Category Archive: News

Campaign illustrates life before and after brain injury

The ways in which a brain injury can change a person’s life are the focus of this year’s Action for Brain Injury Week (ABI Week), led by Headway, the brain injury association.

The campaign, which looks at identity after brain injury, is called A life re-written.

Andrew McGowan, who heads up Sintons’ neurotrauma team, said: “Every day, our specialist lawyers work with clients who have experienced brain injuries, and we see the profound effect this can have on their lives, their plans for the future and their personal identity.

“Charities like Headway not only provide support for people who’ve had a serious injury but they also do the important work of raising awareness of the wide-ranging impact an injury like this can have.”

Running from 20 May 2024 to 25 May 2024, A life re-written will illustrate how brain injury can affect anyone at any time, focusing particularly on how it throws plans into disarray, changes life goals, and even the sense of who we are.

It will chart positive examples of brain injury survivors who have experienced post-traumatic growth and successfully rebuilt their careers, relationships and lives and will also outline the realism of life post-brain injury and how positive outcomes aren’t always the norm.

“I hope this year’s campaign will help more people understand a little bit about what life can be like for someone who has experienced a brain injury,” added Andrew McGowan.

“Sintons will continue to work closely with charities like Headway and to support their work, which we know makes a real difference to the lives of many of our clients.”

Read more about this year’s Action for Brain Injury Week here.

Sintons is also supporting Headway Tyneside’s free walking football sessions, which help people stay active and socialise after a brain injury. Find out more.

Helping North East primary school pupils dream big

Apprentice and trainee solicitors from Sintons are working in partnership with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP) to help primary pupils in the region learn about legal careers.

As part of the North East LEP’s Start Small, Dream Big programme, four of Sintons’ staff visited Welbeck Academy in Newcastle.

Gemma Hewitt, head of people services at Sintons, explained more: “Being a lawyer is often still seen as a career that’s not open to everyone, but apprenticeships have opened up the legal sector to more people than ever before.

“By partnering with the North East LEP, we hope to help more children and young people in the North East understand that a career in law is an option open to them.”

Solicitor apprentices Sabrina Jackland and Sophie Lemon, and trainee solicitors Jessica Fields and Anthony May, gave year five pupils, aged nine and 10, an insight into what it’s like to work in a law firm.

They explained what a solicitor is, the various routes into the profession and got the children involved with some role-playing activities.

Sabrina Jackland said: “Without being aware of career options it is almost impossible for children and young people to pick one, which explains the lack of diversity in so many occupations.

Before our visit, many of the students had never heard of a solicitor and did not understand the routes into the profession. I was pleased that, at the end of the sessions, some students said they would like to be a solicitor and I hope our talk has given somebody a beacon of light that will illuminate their future path into a career in law.”

Start Small, Dream Big aims to increase awareness and aspirations amongst primary aged children of the range of careers available to them in the future, as well as the pathways into them. It also seeks to challenge the stereotypes that limit children’s thinking about their future careers.

Matt Joyce, Regional Lead: North East Ambition, from the North East LEP, said: “We know that, by the age of four, children start to have ideas about what they might do in their futures. By five and six, children are beginning to narrow their choices based on their gender, and by 10 many young people have already made career-limiting decisions.

“By working with employers like Sintons we can bring the world of work into the classroom and give primary aged children a taste of career options they might not have otherwise known about.”

Find out more about training to be a solicitor via an apprenticeship here.

Sintons’ charity golf day raises nearly £5,000 for The Percy Hedley Foundation

Law firm Sintons hosted its biggest-ever golf day last week, raising thousands of pounds for its new firm charity, The Percy Hedley Foundation.

The golf day saw 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 total of nearly £5,000 was raised from the event, which will go towards the fundraising target Sintons has set for The Percy Hedley Foundation.

The Percy Hedley Foundation has four residential homes in Newcastle upon Tyne; two schools for pupils aged three to 19, which offer specialist education for a range of complex physical disabilities and learning difficulties; and a specialist further education college which helps young people develop communication, independence and employability and make a successful transition into adulthood. It also delivers an adult day service offering bespoke, lifelong learning programs for people with complex disabilities and learning difficulties.

The Percy Hedley Foundation 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 fantastic turnout of participants, for which we are very grateful.”

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, surpassing all our previous golf days.”

Chris Welch: Steering Sintons to new horizons

In the bustling legal landscape of the north east, one name stands tall—Chris Welch, the Managing Partner of Sintons, a distinguished Newcastle law firm with roots tracing back nearly 130 years. In this exclusive interview, Chris reflects on his journey with Sintons, the firm’s evolution, and his perspective on the legal profession.

Chris joined Sintons in 2003 after a 16-year stint, 12 of which were as an equity partner, at another law firm. He was drawn to Sintons by its values, client-centric approach, and genuine care for its clients. The firm, then based in Jesmond with around 80 staff, captured Chris’s attention not just for its reputation or size but for what it stood for. In 2004, Sintons moved to a new iconic location near to St James’ Park in the heart of Newcastle, signalling the start of a transformative period of growth for the firm.

“The move from Jesmond to the city centre in 2004 was a springboard for what Sintons has become today. People took notice of us as we went from a modest Jesmond ofice to a prominent glass block in the city centre,” said Chris. Riding that wave, Sintons propelled its corporate and commercial services to new heights.

Originally from the North West, Chris is the son of a clergyman, and his greatest inspiration comes from his parents, who taught him the values of hard work, compassion, and doing one’s best. His legal journey began at Newcastle University where he forged a strong allegiance to the area and consequently settled into his working life. He has spent his entire career in the legal field, with Sintons being his professional home for more than two decades.

Chris’s legal career initially revolved around corporate law, specifically mergers and acquisitions. Over the years, he transitioned to a more managerial role leading to his current position as full time Managing Partner. While he still maintains client relationships and undertakes some client work, his focus has shifted to overseeing the firm’s strategic direction and managing larger projects.

Sintons has experienced substantial growth in recent years. The firm has seen a 30% increase in turnover over the last two financial years, reaching an impressive £16.9 million. It has also expanded its personnel, welcoming 30 new starters alone in the last fiscal year, bringing the total staff count to around 190. Chris’s leadership and strategic business acumen has provided Sintons with clarity and direction, and his shadow of influence and people focused management style has encouraged his team to develop and thrive in today’s competitive market.

Beyond corporate law, Sintons has made significant strides in new and diverse legal areas. The Neurotrauma Injury Department, dealing with life-changing injuries, has evolved into one of the top four claimant neurotrauma teams nationally. Just one example of how the firm has the capacity and the will to open and develop new emerging markets to benefit its clients’ needs.

Community engagement and corporate social responsibility is also taken very seriously by the firm with staf encouraged to volunteer hours provided by the firm to good causes and raise funds for the firm’s chosen charity.

“Sintons takes great pride in its corporate social responsibility initiatives. We never forget that we’re part of a community and it’s good to give back which we do in several ways. We have a dedicated committee that organises charity partnerships and in the last two years we have raised around £30,000 for The People’s Kitchen.” Previous benefactors have included The Great North Air Ambulance, Daft as a Brush, and The Charlie Bear Appeal.

A significant ongoing project for Sintons is the current refurbishment of its office space. A seven-figure investment aims to create a modern, collaborative workspace with enhanced facilities. The first stage of this refurbishment, recently unveiled, has already gained acclaim, reflecting the firm’s commitment to providing an optimal working environment for its staff and a welcoming, safe place for its clients. With more than a year in the planning, the whole refurb will be completed this summer.

“We’re going to be celebrating our 130th anniversary next year which is a big milestone, and the new office improvements are an example of how we’ve evolved with the times and to the changing landscape of the legal profession and the business world. We’re still going strong and we’re excited to celebrate it with our team and our clients.”

As Chris continues to steer Sintons toward new horizons, his m dedication to the firm’s values, clients, and community remains unwavering. The journey, he believes, is not just about growth but about evolving in a way that aligns with the firm’s ethos and enhances the overall legal experience for both clients and colleagues alike.

Free walking football sessions support recovery from serious injury

Sintons is supporting the Newcastle United Foundation and Headway Tyneside to deliver free, weekly walking football sessions on Wednesdays, for people who have experienced a severe brain injury.

For the second year running, Sintons is sponsoring the weekly events, which help people stay active and socialise after a brain injury.

Andrew McGowan is the head of Sintons’ neurotrauma department and helps people access the support and rehabilitation they need after serious injury.

He said: “This walking football programme has proven to have huge mental and physical benefits and it can be an important part of people’s recovery after a serious injury.

“It’s important to me, and to all of our team, that everyone is able to access the rehabilitation they need and I hope that by lending our support to this programme, more people will be able to take part and feel the benefits.”

Liam, who takes part in the sessions, said: “It’s just the camaraderie, getting together with this group of people. It helps loads with my balance and my walking – you brain is engaged in walking but when you’ve got the ball at your feet, there’s so much more to concentrate on, it really tests your balance.”

Sam, who also takes part, said: “It encourages you to keep fit. It’s a special group to be a part of – a nice community of people who know what’s going on with you and can be supportive.”

And Michael, another walking football participant, added: “It gets me active. I love sports and this is ideal for me; no one’s really bothered about who wins or anything, it’s just a game for everyone to be happy; everyone’s smiling when they come away from here.

The free walking football sessions take place at the Newcastle United Foundation’s community hub, NUCastle, which is a five minute walk from St. James’ Park.

The sessions involve no running, jogging or heading and are designed to be a safe way people can enjoy football together, in mixed teams of up to 7-a-side.

See when the next walking football sessions are, here.

Teeing off for charity at Close House

Sintons’ clients, friends and partners are invited to one of the first major fundraising events in aid of the firm’s newly-chosen charity, The Percy Hedley Foundation: a charity golf day which will take place on Thursday 9 May at Close House in Northumberland.

David Pritchard, Head of Marketing and chair of Sintons’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee, explained: “Every two years our staff choose a charity for the firm to support and, as of this spring, we’ll be fundraising for The Percy Hedley Foundation which so brilliantly supports people with complex learning difficulties and disabilities.”

Close House hosted the British Masters events in 2017 and 2020 and has two of the best golf courses in the country, all set within the beautiful surroundings of the Tyne Valley.

The day will start with tea, coffee and bacon rolls, before teams of four will tee off at 11am. There will be prizes for the longest drive, the straightest drive and nearest the pin. The entry fee is £300 per team of four.

David Pritchard added: “Over the next two years, we hope to raise tens of thousands of pounds for The Percy Hedley Foundation through a whole range of activities, from cake-baking to sports tournaments – there will be a way for everyone to get involved.

“To help get our fundraising off to a strong start, we hope as many people as possible will come along to Close House for a day of golf, prizes and – most importantly – raising money for an incredibly worthwhile cause.”

To get involved, email Peter Jennings on peter.jennings@sintons.co.uk or call him on (0191) 226 7907.

Meet the Wills, Trusts & Estates Team with Ellie Stannard

SintonsCourt of Protection Team provides legal services to people affected by a lack of mental capacity, which may mean that they lack the ability to make decisions about their own finances, health and welfare. The newest member of the team is Ellie Stannard, who joined the firm as a paralegal in March 2024.

We caught up with Ellie to find out more about her and her role.

Tell us about your career to date.

I graduated from Northumbria University’s Law School in July 2023 with a first class degree. I’d already secured a training contract offer from Sintons to begin in September 2025 and I had expressed a strong interest in working in Court of Protection, so I was keen to take up Sintons’ offer of the opportunity to be a paralegal in the team, before starting my training contract.

What does your role here involve?

It’s difficult to capture everything the Court of Protection Team does on a day-to-day basis but, essentially, we manage the property and affairs of clients who have lost the mental capacity to do so alone. As this is such a broad area, my work can range from drafting court applications and arranging capacity assessments, to planning holidays and going car shopping for clients. I don’t believe it’s an area you could ever get bored in!

What attracted you to the role and what have you enjoyed the most about it?

The Sintons employees I knew prior to joining always sang the firm’s praises, with major emphasis on the trust the firm puts in its employees to manage their own workload and get the job done effectively. This element of freedom and trust played a huge part for me in selecting a firm, as I believe the right balance of independence and support is something that can create a healthy work environment.

The award-winning team is one of the most highly-rated in the North of England. What are the advantages of being part of it?

The team I have joined is such a close-knit, supportive team, and I can honestly say they have been so welcoming towards me since joining Sintons. My supervisor is amazing and is very supportive in terms of giving me my own workload and supporting me with managing it.

The files we work on are all very much a team effort. There is no feeling of competitiveness between one another as we all want the same outcome and make decisions based on the client’s best interests.

What are your interests outside of work?

I love to travel. I spent the months following graduation backpacking across South East Asia and it was an amazing experience. When at home though, I enjoy going to the gym, as I am a huge foodie so this allows me to eat what I want and stay healthy!

Find out more about the work Ellie and her colleagues do here.

Supporting innovation in healthcare

This year’s Bright Ideas in Health Awards, which celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams working within the NHS, industry and academia, are once again being sponsored by Sintons.

The awards, which are organised by Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria, are given to people who have identified ways of improving services for patients, either through a technical innovation or through better service delivery.

Amanda McCabe, partner at Sintons and head of the team which specialises in healthcare law, explained why the firm has once again chosen to sponsor the awards: “Our team of specialist healthcare lawyers works closely with our clients in NHS Trusts and other healthcare organisations and we see the incredible work that goes on every day to deliver the best standards of care for people.

“It’s a sector where innovation is constantly taking place and Sintons is proud to play a small part in recognising those people whose ideas and ambition are improving healthcare services for us all.”

There are 10 categories in this year’s Bright Ideas in Health Awards including the Innovative MedTech Award, which is open to organisations which have developed a new medical device, new piece of equipment or diagnostic tool. 2024 also sees the inclusion of a new award category, the Innovative Women’s Health Award, recognising innovations improving women’s health.

The competition is open to SMEs, NHS organisations and academic institutions in the North East of England and North Cumbria.

“The award categories span a wide range of areas of innovation, from clinical education to carbon reduction,” said Amanda. “They represent the breadth of work taking place in the North East and Cumbria and we look forward to finding out who’s shortlisted, later in the year.”

Sintons’ healthcare team delivers advice to healthcare professionals, businesses and organisations and its lawyers are recognised nationally for their expertise in this fast-moving area of work.

Find out more about the Bright Ideas in Health Awards.  

New partner appointed to neurotrauma team

A new partner has joined Sintons’ respected team of neurotrauma lawyers.

Rebecca Maddock specialises in acting for children who have sustained serious injuries and also has expertise in adult brain injury work, adult spinal injury work and psychiatric injuries.

She joins the firm’s existing team of specialists who have a wealth of experience in supporting clients who have suffered life-changing injuries.

Andrew McGowan is head of the department and said: “Rebecca brings with her more than 15 years of specific experience in the field of serious injury and neurotrauma.

“She’s represented clients across the UK, helping them secure settlements and access the rehabilitation they need, and I know she will deliver the highest standards of legal care to everyone we work with.”

Rebecca is the North East regional coordinator for the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and has served as chair, secretary and treasurer for Headway Central Northumberland, a branch of Headway, the Brain Injury Association.

She’s also accredited as an APIL senior litigator and APIL brain injury specialist.

“Representing children and their families following a life changing injury is something I’m passionate about,” said Rebecca. “I’m looking forward to joining Sintons’ team, who are recognised as leaders in their field, and helping more people to access the support they need after a serious injury.”

Find out more about how Sintons neurotrauma team helps people after injuries here.

Personal injury team treks for charity

10 members of Sintonspersonal injury team are tackling the Yorkshire Peaks Challenge to raise money for Day One Trauma Support, a charity which helps people rebuild their lives after major physical trauma.

As Mark Quigley, who is partner at Sintons and head of the personal injury team, explains, his department specialises in supporting people in the aftermath of serious injury.

“Our lawyers are incredibly dedicated to helping people who have experienced severe injuries, including life-changing trauma, by securing funds to enable them to access rehabilitation and ultimately secure the right level of compensation to enable them to fulfil their potential.

“Every day we work closely with partners who also play a role in people’s recovery and charities like Day One Trauma Support are a vital source of support and information for many of our clients,” said Mark.

The Yorkshire Peaks Challenge, which takes place on 15 June 2024, has been organised by Day One Trauma Support, with members of their team on hand to support and encourage participants along the route.

Each person will scale between one and three of Yorkshire’s famous peaks of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent.

Nadia Hussain, who is a solicitor specialising in neurotrauma cases, said: “Taking part in the challenge is a way of showing a bit of extra support for those who have experienced life-changing accidents and illness.

“Each of us will be raising money through sponsorship and I hope that, together, we can make a big contribution to Day One.”

The team taking part in the challenge is made up of Alastair Elliot, Andrew McGowan, Anthony May, Caitlin Ord, Iain Baillie, Louise Clark, Mark Quigley, Nadia Hussein, Sabrina Jackland and Sophie Moore.

You can find out more about Sintons’ personal injury team here.

Sintons achieves Law Society accreditation again

Sintons has once again received a stamp of approval from The Law Society, achieving its prestigious Lexcel accreditation.

The internationally-recognised accreditation is The Law Society’s quality mark for client care, compliance and practice management. It is awarded to firms which demonstrate a commitment to legal excellence and which show the highest standards of practice across the organisation.

“As part of our annual Lexcel accreditation, our work is rigorously and independently assessed,” explained Christopher Welch, Sintons’ managing partner.

“It’s a valuable confirmation of the commitment and professionalism of every member of our team and something which we’re all very proud to have once again received.”

Sintons has received Lexcel accreditation every year since it first took part in the assessment process in 2016.

“The Law Society carries out regular visits and re-assessments to make sure that all accredited organisations are maintaining the high standards expected,” said Chris Welch.

“We aim to not only maintain our standards but to push them higher every year. Having this external mark of approval from The Law Society means our clients can be sure they’re working with people who they can trust to deliver the highest quality of legal support.”

Find out about the Lexcel accreditation here.

Sintons’ Neurotrauma team hold seminar on the role of virtual reality in neurological rehabilitation

How can virtual reality be used to support neurological rehabilitation?

Sintons’ are holding a free seminar exploring virtual reality (VR) technology in the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury and vestibular and balance disorders.

The event will take place on Thursday 25 April in York and will feature keynote speakers with expertise in rehabilitation and supporting people who have suffered serious brain injuries.

Andrew McGowan, head of Sintons’ neurotrauma department, explained: “Our legal experts specialise in supporting people who’ve experienced severe injuries and that includes making sure they have access to the best possible rehabilitation and physical therapy.

