All change! How to approach your seat rotations during your training contract.

Abi Sutcliffe started her training contract in 2017 after working as a Conveyancing Assistant for the firm. Now in her final seat, she gives her top tips for getting the best from your training contract.

“One of the most challenging but rewarding aspects of my training contract has been seat rotations, not only in terms of technical progression, but also personal development and self awareness. It is important to keep an open mind when choosing and changing seats. You might not always get your first choice, but you may be surprised to discover you enjoy an area you were previously unsure of.

Choosing your next seat

Your training contract is your greatest opportunity to acquire and build key skills and experience during your journey to qualification and hopefully a long and happy legal life beyond! It is important to put some thought into which area(s) of law you might like to experience. If you know where you wish to qualify, perhaps chose areas which complement each other. If not (which is normal!) this is an opportunity to practice areas which interest you, or that you think might suit your skills or personality.

The training format at Royds Withy King is four, 6-month seats. The firm matches trainee’s seat choices with the available seats. I have been encouraged to undertake a broad mix of seats, exposing me to both contentious and non-contentious work for both private and commercial clients.

How did my seats compare?

Trainees will agree that starting each new seat is like starting a new job. Every move will keep you on your toes, not only with fresh faces and names to learn (and how they take their tea!) but also with various approaches to file management; stylistic preferences; levels of client contact; time in court or levels of trainee responsibility to name a few.

My first seat was in Clinical Negligence. This seat requires an enthusiasm for the law and medicine. You have to be patient as matters can take years to settle and have an eye for detail. As my first seat, I didn’t know what to expect but I definitely felt like a ‘real lawyer’! From drafting instructions and reviewing medical records to attending a round table meeting to negotiate in a settlement relation to a birth injury, this seat was an excellent place to start.

My second seat in Employment required a meticulous attention to detail, an analytical nature and thirst for knowledge in a fast evolving area. Acting for employers and employees, there was lots of drafting and frequent client contact. I was able to attend an employment tribunal which was great experience. I also led my own supervised meeting to advise a client on a settlement agreement.

In my third seat in Family, I had barely sat down before we were off to court! My seat involved Children (public and private law) and Matrimonial work, and was people focused, solution based and fast paced. It was imperative to be able to work independently and as part of a team, with a level of resilience to cope with difficult situations.

My final seat is a split seat, with 3 months in Real Estate before returning to Family prior to qualifying in March 2019. Real Estate is a transactional area of law and involves strategic thinking and a pragmatic, commercial approach. There is such a variety of individual and corporate clients in transactions worth thousands to multi-millions!

My top tips for seat rotations

  • Keep an open mind and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get your first choice. It doesn’t preclude you from practicing that area in the future, and you are guaranteed to develop transferable skills to showcase in your next seat!
  • Talk to people. The chances are you only know an area from your experience on the LPC, whereas the day to day is much different. Will you have much client contact? Will you run files? Ask current trainees, Partners, assistants. Everyone is approachable and wants you to do well!
  • Be open and honest. If you feel very strongly about a specific seat, speak to your training supervisor or HR.
  • Don’t throw away your LPC textbooks! You never know when they might prove helpful (though check the law is up to date!)
  • Work hard. You will only realise the potential of your training contract by making the most out of it and it’s rewarding to leave a good impression.  “

Contact us if you have a question about being a trainee with a specific learning difference.

About Nicola

Clients are impressed with Nicola’s manner and enthusiasm and she is said to be “effective and efficient” and that she provides “excellent” support.

Nicola’s recent experience includes advising clients on:

• contractual disputes
• corporate and individual insolvency
• debt recovery
• professional negligence claims
• employment contract disputes
• contentious health and social care matters

Nicola has experience of litigation in the County and High Courts as well as conducting alternative dispute resolution and is a supporter of the effective and appropriate use of mediation to resolve disputes.

Nicola’s recent clients include insolvency practitioners, financial advisers, property agents, retailers and recruitment consultants as well as individuals and SMEs. She also acts for adult social care providers and advises them in connection with the regulatory aspect of health and social care law, challenging inspection reports and responding to warning notices.

