. This is particularly so early in a claim, where a claimant may not be eligible for any financial assistance from the government at that time.

A claimant can request an interim payment at any time and more than one, providing it is reasonable.

It is important to remember however that a defendant cannot be forced to make an interim payment prior to the commencement of court proceedings. Once proceedings have been commenced and a defence has been received admitting liability, an application can be made to the court seeking an appropriate order.

Requesting interim payments in appropriate claims can provide a vital safety net for individuals and their families whose lives have been turned upside down as a result of an accident.

The personal injury team at Sintons has a national reputation for its work and is regularly hailed by both Legal 500 and Chambers legal guides as being one of the best of its kind in the North of England. Our legal capability and client service have both been hailed as being “first class”.

Adam Burton is an associate in the claimant personal injury team at Sintons in Newcastle dealing with serious and catastrophic injuries. Contact him at adam.burton@sintons.co.uk or on 0191 226 7856.

Ask the Experts – a Monthly Q&A with Sintons’ Employment Team – episode 24

Today we recorded our ‘Ask the Experts monthly Q&A with Sintons’ Employment Team – episode 24’ – with Angela Carver and Catherine Hope. These sessions came about due to the employment team here at Sintons having been inundated with COVID-19 and furlough questions following the introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the ever changing government guidance.

Our session today covers the following topics:

  • Can I force an employee to take holiday during the notice period?
  • Does an employer have to conduct a fair selection process for lay-offs (rather than redundancies)?
  • Can I extend a probation period?
  • Is it possible to sign an employment contract by electronic signature?

For your convenience we have also recorded this session as both a webinar and podcast, links to both are below.

Meet our Neurotrauma Team with Emma Redhead

What is your role at Sintons and how long have you been with the firm? 

I am a Senior Litigator within the Neurotrauma Team at Sintons and have been with the firm coming up 15 years.

Tell us about your career to date…

I began my career with Sintons  in 2007. I progressed to working as a Legal Secretary in Claimant Personal Injury Department. I have worked as a Senior Litigator for the last 9 years. I initially worked in the General Personal Injury team on a range of complex cases before being appointed to the Neurotrauma team in 2017.

Can you tell us about your department and the work it does

The Neurotrauma Team acts on behalf of individuals and their families who have sustained life changing brain and/or spinal cord injuries. Our emphasis is on early rehabilitation to give our clients the best chance of recovery. We work as a team alongside various experts and therapists to obtain the best outcome for our clients.

Can you tell us about the work you do

My role involves working alongside colleagues as part of a team progressing cases daily. A typical day can involve taking witness statements, obtaining/reviewing evidence, drafting legal documents, preparing Court bundles, and liaising with clients, experts and therapists.

I also act on behalf of individuals who have been seriously injured because they were a victim of a violent crime.

What have been your personal career highlights to date?

Each successful case that I have been involved in is a highlight. To be able to support clients and their families through the litigation process, ensuring they have received the best possible compensation for their lifetime needs is rewarding.

Sintons enjoys a first-rate reputation regionally and nationally for its work. What is it like to work here?

Sintons is a fantastic place to work. We are a full-service law firm and have a great team of lawyers and support staff with a focus to provide the best outcome possible for our clients.

And finally, tell us about your interests outside work…

Outside of work I like being outdoors and travelling. I love spending time with my 2-year-old son and family. I am a football fan and support Newcastle United.

Meet our Neurotrauma Team with Andrew McGowan

What is your role at Sintons and how long have you been with the firm? 

I head up the Neurotrauma Team at Sintons, having joined in December 2019.

Tell us about your career to date…

I spent the majority of my working life in Yorkshire, acting on behalf of seriously injured adults and children, and began working back in the North East in 2016. In 2019 I was asked by Sintons to head up their growing Neurotrauma Team and build on the excellent work the Team do on behalf of their clients.

Can you tell us about your department and the work it does?

We act for adults and children who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own – from road traffic collisions, accidents at work, on holiday and support them and their families through their rehabilitation and towards living as independent a life as is possible. The early intervention with specialist rehabilitation is one of our strong beliefs and drives what we do.

Can you tell us about the work you do?