“In the last few years, we’ve seen huge steps forward in the use of VR during treatment and recovery and this event will be an opportunity to learn about what can be done and to see some of this new technology in action.”

The event will include presentations from Nicola Hunt who is a specialist neurological and vestibular physiotherapist with Physiocare Rehab and Eloise Ross, case manager at Bush and Co, which provides case management services for people of all ages who have suffered catastrophic injuries through personal injury.

“VR has the potential to increase accessibility and impact of rehabilitation and it is also being used by our colleagues in the NHS and private healthcare during assessment and treatment,” said Andrew.

“It’s an area which has moved on quickly in the last few years so I’d encourage anyone who has an interest in this evolving area of healthcare to get in touch to book a free place at the event.”

For more information or to reserve your place, contact Peter Jennings on peter.jennings@sintons.co.uk or 0191 226 7907  or click here

£30,000 raised for The People’s Kitchen in Newcastle

Sintons has smashed its fundraising target for The People’s Kitchen, a Newcastle-based charity which supports homeless and vulnerable people in the city. More than £30,000 has been raised through a huge variety of events over the past two years, surpassing the original target of £25,000.

The most recent fundraising event was a 5-a-side football tournament, attended by staff, clients and their friends and families, which raised more than £3,000.

David Pritchard, Head of Marketing and chair of Sintons’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee, said: “Every two years we support a different charity chosen by our people and, since 2022, we’ve been raising money to help The People’s Kitchen provide food, clothing and toiletries for homeless and vulnerable people.

“It’s a charity which is so important to our city and which make a huge difference to so many people.”

One of the biggest events in the fundraising calendar is the annual trainee solicitors’ challenge, which involves the trainees taking on a tough physical challenge – last summer, the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge which involved climbing Pen-y-Ghent (694 metres), Whernside (736 metres) and Ingleborough (723 metres), in under 12 hours.

Quiz nights, dog walks and netball matches have also contributed to the total amount raised, and Sintons’ trainees and apprentices delivered handmade cakes and treats to colleagues’ desks in return for donations.

“Our people make sure that there’s something everyone can get involved with, from baking to dog walking, as we know that everyone wants to play their part,” added Managing Partner Christopher Welch.

“Since 1985, The People’s Kitchen has provided practical support, friendship and a safe haven for countless numbers of our city’s most vulnerable people. We hope this donation will help support this vital work, at a time when it’s needed more than ever.”

The firm’s new charity partner for the next two years was recently announced as The Percy Hedley Foundation.

There’s still time to add to the amount raised for The People’s Kitchen – make your donation here.

Trainee solicitors tackle 10 Peaks Challenge for charity

Sintonstrainee solicitors will be taking on the Lake District 10 Peaks Challenge to raise money for the firm’s newly nominated charity, The Percy Hedley Foundation.

The 17 mile trek takes in 10 significant climbs, including England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike.

Charles Bell, one of the trainee solicitors taking part, said: “It’s definitely a daunting challenge but it’s something we’re all excited to tackle together and we hope to raise a lot of money for a brilliant cause.

“We work together well as a team and all support each other at work, and I think that will stand us in good stead when it comes to completing this challenge.”

This is the latest in a series of challenges that Sintons’ trainees complete every year to raise money for charity. Since April 2024, the firm has been fundraising for The Percy Hedley Foundation, which supports people with complex learning difficulties, disabilities and additional communication needs,

Chris Welch, managing partner, explained: “Our trainee solicitors always choose a challenge which really tests them both mentally and physically; I think it’s an illustration of how ambitious they are and how they go above and beyond to exceed expectations. It’s something we see from them in their legal work as well as in their fundraising.”

The group will begin The Lake District 10 Peaks Challenge near Buttermere in Cumbria and, over approximately 15 hours, will reach the summit of 10 peaks and scale a total height of up to 2,500 metres.

The trainees will be sponsored by colleagues, clients, family and friends and hope to raise a considerable sum to add to the money already raised for The Percy Hedley Foundation.

Donations to The Percy Hedley Foundation in support of the trainee challenge are welcome! Make your contribution here.

Five-a-side tournament raises over £3,000 for The People’s Kitchen

A five-a-side football tournament organised by Sintons has raised thousands of pounds for its nominated charity, The People’s Kitchen.

12 teams competed in the event, held at Goals in Gosforth, which saw mixed teams taking part to win the overall title.

The event raised over £3,000 for The People’s Kitchen, the much-loved charity which supports homeless and vulnerable people in Newcastle and has been the focus of Sintons’ fundraising for the past two years.

TGA Consulting Engineers were named as winners of the tournament.

David Pritchard, head of marketing and chair of the firm’s CSR committee, said: “We are well known for the quality and variety of events we organise, which are always so well supported by businesses across the region. Our five-a-side tournament has seen a similarly positive response and we are very grateful to those who took part and made donations”.

“The People’s Kitchen is a fantastic charity, whose resources and support are needed by growing numbers of individuals and families in this very challenging economic climate, and we are delighted to again raise such a significant sum for them.”

The Percy Hedley Foundation chosen as Sintons’ firm charity

The Percy Hedley Foundation, which supports people with complex learning difficulties, disabilities and additional communication needs, has been selected as Sintons’ firm charity for the next two years.

The North East-based charity is dedicated to improving the everyday lives of people with disabilities. It provides special education, care, support, accommodation and activities at its two schools, college, homes and activities services.

Christopher Welch, Sintons’ managing partner, said: “Our staff vote every two years to select our firm charity and between now and March 2026 we’ll all be getting involved in fundraising to support The Percy Hedley Foundation, which is known throughout the region for the way it makes a positive difference to the lives of so many people.”

Louise Horsefield, Head of Fundraising and Engagement at The Percy Hedley Foundation said: “We are so grateful to the team at Sintons for choosing Percy Hedley as its next charity partner. They have lots of fantastic fundraising activities planned over the next two years and the money raised will make a huge difference to people we support”.

Fundraising events take place throughout each year at Sintons and in the past have included sponsored dog walks, football tournaments and the annual trainees’ challenge which, this year, will see a group of trainee solicitors tackling the Lake District 10 Peaks Challenge.

David Pritchard, chair of Sintons’ Corporate Social Responsibility committee, added: “It’s always tough to choose which charity we want to support, as there are so many volunteers and organisations doing brilliant work, but I think we all feel incredibly proud to be able to support The Percy Hedley Foundation. I hope we can raise a significant amount of money over the next two years.”

The Percy Hedley Foundation has four residential homes in Newcastle upon Tyne; two schools for pupils aged three to 19, which offer specialist education for a range of complex physical disabilities and learning difficulties; and a specialist further education college which helps young people develop communication, independence and employability and make a successful transition into adulthood. It also delivers an adult day service offering bespoke, lifelong learning programs for people with complex disabilities and learning difficulties.

Sintons’ outgoing charity is The People’s Kitchen and Sintons’ staff have raised nearly £30,000 to support its work.

Help us get started! You can make a donation to The Percy Hedley Foundation here.

Trainees and apprentices gain experience in new areas of law

Sintons’ current cohort of apprentice and trainee solicitors will be taking up their latest training seats in March, giving them the opportunity to gain experience across a range of specialist departments.

Throughout their training contract, apprentice and trainees spend time in different teams, learning about areas including personal and family law, business, personal injury and healthcare.

Gemma Hewitt, Head of People Services, explains: “We make sure that every apprentice and trainee has the chance to learn from colleagues across the firm, giving them the broad base of experience they need at the start of their careers.”

Corina Dias is a first year graduate trainee at Sintons and will be moving from the employment law team to the neurotrauma department.

Corina commented: “One of the great things about training at Sintons is the variety. I’m in my first few months of my training contract and have already learnt so much, and now I have the chance to experience a completely different area of law, supporting clients who have suffered a serious injury and helping them access the rehabilitation and support they need.”

Second year trainee, Lucy Milnthorp, will move from her current seat in dispute resolution to join the Sintons’ team of construction and engineering specialists.

“I’ve loved my time in the dispute resolution team but at the same time I’m looking forward to working in an area of law that’s brand new to me. Wherever I’ve been based during my training with Sintons, everyone has been incredibly supportive and I know I’ll continue to get the highest quality of training,” said Lucy.

Each apprentice and trainee is supported by their supervisor and they also meet regularly with the People Services team to track their progress and discuss the areas of law they’d like to experience.

Applications are open now for Sintons’ two year graduate training programme. Find out more and apply before 31 March 2024 here.

Inspiring the next generation of solicitor apprentices

Sabrina Jackland, one of Sintonssolicitor apprentices, took part in a visit to Welbeck Academy, a primary school in Newcastle, to give year five pupils an insight into careers in law. On International Women’s Day, Sabrina reflects on the value of helping young women learn about the range of career options open to them.

Providing role models

Looking back to the decision-making process, before I started my career in law, as a young woman I would have benefited greatly from having a role model and more information.

Without being aware of career options it is almost impossible for young people to pick one, which explains the lack of diversity in so many occupations. There is also a need to promote the positive aspects of apprenticeships over traditional routes.

Before choosing a career in law myself, I had reservations. I knew that solicitors worked extremely long hours and it is a high-pressure environment. Three years into my apprenticeship, it is the best decision I have made. Although it is challenging, my colleagues at Sintons are extremely supportive and it is a great place to work.

I took part in this event because it’s important for young women to have an opportunity to see a potential career that could change their lives. If they have never envisaged themselves doing something different to their parents or contemporaries, it is difficult to see an alternative to the norm.

Meeting year five pupils

Along with three other trainees and apprentices from Sintons, I gave a careers talk to two year five classes.

We explained what a solicitor is, the various route into the profession, and the typical tasks that a solicitor might carry out. We had created a workbook for the students, and they got involved in some activities.

The students particularly enjoyed the role-play negotiation task where they were negotiating contract between TikTokers and celebrities. It was interesting to hear their discussions and what compromises they were willing to make.

They had lots of questions and asked us what a typical day is like for a solicitor, what our favourite parts of the job are, and we talked about the skills and qualifications they might need.

Helping students make informed choices

Before our visit, many of the students had never heard of a solicitor and did not understand the routes into the profession.

I was pleased that, at the end of the sessions, some students said they would like to be a solicitor and I hope our talk has given somebody a beacon of light that will illuminate their future path into a career in law.

Find out more about Sabrina Jackland and her role as a solicitor apprentice here.

Martyn’s Law Consultation Started

The Government are consulting on the requirements imposed on standard tier premises under the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill. The standard tier premises are defined as having a capacity of 100-799 individuals and  views are being sought from people responsible for these smaller premises.

The consultation is targeted at organisations, businesses, local and public authorities, and individuals who own or operate publicly accessible premises or events that the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill will potentially affect.

The Bill will impose requirements in relation to certain premises, to increase preparedness and protection from a terrorist attack, by requiring proportionate steps be taken. This will depend on the size and nature of the activities within the premises, but one of the conditions would be they wholly or mainly are used for a listed purpose, such as the provision of entertainment and leisure facilities to the public.

If you are a business which falls into the ‘standard tier’ category, it is important to have your say as this will affect the Governments’ policy decisions prior to the legislation’s introduction to Parliament.

The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and is open until 18 March 2024.

You can access the survey here.

Join Sintons’ football tournament in aid of The People’s Kitchen

Sintons’ staff, clients, friends and family are invited to join a mixed, five-a-side football tournament in Gosforth to raise funds for The People’s Kitchen.

The Kick About to Help Out event will take place on Friday 22 March and will mark the culmination of two years of fundraising for The People’s Kitchen, which supports homeless and vulnerable people in Newcastle.

David Pritchard, chair of Sintons’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee, said: “During the last two years we’ve held all sorts of events, from sponsored dog walks to baking challenges, in aid of The People’s Kitchen.

“Now, we’d love as many people as possible to join us as we try to raise more money for this brilliant charity, which has helped so many people in our city.”

The event, which will take place at Goals in Gosforth, will see mixed teams of players competing for prizes, plus a raffle and more. Teams of up to eight people can enter for £250, with all donations going to The People’s Kitchen.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a regular football player or if you want to watch from the side lines,” said David. “Everyone is welcome to come along, have fun and show their support for the important work of The People’s Kitchen.”

Every two years, Sintons’ staff choose a charity which the firm supports through a range of fundraising events. Since 2022, nearly £30,000 has been raised for The People’s Kitchen, surpassing the original target of £25,000.

The firm’s next charity partner will be voted for by staff and announced in spring 2024.

To get involved in Kick About to Help Out, email Peter Jennings on peter.jennings@sintons.co.uk or call him on (0191) 226 7907.

Sintons team takes on Cycle for Smart Works Challenge

This International Women’s Day, staff from Sintons are raising money for Smart Works Newcastle, a charity which supports North East women into employment.

Caitlin Edwards, Jess Fields, Catherine Hope, Hannah Mitchell, Faith Ramsay, Simon Anderson and Nicki Waugh are all taking on the sponsored Cycle for Smart Works Challenge.

Caitlin explained: “The six of us have set our own cycling targets and will be pedalling on road bikes, static bikes and in spin classes to meet our goals and raise money.

“Everything we raise will go direct to Smart Works Newcastle, which provides job coaching and interview clothing to women across the North East. Since Smart Works Newcastle opened in 2018 it has supported more than 2,000 women into employment. Amazingly, 67% of women supported by Smart Works Newcastle go on to secure a job within a month of their first Smart Works appointment.”

This is the second year that a team from Sintons has taken part in the Cycle for Smart Works Challenge.

“The challenge takes place over two weeks and we’re hoping to raise at least £250 between us – and fingers crossed we can make even more,” said Caitlin.

“Smart Works Newcastle is a cause we support all year round by hosting our donation station, but we especially wanted to focus our support in the lead up to International Women’s Day and highlight the achievements of women in the workplace.”   

Sintons is also home to a Smart Works Newcastle donation station where anyone can drop off donations of womenswear and accessories to help women on their journey into work.

Find out more about Smart Works Newcastle here.  

Behind the scenes of our graduate trainee programme

Applications are currently open for Sintons’ graduate trainee programme. We spoke to two current trainee solicitors, Lucy Milnthorp and Charles Bell, to get an insight into what it’s really like to complete your training contract with Sintons.

What’s a typical day like for you and what kinds of tasks do you work on as a trainee solicitor?

Lucy: Day to day, we do a lot of the same work that the qualified solicitors do, but obviously under supervision. I’m mainly office-based but I was in Leeds for two days last week, to attend a trial. We have a lot of contact with clients as well – we’re often the first person a new client will speak to on the phone.

Charles: We had contact with clients right from the start of our contract; we’re not hidden away behind the scenes, we’re right there supporting with client work and attending meetings straight away. As you progress, you get to work more independently and you’re always given the chance to work on new things and get feedback on how you’ve done. And as well as having a supervisor who supports you throughout, you can also shadow colleagues and learn about their different roles.

Lucy: There’s a social aspect to being a trainee as well; we meet up regularly as a group, we support each other, and we even have a social fund we can use throughout the year. We arrange a welcome event for new trainees and we get together to carry out fundraising for the firm’s chosen charity – including our annual trainee challenge which, last year, involved us taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge!

What have been some of the most interesting parts of the job so far?

Lucy: I really like attending court, watching the barristers and seeing the litigation process in action. It’s really satisfying to know that all the work you’ve done on a case counts towards that moment in court.

Charles: I’m working in the construction and engineering department at the moment which is a really interesting area of law and not something I knew much about before, so seeing a new side of the legal process has been great.

What did you find the most difficult when you started at Sintons and were you surprised at the level of responsibility you were given?

Lucy: This was my first experience of office work, so getting used to that alongside new legal concepts was a lot to take on, but everything definitely gets easier as you get more practice. And your responsibility grows as your confidence grows, so it’s not too daunting. If I look back, I realise how much I’ve learnt and grown.

Charles: Balancing the legal work with your own learning can be hard but, as Lucy says, you get better and more confident as you get more experience. You learn by doing and you’re always supported by your colleagues.

Which departments have you worked in so far and do you get a say in which areas of law you’d like to experience? 

Lucy: We’re both in our third seat at the moment. I’ve worked in employment law, real estate, where I specialised in rural and agricultural matters, and now I’m in dispute resolution. We get a lot of say in which areas we’d like to experience. We have meetings with Gemma, who’s head of people services, and she does her best to make sure everyone is placed in an area they want to learn about.

Charles: I’ve worked in dispute resolution, real estate and I’m now in construction and engineering. I’ve enjoyed every department I’ve been in so far so it’s hard to decide what area I’d like to specialise in, but we’re due to qualify in September and will have to start thinking about specialisms in the next few months.

People who are shortlisted for the trainee programme are invited to spend some time in the firm in June. What was that experience like for you? 

Lucy: It’s a full on, intense few days but everyone was so nice that, even though I was nervous, it was still enjoyable.

Charles: You do end up enjoying it. You get to do a few hours’ work in different areas of law – I did construction and wills – and you’re given tasks to work through. There are some group exercises as well.

Why did you choose Sintons as the place you wanted to complete your training contract?

Lucy: It’s big enough that you know you’ll get interesting work and good quality training but it’s not so large that you’ll feel lost. When I came into the firm for the first time I could see myself working here. Everyone was really nice and I knew right then that I’d never be too scared to ask for help when I needed it and I’d get good experience.

Charles: It also has a good balance between based in the North East and having regional, national and international clients. And the whole culture here is about supporting and guiding trainees through their contract and giving them the opportunity to do good, high quality work.

What advice would you give to graduates who are applying for training contracts this year?

Lucy: Narrow down your options to the firms you can really see yourself working for. And try and put your personality onto paper, which I know is hard to do, but you need to make yourself stand out.

Charles: Do your research into different firms. Think about the areas of law that interest you and if there is a particular person whose work you admire or are interested in. Be yourself throughout the application process as you need to find the firm that matches you as a person.

Describe your experience of being a trainee solicitor in three words

Lucy: Growth, responsibility and friendship.

Charles: Development, challenge and support.

The deadline to apply for Sintons’ graduate trainee programme is 31 March 2024. Find out more and apply here.

Trainee solicitor brings personal experience of homelessness to charity trustee role

A trainee solicitor at Sintons is using his personal experience of homelessness in a new role as trustee with a North East-based charity.

Anthony May has been appointed as a trustee with Changing Lives, which helps people who are in challenging situations change their lives for the better. The organisation supports people experiencing homelessness as well as those affected by domestic violence, addiction, long term unemployment and more.

“I have been homeless myself and I hope I can use my personal experience to make a real difference to Changing Lives and the people it works with,” said Anthony.

“By the time I was 18 I was living on the streets and it wasn’t until I was in my late 20s that I managed to turn my life around. Now, I’m training as a solicitor and I want to use my legal background and my commercial experience – as well as my knowledge of homelessness – to help more people make a positive change.”  