Nicola is an active member of the firm’s charities committee and has taken part in a number of fundraising challenges including running the Bath Half Marathon annually since 2013 and has taken part in the firm’s Three Peaks Challenge and Bath to Paris cycle ride.  Nicola is also a Bath committee member for the Quartet Community Foundation.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

About Luke

Luke graduated from the University of Southampton with a degree in history, he then went on to complete his law conversion degree at the University of Law in Bristol. Whilst completing his conversion degree Luke undertook a variety of work placements at law firms in and around Bath and Bristol.


Outside of work Luke enjoys live music, cycling and has twice completed the Bath Half Marathon.

About Juliette

Juliette graduated from King’s College London having read Religion, Philosophy and Ethics. Following university, she worked in the claims and wealth management departments of two large insurance and reinsurance companies before going travelling. She then completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course at BPP University Law School, London.

Juliette joined the Dispute Resolution team at Royds, now Royds Withy King, in November 2012 as a paralegal where she gained experience with a particular focus on Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence and Permanent Health Insurance claims. In 2015, Juliette commenced her training contract at Royds and qualified as a Solicitor in 2017.

She has gained experience in Private Client Law, Family Law, Corporate and Civil Dispute Resolution and Employment Law before qualifying as an employment solicitor with Royds Withy King.


Juliette is a member of The Law Society and The Employment Lawyers Association.

Outside of work, Juliette loves to travel and enjoys reading and going to the theatre. She also likes to keep fit and is an enthusiastic sports fan.


About Caroline

Caroline’s background is professional services, having worked in accountancy practices Edmunds Gibbs (now Shaw Gibbs) and Critchleys.  She joined the litigation team of then Marshall & Galpin in 2004 as a legal secretary, gaining a wealth of experience in clinical negligence, personal injury, employment, family, care work, licensing and general litigation cases.

Caroline has been with Royds Withy King since its merger with Marshall & Galpin, working in the Family team since 2009 and as a paralegal since 2017.


About Gareth

Gareth joined the real estate department in August 2008. He qualified in 1983 with Rooks Rider and subsequently worked in property teams at firms in London prior to joining Royds.

  • Property purchases, sales, leases and development of Care Homes
  • Purchases and disposals of dental and medical practices
  • Secured lending & re-finance work
  • Property aspects of corporate sales, acquisitions and mergers


Gareth is a member of the Law Society.

About Kimberley

Kimberley acts as the first point of contact for clients, making sure we fully understand their requirements. She assists the team where necessary to ensure the smooth running of each transaction.

Kimberley assists the team in all areas:

  • sale and purchases (both freehold and leasehold)
  • transfers of equity, and
  • remortgaging properties.

About John

John graduated from Edge Hill University with a first class law degree and then achieved a merit in his LLM in Corporate Law at University College London. John successfully completed his LPC at BPP University with merit, before commencing his training contract in September 2017.

John gained a variety of experience before joining the firm, carrying out work placements in Corporate and Commercial departments at various firms and undertaking a vacation scheme in Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury. Working in our Dispute Resolution team, John’s work includes liaising with clients, attendance at court, drafting documents and legal research. His work is diverse and can range from property disputes to corporate litigation to intellectual property disputes. John now working in our Employment & HR team.


Outside of work, John thoroughly enjoys skiing and sailing. He is an avid squash player and likes to squeeze a game in whenever time permits. John is also currently attempting to see all of Shakespeare’s plays live at the theatre.

About Jacqui

Before joining Royds Withy King in April 2013, Jacqui worked for a large London charity managing all of their charitable trusts.

She has a wealth of experience of assisting clients with:

Jacqui has also produced two practice notes for Lexis Nexis, a well-known research resource within the legal profession. Jacqui was also asked to join a panel of experts involved in deciding the winner of the Charity Team of the year for the STEP private client awards in 2017.

Upcoming events

Jacqui Lazare has been invited to speak at MBL’s 2019 Charity Law Conference. Jacqui will be presenting an update on governance and topical issues. The conference is attended by a mixture of lawyers and accountants who advise charities together with charity managers. In the course of the day, delegates will be provided with a comprehensive update on key charity issues. The event will run on 15 March in London. You can view further information about the event here.

Involvement in Working Parties

As an active member of the Charity Law Association; Jacqui regularly sits on working parties preparing responses to various consultations in the field of Charity regulation.

Examples of Jacqui’s involvement in recent working parties are detailed below:

In early 2017 Jacqui attended a working party to review the new charity governance code. More information on this code can be found here. She also sat on a party to review the process for Serious Incident Reporting within charities.