I manage a growing team of lawyers and paralegals who assist and support our clients, providing them with the support and advice they need to reach the best outcomes and decisions for cases. I pass on my experience and the important lessons taught to me by those who trained me a long time ago!

What have been your personal career highlights to date?

In my cases, too many to pick out one highlight – but there is a real sense of satisfaction when you see a client’s rehabilitation bring about that ability to do things independently that they had been told previously they would never be able to do again. Given my love of cycling, I particularly enjoy seeing clients who were told they wouldn’t be able to cycle again, filling up my Strava timeline with their bike rides.

Sintons enjoys a first-rate reputation regionally and nationally for its work. What is it like to work here?

As I joined 3 months before the first lockdown, it has been a challenging period, but one that the firm has been able to deal with seamlessly, with their IT structure which lends itself to remote working, and my Team have demonstrated their ability to pick up as usual with remote working and provide a first class service to clients despite the challenges the pandemic has caused

Working remotely has also meant people haven’t had to endure my jokes as frequently, so they’ll be happy about that.

And finally, tell us about your interests outside work…   

Anyone who has met me will know the conversation inevitably shifts to cycling – I have a long love of road racing and try to get on my bike as much as possible, to keep myself moderately fit and it’s a great way to remove the daily stresses and also see your local environment and new roads.

The ever increasing number of people out cycling is lovely to see, and hopefully those numbers keep increasing. It would be nice if the roads could be repaired as well, to make it safer.

Andrew McGowan is the Head of the Neurotrauma team at Sintons. You can contact Andrew at andrew.mcgowan@sintons.co.uk or on 0191 226 3720.

Sintons secures settlement of over £1million

A man left seriously injured after a traffic collision has secured a settlement of over £1million to help rebuild his life through support from Sintons.

The claimant sustained a catalogue of injuries in a head-on crash in the early hours of the morning, while he was driving home from work.

His van was hit by a car on the wrong side of the road, with the resultant investigation concluding that the driver wrongly believed they were travelling on a dual rather than single carriageway.

The other driver was tragically killed in the incident, which happened in November 2019.

Having suffered injuries including a bleed on the brain, fractures to his pelvis, ankle and ribs, a dislocated hip, and damage to his liver and kidneys, the man has faced a significant battle to rebuild his life and turned to Neurotrauma specialists at Sintons for support.

The law firm has now managed to secure a settlement in excess of £1million for its client, secured within 18 months of the incident taking place – a very short timescale given the complexity and value of such a case.

The settlement includes a bespoke package of rehabilitation, which crucially enabled the man to access private therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling his recovery to continue during a time when many NHS therapies were being postponed or cancelled.

Kate Oliver, Partner in the Neurotrauma team, acted for the man in this matter.

“After a hugely traumatic experience in which our client sustained extensive injuries, this is a fantastic outcome which will enable him to rebuild his life as far as possible, and gives financial security for him and his family whatever the future may hold,” she says.

“The fact this was achieved within 18 months is remarkable for a claim of this size and complexity, but we’re delighted to have managed to secure this for our client. We are absolutely committed to achieving the very best outcome possible for our clients and their families, and the settlement in this case is very pleasing indeed.”

As part of Sintons’ commitment to securing the best outcome for its clients and their unique circumstances, Kate ensured her client had access to the exact therapy he needed, and secured this despite the many restrictions in place around COVID-19 from March 2020 onwards.

“This rehabilitation package was particularly beneficial given the climate at that time, when COVID meant accessing therapy was hugely difficult for many people reliant on NHS resources,” says Kate.

“We appointed a case manager and put together a very extensive package comprising rehabilitation, neurology, even dental treatment to help rebuild his physical appearance following the collision.

“It was a very holistic approach which even extended to getting a (joint) gym membership so he could go there with his wife – we are absolutely focused on the unique circumstances of every case, and what will aid the recovery and the mental and physical wellbeing of each individual.

“Our client is making good progress and we wish him all the very best for the future. This has been a dreadful ordeal for him, but we are very pleased to have been able to support him and his family through it so they can look to the future.”

Meet our Neurotrauma Team with Charlotte Johnston

What is your role at Sintons and how long have you been with the firm? 

