McCormicks Solicitors boost Crime and Fraud Department

September 6, 2011

McCormicks Solicitors Harrogate Business Crime and FraudLeading Yorkshire law firm McCormicks has added another solicitor to its Corporate Crime and Risk Unit.

Peter Minnikin has been promoted following his qualification as a solicitor. He joined McCormicks in 2009, initially as a Crown Court Clerk assisting in the preparation of Crown Court cases and working closely with both Junior and Senior Counsel, alongside Partner Geoff Rogers.

His performance was so impressive that he was offered a training contract with the firm in December of the same year and now specialises in all aspects for Corporate and General Crime work, including Fraud. He is a member of the Young Fraud Solicitors Association.

Geoff Rogers, who heads the Corporate Crime and Risk Unit, said: “We are pleased to congratulate Peter on his qualification and I am delighted that he will continue to play an important role in representing clients in criminal cases for the firm.”

Among the cases currently being handled by Peter is a high-profile computer hacking allegation being heard in London.

For further information, please visit or call 01423 530630


Exciting role for Harrogate Solicitor

August 12, 2011

McCormicks Solicitors HarrogateHarrogate Town Football Club has appointed a Partner from Yorkshire’s leading sports law practice as an Associate Director.

Richard Crabb of McCormicks Solicitors of Harrogate was involved in the negotiations which saw Irving Weaver take over ownership of the club from Bill Fotherby in June. Mr Weaver has now invited Richard to join the directors to help steer Harrogate Town to future success.

Richard, who is part of the team headed by Senior Partner Peter McCormick advising the Premier League, advises the Ryman League, a regional league covering London and the South East, as well as Northern Premier League clubs. His background in football dates back still further to when he played as a junior with Harrogate Railway and Knaresborough Town before captaining Durham University Football Club.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be asked to work with Irving, manager Simon Weaver and the wider team at Harrogate Town FC. The Club has ambitious yet sensible plans to grow both on the field and off it as part of the wider community and I believe it has the team in place to achieve this.”

Irving Weaver, Simon Weaver and Richard Crabb at Harrogate Town FC

Irving Weaver said: “I am delighted that Richard has taken up the challenge to join the leadership of Harrogate Town AFC. As a Partner of McCormicks, the experience in football through the Premier and other established Leagues, legal prowess and business connections will add great value to the management team.”

For further information please call 01423 530630 or visit

Commercial Property Specialist joins McCormicks

June 10, 2011

McCormicks Solicitors HarrogateA commercial property specialist has been appointed by McCormicks Solicitors of Harrogate.

Solicitor Heather Roberts brings expertise in a wide range of commercial property matters.

She has worked for leading national and regional firms and has significant experience of sales and purchases, landlord and tenant matters, asset management, development and property litigation. She has acted on some extremely high profile transactions and her clients have included developers, retailers, portfolios, banks, institutions and trusts, with well-known names including Sainsbury’s, Meadowhall Centre, Netto and Card Factory.

Commercial property specialist Heather Roberts joins McCormicks Solicitors Harrogate

She said: “Commercial property work is about dealing with real issues and real businesses. I have worked with some of my clients for a number of years, helping them to manage their property interests on a strategic as well as a day-to-day level. I enjoy building those relationships and helping them to achieve the best results possible.”

Senior Partner Peter McCormick said: “We are delighted to welcome Heather to Harrogate. She brings a wealth of experience and contacts in the commercial property sector and will prove an asset to our clients and to us in developing this part of the practice.”

For further information, please visit or call 01423 530630  

Commons celebration for outstanding Legal Executive

March 4, 2011

Raworths Solicitors HarrogateSelena Hinds, partner and head of Probate, Wills and Trusts at Raworths, Harrogate’s leading law firm, has been invited to attend a special reception at the House of Commons in honour of the first 100 Legal Executives to become partners in their law firms.

The regulations enabling qualified individuals other than solicitors to become partners in law firms changed in March 2009. Selena was one of the first Legal Executives to become a partner, achieving this on the first day after new regulations came into force. The Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) is honouring the first 100 such partners and the first Legal Executive Judge at a reception at the House of Commons later this month.

Selena Hinds Raworths Solicitors Harrogate

Managing partner, Christopher Butterworth says, ‘Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives are very well qualified lawyers and it is entirely appropriate that their abilities and contribution towards the management of firms can now be recognised at partner level. We are delighted that Selena has been invited to such a prestigious event.’

For further information, please visit Raworths Solicitors website at or call 01423 566666

New Head of Dispute Resolution at Harrogate Solicitors

February 18, 2011

Raworths Solicitors HarrogateRaworths, Harrogate’s leading firm of solicitors, has appointed well-known York lawyer, Jonathan Mortimer to head the Dispute Resolution team at the firm. Jonathan joins from the York and Lincoln firm of Langleys where he was a partner and head of Langleys’ Commercial Dispute Resolution Unit at their York office.