In 2016 Jacqui sat on the working party which prepared a response to the Cabinet Office consultation on the Conversion of Charitable Companies and CICs to CIOs. The outcome of which is in progress.

She also completed another working party for the Charity Law Association relating to the new disqualification powers, and powers to give warnings of the Charity Commission under the new Charities (Protection & Social Investment) Act 2016.

Trusteeships & Committees

Jacqui previously served as a trustee of First Steps, a local children’s charity for three years. She sits also on the committee for the STEP Philanthropy Advisers Special Interest Group and the Bath Committee for the Quartet Community Foundation.


Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)

Charity Law Association


Published articles in the STEP Journal:

Jacqui also has an article published by Philanthropy Impact Magazine, discussing tax effective ways of giving to charities which you can read here.

Jacqui has also been published by the Civil Society. The article discusses on Governance and Leadership in September 2016 which you can read here.


Jacqui was asked to a short interview discussing charity best practice and tax effective giving. In the first link, Jacqui explains how to manage risk and best practice guidance for charity trustees.  The second is about tax effective giving to charities and how to encourage more giving generally.

Jacqui was asked to do a short interview explaining the main points of the controversial New Charities Act which came into effect earlier this year. She  specifically discusses the impact of the new rules regarding automatic disqualification of trustees and warning powers. The Act also covers new rules regarding fundraising and social investment.

About Sara

Sara is an Associate within our Court of Protection team. She previously worked alongside a Panel Deputy for five years, concentrating on property and financial affairs, going on to spend two years at a niche litigation firm, where she focused mainly on welfare disputes at the Court of Protection, including seeking reviews of Deprivation of Liberty safeguards.

Sara now advises both family members as well as care home providers on the Deprivation of Liberty safeguards. Sara is used to dealing with both contentious and non-contentious matters regarding property and financial affairs and  welfare issues. Sara also has experience of managing cases at the Court of Protection which have a multi-jurisdictional element. In addition, Sara advises families on challenging CHC (Continuing Healthcare) funding decisions and failures of Local Authorities to comply with their obligations under the Mental Capacity Act and Care Act.

Sara’s skills and experience include:

  • Applications to the Court of Protection in respect of property and financial affairs (ranging from Deputyship Orders with multi-jurisdictional aspects to statutory will applications)
  • Applications to the Court of Protection in respect of welfare matters (including reviewing Deprivation of Liberty safeguards and applications for best interest decisions in respect of residence, care and contact with Human Rights Act aspects)
  • Acting on behalf of professional Deputies in the day to day management of Deputyship cases
  • Investigating financial abuse claims on behalf of professional Deputies
  • Advising Care homes and care providers on their deprivation of liberty policies
  • Negotiating mediation agreements
  • Acting for both the protected person, professional and Panel Deputies and family members in contentious proceedings at the Court of Protection
  • Advising families on failures by Local Authorities to meet their obligations under the Mental Capacity and Care Acts


First tier membership of Solicitors for the Elderly
Founding member of the National Mental Capacity Forum

About Sophie

Whilst at University, Sophie interned at various law firms including Mischon de Reya and Silverman Sherliker in London. Prior to joining Royds Withy King, Sophie spent a year working with disengaged young people in Bristol and then lived and worked in Spain teaching English.

Sophie is a member of the firm’s Charities Committee, which is dedicated to positively impacting local communities through time, resources and fundraising.


Outside of work, Sophie is taking classes in Spanish and is a bilingual Welsh speaker. She is also a keen amateur cook and runs a Supper Club called The Concrete Kitchen in Bristol.

About Rebecca

Rebecca is an experienced employment lawyer with more than 10 years’ experience advising clients on all aspects of employment law and HR matters.

Prior to joining Royds Withy King, Rebecca worked at Wansbroughs Solicitors. She has gained a wealth of experience providing bespoke practical and interactive in-house training to clients and their existing and /or newly appointed managers and supervisors on employment law issues.

Rebecca’s experience includes:

  • unfair dismissal
  • wrongful dismissal
  • performance and absence management
  • discrimination
  • bullying and harassment
  • business restructuring and redundancies
  • TUPE (business transfers and outsourcing)
  • individual and collective consultations
  • settlement agreements and exit packages
  • restrictive covenants and seeking / defending injunctions.

