Fellow: Ronagh Craddock

Ben Hoare Bell

Ben Hoare Bell LLP was established in 1979 to specifically carry out Legal Aid work. The firm has grown considerably and is now a well-known law firm both nationally and across the North East. The early and continuing aim of the firm is to provide high-quality advice and representation to individuals including under the Legal Aid scheme.

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Ben Hoare Bell LLP is now one of the largest and foremost practices in the North East still specialising in Legal Aid. Over the last three decades we have built and maintained successful niche practice areas. We now have expert legal practitioners providing services in areas such as mental health, forced marriage, housing, community care and public law.

In June 2014 we were named ‘Legal Aid Law Firm of the Year’ by the LAPG which recognised our ‘exceptional commitment to clients and publicly-funded work’. We also won Newcastle Law Firm of the Year with the Newcastle Law Society at the end of 2014. Head of International Family Cris McCurley was named ‘Solicitor of the Year’ at the national Law Society Excellence Awards in October 2014 for her passion and determination for furthering access to justice for victims.

The firm is fast approaching 100 members of staff with a large proportion of fee earning staff accredited by specialist panels. For example we have three solicitors on the Mental Health Law Society Panel. The firm also has four part-time judges including Mental Health Tribunal Judge and Head of our Mental Health department Katharine Lawrence. Head of the Community Care department Simon Garlick is a Judge of the Social Entitlement Chamber.

As well as providing a committed service to clients, the firm also champions the Legal Aid scheme. Ben Hoare Bell has been overwhelmingly involved with various campaigns, pro bono work, community projects and Government consultations. The majority of this work is done by hardworking members of staff, dedicating their own time and effort to ensuring they raise awareness of Legal Aid and the challenges vulnerable people often face.

For further information, visit our website.

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