I am a Trainee Solicitor currently in my 2nd training contract seat in the Neurotrauma team at Sintons. I have been with the firm for two years now, having joined in May 2019 as a Paralegal prior to the commencement of my training contract.

Tell us about your career to date…

I initially studied an undergraduate degree in Criminology at Northumbria University before completing my GDL and LPC at the University of Law in Leeds. Upon graduating from the University of Law I started my career working at a firm in Durham before securing my training contract at Sintons…read more >>

Meet our Neurotrauma Team with Charlotte Johnston

What is your role at Sintons and how long have you been with the firm? 

I am a Trainee Solicitor currently in my 2nd training contract seat in the Neurotrauma team at Sintons. I have been with the firm for two years now, having joined in May 2019 as a Paralegal prior to the commencement of my training contract.

Tell us about your career to date…

I initially studied an undergraduate degree in Criminology at Northumbria University before completing my GDL and LPC at the University of Law in Leeds. Upon graduating from the University of Law I started my career working at a firm in Durham before securing my training contract at Sintons.

I worked as a Paralegal in the Commercial Property team at Sintons between May 2019 and September 2020 when I commenced my training contract. My first training contract seat was also in the Commercial Property department and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

I only joined the Neurotrauma team in March 2021, however everyone has been really welcoming and I already feel like part of the team.

Can you tell us about your department and the work it does?

The Neurotrauma team at Sintons acts on behalf of individuals who have suffered serious brain and/or spinal cord injuries. The team prioritises the rehabilitation of clients and assists them in gaining access to suitable treatment, care and accommodation at the earliest opportunity.

Can you tell us about the work you do?

My role is to assist the other fee earners in the team, and in particular my supervisor Andrew McGowan, in progressing matters on a daily basis. The type of work I undertake is very varied, but to provide a few examples, I assist in drafting pleadings, preparing Schedules of Loss, instructing expert witnesses, drafting Instructions to Counsel, preparing bundles for hearings and attending client meetings and conferences. It is really rewarding to work within a team that undertakes such significant work.

What have been your personal career highlights to date?

This is a tricky question to answer, having only just commenced my legal career, however I would say the highlight was securing my training contract at Sintons.

Sintons enjoys a first-rate reputation regionally and nationally for its work. What is it like to work here?

Sintons is a great firm to work for as, in addition to its excellent reputation, it really values its employees as individuals. As a trainee I have received excellent training, constant support and plenty of practical experience which I am certain has provided me with the best possible start to my legal career.

And finally, tell us about your interests outside work…

Outside of work I enjoy all things active, including Crossfit, skiing and horse riding. I also love to read and spend time with my family and friends.

Charlotte Johnston is a Trainee Solicitor in the Neurotrauma team at Sintons. You can contact Charlotte at charlotte.johnston@sintons.co.uk or on 0191 226 7915.

Meet our Neurotrauma Team with Christopher Spoors

What is your role at Sintons and how long have you been with the firm?

I am a senior litigator in the Neurotrauma team specialising in cases involving brain and spinal cord injuries and have been with Sintons since November 2014.

Tell us about your career to date…

I started working in the legal profession as a paralegal without pay during the resettlement phase following a 10-year career in the Royal Navy. I then secured a permanent role and played a key part in establishing a personal injury department in a conveyancing firm. After gaining further experience, I relocated in 2013 and joined a Legal 500 ranked firm in Newcastle, before joining Sintons.

Since joining Sintons I have worked my way up from dealing with low value claims, to fast-track claims and now serious, life-changing injuries.

Can you tell us about your department and the work it does?

We act for both adult and child claimants throughout England who have sustained serious, life-changing neurological injuries, supporting them and their families through the litigation process, ensuring their immediate and longer-term rehabilitation, care and accommodation needs are provided for. We are committed to ensuring our clients have the best opportunity to reach their full potential after injury.

Can you tell us about the work you do?

I bring claims for clients who have sustained serious life-changing neurological injury resulting from road traffic accidents, accidents at work and criminal injuries. I have a particular enthusiasm for acting for clients whose injuries have been caused by the negligence of untraced or uninsured drivers, ensuring the instigation of early rehabilitation packages and securing interim payments to support any ongoing financial difficulties after injury.

In addition, I work alongside colleagues as part of a team on more complex matters.