Rebecca advises clients across a range of business sectors on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law. She also manages employment disputes in the Employment Tribunal.

Work highlights

  • advising a client on the employment aspects of outsourcing its distribution and part of its warehousing function
  • advising a client on the employment aspects of a business restructure and redundancies, including a site closure and business relocation
  • successfully bringing a discrimination claim against a public sector employer listed for a 5 day hearing in the Employment Tribunal.


The Employment Lawyers Association


Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys travelling, outdoor pursuits and a keen cyclist.

Ivneet re-joined the Residential Property, Farms & Estates team in 2016 having previously trained as a solicitor at Royds Withy King. She prides herself on being very efficient and organised and understands the importance of meeting deadlines. Her approachable manner means her clients feel at ease throughout their property transaction.

Ivneet is experienced in dealing with:

  • Sales and purchases of freehold and leasehold properties
  • Re-mortgages
  • Transfers of equity
  • Declarations of Trust

She has a keen interest in property in her personal life and has acted as project manager on a number of renovations for family and friends. Away from work, she has a passion for fine dining and fashion.

About Elizabeth

Before joining the Private Client team at Royds Withy King, Elizabeth worked at Thrings LLP where she spent five years specialising in Wills and Estate Planning, Estate Administration and Powers of Attorney across their Bath, Swindon and Bristol offices.  Elizabeth has also been studying towards qualification as a Chartered Legal Executive.


Outside of work, Elizabeth takes the opportunity to travel around the world including South East Asia which has given her a passion for Asian cooking. She is also a keen runner and often takes part in the Bath Half Marathon.

About Rebecca

Rebecca was named one of the Hot 100 Lawyers in 2015 by industry magazine The Lawyer. She was the only associate to feature on this prestigious list. She was also praised by  President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, Sir James Munby for her work in relation to a custody case against the state.

She is a regular contributor to local and legal press and has been published in Family Law Week and was one of a select group of family law thought leaders chosen by the NSPCC to participate in discussions regarding the Government’s proposed changes to family law.

In November 2017, Rebecca was invited to a panel discussion with other legal professionals to discuss contentious issues surrounding Pro Bono legal work in light of declines in legal aid budgets. The discussion explored identifying the scale of the need for pro bono and its effectiveness, leading to the conclusion that the scope of funding for legal aid “needs to be vastly expanded.” You can read more here.

Originally from Lancashire, Rebecca manages to combine a busy career with married life as a working mother. Her life experience enables her to approach family disputes in a practical way so that clients achieve the best results quickly and cost effectively.

According to The Legal 500 UK, she has “considerable legal knowledge” which allows her to “manage court proceedings well and engage with children and their parents in a way that endeavours to represent the child’s welfare and enable parties to fully understand what is happening within the proceedings“. Rebecca was recognised as an “outstanding” partner, who consistently “moves mountains to get results”.

Rebecca specialises in children law:

  • Child protection issues, particularly representing parents where the Local Authority has applied to place their child in care.
  • Complex cases including non-accidental injury, deceased infants, age/identity issues, human rights and jurisdictional issues.

Rebecca trained and qualified at Royds Withy King and has already established herself as a highly committed solicitor. She has impressed her clients and peers alike and has been awarded the title of ‘Young Lawyer of the Year’ by Bristol Law Society in 2009 and Wiltshire Business Person of the Year 2010.

Rebecca sits on the Law Society’s Children Panel.

In 2015, Rebecca was nominated for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year and Law Society Personality of the Year at the Law Society Excellence Awards. Rebecca also won Pro-Bono Lawyer of the year at the Bristol Law Society awards.

In 2016 she was also shortlisted for the Law Society Excellence Awards by their independent judges for Solicitor of the Year – Private Practice award.

The Lawyer Hot 100 Logo Bec Stevens 



Memberships :

Law Society – Children’s Panel

About David

David helps clients with:

  • sales and purchases of freehold and leasehold properties
  • transfers of equity
  • new build purchases
  • sales and purchases involving equity release
  • re-mortgages.

About Jayne

Jayne qualified as a solicitor in 1995 and spent 10 years at Lemon and Co Solicitors (now Royds Withy King) before becoming a partner in 2006 and being responsible for all matters dealing with both legal aid and public law. She has a great deal of experience in representing both parents and children within proceedings in the family courts.