Changing Lives began as North East charity, The Cyrenians, more than 50 years ago, helping people experiencing homelessness through its hostels and day centres. Since 2002, the charity has expanded its services and now operates nationally, delivering more than 100 projects across England. It helps around 14,000 people overcome their problems and live safe, successful, independent lives each year.

“This is an organisation that really matters to me and supporting them is something I’ll be doing for the long term, providing that link between Changing Lives’ board of trustees and the people it works to help.” said Anthony.

Glynis Frew, Chair of Changing Lives, said: “We are delighted that Anthony has agreed to become a trustee of Changing Lives. We have discussed as a board for the last few years the need to have someone with us who has ‘lived experience’ but who also has a steady job and has moved away from services. We are thrilled we have connected with Anthony, and we thank Sintons for their understanding of Anthony’s passion which is supporting people to help change their lives.”

Find out more about Changing Lives at changing-lives.org.uk.

Polish-speaking paralegal joins Sintons’ personal injury team

Sinton’s team of Polish-speaking legal experts has been strengthened with the addition of a new paralegal.

Anna Malinowska has joined the personal injury team, supporting clients who have suffered serious injuries or illness including through accidents at work and on the  road . The team also includes specialists in head, brain and spinal injuries.

Phil Davison, who leads the personal injury team, said: “We work with a lot of clients who speak Polish or Romanian as their first language, so it’s important that our team includes people who can support our clients fluently in these languages.

“Anna has a depth  of experience in personal injury claims and is bilingual; I know our clients will receive the best possible support from her.”

Anna graduated from Northumbria University with a Master’s Degree in law and has previously worked with clients in relation to  personal injury settlements.

She will now support Sintons’ team of personal injury lawyers, helping to arrange rehabilitation for clients and supporting them throughout the process of pursuing claims negotiating  settlements.

Anna commented on her new role, saying: “I know how important it is for people to be able to talk to someone about their case in their first language, especially at what can be a difficult time for them. I hope I can use both my legal knowledge and my language skills to make the legal process as easy and stress-free as possible for our clients.”

Find out more about Sintons’ services for Polish-speaking clients here.

A closer look at solicitor apprenticeships at Sintons

As National Apprenticeship Week 2024 continues to raise the profile of apprenticeships nationwide, we talk to Sintons’ Head of People Services, Gemma Hewitt, about the opportunities for people to complete a solicitor apprenticeship with Sintons.

What kind of law qualifications can people gain through an apprenticeship? Can you get the same qualifications as people studying at university?

You can. Our solicitor apprentices  gain a Level 7 qualification (with the option to achieve a LLB degree), and complete the Solicitor Qualifying Exams (SQEs), demonstrating their qualifying work experience.

Since we started our solicitor apprenticeship programme in 2017, we’ve had a 100% success rate, with every one of our apprentices qualifying. In fact, we recently celebrated the fact that Saffron Sinclair, who’s in the final year of her apprenticeship, achieved first class honours in her degree and some of the highest marks in her SQE1. And Nathan Johnson, who joined us as an apprentice in 2017 is now a fully qualified solicitor specialising in real estate.

What kind of training and experience do people gain during their apprenticeship?

It’s a six year programme and throughout that time our apprentices rotate between different teams. We’re a full service law firm so they get exposure to a lot of different aspects of law, from personal and family law to corporate, employment and real estate.

Alongside this, our apprentices spend 20% of their time in the classroom learning at Northumbria University. So it is demanding but it’s also a brilliant opportunity to work in a leading law firm, experience a range of types of work, and to determine what area they want to specialise in in the future.

Why do you think an apprenticeship is a good choice for someone wanting to get into law?

For many people, the benefits of an apprenticeship completely outweigh the traditional university route. You can gain a university qualification, get on-the-job experience and get paid at the same time, so you don’t have any debt at the end of the process.

And you don’t miss out on the social aspect of university either. At Sintons, our apprentices and trainees are a really tight-knit group who support each other, meet up regularly and socialise together.

What are the benefits to the business of recruiting via an apprenticeship scheme as well as through a more traditional graduate trainee programme?  

For us, it’s a great opportunity to open our doors to a wider range of people, including those who might not have considered the traditional university route.

It’s also about longevity. We can recruit and train people who get a great start to their career here, promote our apprenticeships to others, and also go on to work here once they’re qualified.

And our apprentices are very, very capable and high performing. They do a brilliant job and work alongside our qualified solicitors. We really value them and having them here is a benefit to us as well as them.

Both entries into Law give practical insights and are the building blocks of a great career, both our trainees and apprentices add value, provide a different approach. This is what makes our firm, everyone’s views are considered and leads to an excellent client service.

How often does Sintons recruit solicitor apprentices and do you offer apprenticeships in other roles as well?

We recruit each year and at the moment we have four people completing their apprenticeships to become solicitors: Faith Ramsay, Sophie Lemon, Sabrina Jackland and Saffron Sinclair. Some joined us straight after A Levels while others have already spent time in the workplace and took a different direction

We’ve just appointed a business administration apprentice, Kai Hoult and we’ve also previously recruited a digital marketing apprentice, Andrew White, who has now been appointed as marketing assistant. As a firm, we also support development opportunities by utilising apprenticeships where we can.

So, although our core focus is on solicitor apprentices, we also offer this route into other roles as well.

Sintons is currently recruiting for solicitor apprentices through the North East Solicitor Apprenticeship programme. The deadline for applications is 16 February 2024. Find out more and apply here.

Can a settlement agreement waive unknown future claims?

The Employment Team at Sintons regularly advises on settlement agreements for both employers and employees. A settlement agreement aims to waive any existing or potential Employment Tribunal claims which an employee may have grounds to bring against their employer. It is typical for an employee to receive a compensation payment from their employer in exchange for signing the agreement.

In the case of Bathgate v Technip Singapore PTE Ltd [2023] CSIH 48, Mr Bathgate signed a settlement agreement on 29 January 2017 as part of a redundancy exercise. The agreement provided that various Employment Tribunal claims would be settled. In exchange, Mr Bathgate would receive an enhanced redundancy payment, a notice payment and an “Additional Payment” to be paid in June 2017.

The Additional Payment was calculated by a collective agreement. Clause 3 of that collective agreement stated that the Additional Payment would only apply to employees who had not reached the age of 61. Mr Bathgate was 61 on the date his employment terminated, however, he was under the impression that he would still receive the payment.

Technip later decided that the Additional Payment did not need to be paid to Mr Bathgate due to his age and he was notified of this in June 2017. Mr Bathgate submitted that this decision amounted to age discrimination. Whilst admitting that the conduct was because of his age, Technip stated that Mr Bathgate had settled his right to pursue the claim under the terms of the settlement agreement.

To successfully waive a claim, a settlement agreement must refer to a “particular complaint”. For that reason, most settlement agreements include a list of the statutory claims being settled. Mr Bathgate’s agreement was no exception, most importantly, within his list it stated that he was settling claims for direct or indirect discrimination related to age.

Regardless, Mr Bathgate brought a claim for discrimination related to age. He argued that a settlement agreement could not waive a claim which he was not aware of (and could not possibly be aware of) when he signed the agreement.

After being unsuccessful in the Employment Tribunal, Mr Bathgate succeeded in 2022 within the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”). The EAT held that, because the claim was unknown when the agreement was executed, the waiver could not and did not refer to a particular complaint. To satisfy that definition, the EAT concluded that grounds for a complaint must exist at the date of execution.

This decision was subsequently appealed by Technip to the Court of Session in Scotland (the “Court”) in December 2023. Technip were successful, preventing Mr Bathgate from proceeding with his claim for age discrimination.

The Court concluded that the agreement clearly intended to cover claims which the parties were unaware of and which had not accrued. The Court believed that the purpose of a settlement agreement would be undermined if parties could not achieve a negotiated binding agreement which sufficiently resolved matters. Given that age discrimination claims were specified as being waived, the Court was satisfied that the terms of the settlement agreement were sufficiently clear to amount to a “particular complaint”.

Whilst the Court’s judgment is not binding in England and Wales, it could be highly persuasive, subject to any appeal by Mr Bathgate to the Supreme Court. It shows that there is the potential for unknown future claims to be covered by a waiver where these are clearly particularised. Given the impact any judgment could have on the future of settlement agreements, it is important that we continue to pay close attention to this matter.

If you have any questions relating to this bulletin or any employment law related matter, please contact Samuel Scott or another member of the Employment Team.

Finding the right legal support after my injury

I was something of a fitness fanatic at the time of my accident in December 2021. Despite being almost 75, I was doing a lot of hill walking and cycling. About 6,000 miles per year. I was cycling when the accident happened. The HGV passed on my inside as I was about to turn right. It passed so closely that I lost balance and fell. The HGV ended up running over my left leg. I remember lying in a pool of blood and trying to shuffle to the pavement.

The emergency services were great and soon I was being airlifted to Leeds. Before anything was said, I knew that my leg could not be saved. This was confirmed after an X-Ray showed my foot and lower leg to be “mush”. If I had refused amputation I would have had to undergo numerous operations, be in constant pain, and may have ended up losing my leg anyway. They told me that prosthetics were marvellous these days and it was the best route under the circumstances. I told them to amputate.

I was in hospital for a full month, during which I was in theatre four times, then a fifth two weeks after coming home. The leg was saved from just below the knee, but the injury was described as “traumatic”.

Someone from Day One came to see me a few times. They gave me various details and lots of literature, which I read thoroughly. I am a very realistic person and thought: it has happened, deal with it. I have had challenges before and got through them. This was not a challenge I wanted, but I knew that what happened next was up to me. I am also quite a private person and wanted to be left to get on with it in my own way. I didn’t involve Day One or my allocated psychiatrist too much, although I knew they were always there should I need them, and always friendly and willing to assist in any way.

Day One gave me information about their legal panel, which included contact details for solicitors who deal with accidents like mine. One of them was Sintons. My family suggested I go with a local solicitor to make it easier. The local firm came to see me a week or so after I got home and seemed to be informative and positive. However, as time went on, I got very little feedback from them. I was allocated a Case Manager in May who I found to be very good, but they also struggled with communication from my solicitor: they didn’t return calls and didn’t respond to requests for information. I was told the solicitor was massively holding back the process. It came to a head in the September when I didn’t receive some promised information by a given date, putting me in a difficult situation.

I spoke to my Case Manager about the specialist law firms that make up Day One’s Legal Panel for my area. They recommended Sintons as they had previously provided excellent support for other people like me. I then dispensed with the local firm and went with Sintons. From then on I got weekly updates from Phil Davison at Sintons, who I found extremely thorough, helpful and friendly. Things soon began to progress.

Earlier last year in a frank discussion with Phil I was told that although he felt I had a very good case, it could take two to three years to come to court, and nothing was guaranteed, it was effectively down to the judge on the day. I was then 76, and when the defendant’s insurers made an offer I decided to take it. I did not want my remaining years taken up by legal proceedings. I just wanted to get on with my life and make the best of what is left, free of the hassle of litigation.

I struggled with the NHS prosthetic I got to begin with. I endured a year of blisters, frequent skin breakdowns, bleeding, and then infections. Phil put me in touch with Steps Prosthetics in Sheffield and I have been attending there since July this year, and I feel I have made a lot of progress. I have had no problems since my private fitting, and although I am not back on a bike, I am able to walk five or six miles most days.

I think it is important to get the right advice on legal matters from a specialist as early as possible when you have a traumatic injury. Not only can a specialist manage your case properly, firms like Sintons can also help with other problems that arise because of your injury. Now the legal proceedings have come to an end and I have a better prosthetic, I feel like I can get on with my life.

*Featured on Day One’s Trauma Support website, January 2024.

Applications invited for solicitor apprenticeship scheme

Applications for Sintons’ apprenticeship programme, which offers an alternative route into a law career, are now open.

The North East Solicitor Apprenticeship combines on-the-job experience with study at Northumbria University, with successful applicants taking up a role as a Solicitor Apprentice at Sintons.

Gemma Hewitt, Head of People Services at Sintons, explains: “The traditional route of going to university isn’t the only way to begin a career in law.

“This programme opens up opportunities for more people to gain a qualification in legal practice and it means they can put what they learn into practice, working alongside experienced lawyers, many of whom are leaders in their fields.”

Sintons is a founding partner in the North East Solicitor Apprenticeship programme which provides apprentices with experience in law firms and in the legal departments of North East businesses.

Over six years, apprentices complete a range of academic modules at Northumbria University alongside their roles as Solicitor Apprentices.

“We were keen to be part of the North East Solicitor Apprenticeship when it was founded in 2017 and every year we have welcomed new Solicitor Apprentices to the Sintons team,” said Gemma.

“Alongside our graduate recruits, these apprentices are the next generation of North East legal talent and this apprenticeship means they can kick-start their legal careers in one of the region’s leading law firms.”

The North East Solicitor Apprenticeship is open to candidates with (or predicted) BBB or above at A Level (120 UCAS points) as well as a minimum of 5 GCSEs (or equivalent), including Maths and English, at grades C/5 or above.

The closing date for applications to be received is 16 February 2024 and successful applicants will start their apprenticeships in September 2024.

Find out more and apply for the North East Solicitor Apprenticeship here.

The life-changing impact of prosthetics

After an incident which forced a man to have his arm amputated, the use of cutting-edge prosthetics has proved key in him being able to rebuild his life.

Undergoing an amputation just below the shoulder after his right arm was dragged into a conveyor belt at the recycling centre where he worked, the man suffered both physical and psychological trauma.

While his specialist solicitors at law firm Sintons were able to secure a £1.83m settlement and a bespoke package of therapy to support him in his recovery, their ability to access cutting-edge prosthetics has proved particularly key in him being able to look to the future.

Through relationships with specialist prosthetics providers including Blatchford, and the London Prosthetics Centre – part of Sintons’ vast national network to support personal injury clients – the man was able to access state of the art prosthetic devices to help him resume many activities in his life, in a way he feared would no longer be possible.

In this case, the claimant was fitted with a Myoelectric arm which can be used with  two separate electronic hands, one to allow fine movement and the other for heavier more demanding tasks. These represented  some of the many options on the market, the suitability of which will be  determined by a person’s unique needs and circumstances.

The electronic components with the myoelectric prostheses are ultimately controlled by input from electrical signals generated by muscles in the injured person’s residual limb and allow much greater levels of function than manual prosthetics.

Technological advances have made this more intuitive than ever before, and after skilled training with this device, the man could control multiple features in his arm, from his shoulder to his hand.

The electric Greifer hand enables a powerful grip giving the user the ability to hold items securely and to handle heavy objects. The Tasker Hand user can adjust the functionality and requirements of the hand in just a few seconds, and also adjust further for particular tasks.

In addition to the myoelectric prosthesis The man was also fitted with the latest cosmetic prosthesis, which has a  the high resolution silicon finish to ensure the most realistic appearance, for use at social events where arm function is not so critical.

The latest technology enables the closest resemblance to a person’s skin tone and characteristics before the amputation, including matched pigmentation, freckles, veins, hair and tattoos.

Supported by bespoke therapy and rehabilitation from a highly experienced team, the man is now able to enjoy function and use in his right arm which he feared had been lost forever at the point of amputation.

Phil Davison, head of the general personal injury team at Sintons, led this claim and said the impact advanced prosthetics can have on a person’s life can truly be transformational.

“Finding the right prosthetic limb for a person after the trauma of amputation can be a truly life-changing moment and can add a whole new dimension to their their recovery,” says Phil, regularly hailed by Legal 500 as one of the leading lawyers in the North of England.

“The ongoing advances in technology mean that cosmetic prosthetics are incredibly life like in many respects. Whilst such prosthetics are not particularly functional, they can greatly assist an individual in dealing  with the change in their appearance, and can be of substantial psychological benefit.

“This combined with the  advancing functionality of prosthetics is of huge benefit to our clients. Their ability to integrate with muscle function and replication of lifelike movement – with even the benefits of being able to participate in sports or heavy lifting – enables a person to resume many activities they feared may have been lost. The significance of regaining a substantial degree of independence cannot be understated. It is extremely gratifying to see somebody develop confidence and skill in the use of their prosthesis with the opportunities that become available to them as a consequence. It is no understatement to suggest it is a life changing process, both of them and their family.

“This case in particular points to the huge impact of appropriate prosthetics – our client lost his arm in extremely traumatic circumstances, but his participation in everything from basic tasks to sports has been absolutely critical in him being able to look forward and move on with his life.”

The relationships and the national network of experts that Sintons have  established through its position  as leading personal injury specialists proves very important in situations like this, says Phil.

“This is a sizeable and growing field, with new devices and providers coming into the market all the time.  Our experience of supporting clients after life-changing injuries and the network we have developed ensures that we can keep abreast of the latest changes and innovations,” he says.

Our network continues to expand so we are fully on top of all the latest introductions which may benefit our clients.

“Over many years, we have seen the changing face of prosthetics, and the hugely positive impact they have on clients’ lives – something which is only increasing with the development of their appearance and function. It gives us as a team great satisfaction to see our clients benefit from this and to enable them to move forward in their lives with the support of the right prosthesis.”

Over £27,000 raised so far for The People’s Kitchen

Sintons and its clients have raised more than £27,000 for Newcastle charity, The People’s Kitchen, exceeding its two-year fundraising goal with three months still remaining.

Every two years, the Sintons team supports a different charity which is selected by a staff vote. Since April 2022, the firm has been fundraising for The People’s Kitchen, which supports homeless and vulnerable people in the city.

David Pritchard, Head of Marketing and chair of from Sintons’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee, explained: “The People’s Kitchen provides food, clothing, toiletries and more, helping to make life on the streets a little bit easier for so many people. It’s been a safe haven since it was founded in 1985 and we are in awe of what the team there achieves.

“It’s been a privilege for us to learn more about The People’s Kitchen and be able to support their work.”

Sintons’ initial fundraising target was £25,000 and money has been raised through a huge range of events for staff members, their friends, families and clients.

The firm’s trainee and apprentice solicitors raised more than £1,000 this summer by making boxes of cakes for colleagues and followed up with a Halloween-themed cake sale. Sintons’ team and clients brought their pets along to a charity dog walk and the CSR committee members also organised quiz nights, netball and football tournaments.

David added: “We still have three months to go to raise more money for The People’s Kitchen so we want to keep pushing and really smash our target.

“More events are coming up soon and everyone is welcome to join in and play a part in raising money for this much-needed charity.”  

The People’s Kitchen, on Bath Lane in Newcastle city centre, is run entirely by volunteers and serves up more than 250 meals every day, 365 days a year. It provides friendship as well as practical support with warm clothing, sleeping bags and hot showers. Find out more at www.peopleskitchen.co.uk.