What have been your personal career highlights to date?

Being appointed to the Neurotrauma team and working on claims resulting in securing settlements in excess of £1million.

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. With the depth of experience and excellent lawyers, every day is a learning day.

And finally, tell us about your interests outside work…

Outside of work I am an FA qualified and licenced football coach and coach a local grassroots football team, and I’m also a registered football referee. I am a primary school governor and current Treasurer of Headway Hartlepool – and also, for my sins, am a Sunderland AFC season ticket holder.

Christopher Spoors is a Senior Litigator in the Neurotrauma team at Sintons. You can contact Chris at christopher.spoors@sintons.co.uk or on 0191 226 3642.

Settlement for mother injured at tourist attraction

A woman who sustained a permanent ankle injury when an unsafe surface caused her to fall at a tourist attraction has settled her case with the support of Sintons.

The woman was injured in March 2017 while on a day out with her family including her two young daughters. She was carrying her youngest daughter, while following the eldest, when she slipped while walking down a bund which encircled the play area.

The sloped surface was worn, largely devoid of turf and was covered in pea gravel creating a foreseeable risk of injury. When the Claimant slipped, she sustained complex ankle injuries, a fracture and talar shift, which have so far required two rounds of surgery.

Having initially required pins and plates inserting to support her right ankle, subsequent surgery was required to remove the metalwork after this resulted in ongoing pain, weakness and swelling. Ongoing treatment will be needed.

The injury impacted on her employment, and she continues to have trouble in everyday tasks like walking up the stairs or walking on uneven ground, after developing osteoarthritis as a direct result of the accident.

The woman turned to nationally renowned personal injury specialists at Sintons for support with her claim. Liability was denied throughout the case, although subsequent negotiations brought about a settlement with less than a week to go before trial.

Associate David Knipe, who has over 20 years of specialist personal injury litigation experience, acted on her behalf.

“I was very happy with the whole process. David Knipe did an incredible job, he is very knowledgeable and very personable, both very important in a client facing role. I would definitely recommend Sintons going forward,” said the claimant.

David said: “This highly distressing situation arose from our client enjoying a day out with her family at a site which welcomes tourists and visitors. Our client was walking in an area designated as being family friendly.

“Regrettably, our investigations revealed that this was an accident that had simply been waiting to happen. The area had deteriorated over several years and was allowed to persist until our clients nasty injury. Thankfully, significant steps have since been taken to make the area safe to prevent this from happening again.

“The ankle injury has significantly impacted on her life, hindering her in everyday tasks and preventing her from taking part in sports and activities with her daughters.

“We are delighted to have been able to act on her behalf and settle this matter, which took four years to conclude due to the continual denial of liability. The settlement will enable her to secure bespoke rehabilitation and therapies to give her the best possible chance of mitigating the pain and lasting effects of the injury she sustained.

“At Sintons, we are very proud of our reputation for fighting hard on behalf of our clients to get the best possible result for them and their family, no matter how long that takes. We wish our client in this matter the very best for the future.”

Meet our Neurotrauma Team with Nicki Waugh

What is your role at Sintons and how long have you been with the firm?

I am a Solicitor in the Neurotrauma team and have been with Sintons for coming up to 18 months.

Tell us about your career to date…

I graduated with a law degree in 2001 and spent a few years working in paralegal roles. In 2003 I moved from my native Sheffield to Newcastle and joined Thompsons Solicitors, the largest trade union law firm in the country. I worked there for 17 years and during that time I undertook further periods of study, firstly qualifying as a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives and then as a Solicitor in 2014. I also got married and started my family during these years.

I had the opportunity to work on a large range of different types of personal injury claims varying in severity, value and type. In the later years these were predominantly employers liability and industrial disease cases. This proved to be invaluable experience and I very much enjoyed my time there. I felt however that I wanted to deepen my knowledge and become a specialist in the area of serious injuries. I therefore decided to make a move to a firm who were very much focused on this type of work and I joined Sintons as a consequence of this in January 2020.

Can you tell us about your department and the work it does?

I work in the Neurotrauma team and our focus is on assisting people who have suffered life changing brain and spinal injuries. Our aim is to secure early rehabilitation and interim payments to aid the best possible recovery. The longer term goal is on recovery of compensation but our approach is a holistic and supportive one. Securing the right team of experts and therapists and working collaboratively is key to the work we do.