Her expertise lies in the areas of:

  • Public law children – care proceedings
  • Private law children – all aspects of disagreements between parents as to where a child will live or as to contact arrangements.

Outside work Jayne enjoys walking, good food and time spent with friends and family.

Memberships :

Law Society Children’s panel
Secretary of the local branch of Resolution

About Hilesh

Hilesh joined Royds Withy King in 2018. He trained and worked in City private client practices before working at a tax advisory boutique.

Hilesh specialises in advising clients on tax and estate planning matters. He works with clients to help them understand their personal tax exposure including capital gains tax, inheritance tax and income tax. Hilesh helps clients safeguard their assets for future generations through Wills and trusts.

Hilesh also helps international clients navigate complex tax issues including, domicile, tax residence and planning to come or leave the UK. He works with non-UK domiciled and UK domiciled clients on the creation, taxation and administration of trusts (both offshore and onshore). Hilesh also advises on immigration issues including Tier 1 investor visas and British citizenship applications.


Hilesh is a Student STEP member.


Outside of work, Hilesh enjoys cooking and discovering new foods. He also enjoys wine and exploring vineyards. In his spare time, Hilesh can be found visiting museums and galleries or going to the theatre.

About Sammy

Sammy joined Royds Withy King in April 2017. Graduating as a Legal Executive, Sammy is currently working towards qualifying as a Fellow and Solicitor. Having previously worked as a Paralegal in our Real Estate team Sammy assisted with handling a varied caseload for retail, infrastructure, development and renewable energy clients.


Sammy is a graduate member of CILEx


Outside of work Sammy enjoys music, festivals and rugby.




About Stephanie

Stephanie graduated from University of the West of England (UWE) with a degree in law, before completing her legal practice course at the same university. Stephanie joined our Medical Negligence team in autumn 2017, having previously gained experience in a similar role at a well-known Bristol firm.

Stephanie has experience of all areas of medical negligence, and a particular specialism in orthopaedic and dental claims. She advises clients on a variety of medical claims against NHS Trusts, individual GPs, private hospitals, opticians and other medical professionals.

The areas in which Stephanie specialises include (but are not limited to):

  • delays in the diagnosis of medical/dental conditions
  • failure to reasonably treat a condition or carry out surgery
  • mismanagement of prescription or incorrect prescription of medication
  • birth injuries
  • dental injuries
  • orthopaedic injuries.


Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, graduate member.


Outside work Stephanie enjoys sketching and painting.

About Jasmine

Jasmine graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies with a Bachelors in Law (LLB) and then went on to complete her Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School.

Prior to joining Royds Withy King, Jasmine completed her training contract and qualified as a Solicitor at Sharpe Pritchard LLP, where she assisted several departments such as the Real Estate and Litigation teams. To date, Jasmine has been involved in a variety of different matters, including the Isle of Wight v Platt case, where the question of whether term-time holidays are legal was posed in the Supreme Court.


In her free time, Jasmine enjoys music, film, travel and taking part in charitable causes.

About Ellen

Ellen has extensive experience in the following areas:

  • Wills and Estate Planning
  • Probate (including multi-jurisdictional estates, high net worth estates and complex family relationships)
  • Deed of Variation (changing who benefits from an estate for tax or personal reasons)
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney
  • Registrations of Enduring Power of Attorneys
  • Declaration of Trust (i.e. who owns an asset and in which percentages)
  • Dealing with financial matters on behalf of Deputies and Attorneys.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

About Chris

Chris qualified as a solicitor in 1987. He was a partner at Pickering Kenyon and has been a partner at Royds and now Royds Withy King since 1995. Recognised by The Legal 500 UK as “a realistic pursuer of claims”, Chris has built up a reasonable client base, primarily through recommendations, advising individuals and smaller businesses on a range of issues. His expertise covers a wide area of litigation issues and includes:

  • Acting in contract, fraud and professional negligence matters (including against solicitors, Banks, IFA’s, insurance companies and to the FOS)
  • Advising  concerning contentious probate and trust/TOLATA issues
  • Handling possession claims for commercial and residential properties
  • Advising on contentious commercial lease issues including renewals
  • Advising on landlord and tenant matters and mortgage possession claims.
  • Advising on boundary/neighbour disputes
  • Advising on debt recovery and insolvency related issues