You can make a donation to The People’s Kitchen here and you can see forthcoming fundraising events here.

Law graduates invited to apply for Sintons’ training contracts

Applications are now open for Sintons’ graduate programme, which offers a two year training contract and the opportunity to work across a range of specialist areas of law.

We are inviting applications from potential candidate who are looking to commence their training contract in September 2026. The deadline for applications is 31 March 2024.

Gemma Hewitt, Head of People Services, explains: “Every year, we welcome a new cohort of graduates to the team and support them to become qualified solicitors.

“Our trainees get hands-on experience and are able to learn from experienced colleagues who are specialists in areas including employment, neurotrauma and real estate law – many of whom started here as graduates themselves.”

One of Sintons’ former graduate trainees, Emily Richardson, described her experience at Sintons, saying: “We worked directly with clients and were able to exercise independence whilst still receiving fantastic guidance from our supervisors which means we had so many opportunities to learn”.

“It is rare to find a firm with such a fantastic range and standard of expertise, which at the same time is friendly, inviting and welcoming.”

Having completed her training contract, Emily is now a qualified solicitor in Sintons’ real estate department, where she specialises in working with rural businesses.

Sintons’ graduate programme runs alongside its apprenticeship programme, which offers another route into a law career. The firm is one of the founding partners of the North East Solicitor Apprenticeship (NESA), which offers a six-year training scheme as a means to enter the legal profession, rather than the traditional route of qualification as a lawyer.

Sintons is one of the largest full service law firms in the North East and is accredited by Investors in People. Its clients include businesses and individuals and its team includes specialists in personal and family law, commercial and corporate law.

“Our graduates get the chance to put their learning into practice in a supportive environment where their contributions are really valued,” said Gemma Hewitt. “Our people are regularly recognised as leaders in their fields and this is a brilliant opportunity to start your career in a top-tier law firm.”

Graduates are invited to submit their applications via the training contract application form, by 31 March 2024. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to spend time in the firm in June 2024, gaining work experience and getting to know the team.

Find out more and apply for Sintons’ graduate programme here.

Max Winthrop appointed as Chair of Law Society committee for the second time

Max Winthrop, partner in Sintons’ employment law team, has taken up the role of Chair of the Law Society’s Employment Law Committee for the second time.

The specialist committee helps uphold a high standard of employment law in England and Wales and, as Chair, Max has been called on to give evidence in government select committees and inquiries.

“The committee brings together very talented people who are all practising specialists in employment law,” says Max. “It’s a fascinating opportunity to be involved in the law-making process and to help ensure that we have good, coherent legislation in place.”

Max has been a solicitor for more than 30 years and has taught employment law at Durham University.

In his role as Chair of the Employment Law Committee, Max gave public evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee on the use of non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment cases.

He works with a broad range of clients, from individual employees through to large businesses and local authorities, and his cases include employment tribunals, whistleblowing and discrimination work. He also advises businesses and individuals on trans-national employment issues and claims relating to equal pay and unfair dismissal.

He is regularly called on to comment in the media on employment law issues and he delivers  podcasts and webinars for the Law Society and XpertHR where he is a consulting editor for their Employment Law Guide. He is also the author of Employment Law and Practice published by CILEX Education.

The Committee also helps navigate changes in employment law including those arising from Britain leaving the EU and any that are introduced due to changes in government.

“As a practising solicitor, my knowledge of employment law from both the employer’s and the employee’s point of view helps inform the work of the committee and, similarly, my active involvement in legislation assures our clients that I really understand the issues they’re facing and that they will receive the highest quality advice,” added Max.

Find out more about Max Winthrop and his work at Sintons.

Sintons certified as a carbon neutral business

Sintons is now officially certified as a carbon neutral business after working with carbon reduction experts, Planet Mark, to measure and reduce its carbon footprint.

The team achieved the certification – which complies with PAS2060, the international standard for carbon neutrality – through a combination of carbon reduction and carbon offsetting.

Sintons’ Office Services Manager, Matt Warner, explains more: “Since we started working with Planet Mark in 2022, our focus has been on measuring our existing carbon footprint and creating a carbon reduction plan based on that.

“We looked in particular at emissions created through our building – for example through electricity and water usage – by business travel and by the disposal of waste.

“With Planet Mark’s support, we’ve also invested in carbon offsetting, which is when an organisation balances out its own emissions by supporting a project which reduces emissions elsewhere.”

Sintons’ sustainability work is led by its environmental team, which meets regularly and includes members of staff from across the organisation. Together, the group chose to support a carbon offsetting project which provides cleaner, safer water for people in Cambodia by providing water purifiers. This removes the need to boil water, reducing fuel usage and pollution from burning wood.

Although the business has now achieved carbon neutral certification, Matt acknowledges there is still work to do to achieve Sintons’ target of reaching net zero as a business by 2040.

“We’ve reached the target of becoming carbon neutral more quickly than we’d initially hoped but that’s not the end of our journey,” said Matt. “Our next area of focus will be on further scope three emissions, which are those created through our entire supply and value chain. And we’ve also set targets for reducing our emissions even more in the year ahead.”

Find out more about Sintons’ sustainability practices here.

Half a million pounds plus physical and psychological therapy secured for woman hit by car

Sintons has helped a woman secure a settlement of £540,000, plus physical and psychological therapy, after she and her daughter were hit by a car on a pedestrian crossing.

Sintons’ team of personal injury specialists took over from Ms L’s previous law firm, after they submitted her claim via a portal only intended for straightforward, low value cases worth up to £25,000 – despite the seriousness of her injuries.

Adam Burton, an associate in Sintons’ Personal Injury team, explains: “Ms L was walking her daughter to school when a car failed to stop at a pedestrian crossing, hitting them both. She suffered multiple fractures to her ankle and foot and had to undergo several operations.

“Unfortunately, she’s been left with very limited movement in her ankle and went on to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as well. The effects of that day have been immense and led to her having to give up one of the two jobs she was working and reduce her hours in the other.”

Ms L approached Sintons after she became disillusioned with how her case was being handled by her previous law firm.

“We were more than happy to support Ms L through the process and help her secure the settlement, physiotherapy and psychological therapy she needed.”

“The aftermath of this incident very much affects her day-to-day life and her job prospects. She might also need further surgery, so we wanted to make sure that all of these factors were reflected in the settlement,” said Adam.

Sintons worked with Ms L to put together a claim which included a past and future loss of earnings, along with the cost of future care and help with tasks like housework and gardening, costs of medical devices like orthotics and costs of future operations. The team also made sure she had access to physical and psychological therapy in the meantime.

Ms L was awarded a total of around £540,000 – more than 20 times the amount her previous law firm could have secured via their claim – and received the physiotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy she urgently needed.

Find out more about our team of personal injury specialists, who help people secure compensation and rehabilitation support, here.

Delivery driver secures settlement after serious collision

A delivery driver who suffered serious injury in a road collision has secured a six figure settlement with support from specialists at law firm Sintons.

The driver was airlifted to hospital after his van was hit by another vehicle, which careered through the central reservation of the A171 near Whitby straight into his path.

He sustained serious injuries to his arm – which required surgery – and his leg as a result of the collision, which happened in September last year at around 1.30pm.

The claimant was returning from Scarborough to Newcastle, after completing his last deliveries of the day, when he was involved in the collision.

A van, travelling in the opposite direction, did not follow the natural bend in the road and came onto the other carriageway, hitting the claimant’s vehicle at around 50mph.

The claimant was cut out of his van by the Fire Brigade, and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance attended the scene to take him to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Injuries to his right forearm and right tibia meant he was significantly limited in his movement and remained largely housebound.

He appointed serious injury specialists at Sintons to support him in making a claim, with senior associate David Knipe – a lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in this specialist field of work – acting on his behalf.

A six-figure settlement was negotiated by Sintons, which is enabling the man to move on with his life after the horror of the collision.

The claimant praised the support from Sintons – nationally-renowned for its work in personal injury – and particularly that of David Knipe.

“David Knipe is a brilliant and committed lawyer and a great man who I’ve got to know very well,” he said.

“Nothing was any bother to him. Whenever I had questions they were always answered promptly. He’s a top bloke!”

David – hailed by Legal 500 as being a lawyer who ‘puts the client at the heart of the process and is always striving to achieve the best possible result’ – said: “This was an horrific collision in which our client, through no fault of his own, was left with serious injuries which restricted his mobility and ability to work. This has had a significant impact on him and his family.

“We were very pleased to be able to step in and support him to secure a settlement that will enable him to get his life back on track after this hugely distressing incident. For most people, pursuing a claim of this kind is a totally unknown process which can seem daunting, and we are committed to being by the side of our clients every step of the way.

“I am grateful for the kind feedback because it demonstrates that Sintons are delivering on our commitment to providing a first-rate legal and excellent client service, and we all wish him the very best for the future.”

Ask the Experts – a Monthly Q&A with Sintons’ Employment Team – episode 50

Today we recorded our ‘Ask the Experts monthly Q&A with Sintons’ Employment Team – episode 50’ – with Catherine Hope & Samuel Scott.

The team covered the following questions:

  • Should an employee who is off sick over a bank holiday receive a day off in lieu?
  • Is there a risk of discrimination when using AI in the workplace from an HR perspective?
  • What should an employer consider when it comes to offering suitable alternative employment in a redundancy situation?

Please click below to either listen as a podcast or watch as a video.

Man suffered physical and psychological injury in workplace incident

A man who was left with both physical injuries and psychological trauma after being injured while moving goods in a warehouse has been supported by serious injury specialists at Sintons in securing a settlement.

The worker was moving an American-style fridge freezer using a sack trolley when it fell and landed on his right leg.

He suffered a fracture and cuts to his right ankle and soft tissue injury to his right knee, which have caused permanent damage to his mobility.

Medical experts said his injuries would be amplified by prolonged mobilisation, which would disadvantage him in the jobs market, and he was also at risk of degenerative disease in future.

The claimant, who was 49 at the time of his injury, also suffered depression and anxiety as a result of the incident – which was amplified by his employer’s denial of any responsibility.

He turned to serious injury specialists at Sintons for support in making a claim, and was represented by senior associate David Knipe. Legal 500 2023 listed David as a key individual, who is “willing to back the underdog and cares about clients”.

Investigations established that the task of moving the fridge-freezer was not one that was necessary if the warehouse was better organised, and he also lacked training in moving goods. The sack truck being used was also too small and unsuitable for the purpose.

The claimant’s employer denied liability throughout the 3.5 year life of the case, however despite this Sintons were able to secure a settlement.

“Sintons were there to help me pick up the pieces,” said the Claimant.

“They listened to my concerns, believed in me and helped me to get the justice and compensation I deserved. They explained everything in great detail and helped through every step of my fight for justice.

“The most important thing for me was that they believed in me, and fully supported me even though I was being told by my employer that I was the one at fault! They helped me through a low point at that time in my life.

“I would personally like to thank David Knipe, with his expertise and understanding, he explained everything so I could easily understand.”

David Knipe added: “As well as significant physical injury, which will have permanent consequence, the psychological trauma our client suffered through this incident was exacerbated through the defendant’s ongoing denial of any responsibility.

“That added significantly to our client’s ordeal, making him feel like this was his fault and drawing the process out for several years, until we were able to secure a positive outcome which will help our client to look to the future and move on from this very distressing process.

“Sintons, are known for legal excellence and settlements achieved in such circumstances are testament to this. However, we also pride ourselves on the support we give to clients during times of distress – we were absolutely committed to delivering that in this case, and were by the side of our client from the earliest days of the claim and throughout the process supporting him in every way possible.

“We are very pleased to have been able to secure a positive outcome for him, and wish him all the very best in moving on with his life.”

Barnoldswick family speak for first time after horrific crash leaves former Burnley College student with brain injury

A young Barnoldswick man who suffered a traumatic brain injury when a car he was a passenger in collided with a lorry has inspired a fundraising ‘army’ to support others with life-changing injuries. Oliver Stevens’ family feared he may never see, walk or talk again when he was left with brain damage following the horrific crash in West Marton, near Skipton, North Yorkshire, on July 15, 2022. Oliver, who was 21 at the time, suffered life-threatening injuries when his friend’s car collided with a 40-tonne articulated lorry at around 9-30pm at crossroads on the A59.

Oliver, who was a rear-seat passenger, suffered the worst injuries out of the four people in the car, with paramedics spending over an hour on the scene. Oliver’s lungs had collapsed and he wasn’t breathing. They also had to operate to save his eyesight. He was then air lifted to Leeds General Infirmary – home to the region’s Major Trauma Centre, where he spent four weeks in a coma while doctors saved his life.

Oliver suffered several fractures to his skull, paralysis down his left side, broke his ribs and collar bone, and damaged his vision and hearing. He spent months at the trauma centre in Leeds and a further nine weeks at Rakehead Rehabilitation Centre at Burnley General Teaching Hospital, closer to his home in Barnoldswick.

Now, 15 months on from the horrific crash, Oliver, 23, is walking and talking, but is still recovering at home with support from his mum Vicky Mara, who has had to reduce her working hours at family-run estate agents Move In Sales and Lettings in Barnoldswick. He’s also supported by his stepdad John, who works for Rolls Royce in the village, his brothers, and his dad Andy, who was also regularly in hospital. Oliver, a former pupil at Coates Lane Primary School, Barnoldswick, Fisher More RC High School, Colne, and Burnley College, needs regular physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and psychological support. The left side of his body, especially his face and arm, still suffers from paralysis.

To help with his rehabilitation, and to keep himself motivated, Oliver decided to take on a 180,000-step walking challenge, which is around 85 miles, over 30 days to raise money for the charity that was there for him and his family.

While at Leeds Major Trauma Centre, Oliver’s family were supported by charity Day One Trauma Support, which provides a caseworker at the hospital to help people who have suffered catastrophic injuries. Day One provided Oliver’s mum Vicky with emotional and practical support, including counselling, legal advice, and a small grant to cover the immediate cost of travel and parking. Vicky, John, and Andy were commuting 80 miles each day to be by their son’s side.

The charity continued to provide support and advice while they were in Burnley, and remain on hand throughout Oliver’s ongoing recovery. Oliver also continues to be supported by specialist law firm Sintons, which is a legal panel member of Day One.

Over the past month, Oliver has been joined by his supportive family and friends to complete the walking challenge, even inspiring others to join Oliver’s Army and walk their own distance to support Day One. This Saturday, Oliver is due to complete his challenge in his home village of Barnoldswick, where he will be joined by all his family and friends for one last walk. So far, he has raised more than £1,000.

To support Oliver click here.

Oliver said: “I’m still in full rehabilitation and this will continue for a long time. It’s hard to motivate myself some days, but this challenge has helped give me the motivation I needed to be more active and help my recovery.

“The money my mum and stepdad needed to visit me in Leeds General Infirmary was £250 a week. That was just for petrol and parking, not including what I needed. I was in hospital for five months. This is why I’m raising money for Day One Trauma Support. They are a small charity and hopefully you will never need them, but they need us.

“Day One supported my family in our darkest days and continue to be there for us. They offer so many services such as counselling and legal information. I can’t imagine not seeing my mum every day when I needed her the most. We were lucky to have such supportive family and friends, but unfortunately some people aren’t as lucky as us and can’t afford the travel expenses. Day One Trauma Support need more money to help all these families be with their loved ones. That’s why I wanted to give something back by walking 180,000 steps over 30 days – around 85 miles. This has been a huge challenge for me, alongside all my rehabilitation too, but it’s been amazing to get the support and donations for such a worthwhile charity.”

Oliver’s mum Vicky, 43, said: “Oliver has always been a fun, loving outgoing person with a big personality, lots of friends and an active life in sports and fitness. Before the accident he wouldn’t have thought twice about walking this distance, but it has been a massive challenge. He’s done amazing and to see how far he has come in 15 months is mind blowing.

“When you’re told your child has brain damage and might not walk or talk, you don’t know what the future will look like. It’s been hard and tough for us all, but he is so strong and motivated and we’re so proud of him.

“When we got the dreaded knock on the door from a policeman who asked if I was Oliver Stevens’ mum, I just froze. He said Oliver had been involved in a serious road crash and the air ambulance was taking him to hospital. When you hear ‘air ambulance’ you know it’s serious.

“The time in hospital was scary. We were limited to how much time we could spend with him when he was in ICU. I was walking round in a bubble. All I was thinking is I want my son to wake up. I just wanted him to be fine.

“Day One Trauma Support were amazing. When I first met their caseworker I just broke down as the enormity of it all dawned on me. I had counselling, which I needed and likely to need in the future. It was really helpful. They helped with legal advice, which was so valuable. I wouldn’t have known where to go. I’ve since learned how important it is to get that legal support as early as possible as it is such a long process.

“I can’t imagine not having any funds to see your child on a daily basis. It’s sad that a lot of people don’t have the funds. For a single mother they might have to decide whether to feed their children or go to hospital, and that’s not a choice anyone should have to make. I can’t imagine what it would have been like without Day One. We hope people don’t ever need Day One, but if they do it’s amazing they exist and should be there for more people.”

Kirsty Christmas, fundraising manager for Day One Trauma Support, said: “Oliver’s story of recovery is truly inspiring. It’s been fantastic to see him back out walking after such horrendous injuries and we’re delighted that he’s completed his challenge, while raising money for Day One. With his help, we can ensure no one is left to rebuild their life on their own following catastrophic injury. A big thank you to Vicky, Oliver and his army of supporters for choosing Day One.”

Featured in The Burnley Express on 20/10/2024.

Sintons praised across the board by Chambers and Partners 2024

Law firm Sintons has again been confirmed as a leader in its field with Chambers and Partners 2024 illustrating its capability in practice areas across the business on a regional and national basis.

The esteemed independent legal publication, released today, highlights the breadth of expertise at Sintons, hailing a number of departments as leaders in the North of England and on a national basis.

It also names a number of key individuals as leading lawyers in their respective areas, showing the talent that exists within Sintons and spans the entire firm.

The findings of Chambers and Partners come only weeks after the release of Legal 500 2024, which also praised Sintons for its delivery of legal and client service excellence in departments throughout the firm.

In Chambers and Partners 2024, Sintons is ranked as being leaders in its field in 14 key department areas in the North of England – four of which are also ranked on a national basis. Twenty seven of its lawyers are also hailed as being experts in their specialist areas of work.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, said: “For over 125 years, we have been known as a law firm which is absolutely committed to our clients, delivering legal and service excellence and placing them at the centre of everything we do.

“For everyone at Sintons, that is our priority and what we strive to achieve – and when it is independently recognised that we are doing so, that is something we take great pride in.

