Meet the team: Alisha Watson, Brooke Jefferson, James Curran and Ashley Garthwaite

Durham law firm ramps up recruitment drive


An influx of new work for one of the region’s leading law firms is behind a series of new appointments and a ramping up of the practice’s ongoing recruitment drive.

Since the start of lockdown last March, Swinburne Maddison has operated in an extremely flexible and agile manner, leading to continuity of its well-respected, client-focused approach to providing sound legal advice.  


Throughout 2020, this has seen Swinburne Maddison’s commercial property team advising on 10 different development sites and completing more than 120 plot sales.   The firm was also recently ranked 5th top firm in the North East by volume of deals in the Experian Market IQ. 

As a result, Swinburne Maddison is eyeing the end of its financial year on a high, enjoying an increase in year-on-year fee income of 9.8% and a rise in net profits of 24.6% compared to 2019’s financial performance.

To manage this continued increase in demand for its award-winning services and to prepare for further growth, Swinburne Maddison has announced the recent arrival of several new faces and the creation of at least five new roles that they hope to fill in next couple of months.


The latest arrivals are paralegal, Alisha Watson and secretary, Brooke Jefferson, who have both joined the residential property team as well as James Curran, a newly qualified solicitor, who has joined Swinburne Maddison’s litigation team from a Carlisle law firm and will be working on a high volume of work from Leeds City Council.

The practice is also celebrating Ashley Garthwaite becoming a qualified solicitor.  Ashley joined the firm as a secretary in 2016, moved to become a paralegal and has since worked hard to complete her training as a solicitor.


The law firm’s winning formula for success is in no small way due to its ability to attract, train and retain staff over the longer term.  In fact, 19 of its current 59 staff have been employed at the firm for over ten years while 11 partners, fee earners and support staff have been with the company for 20 years, which makes for a steady, consistent approach to business growth and a shared vision for the future.

“Whilst we never rest on our laurels and will continue to look for ways to actively increase our presence in the region and the variety of work that comes to us, we do not see the demand for our services diminishing in any way”, said Jonathan Moreland, partner and head of the dispute resolution and employment teams.

“There are encouraging economic development plans across the whole of the North East region in which we continue to be heavily involved and we are still looking to make some senior appointments of lawyers with five years or more of post qualification experience in each of the commercial property, corporate and employment teams as well as paralegals within the private client and commercial property teams.”


Given the challenges that have presented themselves throughout the pandemic, this has led to a great deal of self-reflection on priorities, so the firm has experienced increased demand for private client and property work as well as a higher volume of instructions for the litigation and employment teams. The housing sector has also witnessed extremely high levels of activity.


Looking ahead, Swinburne Maddison’s corporate team expects to take full advantage of the positivity in the North East and is well placed to provide advice for a wide range of clients across the region. Welcoming the new arrivals and speaking about the practice’s strong position and future growth, Mr Moreland continued:

“We are currently enjoying a high level of demand across our entire service portfolio, which gives us the confidence to continue to recruit at pace.  We are delighted to welcome Brooke, Alisha and James to the team as well as congratulate Ashley on qualifying. 

“Whilst many staff continue to work from home, thanks to the policies and procedures we’ve recently adopted, we still operate very much as a team and I believe this is reflected in our ability to attract and retain a high calibre of employees at all levels of the business.  We are confident that the opportunities we are creating are sustainable, and staff feel valued, supported and able to enjoy a fulfilling career with Swinburne Maddison.”

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