Debby Hackney

Director - Commercial Property/New Build

Debby is the Head of Commercial Property, the Director responsible for business development and provides support to our Residential Teams. Debby qualified in 2000.

Debby can advise in relation to:

  • Land - sale and purchase for commercial or residential development - this includes original acquisition, set up and plot sales
  • Landlord & Tenant matters - including grant or taking of a lease, dealing with assignments or subletting, assisting with rent reviews or dilapidation issues and negotiating heads of terms
  • Commercial refinance - where Debby is recommended by lenders for her understanding of each lender requirements
  • Buildings - sale and purchase of commercial buildings – whether owner occupier or investment led, freehold and complex leasehold interests, offices retail or industry, advising on capital allowances, VAT and other complex commercial principles
  • Development - including advice on pre-emption agreements, joint ventures, options and overage agreement

Clients: Debby acts for a wide range of clients from small local businesses through to larger corporations; from health professionals through to engineering and manufacture; residential and commercial developers; acting for local charities; pension trustees and faith organisations.

Debby's Approach: She cuts to the chase very quickly; takes time to understand a transaction in detail from the outset to meet timescales and avoid confusion; works closely with a client’s professional team to keep everyone advised which is why she is recommended by local professionals and lenders; undertakes site visits and is happy to meet clients at their business premises if required; down to earth and practical taking the time to learn about a client's business to properly service their needs; has a positive and friendly approach and uses plain English.

Accreditations: CQS accredited; on the panel for majority of UK lenders; Governor of Hopedale Children & Family Services and a Trustee of Saltbox, a local charity which supports ex-offenders in rehabilitation, provides free debt advice to families in need and offers a service to older people who are alone.

Personal Background: Debby was born in Leek but moved to Congleton for her high school years and then to Stoke on Trent when she was 15. She is proud to be considered an adopted potter! She had many happy childhood years playing on her grandparent's farm in the Moorlands and still loves walking and visiting the Peak District.

She has two teenagers and lives on the Potteries/Moorlands border and enjoys reading, walking, listening to music, films, football (husband is an avid Manchester United fan) and spending time with family and friends. She enjoys a good pint of cider!

Pre Qualification: Debby left school after completing her O Levels, and after 9 months on a YTS (youth training scheme for all of you too young to remember!) she joined a local legal practice as an office junior. After 10 years of working her way through a number of roles ultimately to a fee earning position in residential conveyancing, she embarked on 7 years of part time studies whilst holding down a full time job - gaining an A Level in Law, a 2:1 Law Degree and a Merit in her LPC at Staffordshire University where she also won a best student award.

Post Qualification: After completing a 12 month training contract with a large Stoke on Trent practice, Debby qualified in 2010 and moved to work with Gateley Plc. At this point she already had many years of land law experience and was probably the oldest "newly qualified" Solicitor the firm had taken on at the time. Whilst at Gateley Plc Debby had the opportunity to work within the commercial property department alongside experienced and outstanding Solicitors. Here she undertook a variety of commercial, development, landlord and tenant work. She also supported the Corporate and Insolvency departments with regard to property transactions. She found the time at the firm invaluable both in terms of experience, marketing and client care.

Career Change: In 2002 after a near death incident, Debby took a break from the legal profession and worked for Arch as a supported housing officer with 16 - 18 year old substance misusers. Whilst this was a stark contrast to her previous role, she had the opportunity of working with families struggling to cope with young people addictions. She then took 3 years out to tackle her most challenging role – parenthood and then joined Arthur Boulton in 2007, who merged with Nowell Meller later that year.

Nowell Meller Journey: When Debby joined the firm, she started in a part time capacity dealing with residential conveyancing and originally committed 6 months to help the firm through a difficult period and to recruit a Solicitor to lead the team. Debby was so impressed with the ethos of excellent legal service/client care, balanced with family life, that after recruiting a local conveyancing Solicitor and team, she decided to stay and develop the firm’s commercial work. Through a recession Debby built the client base through her local knowledge, excellent client care and sheer hard work and determination which led to strengthening the team and developing other commercial areas.