“The findings of Chambers show the deep capability we have here, and acknowledge the outstanding levels of client service we also achieve. This closely mirrors what was reported by Legal 500 in their own independent assessments of our work.

“For everyone at Sintons, this is due recognition of their hard work and commitment, and we are very pleased to again be hailed as a leader in the North of England and beyond.”

Departments ranked 

Individuals ranked 

Apprentice burned while welding suffers permanent scarring

An apprentice who suffered burns and permanent scarring after an incident in February 2020 while he was welding has secured a settlement with support from serious injury specialists at Sintons.

The claimant was welding, initially under supervision, but then left unattended when combustible materials from the weld caused his overalls to catch fire.

The man suffered serious physical injury through burns to his left lower leg, which have caused permanent scarring and required a skin graft.  He experienced severe pain, causing him difficulty in standing and reliance on crutches for several weeks after the incident.

His scarring remains prominent, and could not be improved by laser treatment, and he continues to experience permanent tingling and stabbing pain sensations in his leg.

He also experienced psychological injury and has experienced an adjustment disorder, with anxiety and depressed mood, poor sleep, nightmares, flashbacks and loss of confidence. He remains very anxious about the possibility of undertaking welding duties at work and has been unable to do so since the accident.

The claimant turned to law firm Sintons, a leading name nationally in personal injury work, for support in securing a settlement. Senior Associate David Knipe handled his claim.

Sintons ere able to arrange psychological support, and in addition to his medical treatment, secured a five-figure settlement to help him move forward with his life.

The claimant praised the work of Sintons, and particularly of David, who he hailed as “brilliant”.

“I am unable to fault him and I was pleased to have had him as my lawyer throughout my claim. Everything was explained thoroughly and dealt with swiftly,” he said.

“I would not hesitate to recommend David Knipe and Sintons.”

David Knipe said: “This was a hugely distressing incident for our client, who was going about his apprenticeship and learning skills vital to his future career when this awful incident occurred.  He has been left with permanent scarring and experienced great trauma.

“We are very pleased to have been able to support him in securing access to the therapy and support he needed, and in securing a settlement which will enable him to look to the future.

“At Sintons, we are committed to being by our clients’ sides every step of the way, fighting hard on their behalf to get the best possible outcome for them and their circumstances. We are delighted to have secured a positive conclusion to this case for our client, and his very kind feedback is testament to the service and commitment we provide in each and every matter.”

Man who suffered crush injuries at work secures settlement

A worker whose hand and wrist were crushed while moving barrels at work has been supported by serious injury specialists at Sintons in rebuilding his life.

The man was replacing a barrel of varnish when his hand and wrist were caught between two full barrels.

He was required to work without suitable mechanical lifting equipment. The location was cramped, the plinth he was standing on was slippery and had unsuitable spill mats in place.

The injury caused significant damage to his left hand and left wrist, and also led to psychological problems including stress and depression as a result of the ordeal.

He turned to law firm Sintons, a specialist in serious injury work, for support in seeking justice from his employer.

Through the assistance of the law firm – whose personal injury team is renowned on a national basis for the quality of both its legal capability and client service – the man was able to access bespoke rehabilitation to support his ongoing recovery.

His claim, overseen by senior associate David Knipe, was also settled for a five-figure sum.

The claimant said of his experience at Sintons: “The service I received was second to none.

“Having used solicitors in the past the service I received was excellent, the attention to detail, the ability to contact and discuss issues and the final settlement and charges were excellent.

“If every member of your team is as diligent and professional as David Knipe, then Sintons will thrive and prosper.”

David Knipe added: “Our client suffered both physical and psychological injury while carrying out his work, which left him struggling to recover and in need of  rehabilitation.

“We are very pleased that, through our intervention, he was able to access the bespoke support he badly needed which has enabled him to move on with his life.

“At Sintons, we are very proud of our reputation for fighting on our clients’ behalf to secure the best possible outcome for them and their circumstances, and it is always great to hear the positive feedback which confirms we are delivering on the legal and client service excellence we aspire to.

“We wish our client all the very best for the future and are very pleased we could support him during this difficult time in his life.”

Apogee to acquire Document Specialists, Datatron

Apogee Corporation Ltd has agreed to acquire Datatron Document Image Archiving Ltd, to further strengthen their Outsourced Document Services scale and capabilities. Founded in 1996, Datatron became the first dedicated bureau in the North of England, pioneering Document Scanning Services.

Datatron will complement Apogee’s existing portfolio of Outsourced Document Services, allowing them to deliver a market-leading scanning operation coupled with a unique Virtual Record Management platform. Datatron currently processes over three million documents per week, delivering services to a large number of customers across Private and Public Sectors. They also have a distinguished expertise within the NHS and are responsible for building and maintaining one of the UK’s largest digital patient record archives.

Aurelio Maruggi, CEO of Apogee said, “The Datatron acquisition forms part of our ongoing strategy to be the market leader in Managed Workplace Services, both in the UK and throughout Continental Europe. This acquisition will strengthen our existing portfolio of services, helping Apogee’s and Datatron’s customers to accelerate their adoption of more secure and efficient ways to manage documents and personal records. Digital transformation strategies have resulted in an increased demand for sophisticated scanning and record management requirements as businesses adopt more digital working practices. Utilising Datatron’s experience and expertise in this market, we are excited to see our portfolio of services continue to evolve to match the growing needs of our customers.

Among many industries served by Datatron, their reputation and expertise are particularly strong within the NHS. This represents a perfect match with Apogee’s large and growing presence within this market segment.”

Datatron’s MD, David Popay, commented on the acquisition, “This is an exciting new chapter in Datatron’s 27 year history, the opportunity to blend our specialist digital transformation skills into one of Europe’s leading business service providers is a once in life time event and opens up a wealth of opportunity for Apogee clients.”

Apogee has a great history of growth, both organically led and through M&A, and this acquisition is another part of the journey for the organisation as it continues to strategically strengthen its Managed Workplace Service capabilities.

As organisations continue to evolve and adapt with the introduction of new technology and working behaviours, Apogee aims to help businesses work smarter and work safer in a more sustainable world. Reviewing the technology and processes employees use, Apogee will continue to invest in its portfolio of services, ensuring it continues to provide world-class Managed Workplace Services to its customers.

Legal advice  to the management team was provided by Sintons, led by partner and head of corporateAdrian Dye and supported by Daniel Earle. Adrian added: “We are delighted to assist David and his team on the transaction. Having worked with Datatron for many years, we have seen the business go from strength to strength and the acquisition will allow the business to further develop its services.  We wish the team all the best for the future and are excited to see the next phase of Datatron’s development.”

Decorator secures settlement after dog attack

A decorator who suffered permanent facial scarring after being bitten by a dog while carrying out his work has secured a settlement with support from serious injury specialists at Sintons.

The tradesman was visiting a private address to give a quote for work within the home when he was attacked by the dog who lived there.

The dog had been in the kitchen but escaped when its owner was trying to put it on a lead. It ran at the claimant, jumped up and bit his right upper lip and right side of his nose.

He suffered permanent scarring to his lip and also has ongoing difficulty with his speech. The man has also experienced phobic anxiety disorder around contact with dogs and significant loss of confidence in his appearance.

The claimant turned to Sintons, whose personal injury team is known nationally for its legal and client service excellence, to support him in securing a settlement.

Senior associate David Knipe – hailed by Legal 500 as being a lawyer who ‘puts the client at the heart of the process and is always striving to achieve the best possible result’ – acted for the man in his claim, securing a five-figure settlement.

Hailing the service he received from Sintons as “fantastic”, the claimant added:

“David Knipe was a true gentleman to deal with. I was always updated, and everything was explained to me in detail.

“More than that, I always felt like David was looking after my best interests, everything he said and did was so true to this.”

David, who has specialised in personal injury litigation for over 20 years, said: “This was a very distressing incident for our client, who has been left with permanent physical injury as a result of going about his work. We are very pleased we have been able to support him after this ordeal and secure a positive outcome for him.

“Sintons are renowned for the quality of legal advice we deliver, as well as the personal dedication we have to our clients – we will always fight hard for their best interests and to secure the best possible outcome for them and their circumstances.

“We wish our client in this matter the very best for the future as he rebuilds his life.”

Employment specialist joins Sintons

The employment team at Sintons continues to grow with the addition of a new specialist to the department.

Samuel Scott arrives at Sintons with experience of supporting employers on a range of day-to-day issues, as well as representing clients in the Employment Tribunal and drafting and reviewing settlement agreements.

He has acted for clients across a variety of sectors including hospitality, finance, construction, charity and transport.

Samuel’s arrival at Sintons comes at a time of strong growth for the employment team and firm as a whole, with ongoing recruitment and new client wins helping to further develop the law firm’s capability and capacity.

Sintons’ employment team, led by Keith Land – consistently recognised by Legal 500 as one of the leading lawyers in the North of England – is regarded as one of the leaders in its field in the North, acting for growing numbers of well-known clients on a range of matters. It gained national recognition for its support of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which it made a range of resources available for free to assist during the unprecedented times.

“Sintons has a strong reputation for its employment specialism and I am very pleased to join a team known for its commitment to delivering a first-class legal and personal service to clients,” said Samuel.

Christopher Welch, managing partner at Sintons, said: “Our employment team is held in the highest regard and acts for growing numbers of businesses and organisations across the North East and beyond. We continue to see a period of strong growth, which is testament to the work and capability of Keith and his team.

“We are very pleased to welcome Samuel to Sintons and look forward to working alongside him as we work together to make even stronger progress, while being absolutely committed to delivering the best possible service to our clients.”

The life-changing impact of prosthetics

After an incident which forced a man to have his arm amputated, the use of cutting-edge prosthetics has proved key in him being able to rebuild his life.

Undergoing an amputation just below the shoulder after his right arm was dragged into a conveyor belt at the recycling centre where he worked, the man suffered both physical and psychological trauma.

While his specialist solicitors at law firm Sintons were able to secure a £1.83m settlement and a bespoke package of therapy to support him in his recovery, their ability to access cutting-edge prosthetics has proved particularly key in him being able to look to the future.

Through relationships with specialist prosthetics providers including Blatchford, and the London Prosthetics Centre – part of Sintons’ vast national network to support personal injury clients – the man was able to access state of the art prosthetic devices to help him resume many activities in his life, in a way he feared would no longer be possible.

In this case, the claimant was fitted with a Myoelectric arm which can be used with  two separate electronic hands, one to allow fine movement and the other for heavier more demanding tasks. These represented  some of the many options on the market, the suitability of which will be  determined by a person’s unique needs and circumstances.

The electronic components with the myoelectric prostheses are ultimately controlled by input from electrical signals generated by muscles in the injured person’s residual limb and allow much greater levels of function than manual prosthetics.

Technological advances have made this more intuitive than ever before, and after skilled training with this device, the man could control multiple features in his arm, from his shoulder to his hand.

The electric Greifer hand enables a powerful grip giving the user the ability to hold items securely and to handle heavy objects. The Tasker Hand user can adjust the functionality and requirements of the hand in just a few seconds, and also adjust further for particular tasks.

In addition to the myoelectric prosthesis The man was also fitted with the latest cosmetic prosthesis, which has a the high resolution silicon finish to ensure the most realistic appearance, for use at social events where arm function is not so critical..

The latest technology enables the closest resemblance to a person’s skin tone and characteristics before the amputation, including matched pigmentation, freckles, veins, hair and tattoos.

Supported by bespoke therapy and rehabilitation from a highly experienced team, the man is now able to enjoy function and use in his right arm which he feared had been lost forever at the point of amputation.

Phil Davison, head of the general personal injury team at Sintons, led this claim and said the impact advanced prosthetics can have on a person’s life can truly be transformational.

“ Finding the right prosthetic limb for a person after the trauma of amputation can be a truly life-changing moment and can add a whole new dimension to their their recovery,” says Phil, regularly hailed by Legal 500 as one of the leading lawyers in the North of England.

“The ongoing advances in technology mean that cosmetic prosthetics are incredibly life like in many respects.. Whilst such prosthetics are not particularly functional, they can greatly assist an individual in dealing  with the change in their appearance, and can be of substantial psychological benefit.

“This combined with the  advancing functionality of prosthetics is of huge benefit to our clients. Their ability to integrate with muscle function and replication of lifelike movement – with even the benefits of being able to participate in sports or heavy lifting – enables a person to resume many activities they feared may have been lost. The significance of regaining a substantial degree of independence cannot be understated. It is extremely gratifying to see somebody develop confidence and skill in the use of their prosthesis with the opportunities that become available to them as a consequence. It is no understatement to suggest it is a life changing process, both of them and their family.

“This case in particular points to the huge impact of appropriate prosthetics – our client lost his arm in extremely traumatic circumstances, but his participation in everything from basic tasks to sports has been absolutely critical in him being able to look forward and move on with his life.”

The relationships and the national network of experts that Sintons have  established through its position  as leading personal injury specialists proves very important in situations like this, says Phil.

“This is a sizeable and growing field, with new devices and providers coming into the market all the time.  Our experience of supporting clients after life-changing injuries and the network we have developed ensures that we can keep abreast of the latest changes and innovations,” he says.

Our network continues to expand so we are fully on top of all the latest introductions which may benefit our clients.

“Over many years, we have seen the changing face of prosthetics, and the hugely positive impact they have on clients’ lives – something which is only increasing with the development of their appearance and function. It gives us as a team great satisfaction to see our clients benefit from this and to enable them to move forward in their lives with the support of the right prosthesis.”

JCT 2024 is on the way

The Joint Contracts Tribunal (“JCT”) contracts is one of the most widely used standard form suite of construction contracts in the UK. With the current edition of the JCT contracts being published in 2016, the time has come for an updated suite to take account of recent legislation, case law and market practice. We are currently short on detail, but the JCT has outlined some key changes it hopes to make in the 2024 editions, as follows:

Modernising and streamlining

JCT users can expect to see provisions that allow for increased flexibility for notices to be sent electronically together with electronic signing, which we are sure will be a welcome change as the industry continues to take a progressive approach to digital working.

The JCT 2024 will also see the adoption of gender neutral language across the suite of contracts.  We are particularly pleased to see this announcement given our recent work alongside Constructing Excellence in the North East and other law firms in the region, and our commitment to adopting gender neutral language in the drafting of bespoke construction and engineering contracts and ancillary documentation.

Legislative change

Given the key recent changes to the law, namely the Building Safety Act, it has been reported that the new edition will include significant updates in this regard. Further, changes will be made to take into account the new insolvency grounds that were introduced under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.

Additionally, the new edition will include a due date for final payment after termination, which will remove the uncertainty on this point within the 2016 suite and will reflect the requirements of the Construction Act.

Liquidated Damages and Termination

We understand the new edition will make clear when liquidated damages apply upon termination to take account of the decision of the Supreme Court in Triple Point Technology Inc v PTT Public Company Ltd in which it was confirmed that a liquidated damages clause will generally only apply up to the termination of a contract, with general damages for delay applicable thereafter. A full discussion of this case can be found here.

Extensions of Time

It is anticipated that the period of time for an Employer to assess an extension of time claims will be reduced from 12 weeks to 8 weeks from receipt of the required particulars.

In addition, there will be updates as to how statutory powers are dealt with and ‘Statutory Undertakers’ will be redefined to ‘Statutory Providers’.

Finally, new Relevant Events will be included to deal with epidemics, unexploded ordnance, contaminated materials and asbestos.

Resolving Disputes

The JCT 2024 is reported to put further emphasis on senior executives to meet sooner in an attempt to negotiate a settlement to disputes. It is also envisaged that parties will be able to choose their own Adjudicator Nominating Body as opposed to a shortlist being provided.

Future Proofing

It is anticipated that the changes will reflect the Construction Playbook and will incorporate previously optional provisions that relate to collaborative working and other matters such as sustainability.

New Target Cost Contract

Finally, JCT will be introducing its own JCT Target Cost Contract which will comprise a main contract, sub-contract and guide.  This contract is likely to be seen as an alternative to NEC ECC Option C.

The foregoing provides only outline detail at this stage, and we will be providing further updates and training in due course.

Summer Social golf and networking events programme unveiled

A series of golf and networking events are to be held by Sintons to help bring together the region’s business community.

The Summer Social events – held during July, August and September – are being run jointly with CMYK Business Technology at Close House.

The events have been created to help bring together people working across the region’s business community in an informal atmosphere.

Sintons is committed to supporting the development of business in the North East, and holds a number of events to provide a focal point for networking and social opportunity for business figures and professional advisors.

The Summer Social programme – held on July 4 and 18; August 1 and 29; and September 12 and 26 – runs from 5pm, with tee-off time for nine holes of golf at 5.30pm and networking from 7.30pm.

A prize will be given for the best score over three cards submitted.

David Pritchard, head of marketing at Sintons, says: “At Sintons, we have a very busy programme of events designed to help bring professionals from across the region together, to meet and socialise in an informal and enjoyable setting. After so long being apart during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are finding that social opportunities are especially welcome.

“Our Summer Social events, which we are pleased to host alongside CMYK, are set to follow that trend and we expect a great turnout of golfers of all abilities in what promises to be a series of great evenings.”

Quiz held to support Trainee Challenge fundraising

An annual quiz night hosted by Sintons’ trainee group is returning for 2023, to help raise funds for the firm’s staff charity.

The Trainee Challenge Quiz Night is being held to help support fundraising for this year’s Trainee Challenge, which has seen the 11-strong group successfully complete the Three Peaks Challenge.

Their fundraising goes to The People’s Kitchen, which supports homeless and vulnerable people in Newcastle with food and friendship, and is Sintons’ staff charity for two years.

The quiz night is a popular annual event in Sintons’ calendar, which attracts attendees from across the region. It is being held this year on July 6 in Shearer’s Bar at St James’ Park.

Sintons’ trainee group has already raised a significant total from its completion of the Three Peaks Challenge earlier this month, which saw them scale the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent (694 metres), Whernside (736 metres) and Ingleborough (723 metres) within 12 hours.

Over the years, the annual Trainee Challenges have raised thousands of pounds for regional good causes.

David Pritchard, head of marketing at Sintons and chair of the firm’s CSR committee, says: “Every year, our trainees dedicate themselves to training for and completing a gruelling physical challenge, in addition to their legal work and studies, to help raise funds for charity. This year, they have again excelled themselves with the completion of the Three Peaks Challenge.

“Through this ever-popular quiz night, we can help support them further in their fundraising, while also offering attendees an enjoyable social opportunity. To date, they have already raised a fantastic sum for The People’s Kitchen – at a time when their resources have never been more in demand, and fundraising has never been more necessary – and we’re very grateful to those who will join us on the night in helping to add even more to that total.”