Work highlights

Chris has acted in a number of the High and County Court cases including:

Acting against HSBC in a contested “swap” claim

Re K (2007)
Advising on insolvent estates, where there was a series of disputed  claims against the deceased’s estate

Acting in opposition to the former wife of the Sultan of Brunei’s million-pound claim for fraud

Securing freezing orders in a £2.5m claim against a currency trader

Hampton v Minns (2001)
Acting for Mr Hampton in his successful claim to secure a contribution to the amount he was called upon to pay to the Bank, and therefore establish liability between co-guarantors


Chris is a member of the Property Litigation Association.
Outside of work, Chris enjoys cricket and tennis.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

About Aman

Aman’s experience includes:

  • acting on NHS PFI/LIFT schemes to develop new health centres across the UK
  • acting for lending institutions in their project finance of LIFT schemes
  • advising on property aspects of procurement for public sector clients including running legal aspects of procurement dialogue
  • acting on the production of standardised national lease documentation for the NHS
  • acquisition and development of new GP premises for private developers
  • purchase of affordable housing units on residential schemes for registered providers
  • dealing with large scale refinancing of affordable housing portfolio for registered providers
  • acting for developers and landowners in relation to the grant of option agreements and conditional contracts on potential development sites.


About Rebecca

Rebecca joined the firm in 2007 and qualified as a legal executive in 2011. She has gained substantial experience in investigating potential claims and guiding clients through the first stages of their case.

Rebecca has a varied caseload,  and a particular interest in gynaecological and maternal injury cases. She also works closely with more senior solicitors in the team on more complex birth injury claims.

About David

David is an associate in our real estate team. He helps business owners to acquire, dispose of and manage any interest in land. David also acts for lenders in protecting their investments.

David has experience of assisting clients with:

  • sale and purchase of freehold premises
  • grant and surrender/assignment of leasehold title
  • acting for banks in taking security over a commercial borrower’s premises/business assets
  • business sales
  • business purchases

David joined Royds Withy King in 2015 and brings with him experience of corporate as well as commercial property matters. David is based in our Oxford office.

She qualified in London and worked there for a specialist private client firm. She has now lived in Oxford for over twenty years and enjoys working in the town.

Bridget helps her clients plan for the future and often then helps their families if they need assistance later on. This can involve setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney or registering existing Enduring Powers of Attorney and may involve advice in using them. She also arranges Deputyship applications and advises on relations with the Court of Protection.

According to The Legal 500 UK, “perspective and personable” Bridget Maier “grasps complex matters swiftly and is very good at dealing with challenging family situations”.

Bridget takes clients’ instructions for Wills, often discussing clients wishes and finding a workable framework for them to accommodate changes in the future.

She also deals with Probate and Estate administration where she gives the family or other beneficiaries as much help as they need or would like in sorting out the estate, including dealing with Inheritance tax, obtaining a Grant of Representation or drawing up a Deed of Variation as well as the more practical matters of collecting in and distributing assets.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

About Tom

Being Oxford born and bred, Tom is very close to the needs and concerns of his clients and their families and has the advantage of working with a network of expert teams based across our regional offices.

The legal directories praise him for being “astute and approachable”, “capable and diplomatic” and for having “a good knowledge of trusts and probate” whilst being “well liked by clients”, qualities that can help make the difficult process of making a Will or administering an estate so much easier to deal with. Chambers and Partners UK, who recognise Tom as a “Leader in his field”, have described him as “an excellent communicator who provides sound advice and guidance”.  Tom regularly works with business owners and other high net worth clients, and is noted for giving “excellent, well thought-out advice about trusts and wills.” The Legal 500 UK reports client-focused and professional” Tom Gilman “explains things brilliantly in layman’s terms, allowing his clients to make an informed decision.” The same source also commended his “excellent advice” and “very good client manner”.

Tom advises on a broad range of issues including;

    The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

About Emma

Emma graduated with a first class honours degree in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of Portsmouth. She then went on to complete her GDL and LPC while working as a paralegal in our real estate team for three years before securing and commencing her training contact in September 2017.

Practice areas

  • disposal and acquisitions of businesses
  • commercial landlord and tenants work including new leases, renewals and lease terminations.

Work highlights

  • acquisition of Dorian House B&B in Bath.
  • freehold purchase of property from client’s SSAS with commercial finance
  • new lease for Society Café in a prime Bristol location.