Jonathan was born in Harrogate and attended Leeds Grammar School before studying law at the University of Westminster and York College of Law. He joined major Leeds law firm, Simpson Curtis (now Pinsent Masons) as a trainee and qualified in 1994, becoming as an associate lawyer in their Dispute Resolution department. He joined Langleys in York in 2002 where he became a partner in 2005.

Jonathan’s experience in dispute resolution is extensive and includes representing both commercial and private clients. His experience is wide and ranges from representing clients with regulatory matters in the Magistrates’ Court to advising on complicated competition issues in the House of Lords, now the Supreme Court.  He has trained in mediation and in all forms of dispute resolution including arbitration, adjudication and expert determination, but, when court is the only option, he has very considerable advocacy experience.

“I am delighted to be joining Raworths at such an important time in the development of the firm. The continued commitment to providing the highest level of advice and expertise to the local business community in Harrogate is paramount in my new role and I look forward to bringing my legal experience and know-how back to my home town,” says Jonathan.

Christopher Butterworth, managing partner, says, “Jonathan is well-regarded as an expert litigator and his court experience is second to none in this town. He is very committed to the growth of the Dispute Resolution team and their ability to offer the highest standards of service to individuals and businesses alike.”

For more information, call Raworths Solicitors on 01423 566666 or visit

How businesses can avoid legal pitfalls

January 20, 2011

McCormicks Solicitors HarrogateA seminar designed to help businesses to avoid an ever-growing number of legal pitfalls has been organised by McCormicks Solicitors’ Corporate Crime and Risk Unit.

The event is the first of McCormicks’ spring series of seminars and takes place on Monday 28 February at Harrogate’s Hotel du Vin.

Advice from the team, headed by partner Geoff Rogers, will cover the new Bribery Act, fraudulent trading, private prosecutions such as trading standards and health and safety issues, and civil fraud.

The seminar takes place from 6pm to 8pm and is free but booking is essential. For more information please contact Sonia Jones at McCormicks Solicitors on 01423 537633 or

Raworths appoints new probate lawyer

January 5, 2011

Raworths Solicitors HarrogateLeading Harrogate solicitors, Raworths LLP, have appointed lawyer Stephanie Pennington to join the Probate, Wills and Trusts team.

Stephanie Pennington joins Raworths from HSBC Trust Company where she specialised in probate work for high net worth individuals, particularly working on estates involving business property relief, agricultural property relief and foreign assets. Stephanie brings the size of the Probate team to four fee earners.

Stephanie is a third generation solicitor from Doncaster and studied Business Law at Huddersfield University and at York College of Law. She completed her training contract at the family firm of Frank Allen Pennington in Doncaster which subsequently merged with Keeble Hawson of Leeds, Sheffield and Doncaster. During her time at Keeble Hawson, she worked on a range of private client work including wills, probate, court of protection, tax planning and trusts. She left Keeble Hawson in 2008 and joined Godloves Solicitors in Leeds where she continued in private client work before joining HSBC.

Stephanie Pennington, Raworths Solicitors Harrogate

Selena Hinds, partner and head of the Probate, Wills and Trusts team, says, ‘Stephanie’s experience, both with other firms of solicitors and in the banking sector made her a very strong candidate for the position. We are increasingly recognising the importance of recruiting individuals with wider experience outside law firms because of the commercial acumen they bring.’ Managing partner, Christopher Butterworth says, ‘We are delighted that Stephanie has joined us. The Harrogate economy is proving robust under wider difficult circumstances and this presents a particularly good opportunity to attract high calibre individuals to the firm.’

McCormicks Solicitors Christmas Briefing

December 14, 2010

McCormicks Solicitors HarrogatePlease click this link to see the McCormicks Solicitors 2010 Christmas Briefing .

Along with an update on the latest news from McCormicks, this edition provides practical advice on The Bribery Act 2010 which will come into force in April 2011, along with information regarding the implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling on pre-nuptial agreements.

McCormicks would like to wish all their clients and friends a Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Successful New Year.


Harrogate law firms merge

September 20, 2010


Solicitors Neil Adamson and John Hutchinson of Cawthron Kelbrick Lane & Co have joined Raworths LLP, Harrogate’s leading solicitors, as partners.  

Staff from Cawthron Kelbrick Lane & Co have also moved down the road to Raworths offices on Station Parade and this will bring the number of partners and solicitors in the firm to twenty seven.  Neil and John deal with both private client and commercial work and will become part of Raworths’ non-contentious team.