The event, hosted by David Pritchard and Peter Jennings, will be held on July 6 from 6pm to 10pm in Shearer’s Bar, Strawberry Place, Newcastle. There will also be a raffle and game of heads and tails.

A table of six costs £60 or an individual place is £10. To attend, contact Peter Jennings on peter.jennings@sintons.co.uk or sign up here

Meet the Family Team with Jo Scott

What is your role in the team and how long have you been at Sintons?

I am a senior associate at Sintons and joined in May 2023

Tell us about your career to date…

I have 30 years’ experience as a specialist family solicitor, and I have worked in the North East throughout that time.

I have been a qualified Resolution-accredited collaborative lawyer since 2010, and then gained accreditation as a Resolution-qualified solicitor mediator.

What attracted you to join Sintons?

Having practiced in the North East throughout my career, I am well aware of the high quality service it delivers to clients, and the legal expertise it has always had within its team. Its reputation in the marketplace really does stand out so the opportunity to join Sintons was a welcome one.

Through my long track record in working in family law, I have come to know Louise Masters, head of family law at Sintons, and consultant Elizabeth Gallagher through working with them both collaboratively and non-collaboratively. They are both very highly rated and highly esteemed names in family law, so I am delighted to work alongside them.

Additionally, I am very impressed by Sintons’ ongoing drive towards achieving net zero and the commitment of the firm in getting there. The firm’s CSR policy and how active it is in the local community clearly shows its ethos and was another factor in me wanting to join.

What does your role involve?

I am committed to supporting clients with a range of issues arising from the breakdown of relationships, including divorce, separation agreements, dissolution of civil partnerships and issues arising from the breakdown of a cohabiting relationship.

Through my many years of experience in this specialist area of law, I can handle with the full spectrum of matters associated with separation, but I specialise in complex financial arrangements and resolving issues involving children that arise upon the breakdown of a relationship. I also advice on pre- and post-nuptial agreements.”

Furthermore, I help to mentor junior members of staff within our team, supporting their development as they build their careers.

The award-winning Family team is one of the most highly rated in the North of England. What are the advantages of being part of it?

This is a fantastic team of people who I enjoy working with both personally and professionally. We were recently shortlisted again in the Northern Law Awards, verifying our place as one of the leaders in our field in the North of England. We are all committed to building our capability in family law even further.

While I have worked in this area of law for many years, I love how I continue to learn and grow within this team. The opportunities for continued development are fantastic and we are developing as a team too.

How does Sintons differ from other firms you have worked in?

Sintons has a fantastic reputation which is well known across the North East, but what has really struck me during my time here is the friendliness of the everybody who works here. From my very first day I have been made to feel very welcome.

But while it is a lovely place to work, it still maintains a very professional approach with an uncompromising level of client care, which are standards I have always aspired to deliver throughout my career.

What are your interests outside of work?

I love all things outdoors – particularly hiking, running, and gardening. I am also a fan of pilates.

Newcastle Building Society commits to Hexham with £500,000 investment into branch premises

The North East’s biggest building society has invested nearly £500,000 in Hexham and committed to its future in the town by acquiring the long-term leasehold of its Beaumont Street branch.

Newcastle Building Society created its full service and financial advice branch in the former Dickinsons site opposite Hexham Abbey in 2019 as part of its multi-million pound branch network investment programme.

Having traded successfully from the Beaumont Street space for the last four years, the Society has now chosen to acquire a 999-year lease for the branch, with freeholder Abbey View (North East) Ltd also set to invest in adapting the building’s upper floors into residential accommodation.

In further good news for the town, the Society’s previous branch next door is set to be occupied by a new tenant over the next few months, having been empty for the past few years.

The 1,410 sq ft Beaumont Street branch was designed to provide a modern and welcoming environment that offers customers easy access to services, information and advice.

It also includes a community space in which local people, groups and good causes are able to hold meetings and events.

The Society’s commitment to Hexham is the latest phase of its branch investment programme which includes the launch of a UK-first pilot to install multi-bank technology in two of its branches. Customers of any bank are able to use the OneBanx kiosks located in the Society’s Knaresborough and Gosforth branches to withdraw and deposit cash and coins from their accounts securely by use of a mobile app. Both Knaresborough and Gosforth have seen several bank branches close over recent years.

Michael Conville, chief customer officer at Newcastle Building Society, says: “We created a modern new branch in Hexham four years ago and that decision has been more than justified by the response of local people over the last four years.

“Customers tell us repeatedly how much they value the reassurance and friendly service they receive in a branch and the cost of living crisis means local communities need local financial services more than ever. Whilst other providers are closing branches on our high streets, we’re innovating and investing in our branch network, with a clear ambition to open more if our local communities tell us they need them. Our commitment to Hexham is a part of that investment and we’re delighted to have secured our long-term future in the town.”

Allan Fenwick, director of Abbey View (North East), said: “We’re delighted to collaborate with Newcastle Building Society in their acquisition of the long leasehold; construction work repurposing the previously defunct commercial upper floor space into residential accommodation will start soon.”

Advice on acquiring the leasehold was provided to Newcastle Building Society by law firm Sintons and commercial property consultants Reid Birkett.

Trainee Challenge 2023 will tackle the Yorkshire Three Peaks

Sintons’ trainee group will embark on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for the Trainee Challenge 2023, it has been announced.

The annual Trainee Challenge is a key part of Sintons’ annual fundraising effort, and sees the firm’s graduate trainees and solicitor apprentices undertake an ambitious physical challenge to raise vital funds for the firm’s nominated charity.

For 2023, the 11-strong trainee group will take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, which involves climbing the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent (694 metres), Whernside (736 metres) and Ingleborough (723 metres), in under 12 hours.

After training together in the coming months, the group will take on the challenge in early summer, with the aim of raising hundreds of pounds for The People’s Kitchen, Sintons’ current staff charity.

Previous Trainee Challenges have included last year’s Paddle the Bann – a two-day 58km canoeing expedition from Lough Neagh in Ireland to Coleraine on the coast of the Atlantic; the 136-mile Coast to Coast cycle trek from Whitehaven to Tynemouth; and the Three Peaks Challenge of scaling Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon – a combined height of 3,408 metres.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, says: “Our annual Trainee Challenge is a renowned event within the firm, with our trainee group going to ever greater lengths to challenge themselves while raising vital funds for local charities.

“At Sintons, we are always very keen to promote the importance of exercise in both physical and mental wellbeing, and our trainees challenging themselves in this way is hugely positive. The Trainee Challenge also strengthens the great relationship our young lawyers enjoy in the workplace, which only increases their ability to do an outstanding job for our clients.

“Everyone at Sintons is always only too keen to wish the trainees well on their challenge, keenly following their progress through their training in the run-up to the main event itself, and we all wish them the very best of luck. The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is known as a very physically demanding challenge, and we are very grateful our trainee group are taking this on to help increase our support for The People’s Kitchen.”

To add your support to the Trainee Challenge 2023, please click here

Neurotrauma team continues to grow with new appointment

The growth of the Neurotrauma team at Sintons is continuing with the appointment of a new specialist.

Nadia Hussain has worked in personal injury for over ten years and has extensive experience of litigation, with a strong track record in securing strong outcomes for clients.

She joins Sintons at a time of strong growth for its Neurotrauma team, which continues to win new instructions from across the country on the strength of its reputation for legal and client service excellence.

Supporting clients and their families after life-changing brain and spinal cord injury, Sintons is known for fighting hard to secure the best possible outcome for the unique circumstances of each client, giving them access to the rehabilitation and compensation that will enable them to rebuild their lives.

“Sintons has a very strong reputation for its legal excellence and its support of clients and I am very pleased to move here,” says Nadia.

“I pride myself on going above and beyond for my clients, to give them the best level of service and dedication, and it is great to be working with colleagues who share that commitment. I look forward to working with them to achieve the very best for our clients.”

Andrew McGowan, head of Neurotrauma, says: “We are delighted to welcome Nadia to our team, at what is a time of strong and ongoing growth for us.

“The reputation we have for our Neurotrauma work is hard earned and well deserved, and we continue to win new instructions on a national basis, the majority of which come from referral or recommendation – a huge independent endorsement of what we are delivering.

“There is huge capability and experience in our team, and great potential in here too, and together we are committed to building our department and its reputation further still. We look forward to working with Nadia in achieving that.”

Sintons take on 100k in June challenge

A team of cyclists from law firm Sintons are taking part in a fundraising challenge to raise vital funds for a charity which supports people from the earliest days after life-changing injury.

The cyclists are taking part in the 100k in June challenge, run by Day One Trauma Support, which is calling for individuals or teams across the country to complete the distance to raise money to help fund its work.

The charity works in a number of Major Trauma Centres across the country to give personalised to support to individuals and families after life-changing injury.

From the very earliest days post-injury, Day One’s team will stay with families for an indefinite period, providing practical advice and guidance on how they can rebuild their lives.

It is the only national charity to provide personalised care to anyone affected by any kind of catastrophic injury, their loved ones and their families, for as long it is needed.

Sintons, whose serious injury team is nationally renowned for its work, works closely with Day One to support its work as a fast-growing charity, as well as delivering its expert legal advice and outstanding client service to families when needed.

The team, which will also comprise members from Parklane Plowden Chambers, will complete their 100k by cycling the 25k route around Kielder Reservoir on June 17.

Sintons has taken on a number of cycling challenges previously, including some on behalf of Day One, and is a longstanding supporter of a number of charities which make a difference to the lives of seriously injured people and their families.

Phil Davison, head of personal injury, said: “We see first-hand that the work and intervention of Day One truly changes lives. From the earliest days after life-changing injury, when the outlook may be unknown and the situation can be extremely traumatic and distressing, to have people by your side to guide you through that is absolutely invaluable.

“As specialist serious injury lawyers, we know how much that matters to families, and as such are only too keen to support Day One in any way we can. The 100k in June challenge is a great initiative for exercise and wellbeing, which we are always keen to promote at Sintons, while also raising vital funds for a great cause.

“We will be getting back on our bikes for this great challenge, joined again by colleagues from Parklane Plowden, and are grateful for any support in helping to sustain and further develop the work of Day One and its brilliant team.”

* To donate to Sintons in their 100k in June challenge, click here

Brighter Times On The Horizon

Well nobody saw that coming!  This may seem an unusual way to start an article, but if you cast your mind back to this article 12 months ago, we thought that the industry had turned the corner, the dark days of Covid-19 were behind us, and there was plenty of opportunity to bounce back to profitability.

But how could we foresee the troubles that have hit the industry in the last 12 months?

With utility prices sky high, product prices rising as a result of suppliers carrying increased costs of production, the high rate of inflation hitting the pound in the pocket of many punters, and the chaos that followed September’s mini-budget, it became another increasingly tough year for many in the industry. With hindsight, it seems like the sector had walked out of a dark tunnel into the light, but that light was just the lightning flashes of the approaching storm!

But as always, this industry we love has been resilient and found a way forward. New outlets have popped up all over, from smaller microbusinesses (pubs and street food outlets), through to high end fine dining establishments, indeed it can easily be argued there has never been a better time to be a foodie in the region. Other areas of the industry have also continued to thrive, such as the holiday and caravan park market, where demand for sites is higher than ever and prices being paid are at all-time highs.

There has also been a strong uptick in the conversion of former retail space to leisure uses, so much so that statistics indicate the number of bars, large venues and high street units increased by 0.5%. Whist Pubs sit within a Sui Generis planning class, the introduction of Class E has allowed food focused operators to benefit from this relaxation in planning laws, and we’ve been pleased to see the opening of outlets such as NQ64 on Pilgrim Street and Four Quarters on Dean Street in Newcastle City Centre, which both build on the competitive socialising scene.

Licensing however remains tight in many city centre locations and as licensing authorities begin to review the pavement licences granted during Covid-19, there are no doubt some more changes to come.

That is not to say that there have not been closures of businesses, but the severity of closures was not as severe as many feared. The CGA/Alix Partners Report for October 2022 confirmed that total pub numbers in England & Wales declined by just 0.6% in the preceding 12 months (the increase in city centre venues, being offset by closures in the traditional wet led sector). This means that the total number of pubs would sit just short of 46,000 for the start of the year. These numbers, however, strongly suggest a distinct slowing in the rate of decline over the last 5 years.

Now whilst last year was undoubtedly hard work, there are still lots of positive things coming up. Once again, the RFL Magic Weekend returns to Newcastle, for an unprecedented 7th time, and the continued performance of Newcastle United, Middlesbrough and Sunderland will continue to ensure the hostelries of their respective town centres are full on match days. Music, Comedy and Theatre performances are back, audiences are growing and Sam Fender’s two nights at St James’ Park and Beyonce at the Stadium of Light will be the biggest shows the cities have seen for some time. Hopefully, the recent Business Rates Revaluation will result in reduced liabilities for operators, but even if your Rateable Value has not fallen, there are still ways to make sure that you are making the most of the savings available.

Whilst 2022 didn’t prove to be the year we all hoped, there’s every reason to think 2023 looks like it’s going to be another interesting year and hopefully, this isn’t another false dawn.

Article from our North East Leisure Supplement 2023, produced in conjunction with Sanderson Weatherall.

Sarah Smith, Head of Licensing and Gambling at Sintons – sarah.smith@sintons.co.uk – 0191 226 4897.

David Downing, Partner at Sanderson Weatheralldavid.downing@sw.co.uk – 0191 226 4897. 

Sintons supports ABI Week

Law firm Sintons is again giving its support to an annual campaign to raise awareness of brain injury and its impact on individuals and families.

Action for Brain Injury (ABI) Week 2023 is themed around ‘Every 90 Seconds’ – shining a light on the fact that every 90 seconds someone in the UK is admitted to hospital with a brain injury.

ABI Week, led by brain injury charity Headway, highlights the scale of brain injury nationally – with one in three people sustaining brain injury in their lifetime – the support on offer, and the need for even greater provision of resources.

Sintons has again thrown its weight behind ABI Week – which runs from May 15 to 21 – committing its support to doing all it can to improve the lives of survivors and their families.

The law firm’s Neurotrauma team is renowned nationally for its support of clients with brain injury, fighting hard on their behalf to secure the best possible settlement and access to rehabilitation to enable them to rebuild their lives after trauma.

Andrew McGowan, head of Neurotrauma at Sintons, says: “It is a truly shocking statistic that someone will be admitted to hospital every 90 seconds with a brain injury – something that can be a truly life-changing event, which can shatter the lives of whole families in an instant.

“As a law firm absolutely committed to supporting these survivors and their families, we see first-hand the devastation this can cause every day. For this reason, we are only too keen to support valuable initiatives like ABI Week.

“This very important week provides a focal point for the need for greater awareness of brain injury, and with it more and better access to resources for survivors and their families in the community. We will always do all we can to champion such vital issues.”

Sintons racks up thousands of miles during Active April

Around 7,000 miles were covered by 50 staff at Sintons during a month-long initiative to promote wellbeing through activity at the law firm.

The Active April challenge brought together people from across the business, working together in teams of five to accrue as many miles as possible.

The participation of 50 staff is the most the annual challenge has ever had, with activities including walking, running, cycling, rowing and swimming.

Active April – which has previously been known as Miles in March at the firm – supports Sintons’ commitment to promoting health and wellbeing among its team, with exercise playing a key role in that.

This year’s challenge was organised by trainee solicitor Emily Richardson and facilities assistant Simon Anderson, who coordinated teams’ activities throughout the month.

Gemma Hewitt, head of HR at Sintons, said: “Getting active is a really important way to create healthy habits both for your physical and mental health.

“Active April has been a fun way to get people doing physical activities they may not have done before, enjoying the fresh air and getting to know their team members.

“We have recently signed up to the Better Heath at Work Award and this is a fantastic way to continue to support our colleagues on important aspects of their own health and wellbeing.”

Christopher Welch, managing partner at Sintons, added: “Supporting the wellbeing of our team is something we care deeply about at Sintons. Our absolute commitment is to delivering the best possible service to our clients, but in doing that, we must also be mindful of taking steps to safeguard our own health and wellbeing.

“Active April has been a real success, with a record number of our team taking part and a phenomenal total being achieved. Initiatives of this kind are also very important in team building, and strengthening relationships between colleagues further still.”

Sintons’ charity golf day returns for 2023

Golfers can help raise vital funds for a much-loved charity which supports vulnerable people living in Newcastle by attending Sintons’ upcoming golf day.

The firm’s 2023 Charity Golf Day is always a hugely popular annual event, with teams competing for accolades including the overall winner, straightest drive, longest drive and nearest the pin.

This year, the event – held on May 11 at Close House, home of the world’s only two Lee Westwood golf courses – will be raising money for The People’s Kitchen, which is Sintons’ nominated charity.

The People’s Kitchen has been supporting homeless and vulnerable people in Newcastle since 1985, giving daily hot meals and other vital supplies to those in need. Staffed entirely by volunteers, its resources are under unprecedented pressure amidst the cost of living crisis.

The golf day entry fee is £300 per team of four, which includes breakfast, golf and a two-course meal.

David Pritchard, head of marketing and chair of Sintons’ CSR committee, said: “Our charity golf day is keenly anticipated and always oversubscribed, and brings together professionals from across the region in a day of friendly competition and social opportunity. It’s always a great occasion.

“But more importantly, it helps to raise vital funds for a charity whose support has never been more badly needed. We are very proud to have The People’s Kitchen as our nominated charity, with it playing a crucial role in enabling individuals and families from our city to find friendship and support during times they need it most.

“We hope for another fantastic turnout for this year’s golf day and look forward to meeting our guests in May.”

* To sign up for the Charity Golf Day, contact Peter Jennings on peter.jennings@sintons.co.uk or 0191 226 7907

Double shortlisting for Sintons in Northern Law Awards 2023

The specialist family and dispute resolution teams at Sintons has been shortlisted for a prestigious award in recognition of their expertise and dedication to client service.

Both teams have been named as finalists in the Northern Law Awards 2023, which acknowledge the outstanding efforts of businesses and individuals working in the legal sector across the North of England.

Sintons’ family and dispute resolution teams are both previous winners of these awards in 2019.

Sintons’ family team – a previous winner of this award, having secured it in 2019 – has a long track record in supporting people in matters of separation and divorce, as well as in protective planning for the future. It is a specialist in high net worth matters, as well as cases involving children and those with complex assets.

Its shortlisting for the Northern Law Awards is the latest recognition for the specialist team, after winning praise from both Legal 500 and Chambers 2023 as a “knowledgeable and respected” advisor committed to delivering legal and client service excellence.