Emma is a member of Bath Young Professionals.


Emma is a keen cyclist and runner. She has taken part in a number of fundraising challenges included the Bath Half Marathon and a 350-mile cycle from Zagreb to Munich.

About Chris

Chris qualified as a solicitor in 1987. He was a partner at Pickering Kenyon and has been a partner at Royds and now Royds Withy King since 1995. Recognised by The Legal 500 UK as “a realistic pursuer of claims”, Chris has built up a reasonable client base, primarily through recommendations, advising individuals and smaller businesses on a range of issues. His expertise covers a wide area of litigation issues and includes:

  • Acting in contract, fraud and professional negligence matters (including against solicitors, Banks, IFA’s, insurance companies and to the FOS)
  • Advising  concerning contentious probate and trust/TOLATA issues
  • Handling possession claims for commercial and residential properties
  • Advising on contentious commercial lease issues including renewals
  • Advising on landlord and tenant matters and mortgage possession claims.
  • Advising on boundary/neighbour disputes
  • Advising on debt recovery and insolvency related issues

Work highlights

Chris has acted in a number of the High and County Court cases including:

Acting against HSBC in a contested “swap” claim

Re K (2007)
Advising on insolvent estates, where there was a series of disputed  claims against the deceased’s estate

Acting in opposition to the former wife of the Sultan of Brunei’s million-pound claim for fraud

Securing freezing orders in a £2.5m claim against a currency trader

Hampton v Minns (2001)
Acting for Mr Hampton in his successful claim to secure a contribution to the amount he was called upon to pay to the Bank, and therefore establish liability between co-guarantors


Chris is a member of the Property Litigation Association.
Outside of work, Chris enjoys cricket and tennis.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

About Laura

Laura joined Royds Withy King in 2012. She has a BA in History from Sheffield Hallam University. Laura completed her Graduate Diploma in Law in 2015 at the University of the West of England and also completed the CILEX Graduate Fast-track Diploma (Level 6 Diploma in Legal Practice).

Laura qualified as a Graduate Legal Executive in 2019.

About Hannah

Hannah works on a wide range of clinical negligence cases. These include obstetric negligence (the legal representation of both mothers and babies who have suffered often catastrophic injuries following childbirth), wrongful birth, anaesthetic awareness, surgical negligence, and delayed diagnosis cases.

Maternal injuries cases are a particular area of interest and she has obtained compensation for a number of mothers who were injured during childbirth.

Hannah is recommended by her clients for her “approachability”, “friendliness” and “efficiency”.

Hannah’s clients praise her for being “easy to talk to”, citing that, for her, “nothing was too much trouble”.

Prior to joining Royds Withy King in 2004, Hannah worked at Alexander Harris, where she trained and worked on a broad scope of clinical negligence cases and group actions. These included the Shipman Inquiry, in which she represented the families of the victims of Harold Shipman, and the MMR litigation, in which she acted on behalf of children thought to have developed autism as a direct result of the administration of the vaccine.

Memberships :

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Royds Withy King is working in partnership with Scope.

About Maria

She has a law degree and has completed the Legal Practice Course.

Prior to joining Royds Withy King in 2013, Maria worked in estate administration and for the Court Service and Crown Prosecution Service.

About Natalie

Natalie graduated from Cardiff University and has specialised in corporate and commercial law throughout her career. She deals with a wide range of corporate and commercial matters.

Natalie’s expertise includes:

  • advising on company acquisitions, disposals and management buyouts
  • advising on general company and commercial law
  • advising on share restructures
  • drafting and advising on articles of association, shareholders’ agreements and partnership agreements
  • drafting and reviewing a variety of commercial agreements and business terms and conditions
  • advising on general company and commercial law.

Work highlights

  • advising on a series of large acquisitions for a waste disposal company
  • working with dentistry practices on a variety of acquisitions and disposals
  • advising on a contentious share disposal.


Law Society


Outside of work, Natalie enjoys long walks in the countryside, spin classes, exploring new places and spending time with friends and family.

About Helen

“Impressive and tenacious adviser” (Legal 500 2018), Helen is a tough negotiator in settling complex claims on good financial terms under settlement packages. Her commercial clients include IT and software firms, food and fashion retailers, international galleries and banks.

Helen also provides legal advice on all aspects of busi