Can you tell us about the work you do?

I work closely with senior members of the team in working as described above for people with brain and spinal injuries. Our work is very much a team approach and day to day I will be involved in drafting legal documents, liaising with experts and therapists, obtaining evidence and carrying out research and of our course supporting clients. It can be very demanding work but it is extremely rewarding.

I consider myself to be a ‘people person’ and the most enjoyable part of my job is working closely with an injured person and their family to build a relationship of trust and support in what is almost inevitably the worse period of their lives. It is a privilege to work on their behalf.

What have been your personal career highlights to date?

I secured compensation in excess of £550,000 for an individual who sustained serious injuries in a road traffic accident. She had been involved in a high speed rear end collision and at first sight, she appeared to have recovered well however she in fact had significant ongoing injuries which were the result of a traumatic brain injury. These were impacting every aspect of her daily life and she had been unable to return to active employment. She was supported in obtaining the best treatment possible with a team of experts providing a multi-disciplinary approach. I was very pleased to secure a compensation package that would ensure this treatment could continue after settlement and which would provide some financial security for the future. It was possible to do so without the need to proceed to trial and settlement was agreed shortly after a joint settlement meeting.

Sintons enjoys a first-rate reputation regionally and nationally for its work. What is it like to work here?

My first year at Sintons has probably been the strangest ever in view of COVID-19 and I have spent the majority of it working from my spare bedroom! I have felt fully supported in this however and have been able to work effectively in what has been very difficult circumstances for everyone. This has shown me how professional the firm is and how well they have coped in adversity. I have seen first-hand the great work they do for severely injured individuals and have enjoyed becoming part of the team. I have also been impressed at the comprehensive nature of the service which is offered by Sintons and how different areas of the firm, such as the neurotrauma team and the court of protection team, work together to provide a full service to clients.

And finally, tell us about your interests outside work…

I enjoy running – most of the time – and am a member of Newburn Running Club. I regularly take part in 10k races and aim to do a couple of half marathons a year. I also like to do yoga, take long walks with my dog and bake with my son. I also do some volunteer work with the charity SANDS. They provide support to anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby during or shortly after birth. Having first hand experience of neonatal death I hope to be able to provide comfort and support in my role as a trained Befriender as well helping with fundraising.

Nicki Waugh is a Solicitor in the Neurotrauma team at Sintons. You can contact Nicki at nicki.waugh@sintons.co.uk or on 0191 226 3724.

This week is Farm Safety Week (19-23 July 2021)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has set out a list of the hazards to lungs in the farming and agriculture sector.

Chest problems, and ultimately work-related (occupational) lung disease, may occur as a result of breathing in dust vapours or chemicals from:

  • harvesting or handling grain, or mixing animal feedstuffs
  • feeding animals
  • handling mouldy hay or bedding and waste products from animals or poultry
  • slurry, silage
  • welding fume
  • some veterinary medicines and disinfectants

Risks include being exposed to dusts, vapours or chemicals at work for just a short time that may cause unpleasant irritation or inflammation in the nose, throat or lungs.

Longer exposure may lead to more serious chest problems and lung diseases, including asthma, chronic bronchitis and farmer’s lung.

These symptoms can be short-lived at the time of a job, or they may get worse and last longer until they are almost always present. They can be set off by even small exposures to any substance to which you have become allergic, or sensitised.

Controlling the hazards, avoid breathing in harmful substances by:

  • using alternative, safer substances where possible
  • changing to low dust materials, e.g. granules or pellets
  • enclosing sources of dust or spray
  • vacuuming spillages instead of sweeping them up

Reduce the amount you breathe in by:

  • using local exhaust ventilation (LEV) e.g. when welding
  • using effective filters in tractor or vehicle cabs
  • maintaining filters to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • improving ventilation in buildings
  • wearing appropriate, effective respiratory protective equipment (RPE)

All masks and respirators must be CE marked.

For more information on personal protective equipment (PPE), go to the HSE website.

Sheila Ramshaw is an Associate in the Regulatory Services department at Sintons. To speak to Sheila about this or any other matter, contact her on 0191 226 3739 or Sheila.Ramshaw@sintons.co.uk.