The highly esteemed dispute resolution team, which has a top-tier ranking by Legal 500, has a long track record in supporting businesses and individuals regionally and nationally in achieving the best possible outcome in the event of a dispute.

Hailed as “excellent”, it works across a wide range of sectors and has some of the eminent names in dispute resolution in the North of England in its team, including partners Hilary Waters – also head of department – Angus Ashman and Graeme Ritzema.

The family and dispute resolution teams were the only department at Sintons to enter this year’s awards, and team members will be attend the ceremony on June 22.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, said: “We are of course delighted to see Sintons shortlisted twice in the Northern Law Awards, which are regarded as a benchmark of quality and ability in the legal sector in this region.

“Sintons is known throughout the business for our commitment to securing the best possible outcome for clients, working hard on their behalf to achieve that in what can often be very complex situations.

“This is true of both our family and dispute resolution teams, both of which are well used to negotiating sensitive situations to secure the best outcome for their clients. Our reputation in both of these very specialists areas of law is hard earned and well deserved, and we are very proud of the independent recognition we continue to secure.”

Sintons strides towards net zero status

Law firm Sintons is stepping up its efforts in carbon efficiency by working with an international leader in sustainability to help achieve its sector-leading target of securing net zero status by 2040.

Sintons has partnered with Planet Mark, an organisation which works with some of the biggest names in the UK to support them in collectively creating a more sustainable future for the planet.

Newcastle-based Sintons has long been committed to reducing its carbon footprint, and has continually implemented initiatives to reduce paper and energy usage within its headquarters, The Cube.

Now, in what is known as the ‘Decade of Action’ to address the climate emergency, Sintons is working alongside Planet Mark to enable it to achieve net zero by 2040 – ten years ahead of the Government’s proposed 2050 deadline.

Targeting a reduction of 2.5 per cent in carbon emissions each year to get to net zero, Sintons will be supported to achieve PAS 2060 carbon neutrality status, which it hopes to achieve in the near future and has recently become a Planet Mark Certified Business.

Securing Planet Mark certification recognises an organisation’s continuous improvement and action to reduce its carbon footprint, and builds a community of like-minded ventures and people who are committed to making a difference.

And in addition to the carbon efficiency work being done in The Cube and by members of the Sintons team, Sintons’ work with Planet Mark will also be supporting charity Cool Earth to protect areas of the Ashaninka endangered rainforest in Central Peru, as well as sustainability pioneer The Eden Project.

Matt Warner, office services manager at Sintons, is leading the firm’s sustainability efforts.

“The need to be more sustainable has been a concern for Sintons for many years now, and we are very proud of the efforts we have made in cutting our emissions,” he says.

“However, we are very aware of the need to do more and urgency with which to act, and are delighted to be working with Planet Mark in enabling us to really focus on delivering our ambitions of securing net zero by 2040.

“This is an ambitious target, but one we are committed to meeting. We are working with colleagues throughout the business in considering the environmental impact of all of our activities, individually and collectively, and to implement actions in how to increase our performance in these areas.

“We are very pleased with the progress we are making already in our work with Planet Mark, and their support will be vital in us achieving our goals.”

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, adds: “Being environmentally responsible is a massive issue for businesses and one absolutely every one of us needs to act upon without delay.

“We are already a sector leader in this field, through our early action on this issue over the course of several years, so are now in a strong position to take this forward with the support of Planet Mark.

“Few are aspiring to achieve net zero ten years ahead of the Government deadline, but as a business very conscious of our role in protecting the planet, we recognise the need to take action without delay and are proud to lead the way on this.”

Sintons sponsors Headway Darlington conference

A conference shining a light on the need for early intervention after brain injury, and which brings together a number of key figures to look at the topic, is being sponsored by Sintons.

The Headway Darlington conference on 19 May 2023 has a theme of ‘Every 90 Seconds Counts’ which ties in with National ABI Week, and aims to highlight that earlier intervention post-discharge vastly aids TBI recovery.

The Darlington and Tees Valley area has traditionally seen a lack in post-discharge resource, meaning that Headway groups have played a particularly vital role in supporting brain injury survivors and their families.

The conference, on May 19, brings together Luke Griggs, Chief Executive of Headway UK, with other speakers including Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington, Dr Janet Walker, Medical Director for Tees Valley ICB, and Dr Geoff Hill, Consultant Neuropsychologist at South Tees Hospitals.

Sophie Moore, Senior Associate in Sintons’ specialist Court of Protection team, will also deliver a presentation, alongside Jo Wallis from Headway Tyneside, and Headway Darlington members Bill and Dorothy Barclay.

As a leading advisor nationally in brain injury and Neurotrauma, Sintons supports clients from across the country in rebuilding their lives. Much of the firm’s work comes from referrals by fellow neuro professionals on the strength of Sintons track record of delivering excellent client service and legal expertise.

Alastair Elliot, Partner in the Neurotrauma team at Sintons, and a Trustee of Headway Darlington, said: “The problems around access to resources for brain injury survivors after discharge from an acute setting is well-documented. It is not an issue seen only in this area, it is a matter of great national concern – but we are committed to playing our role in tackling this.

“By bringing together a number of leading figures in our area, we will look at how every 90 seconds really does count, and why early intervention can be absolutely critical to securing the best outcomes for survivors.

“This conference brings together professionals, people living with brain injury and family members from across the region, and will look at the steps being taken to improve post-discharge provision in our area. We are very much looking forward to welcoming them to Darlington.”

The Every 90 Seconds Counts conference will be held on May 19 2023, from 10.30am, at the Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel. To register your interest please email conference@headwaydarlington.org.uk.

Sintons sponsors walking football initiative

A walking football initiative for brain injury survivors – the first of its kind connected to a Premier League club – is being sponsored by Sintons.

The initiative is delivered by the Newcastle United Foundation and Headway Tyneside, and enables people with brain injury to enjoy sport, stay active and socialise in a safe environment.

The weekly sessions have been in operation for a number of months and have proved popular with survivors from across Tyneside, and are held at the Foundation’s recently-opened NUCASTLE community hub, which is only minutes’ walk from Newcastle United’s St James’ Park.

Law firm Sintons has become the sponsor of the walking football sessions, securing the future of the initiative and its vital role in helping to rebuild lives.

Sintons, whose headquarters neighbours both NUCASTLE and St James’ Park, is a leading advisor nationally in brain injury and Neurotrauma work and supports survivors from across the country in accessing all possible opportunities for rehabilitation.

“After brain injury, life for many people can look very different – social opportunities and levels of activity can both suffer, so this walking football initiative is hugely important in survivors being able to rebuild their lives,” says Andrew McGowan, head of Neurotrauma at Sintons.

“We are very fortunate to have such a great initiative, the first to be linked to a Premier League club, right on our doorsteps in Newcastle, and it is fantastic to see the Newcastle United Foundation and Headway Tyneside working together to deliver these sessions.

“We at Sintons are delighted to lend our support to this initiative, to enable to sessions to continue to be delivered free of charge to anyone who will benefit from them. This is such a vital project and we’re really pleased to be able to play a role in its delivery.”

Neurotrauma team adds new specialist

The Neurotrauma team at Sintons is continuing to expand with the appointment of a new specialist.

Louise Clark joins Sintons after more than 18 years working in personal injury and has extensive litigation experience.

With particular experience in road traffic accident work, Louise has a strong track record of securing optimum outcomes for clients.

She joins Sintons’ Neurotrauma team at a time of ongoing growth for the department, which acts for people after life-changing brain and spinal cord injury in rebuilding their lives.

Supporting both the client and their family from the earliest days post-injury, Sintons has built a reputation nationally for the quality of its legal and client service and its commitment to fighting hard to secure the best possible outcomes for its clients.

“I am very pleased to join Sintons, a firm with a first-rate reputation and a very strong presence in the field of Neurotrauma and serious injury,” says Louise.

“The team is known for its significant capability and the unrivalled service it delivers to clients, and I am looking forward to working with colleagues in building this even further.”

Andrew McGowan, head of Neurotrauma, adds: “Sintons rightly has a national reputation for our work in this very specialist area of law, in which our vast experience in brain and spinal cord injury litigation makes us a stand-out name.

“We are committed to delivering the highest possible standards of both legal and client service excellence, supporting a client and their family through some of the most traumatic times imaginable to secure the best possible access to rehabilitation and compensation to enable them to rebuild their lives.

“We are very pleased to welcome Louise to our growing team. Instructions continue to come into the department, the majority of which are based on recommendation or referral, and we will expand our department accordingly with the legal talent to enable us to continue to support our clients in every way possible.”

Neurotrauma lawyer promoted to Partner

A leading Neurotrauma lawyer has been promoted to Partner in recognition of his commitment to delivering the highest standards of legal and personal service to clients.

Alastair Elliot becomes a Partner in Sintons, having built a reputation for his specialism in personal injury work for more than 20 years.

A highly-esteemed figure for his work in brain and spinal injury claims, Alastair supports clients and their families to secure the best possible outcomes for their unique circumstances and situations, fighting hard on their behalf to secure that.

Having joined Sintons in 2021, Alastair – also a trustee of Headway Darlington – has contributed significantly to the ongoing development of the Neurotrauma team, which continues to build its reputation as a nationally-significant name in this specialist field.

In addition to his commitment to delivering legal and client service excellence to clients, Alastair also supports the development of more junior members of the Neurotrauma team to enable them to thrive in their own careers.

“I am very pleased to have been promoted to the Partnership at Sintons,” said Alastair.

“This role carries a great amount of responsibility in delivering the best possible outcome for individuals and families at what is often the most distressing and traumatic time of their lives. Every day I dedicate myself to delivering the very best for them I can.

“As a Partner, I will continue to deliver the highest possible standards of service to our clients, while also supporting the ongoing development of the department and our team.”

Andrew McGowan, head of Neurotrauma at Sintons, said: “Alastair is an outstanding Neurotrauma lawyer, who fights hard for his clients and their best interests while delivering the caring and sensitive service they need.

“Since he joined us at Sintons, he has made an immense contribution to our department and the development of our team. We are delighted his efforts have been rewarded with Partnership.”

Dog walk will raise funds for The People’s Kitchen

Dogs and their owners can help raise vital funds to support vulnerable people in Newcastle by taking part in a charity event.

The dog walking event involves a 5k walk along Newcastle Quayside, with a stop off at Tyne Bar for refreshments for dog owners and their pets alike.

Always a popular event, the Sintons charity dog walk attracts dogs and their owners from far and wide, who help to raise money for The People’s Kitchen – the law firm’s current nominated charity and the focus of its fundraising efforts.

The People’s Kitchen has been supporting people in need across Newcastle for 38 years, and offers food and friendship to those battling loneliness, homelessness and poverty in the city.

In the current cost of living crisis, the charity’s resources have never been more in demand, with Sintons already raising thousands of pounds for The People’s Kitchen, with more funds set to come in the remainder of its two-year commitment.

The dog walk, which will take place on April 27 from 5.30pm, will help to generate more money through the £10 entry fee for every dog/owner team, which includes a drink at Tyne Bar and a doggy goodie bag.

David Pritchard, head of the CSR committee at Sintons, said: “Our charity dog walk is always a particularly well-attended event, with dog owners able to bring their beloved pets along to what is a really welcome social opportunity, which also raises vital funds for charity.

“The People’s Kitchen is helping countless people in need in Newcastle during these very challenging economic times, and we are supporting them in every way we can – through staff volunteering their time and through fundraising through events like this charity dog walk.

“We hope as many dog owners can join us as possible for a walk along the Tyne and a drink – and even a gift for their pet!”

* The charity dog walk will be held on Thursday, April 27, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, with participants meeting in the Forth Banks car park at 5.25pm. The entry fee is £10. To register, contact david.pritchard@sintons.co.uk or 0191 226 7802.

Sintons appoints head of risk and compliance

Law firm Sintons is continuing to invest in its ability to deliver the highest standards to clients by appointing a new head of risk and compliance.

Catherine Prosser joins Sintons with over 20 years of senior-level experience in risk, compliance, operations, contract management and HR across a host of sectors.

She is a specialist in risk management, regulatory compliance, anti-money laundering, data protection and quality assurance.

Her appointment adds further to Sintons’ in-house expertise in these critical areas of safety and security for the firm in protecting its operation and ability to deliver legal and service excellence to clients.

Catherine, a member of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) and International Compliance Association (ICA), says: “I am very pleased to join Sintons and to support the firm and its growing team in ensuring continuing adherence to the highest standards.

“I am passionate about supporting a collaborative compliance culture and look forward to working with colleagues across the firm to continue to deliver this for the benefit of everyone at Sintons.”

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, says: “Risk and compliance are of course fundamental aspects to the successful and effective operation of a law firm, and it is essential we do all we can to achieve excellence in these areas.

“We continue to make significant investment in our team and infrastructure to ensure this happens, and we are very pleased to welcome Catherine to the team to lead our efforts in this area. She has built a strong track record in risk, compliance and quality assurance over the past two decades, and has valuable insight and experience to contribute to Sintons.

“As we grow and continue to build our reputation regionally and nationally, it is essential we do so with the integrity and uncompromising focus on quality and excellence which are at the heart of all we do. By continuing to build our expertise and experience in such key areas as risk and compliance, we can be confident of achieving that.”

Two trainees qualify into solicitor roles

Two trainees at Sintons have taken on permanent roles with the firm after becoming qualified solicitors.

Ben McMurdo and Charlotte Gunn have both completed their training contracts with Sintons following two years of experience gained in departments across the firm.

Ben now becomes a solicitor in Sintons’ specialist commercial team, with Charlotte taking up a role in the wills, trusts and estate department.

Ben and Charlotte are the latest trainees to be offered permanent roles with Sintons after qualification, with the firm having a long track record in supporting the development and careers of young lawyers in the region. Indeed, many of the current senior figures at Sintons began their careers as trainees with the firm.

The development of the current aspiring solicitors at Sintons continues, with the firm’s first and second year trainees, alongside its solicitor apprentices, moving to new seats for the next six months as part of their ongoing development.

Second year trainees Emily Richardson, Amy Carlton and Leigh Garbutt move to corporate, Court of Protection and dispute resolution respectively; first year trainees Lucy Milnthorp, Edward Pattinson and Charles Bell take up roles in real estate, employment and real estate respectively.

Among the solicitor apprentices, Leah Greenwell moves to neurotrauma, Saffron Sinclair joins construction, Nathan Johnson remains in real estate and Sabrina Jackland remains in neurotrauma.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, said: “Firstly, congratulations go to Ben and Charlotte on their qualification. We are delighted to offer them roles within the firm after they have worked so hard over the past two years within our team and on behalf of their clients.

“Supporting the next generation of legal talent is of great importance to us at Sintons and is a commitment we have maintained for many years. Our graduate trainees and solicitor apprentices are a vital part of our team, and form a vibrant and dynamic group in their own right which is central to our fundraising activities through the annual Trainee Challenge.

“We are very pleased to see our current trainee group doing so well and working hard to progress in their careers. Ben and Charlotte will now hopefully go on to enjoy long careers with us, and we hope to welcome others into the role of solicitor in the future.”

Personal injury team makes new appointment

The nationally-renowned personal injury team at Sintons is expanding further with the appointment of a new specialist.

Iain Baillie joins Sintons to support its work with clients across the UK who have sustained serious or life-changing injury.

Iain specialises in all areas of personal injury work, and he worked widely in road traffic accident liability in his previous role.

He joins Sintons at a time of progress for its personal injury team, which again secured a top-tier ranking from Legal 500 2023, and won praise both from Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for its quality of legal advice and client service.

“Having worked in the North East in my previous role, I am well aware of the exceptional reputation Sintons has for its legal work, and particularly for the focus it has on client service,” says Iain.

“As someone who focused on making a positive difference to the lives of people who have been affected by serious injury, I am delighted to join such a committed and capable team. I look forward to playing my role in developing their first-rate reputation even further.”

Mark Quigley, head of personal injury at Sintons, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Iain to our team. This is a time of growth and development for the team, as we continue to attract new instructions from across the UK based on the strength of our reputation and the service we deliver to each and every client.

“We are known for our absolute commitment to doing the very best for our clients and their families during what can be very difficult and distressing times. Our legal experience and expertise, alongside a genuine commitment and determination from our team to fight for the best interests of their client, means we regularly secure life-changing outcomes.

“We look forward to working alongside Iain as we develop our team even further, with our clients at the centre of everything we do.”

Apprentice secures permanent position at Sintons

An apprentice at Sintons is to remain with the firm in a permanent role after completing his training period.

Andrew White has completed his apprenticeship in Sintons’ award-winning marketing department and will now take up a position as marketing assistant within the team.

Having specialised in digital marketing during his two years with the firm, Andrew has helped to further develop Sintons’ sector-leading website and online communications.

Under the guidance of head of marketing David Pritchard, Andrew has been supported through a wide breadth of learning and development, from digital through to wider marketing activities and events.

In his new role, Andrew will continue to work alongside David, marketing executive Peter Jennings and media relations specialist Deborah Busby to continue to develop its presence nationally.

Andrew says: “My apprenticeship has been challenging and a huge learning curve, during which I have developed my skills and learnt new ones. David is an outstanding marketer and I have enjoyed working with him and the team in building my career and skill set.

“I’m very pleased and grateful to be offered a permanent position at Sintons and look forward to continuing to push on with the progress we are making as a firm.”

David Pritchard adds: “At Sintons, we take a very creative and sector-leading approach to marketing, pushing the boundaries of what has traditionally been done and making Sintons stand out as an innovator in the marketplace. Our marketing team is very dynamic and fast-moving, and Andrew has been quick to adapt to the many challenges he has faced.

“We are very pleased he will be staying with us and to be able to offer him this role. Progression and development is a core part of what we offer at Sintons, and having supported Andrew through his apprenticeship, myself and the wider team look forward to continuing to work with him as he continues to develop.”

‘My life was turned upside down…Sintons has helped me rebuild it’

A man who lost his lower right leg when he was hit by a car is rebuilding his life with the support of a seven-figure payout and rehabilitation secured by law firm Sintons.

The man, now 59, was critically injured in December 2016, when he was walking one early evening and was hit when a car lost control and careered off the road.

He sustained severe and multiple injuries to both lower legs, with extensive surgery to his right leg over the course of the next four years in an attempt to restore function and mobility.

Forced to give up his job due to his injuries and relocate from the home he had lived in with his wife for more than 30 years, he confesses the outlook seemed bleak for him being able to rebuild his life.

But in December 2020, the man underwent a below-knee amputation on his right leg – something he has described as “the best thing that has happened to me” since the crash. He now has a prosthetic leg and is making strong progress in his mobility and regaining independence.