Cawthron Kelbrick Lane & Co was a well-established Harrogate firm, formed by the amalgamation of Cawthron Kelbrick and Lane & Co in 1991, Lane & Co having moved to Harrogate in the mid-1960s.  Raworths is one of Harrogate’s oldest law firms, founded in 1886 by Edwin Raworth in offices on James Street. He was joined by Jabez Butterworth, grandfather of one of the present partners, soon after and the firm has developed over the years to become one of the biggest firms of solicitors in North Yorkshire. They have occupied their present premises on the corner of Station Parade and Victoria Avenue since 1933. 

Harrogate Solicitors merge

Neil Adamson and John Hutchinson have both practised law in Harrogate for over 30 years. Neil is originally from Knaresborough and attended Grosvenor House School and Ashville College before studying law at Leeds University. John was also educated in Harrogate and attended Manchester University where he also studied law. Neil is a past president of Harrogate and District Law Society and John is the current treasurer. John and Neil’s specialisations include commercial and residential conveyancing, business leases, probate, wills and trusts and estate planning.

Neil Adamson says, ‘In making this move, it was of great importance that we chose a firm which could match the high level of service that our clients rightly expect. We believe that Raworths offers this and their development of commercial, litigation, family and mediation services can only benefit our clients.’

Raworths partner Zoë Robinson says, ‘Neil Adamson and John Hutchinson both have excellent reputations  and we are delighted they are joining us at Raworths. We hope that the advantages of a larger firm with a greater spectrum of specialisations will enable us to offer a wide range of services to their clients while maintaining longstanding relationships.’

Raworths managing partner, Christopher Butterworth, says, ‘Over the years, a number of smaller firms have joined us as part of the increasing trend for such law firms to join up with their larger neighbours. I have known Neil and John for many years and am delighted that they will be part of the team and we look forward to continuing to provide the level of service that their clients expect.’

For further information, visit or call 01423 566666

World Cup ‘Fever’?!

June 18, 2010

Raworths Solicitors HarrogateThere are two important issues facing employers from 11 June to 11 July 2010 with World Cup fever – how to diagnose, and how to prevent an epidemic!

Most employers will already have the necessary treatments in place; a sickness absence policy and procedure and flexible working arrangements.  If you don’t have these already you may want to consider introducing them, at least for that month.

The anticipated problems are:

increased requests for holiday which you may not be able to accommodate for all;
employees who call in sick on those days when the matches are scheduled;
those employees who call in sick the day after due to the excesses of celebration or commiseration claiming to be ‘off sick’.

The easiest and most rewarding approach for both employee and employer (if it can be done) is to agree some kind of flexible approach.  This is the most effective way to reduce disruption to your business and engender some appreciation from employees. If you can accommodate half-day holiday requests or consider special unpaid leave requests that is one option.   In granting these you will have to adopt a fair and consistent approach, i.e. on a rota basis.  Alternatively, if there is a T.V (with licence!!) or radio available within the workplace and your business can accommodate the absence of employees during a match, then lunchtimes could be deferred until the match starts and an agreement made to make up the additional time over and above the standard lunchtime, at the start or the end of that day.  This must be clearly communicated and understood by all concerned.  Be prepared for other sport fans to make a similar request when their major sporting event approaches!

If this level of flexibility is not an option because the needs of the business, then, once again, how you intend to deal with unauthorised absence or reported sickness must be clearly communicated to all employees in advance or at least as soon as possible.  Your sickness absence policy will be a crucial document for this approach and if you do not have one, now is the time to put one in place.

In addition to your normal policy you may want employees to know that any absence due to sickness during this timeframe, even a day, will need to be supported by a doctor’s certificate.  You will need to add this into your policy for this period of time.  As that is an increased requirement (the statutory position requires a doctor’s certificate after 7 days absence), you will be required to cover the cost of GP’s certificate (£10 approximately).

If an employee calls in sick and does not have a medical certificate or simply fails to attend work, they need to know that such an absence will constitute an ‘unauthorised absence’ and will result in disciplinary action. Equally, if anyone attends work and is, in the manager’s opinion, under the influence of alcohol that will also be a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with pursuant to your disciplinary policy.

Once communicated by email, letter or memorandum to employees they can be in no doubt how such matters will be treated and dealt with.  You need to be consistent in your approach so that all staff, whether male or female, suspected football fan or not, are treated in the same way.

The reason you are advising employees of such issues in advance is so that the change in your current policy is communicated and deemed fair and reasonable when you seek to rely on it but, most importantly, to try and prevent the absences in the first place and thereby reduce the disruption to your business.

If you require any assistance with a sickness absence policy, or amending the one you have to take account of such circumstances please contact us we will be happy to assist.

Deborah Boylan, Employment law specialist at Raworths solicitors Harrogate

Deborah Boylan, Employment law specialist solicitor advises on 'World Cup fever'

Deborah Boylan is head of the Employment Unit at Raworths LLP, a partner and a qualified mediator. Please telephone 01423 566666 or visit our offices at Eton House, 89 Station Parade, Harrogate HG1 1HF. Or visit our website on or email