Newport Land and Law was founded by middle-aged solicitor (her words) Anna Newport. After decades of experience working in a range of legal firms she decided to create a business which allowed her to do what she loves – conveyancing and personal legal work – and to give her time to finally finish the book she’s been writing since 2016.
The book about buying property still isn’t finished 3 years later because clients of Anna’s from her time in other Yorkshire law firms tracked her down to make sure she could still act on their behalf. It’s fair to say that since starting Newport Land and Law she has been rather busy.
A very straight-forward kind of woman, Clive says no one wants to sit next to her at dinner parties because all she talks about is the 1936 Public Health Act . She says that’s not true; sometimes she talks about rights of way and mortgage penalty clauses as well.
If you’re buying or selling a house you might find that Anna spends a (fairly boring) hour with you explaining all of the legal implications, but you will leave sufficiently informed and able to make the right decisions for you (and she promises to only do it once!) Anna also buys, sells, and leases commercial properties.
Newport Land and Law is built on the heart-felt belief that solicitors should care deeply about clients and their interests, not simply parrot the legal position and then sit on the fence.
Legal advice can result in life-changing decisions being made, and Anna is keen to always explore the potential human impacts of those choices, not simply give the official legal view. Anna supervises everyone in the firm other than herself! Anna has worked in property law since 1992 and qualified as a solicitor in 2008.
It’s also important to us that we deliver our advice with a sprinkling of (sometimes border-line appropriate) humour. Clients who love this come back time and again. Clients who don’t, don’t – and that’s okay by everyone.
Christopher Walton – Consultant Solicitor : death and taxes
Christopher was born in the wrong century, in the wrong class. A gentleman farmer, or country curate at heart, he would have spent his days playing music, sketching and painting, cataloguing the insects in the garden, making improvements to the prospect, or merely idling the hours away in his personal library.
As it happens, he has to work for a living. Christopher delights in helping his lovely clients deal with the various and complex issues around death and mental incapacity. He does this through advising upon and drafting wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, dealing with death estates and making applications to the Court of Protection.
Pragmatic, robust and helpful advice is delivered in clear yet sensitive terms. Freed from the tyranny of employment and its dreaded time-management shackles, Christopher is at liberty to spend a proper amount of time with clients perfecting their cases and getting to know them and their wishes. Christopher’s belief is that lawyers can, and should, have a personality beyond the fusty grey suit (which he no longer sports).
In charge of all things systems and processes, Clive is the quiet power who keeps everything running smoothly. From IT to insurance applications, his obsession with detail is well-utilised behind the scenes running a tight ship.
That said, as a client, you probably won’t meet Clive (although now you know what he looks like). If it has a plug on it, or a flashing light on it, or it goes ping, it is Clive’s department. If it has numbers in it that require complicated sums doing, then it is Clive’s department. To be honest, if its a broken toilet its probably Clive’s department. He is very useful, and you can probably see why Anna married him.
Cordelia does commercial property and she does it really well. What she doesn’t do well is toe the line to suit other people. She wants to make things work for her clients. A qualified pilates instructor she is flexible in her approach to life and to work. A perfect fit for Newport Land and Law.
Cordelia has had some practice writing “about me” for her children’s school project and now insists that her favourite colour is yellow, her favourite food is chips and her favourite pastime is running around after her crazy kids.
If we are compelled to be serious, Cordelia’s vast years of experience in the commercial property field, in large city firms and high street practices, means she gets what’s important to her clients, she understands what they really want to know and she can tell them in non-legalistic, plain English. Having a builder/developer husband she has first-hand experience at the coal face and knows what clients in that position need to know and how to explain it to them. That doesn’t mean that the legal nitty gritty stuff isn’t important, it absolutely is, but you can leave all that to Cordelia and she’ll listen to what you need and get the deal done for you.
There will be some boring stuff to tell you, its not all bright lights and excitement in the commercial property world, but with her candour and frank no-nonsense manner it should just about be bearable.
Alistair is our Non-Executive Direct, meaning he shows up for the cake, not to actually work. As a result, he doesn’t have an active caseload and unless you stumble into a board meeting, you’re unlikely to bump into him. As well as being partial to afternoon tea, Alistair spends his days as a Senior Legal Council for a multi-billion pound organisation in not-so-sunny Cumbria. There, he deals with a range of legal issues from corporate matters to environmental queries and everything in between.
Alistair has a background in commercial property and corporate/commercial work in both private practice and in-house in a range of public sector organisations. Formerly a fan of complex commercial leases and development agreements, more recently Alistair has developed a fondness for regulatory issues, including things like GDPR, which bore most right-minded people senseless. As a result, Alistair helps with compliance matters for the firm.
Other than dealing with some of the dull stuff, Alistair sits in our Board meetings and asks difficult questions about all of Anna’s excellent ideas. Mostly we think this is for his own devilish amusement, but every now and again he helps make our plans a bit better. All in all, we think that’s worth the cake. Just.
Amongst his other roles, Alistair supervises Anna.
Ellen is a one woman wonder. If you want to be organised into doing things, made to fill in a form, encouraged to prioritise effectively, and reminded of your deadline then Ellen is your go-to. She will probably let you eat the piece of cake and drink the coffee before you start though, because she is not an animal. Ellen comes with a massive skill set in process and compliance, a trained Registrar, wedding organiser, wedding officiator along with being a clerk to governors across the Wakefield area, in both public and private sector. She has an ideal skill set to help us run the practice so that the lawyers can get on with focusing on clients. You will see her around the office, and she is the person who will help you if you have a problem with one of us. She might even be able to arrange your nuptials, if you asked her nicely.
