Steve is the Head of our Business and Disputes service, an experienced Solicitor who qualified in 1988 and joined the company in 1994. His work covers the commercial and corporate fields as well as that of commercial, contract and property disputes. He is also responsible for legal compliance matters and risk management within the company.
Steve can advise in relation to:
- Business - share or asset sales or purchases, share exchanges, joint venture and shareholder agreements, partnership matters, acting for a wide range of local businesses and charities
- Charities - charity law and governance, setting up and running a charity, incorporation, conversion to Charitable Incorporated Organisation status, property matters
- Commercial Business - consumer and business contracts, terms and conditions, sale and supply of goods, supply of services, IT contracts, review of internal compliance
- Corporate - Company formation; Shareholder Agreements; Cross Options and any other corporate related matters
- Landlord & Tenant - enfranchisement, right to manage and recovery of possession
- Trusts of Land - co-ownership agreements and disputes
- Property Disputes - Landlord & Tenant disputes, other property disputes, contract disputes, neighbour disputes, party wall disputes and boundary issues, trespass issues
Clients: Steve acts for a wide range of clients including individuals, partnerships and corporations; a number of SME's; health organisations such as Vets, Doctors, Dentists and Opticians; from local engineering firms to public schools and other local charities. His clients and colleagues describe Steve as "a first-class lawyer, reliable and pragmatic with excellent communication and client care skills".
Steve's Approach: Steve works closely with Debby Hackney and her team, who are becoming known as regional leaders for the quality of their work, client care and standards of service. Steve is happy to see clients at their business premises and is a straight-talking lawyer. Steve has the ability to get to the heart of the issue very quickly and is committed to achieving the best for his clients but to do so in a way that produces an efficient, fair and positive result. His training and experience as a collaborative family lawyer have given him the negotiation skills to help his clients avoid costly court proceedings where possible.
Accreditations: Steve was elected to Resolution's National Committee in 2009 and served as a Director until 2014 (for 4 years as National Treasurer). He has worked on a number of other committees for Resolution and chaired their Cohabitation Committee for several years actively campaigning for improvements in family law and has worked with a number of MPs and Lords on law reform issues. He has appeared on national radio and TV and was a studio guest on BBC Radio 4 Money Box Live. He continues his involvement with Resolution as an independent member of Resolution's Practice Standards Panel.
Steve was a founder member of the Steering Committee for the Keele University Community Legal Companions (CLOCK) scheme.
Currently he is a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Finance and Management and a Member of the Property Litigation Association,
Personal Background: Steve has experience as a trainer, writing and speaking on a range of family law and legal topics. He has co-authored several books and articles - although his first published article was in the Journal of Physical Chemistry many years ago (reflecting the fact that his first degree was in Natural Sciences).
In 2012, Steve was awarded an "unsung hero" award by The Law Society. Recipients of this award are "Solicitors who give much of their time and effort working on behalf of the legal profession, seeking neither recognition nor awards, but quietly work to support their colleagues and local communities". By way of example, as well as being an officer of the North Staffordshire Law Society and supporting their work over many years (until the Society was wound up), Steve worked as a volunteer Local Conciliation Officer for the Legal Complaints Service for some years (until this service was replaced by the Legal Ombudsman) and has also been legal advisor and trustee to a number of local charities.
When not working, Steve enjoys relaxing with a good book, films and the occasional holiday. He also likes a good glass of red!
Post Qualification: After qualifying in 1988 in a general high street practice in the West Midlands, Steve joined Nowell Meller in 1994 to strengthen and develop the family team which he led for many years before moving into the litigation and commercial fields. He took over management of the practice in 1997 and gained a Masters Degree in legal practice management from Staffordshire University. His particular focus in recent years has been on supporting the development and growth of the disputes and commercial/ corporate teams.
Advocacy Skills: Steve has extensive experience as an advocate, having conducted fully contested trials in the Family Court, County Court and Court of Protection. At this stage of his career, he seldom attends court but continues to oversee the work of the disputes teams, acting as in-house advisor.