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Northern Law Awards 2018TLW Solicitors has again picked up the prestigious Law Firm of the Year (1-5 partners) award at the Northern Law Awards 2018, having won the same category two years earlier. TLW stood out for developing new areas of work, robust business performance in the face of a challenging industry and a client-centric approach.

In addition, Claire Thornton was a finalist in the Law Practice Management category. TLW’s Professional Negligence team, led by Sarah Spruce, was nominated in the Team of the Year, Litigation and Dispute Resolution category.  Fiona McClelland, from TLW’s Professional Negligence team, was also a finalist in the Rising Star of the Year category.

Director John Burn said of the award: “To win Law Firm of the Year for the second time shows that we must be doing something right and consistently too. This is what happens when you have a great team around you”. Fellow director, Peter McKenna added “Despite intense market challenges, TLW has always focused on being innovative whilst at the same time maintaining high service levels across all of our practice areas as reflected in our fantastic client satisfaction reviews.”

With its longstanding experience of complex litigation at its core, TLW has continued to be an approved member of the Head Injury Solicitors Directory for brain injury association and national charity, Headway. In a busy year, TLW also successfully retained The Law Society’s legal practice quality mark, Lexcel. Another significant highlight was TLW winning the 2018 Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award, an independent seal of excellence rated by clients themselves, recognising exceptional service.

The award shows that TLW is becoming regarded as leading national specialists in a technically challenging aspect of professional negligence – namely financial mis-selling.

TLW’s financial mis-selling team deals with a wide range of claims following negligent and/or unsuitable advice given to clients not properly informed of the risks and potential downsides of investments. This includes advice around Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPP’s), high risk products (for example store pods, foreign property, carbon credits), tax avoidance schemes, transferring out of Defined Benefit/Final Salary Schemes and annuities. Financial mis-selling claims are complex, with well-resourced opponents and where strict time limits often apply. TLW receives referrals from other solicitors, financial planners/advisers, insolvency practitioners and accountants, as well as existing and former clients.

Peter McKenna said: “Never resting on their laurels, our team of specialist lawyers have used their experience and exemplary client care to develop a niche practice in the complex arena of financial mis-selling. As a result, we have attracted clients from across the UK and even abroad with ex-pats anxious about their pension portfolios. All too often we are contacted by professionals doing a good job for their clients who come across “horror stories” from previous advice given by another company and asking if we can put things right.”

Integral to the firm’s continued growth plans, TLW has invested in its staff through training, well-being initiatives, away-days, charitable events, flexible working and a culture of regular internal communications.

As well as focusing on the day job, working closely with a range of community-based projects has always been important to the firm. John Burn is a trustee of local children’s disability charity, Pathways4All with TLW a major sponsor of their annual fundraising ball. TLW has supported other local charities including Headway Tyneside, Chase Park Festival, Momentum Skills and One Punch UK.

Looking back at the past year John Burn said: “To be recognised by our clients through the Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award as well as by our industry peers at the Northern Law Awards is a great place to be and a solid foundation from which to continue extending the value that TLW adds”.

The successful TLW team feature in the Northern Law Awards 2018 supplement of The Journal.