“What happened absolutely turned my life upside down, the life you knew disappears in an instant. But after having the amputation, it has been a massive turning point. It’s as if I’ve got my life back,” he says.

“After I came out of hospital, I didn’t want to go out anywhere. I didn’t want to get ready, I’d be in a wheelchair and it was almost more trouble than it was worth. I didn’t really want to see people anymore and my wife started to have health problems of her own through it all. It was a situation I couldn’t see how we could get out of.

“But now, we have just come back from holiday and we’ve had a fantastic time. I could walk on my own and feel like a world away from where I was before the amputation. I sometimes do have a few tears because I’m so happy – and I’m so grateful to Sintons for their support in getting here.”

The man’s long road to this point began late in 2016, when he was walking on the footpath beside a busy road during the early evening, when a driver lost control of his car and left the road, hitting him with such force he was thrown into a nearby house’s front garden.

Initially spending almost two months in hospital, including over Christmas, he began the long process of recovery. He appointed serious injury specialists at Sintons to support him in his case.

While he made significant progress in his therapies, his right leg continued to cause problems and hampered his recovery. Several rounds of surgery followed over the years, but after attempts to restore mobility to his lower leg were unsuccessful, he took the decision to have an amputation.

Following the procedure, he spent 13 weeks in STEPS Rehabilitation in Sheffield, a nationally-renowned residential rehab centre which proved fundamental to his recovery.

“After the amputation and I pulled back the covers on my bed, many people expect me to say I was horrified – but it honestly felt like a weight had been lifted. That had held me back for so long. I rang my wife and she said she could hear the relief and change of mood in my voice,” he recalls.

“I wasn’t sure about going to STEPS and being away from home, but it was absolutely fantastic. They didn’t mollycoddle me, there were no kid gloves – it was intensive and hard work but totally worth it. I got so involved in the therapies I didn’t want to leave.

“I learned how to walk with my prosthetic and it felt like I had my freedom back, I could do things for myself, without having to use the wheelchair or crutches, or rely on my wife. It was just fantastic – and I’d say my time in STEPS was the real turning point, and since my amputation and then, things have just been so much better.”

Although he and his wife had to relocate from their long-time family home, they have been able to buy a bungalow near to the area they have always lived which accommodates his mobility needs.

“It’s absolutely lovely here. I really enjoy just sitting either in the house or in the lovely garden, being able to relax. It feels like at last, after a long and really quite awful time, me and my wife can enjoy our lives again,” he says.

While he continues to experience some problems with his left leg, which had extensive fractures, and experiences lower back and upper body pain from the use of crutches pre-amputation – which may need future medical intervention – for now, he is able to move on with his life since that life-changing night almost six years ago.

Kate Oliver, partner in Sintons’ personal injury team – which was recently top-rated by Legal 500 in recognition of its legal and client service excellence – acted for the man and secured the seven-figure compensation package and bespoke support.

The claimant said: “Kate was brilliant. She gets to the point, there’s no false hope or feeling like she isn’t telling you the whole story – Kate is very honest and direct and we trusted her completely.

“We knew she had my best interests at heart and had great judgment. With things like going to STEPS, she encouraged me to change my mind when I didn’t want to do it – and it turned out to be one of the best things I ever did.

“We are so grateful for her support over the years and for the settlement she has secured for us. At last, it feels like we can move forward, thanks to Kate.”

Kate adds: “This was a long-running case following an incident which caused years of distress for our client and his wife. They went through a very traumatic time, during which every effort was made to save his right leg, but ultimately the amputation and prosthetic have had a positive and life-changing impact. His new accommodation has also given a much better quality of life and the settlement we secured will enable him to access any therapies, private prosthetic provision and further bespoke support he needs in years to come.

“We are very pleased we could assist in this case, where the access to rehabilitation has proved absolutely critical to recovery, and has enabled him to look to the future with renewed hope. This is a great outcome to this case and we wish him and his wife the very best as they move forward in their lives.”

Sintons supports BABICM workshop

 Law firm Sintons is giving its backing to a learning and development initiative to support new brain injury and complex case managers.

The Beyond the Beginnings foundation workshop is designed to give timely training to case managers who have recently joined the profession and are getting to grips with the wide range of issues that are fundamental to their role.

The workshop, hosted by the British Association of Brain Injury and Complex Case Management (BABICM), will cover aspects including the litigation process, duty of care, terminology and how the clinical work of case managers is central to client rehabilitation.

Beyond the Beginnings, held in Manchester on March 23, is hosted by Sintons’ specialist Neurotrauma team and will feature its head of department, Andrew McGowan, as guest speaker.

The session will be hosted by experienced case managers Jackie Waggott and Kevin Cross.

“Case management is an absolutely vital part of a client’s rehabilitation journey, with the case manager helping to assemble and coordinate the specialist team which will ultimately support their recovery – that is a huge responsibility and a truly life-changing role,” said Andrew McGowan.

“Training and development is hugely important for case managers throughout their careers, but particularly in those early stages when there is so much to learn and understand about their new role. Beyond the Beginnings helps to address many of the key points it’s vital to get to grips with and is set to be a really important workshop.

“We are very pleased to lend our support to such a great opportunity and I look forward to meeting some of the latest additions to case management and helping to share some insight to support their development.”

Fundraising pool tournament held by Sintons

A pool tournament is being held by Sintonstrainee group to raise money for The People’s Kitchen.

The tournament, a regular and popular event in the law firm’s calendar, brings together participants from businesses across the region.

Organised by Sintons’ trainee group, the event – on 23rd February- will raise funds for the firm’s nominated charity, the much-loved People’s Kitchen.

Sintons is known for its variety and quality of events, which are regularly filled to capacity, and raise thousands of pounds for good causes across the region. For the next two years, the People’s Kitchen will be the focus of all of its fundraising.

Sintons’ trainees are known for their active fundraising efforts, with their annual Trainee Challenge being a focal point. Each year, the group of trainees and solicitor apprentices take on a physical challenge, this year they are taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks

David Pritchard, head of marketing and chair of the CSR committee at Sintons, said: “Our trainees are a dynamic group of young people whose efforts play a big role in our annual fundraising.

“As well as the Trainee Challenge, this is another opportunity for them to hold a great event which is also raising money for a brilliant cause. We have held pool tournaments in the past which have been very successful, with superb attendance and fundraising, and we hope this will be another memorable evening.”

* The pool tournament will take place on 23rd February from 5.30pm to 8pm, at Spot White on Stowell Street, Newcastle. The entry fee is £10 for a team of two and to register, click here

Solicitor secures full STEP membership

A solicitor in Sintons’ specialist wills, trusts and estates team has become the latest within the firm to achieve full membership of STEP.

Ed Liddell has completed the process of qualification for STEP, a global professional body whose members support individuals and families in planning for their future, having recently passed his final exam.

STEP membership is a highly regarded accreditation for a private client lawyer and a number of the Sintons team already have the endorsement, or are working towards it.

Ed’s achievement means he is now recognised as delivering the highest standards in supporting families in their future planning, adding further to Sintons’ reputation for delivering legal and client service excellence.

“I am very pleased to have secured full membership of STEP, which is very important for me personally in my development, but also in helping to grow the quality and standards we deliver here at Sintons,” says Ed, who joined Sintons in July last year.

Paul Nickalls, head of the wills, trusts and estates team, says: “This is a great achievement for Ed and independently confirms the excellent work he is doing for his clients. My congratulations go to him on passing his final exam after a stringent assessment process.

“STEP is a very prestigious accreditation, with full membership being the highest level of attainment and we are very proud to have a number of our team who now hold this quality mark.

“Our team continues to grow, underpinned by the increasing level of instructions we receive from across the country, and to meet this demand we continue to bring in new excellent people – Ed being one of our most recent additions. We are committed to delivering the very highest standards of legal and client service, and with a team which continues to develop in size and capability, we are able to support our clients in every way possible.”

Sintons staff to swim with sharks

Two intrepid Sintons employees are to swim with sharks to help raise vital funds for survivors of spinal injury.

Debbie Brewis and Julie Maloney are to dive amongst one of Europe’s largest collections of sharks, including sand tiger sharks – which are up to 3.2 metres long and 350lbs each – guitar sharks and black tip sharks, alongside stingrays and tropical fish.

The dive, organised by the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), will help raise money to help support its work with people who live with spinal injury.

Sintons, as a specialist Neurotrauma advisor which supports clients nationally who have sustained spinal cord injury, enjoys a strong relationship with the SIA and is a keen supporter of its work.

Debbie and Julie will now help to generate vital funds to help sustain that through the event, held on March 4 at the Blue Planet Aquarium at Cheshire Oaks, near Chester.

Christopher Welch, managing partner of Sintons, said: “We at Sintons are never shy of taking on a challenge, but I think this is a new one even for us – Debbie and Julie are really doing something special by diving with sharks, while also raising vital funds for a charity we know very well and are only too keen to support its work.

“I wish them the best of luck with the event, which will be a hugely memorable occasion for them both, and with their fundraising too. While we are well aware of the challenging economic climate, any funds raised will help to sustain the work of the SIA in improving the lives of those with spinal cord injury. Sintons are only too pleased to lend our backing.”

To add your support to Debbie and Julie follow the links below:

To support Debbie, click here.

To support Julie, click here.

Sintons Extend Support To Eagles Women’s Court

Law firm Sintons is continuing its commitment to North East sport – and building further on its support of basketball – by becoming a sponsor of the Newcastle Eagles women’s team.

Newcastle Eagles are the most successful club in British basketball and North East sporting history, and since 2018-19 have operated the region’s top-flight Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) franchise.

Sintons is a longstanding supporter of the Eagles as a club, but is now committing its backing separately to the WBBL team, to help highlight the role the role they play in women’s sport and in encouraging women and girls into sport in the North East and beyond.

“Sintons’ continued sponsorship of the club over the years has been brilliant and this extension of support to our WBBL team is a big boost to what we are doing to develop the women’s game”, said Dan Black, Newcastle Eagles Sales and Communications Manager.

“Having the backing of such a well-know and highly regarded partner as well as being able to see so many of their colleagues and clients able to attend our games and support in person too is massive for both the BBL and WBBL franchises.”

Women’s sport and in particular women’s basketball is growing significantly in mainstream prominence and in the region, evident from the Eagles’ recent WBBL attendance record breaking game when over 1,300 packed the Vertu Motors Arena.

“We are very proud of our track record in supporting North East sports clubs and athletes of all levels, and are committed to investing in the future success of our region in this field,” says David Pritchard, head of marketing of Sintons.

“The profile of, and participation in, women’s sport is growing strongly, which is fantastic in creating a diverse and equal sporting community. Equality and diversity are values at the very centre of Sintons and how we operate, and we are committed to promoting these in any and every way possible.

“The Eagles’ WBBL team has played a key role in this, and the club is a strong and vocal supporter of the need for more women and girls to participate in basketball and sport in general.

“We’re absolutely delighted to lend our support to the WBBL team, in addition to our backing of the men’s team, and in championing the efforts of the Eagles in promoting women’s sport.”

Update Your Will Week 2023 – 23rd – 29th January

This week (23rd – 29th January) is Update Your Will Week, an awareness campaign hosted by SFE to encourage more people to update their will and ensure their wishes are carried out when they die. This helps minimise disputes – easing distress (and costs) for your loved ones.

New research commissioned by SFE revealed only 56% of UK adults have updated their will within the last five years, meaning around a half of wills are out of date. It also showed that half of UK adults have experienced a life changing event, such as getting married, divorced, or having a child, since last updating their will.

We recommend that wills are reviewed and updated every five years, or when a major change occurs that impacts you or your loved ones.

In addition, the research revealed that almost three quarters (70%) of parents in the UK have no legal guardian in place to care for their children in the event of their deaths. According to the research, parents are almost completely unaware of the risks of not identifying a legal guardian in a will; this includes the courts or social services deciding what happens to your children.

With only two out of ten parents understanding that social services or the courts can step in to decide what happens to your children if you don’t have a will in place, Sintons is keen to raise awareness of the risks involved when a guardian isn’t appointed.

Paul Nickalls, head of the private client team at Sintons is a member of SFE, a national organisation of lawyers specialising in advising people planning for later life. They’ll be able to provide support and guidance as you discuss your unique situation and wishes, they can also help reduce your inheritance tax bill.

SFE lawyers are experts in this area of law and follow a strict code of conduct which has respect and dignity at its heart. Communicating in a clear, straightforward language, they’re trained to make sure you understand the important decisions you’re making.

Contact our team today about making changes to an existing will or creating a new one and make sure your wishes are communicated when you die.

Neurotrauma team expand through new appointment

The nationally-renowned Neurotrauma team at Sintons is continuing to strengthen its team through the latest new appointment.

Richard McLellan joins Sintons as a specialist in employers’ and public liability personal injury claims, both at pre-litigation and litigated stages.

Having worked in litigation for over 10 years, his experience also includes working in an international law firm.

Richard joins Sintons’ growing Neurotrauma department at a key time in its ongoing development, with instructions continuing to come from across the country and its reputation on a national level increasing.

It again won strong praise from both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners 2023 for its commitment to delivering both legal and client service excellence, with both independent publications naming Sintons as one of the leading names in the North of England.

“Sintons is a very well known and respected name in Neurotrauma work and I am delighted to join. I look forward to working with the team to support even more claimants in securing the settlements they deserve to help them move on with their lives,” says Richard.

Andrew McGowan, head of Neurotrauma, says: “We are very pleased to welcome Richard to the team, a seasoned professional in supporting clients through their claim and in working hard to achieve the best possible outcome.

“Sintons’ ethos is about delivering the highest possible standards in legal and client service excellence, and we are very proud of the reputation we have earned on a national basis. We have a first-rate, committed team who fight hard for their clients to achieve the very best packages of compensation and rehabilitation for their unique circumstances.

“We look forward to working with Richard to continue to build our presence and reputation nationally.”

Pioneering solicitor apprenticeship launches for 2023

A trailblazing apprenticeship programme which has redefined the route into law for young people in the North East is again offering opportunities for aspiring lawyers across the region.

The North East Solicitor Apprenticeship (NESA) offers a six-year training scheme as a means to enter the legal profession, rather than the traditional route of qualification as a lawyer, and since its foundation in 2017, has created opportunities for young people in law firms and partner businesses across the North East.

Many apprentices who were part of the first NESA intake are now nearing qualification in leading law firms around the region.

Two of the NESA founder law firms – Sintons and Muckle – continue to be part of the initiative for 2023, and are joined by two of the leading names in North East business as partners – Barbour and Newcastle Building Society.

The programme offers paid employment as an apprentice and in-house training from lawyers, many of whom are regional and national leaders in their field. The on-the-job training is supplemented by academic support from Northumbria University.

The application process for the 2023 apprenticeships is open, with NESA engaging with schools and colleges across the region in the search for the next generation of legal talent.

An information evening is to be held at Northumbria University on January 17, when the application process will be officially launched, with the closing date set for February 24. Following interviews, successful applicants will begin in their new roles in September.

Gemma Hewitt, head of people services at Sintons, says: “The NESA programme has truly redefined the route into law as it has always been known, enabling young people for whom university was not an option to consider becoming a lawyer.

“This new accessible route, which also offers a salary, has meant the talent pool has been significantly widened in the search for the outstanding lawyers of the future, which is fantastic news for the career choices of young people at schools and colleges across the North East.

“Sintons are a founder member of NESA, and we are proud of the contribution we have made to creating opportunities for young people in the region, who are now valued members of our team. We look forward to adding more solicitor apprentices to our team in the near future.”

Sintons opens next round of graduate recruitment

Law firm Sintons has launched its latest training contract recruitment drive, continuing its longstanding commitment to supporting the next generation of legal talent.

Over the course of many years, Sintons has given opportunities to young lawyers, supporting them through their qualification and beyond, with many going on to enjoy long careers with the firm with ongoing progression and development. A number of current partners and senior figures began life at Sintons as graduate trainees.

The firm is well known across the region and beyond for its commitment to supporting emerging talent, with its graduate programme continuing to recruit even through the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, as Sintons continues to invest in the next generation of young legal excellence, it is opening recruitment for training contracts to begin in September 2025.

Recruitment will begin on 03 January 2023 and close on 30 April 2023. Those shortlisted from the first stage will be invited into Sintons in June to meet with Sintons’ graduate recruitment team and other people from across the firm, ahead of final interviews in July.

Gemma Hewitt, head of people services at Sintons, said: “We are very proud of our longstanding commitment to aspiring young lawyers and offering opportunities despite the most difficult of economic climates – while many firms paused or contracted their graduate recruitment programmes during the pandemic, the value we place on the importance of bringing young lawyers into the team was shown by the fact we continued as we ordinarily would.

“We have a vibrant and dynamic trainee group at Sintons who are supported by some of the leading lawyers in their specialist fields on a regional and national scale. Our lawyers, which also include our solicitor apprentices, work closely together and enjoy strong relationships both in and outside of the workplace, with our trainees playing a central role in the firm’s annual trainee challenge and other CSR activities.

“Joining Sintons as a trainee offers a host of opportunities for professional and personal development, working within an ambitious and supportive firm which prides itself on the quality of its people and supports them in every way possible. We look forward to hearing from any aspiring lawyers who would like to join us.”

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 renews festive support for Newcastle Hospitals Charity

Law firm Sintons is again sending its support to staff and patients in hospitals in Newcastle this Christmas by making a donation to help their festive season be the best it can be.

Sintons is a partner supporter of Newcastle Hospitals Charity, which is the dedicated charity for Newcastle Hospitals and covers internationally-renowned sites including the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) and Freeman Hospital.

To help bring a bit of festive cheer to those who are spending Christmas in hospital, Sintons has made a financial contribution to fund decorations for the wards, and gifts for patients spending Christmas in hospital.

Through its healthcare, serious injury and Neurotrauma teams, Sintons works closely with Newcastle Hospitals, supporting both the organisation and patients within it with its nationally-renowned legal and client service excellence.

Kate Oliver, partner in Sintons’ serious injury team, said: “We’re very proud of the longstanding relationship we have with Newcastle Hospitals and to support the work they do in treating patients and supporting their families.

“Spending Christmas in hospital can be very difficult, and we hope that our contribution can make it as special and memorable as it can be for staff and patients alike. We’re delighted to partner with Newcastle Hospitals Charity in this way and add another dimension to the support that we can offer throughout the year.”

Head of NHS Healthcare at Sintons, Amanda McCabe, added: “The work of frontline staff in Newcastle Hospitals is absolutely amazing all year round, and as well as helping to brighten Christmas for patients, we hope we can also bring some festive cheer to the team who give such outstanding and selfless support to those on the wards.

“We’re very pleased to be able to support this charity and its vital work, particularly at this very special time of year.”