Emily is our office super-hero. Emily will more than likely be the first person you see when you come into the building. Womanning reception, making sure the wheels of the office are oiled, and organising us into running an efficient operation she came to us highly recommended by one of her referees who described her as “lovely, lovely, lovely”. Whilst we are normally of the view that this sort of thing is nauseating, we have to agree that she is rather splendid.
When we asked her to tell us about herself for this post she said that she “..is a mum to two wonderful girls, makes extraordinary chocolate and hazelnut buns and it can take 10 whole minutes to eat a satsuma because she takes all the pith off. She is an amateur Scottish Country Dancer and has the socks to prove it. Ask her, see if she will show you.
Sarah Wilkinson – Consultant Conveyancer : residential property
Sarah started at a law firm in Wakefield at the age of 18 and has over 14 years fee earning experience. Sarah completed her Level 4 and Level 6 Diploma with the Council for Licensed Conveyancers qualifying as a Licensed Conveyancer in July 2017 and is also appointed a Commissioner for Oaths.
Sarah has worked in both high street practices and a high volume conveyancing firm and deals with all aspects of residential conveyancing from initial instructions through to post completion and has experience of a wide range of property transactions.
Sarah understands that buying a house is a stressful time and prides herself in providing high service levels and quality advice to her clients; tailored to their individual needs. Sarah is organised and efficient in her approach to work and never hesitates to go the extra mile for her clients. She is very proactive and always on hand to answer clients queries when they arise by telephone, email or face to face and she goes out of her way, where the situation demands that extra support the client may require to make their conveyancing journey run as smoothly as possible.
Andrew did not get to live his dream as a professional cricketer. In truth, he didn’t really make it as an amateur either but what he did develop was a real skill for watching the game. His ability to watch four days of cricket and not miss a ball has transferred to real-life where he is a commercial property solicitor with keen attention to detail. Andrew knows that building and maintaining relationships with clients is key to getting the right deal done and is always happy to talk commercial property – in fact, anything to do with real estate – if you really want to listen (if you do get bored you can direct the conversation to cricket). He buys into the Newport philosophy of talking plain English and leaving the legal jargon to conversations with other lawyers.
With an extensive range of Landlord and tenant, development and property finance experience gained from working on the high street, in international law firms, and various sized firms in between, it is likely that Andrew can bring that experience to assist with your commercial property transaction. With his landlord and tenant hat on Andrew has specialised in the retail (shopping centres, high street retailers, supermarkets), telecoms sectors (mobile phone operators) licenced premises, sports clubs and industrial premises. He has advised house builders and speculative developers on development projects and been on both sides in finance and re-financing transactions.
Whether you need a short-term lease of a corner shop, managing the largest shopping centre in the country or refinancing an extensive property portfolio you will get the same level of service and attention. Outside of the office, Andrew is a keen cyclist, loves live music and watches the odd bit of cricket (for days on end).
Leah started her career in law peering across a desk at Anna Newport as a work experience student – incidentally, she still has the card that Anna sent to her saying “you’ll be a brilliant solicitor” – and she has strived to become that ever since.
She completed her Law degree (LLB) at the University of Leeds and her Masters in Legal Practice at York and she trained alongside Anna at a high street firm. On qualification, she joined a niche property law firm in Leeds and became a partner there in a few short months. Looking to provide a more tailored and personal service, she decided to join Newport Land and Law as a consultant solicitor, enabling her to really meet the legal needs of her clients and to get to know them.
Having worked in two very different law firms, she has been able to refine her skills and knowledge in dealing with a full range of residential conveyancing matters, Landlord and Tenant Act, Lease Extensions and Variations. Leah’s friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient approach has gained her a loyal client and professional following – she always says, “if you ask me to help, you will always deal with me (unless I’m on holiday!)”. If she’s not at her desk, she is at the beach or walking her French Bulldogs.
Emma is another member of the team facing up to the fact that she now has 25 years experience behind her and knows what she is talking about.
She spent the last 21 years helping clients resolve disputes about land, trusts and inheritance. She is much more comfortable in a pair of wellies than heels and makes sure the said wellies are kept in the car boot as the best way to understand any land issue is to get out and look at it.
Her time is now divided between dispute work and helping individuals prepare their wills, appoint Attorneys or sort out deceased’s estates. Although reading and baking are fun she can also find excitement in spreading the legal papers out on the table to work out a text book answer or fill in a tax forms. This skill has to be combined with spending time listening to clients (yes she is another tea drinker) to help them work out what they really want/need and then work with them to achieve it. There is rarely a single option available and cost and pragmatism can be important considerations. Having said that she will be steadfast and tenacious in representing her clients.
She is based in York (having emigrated from Lancashire) enjoyed Hull Uni and hangs out in the Dales when family and work will allow.
There are plans to grow the team, but only with the right people who share Newport Land and Law’s values, fixation with detail and general appreciation of the niceties of Anglo Saxon. If you are interested in working with us as a consultant or in the office, by all means give us a call or send your CV through to firstname.lastname@example.org