Meet our Neurotrauma Team with Sarah Askew

What is your role at Sintons and how long have you been with the firm? 

I am a solicitor in the Neurotrauma department at Sintons. I have been a member of the team supporting clients who have sustained traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries since 2019.

Tell us about your career to date…

I graduated from the University of Leeds with 2:I in English Law and Australian Legal Studies. My degree included a year studying in Australia. During this year, not only did I get to travel a lot, but I also worked as an Intern for The Parliament of Queensland and studied Equality and Discrimination Law.

Since finishing my studies in 2011, I have dedicated my career to supporting claimants through what can often be the most difficult time in their lives. I have been fortunate to work on complex and high-value personal injury cases for almost 10 years now.

However, I have to credit where I am now to the individual that I worked for as a personal assistant whilst studying. This person taught me so much (and no doubt my understanding is just the tip of the iceberg) about the daily fights and the barriers imposed by society. It was this person that influenced my decision to work in serious injury.

Can you tell us about your department and the work it does?

I work in the Neurotrauma team at Sintons. We are a specialist team of 10 lawyers plus our fabulous admin team that sits within the wider Claimant Pi Department. Our specialism is that we act solely for individuals who have sustained an acquired brain injury and/or spinal cord injury.

The most important aspect of our work is securing an award of damages to help the individuals fund their rehabilitation, care and equipment needs that arise after sustaining an injury.

Can you tell us about the work you do?

I act on behalf of clients who have sustained life-changing serious injuries bringing claims for both children and adults who have suffered a brain injury and or/a spinal cord injury.

I work closely with rehabilitation professionals to secure interim payments wherever possible for my clients to ensure they get the support and input that works for them. To help my clients achieve financial security for the future, I explore all avenues and work closely with my colleagues who can offer specialist advice on the family law issues and employment law issues that often arise following an injury, but that are so often forced take a back seat following a serious injury.

What have been your personal career highlights to date?

I have been fortunate to work for and learn from so many individuals who have suffered life-changing injuries to date that it is really difficult to pick one. The best part of my job is knowing that what I do can help improve the quality of my clients’ lives.

But if I had to pick – it would be securing an early admission liability in a matter that involved multiple defendants for a client who was very anxious and had no support or treatment in place before coming to Sintons. They now have an interim payment and rehabilitation programme in place. This was not the highest interim payment that I or the Neurotrauma team have secured for our clients, but it made such a difference for my client allowing them to move forward and start focusing on their rehabilitation and their future.

In respect of my technical ability/legal education, it has to be achieving my Higher Rights of Audience.

Sintons enjoys a first-rate reputation regionally and nationally for its work. What is it like to work here?

The Neurotrauma team are a fantastic bunch – I couldn’t ask friendlier and more supportive colleagues who are equally as passionate about the work that we do. I guess that is why we all work so well together.

But this is not surprising because Sintons is a great place to work. Not long after I joined the firm my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and they could not have been more supportive. They also listen to their employees’ ideas and take on board suggestions. Despite lockdown there has still been a collegiate feel and real effort to support our charity of the year – Children’s Cancer North.

And finally, tell us about your interests outside work… 

Long country walks and cycling. After moving to the coast last summer I took up open water swimming but I am not brave enough to swim in the North Sea in the winter.

Amateur baker – some things turn out well and others are disastrous.

In my spare time, I also volunteer for a special educational needs charity and I am Trustee for Independent Advocacy North East.

Sarah Askew is an Associate in the Neurotrauma team at Sintons. You can contact Sarah at sarah.askew@sintons.co.uk or on 0191 226 3746.

Meet our Neurotrauma Team with Sarah Askew

What is your role at Sintons and how long have you been with the firm? 

I am a solicitor in the Neurotrauma department at Sintons. I have been a member of the team supporting clients who have sustained traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries since 2019.

Tell us about your career to date…

I graduated from the University of Leeds with 2:I in English Law and Australian Legal Studies. My degree included a year studying in Australia. During this year, not only did I get to travel a lot, but I also worked as an Intern for The Parliament of Queensland and studied Equality and Discrimination Law…read more >>