Part of the Portsmouth Community

Supporting the people of Portsmouth and Waterlooville since 2008.

Specialist employment law advice

Whether you're a business or an individual, we can provide expert employment law advice

Helping you claim for historic child abuse and sexual abuse

If you have suffered child abuse, even if it was a long time ago, our highly experienced, specialist team of child abuse solicitors can help you get the compensation and closure you deserve.

Family law, separation and childcare matters

Professional and empathetic lawyers who you can rely on in challenging times

Need advice in relation to a marine matter?

Buyer, builder, surveyor, insurer or seller - our experienced team are here to keep your afloat.

Our heritage

Verisona Law was formed in 2008 when two long-standing law firms, Dyer Burdett and Gray Purdue, joined forces. The vision was to build a law firm that offered a variety of legal services to both commercial and private clients. Ten years later, we have lawyers in a wide-range of legal areas and are one of the most diverse law firms on the south coast, having consolidated our reputation and experience in the legal market place.

Whether you are a business or an individual, Verisona Law prides itself on the care and attention we give to every case we work on.

Services for individuals

We can assist with the following matters:

Services for businesses

We can assist businesses with the following matters:

 

We’re proud of our client feedback

At Verisona Law we take client service seriously. We strive to be worthy of our clients’ trust by understanding and responding to all their needs with the utmost integrity.

Here’s what our clients said about us from 25th November 2019 to 25th November 2020.

0%

Said that we explained things in a simple, clear manner that they could understand.

0%

Were very satisfied with our speed of response.

0%

Agreed that our staff were friendly and approachable.

0%

Said that we did what we had agreed at the outset.

Sue and her Assistant Jane were a great help to me at a stressful and upsetting time. They conducted my matter with efficiency and explained options very clearly. They both kept me in the loop and the whole process ran very smoothly with a good outcome. I would definitely recommend this class act.
Employment Law

Thank you for your excellent service.
Private Dispute Resolution

Thank you both for your help. It has been a difficult time but both of you were very easy to talk to, understanding, and just nice... for which I am very grateful. I will definitely recommend Versiona Law.
Employment Law

All impressive even during a global pandemic. Always felt safe and secure.
Wills, Trusts & Probate

We will continue to support and recommend our clients to Verisona.
Private Dispute Resolution

I would just like to say a very big thank you to you for all of your amazing hard work and patience during the course of the sale. Myself and the family very much appreciate it.
Corporate & Commercial

Having recently used Verisona Law to help recover a commercial debt due to us, I would highly recommend them. Jeremy was very professional and helpful, giving information throughout the case, and he was also very calm which really helped us.
Private Dispute Resolution

I would like to thank you for the first class service we have received from you. Your advice and the professional way you treated us throughout culminated in a result which, prior to your appointment, seemed a long way away.
Private Dispute Resolution

I was very impressed with your support and advice in this matter.
Family

Thank you for all your work in dealing with the acquisition, your advice has been really helpful.
Corporate & Commercial

Could I thank you both for all the help and assistance you have provided since we first contacted you. You have both been very patient and helpful throughout all stages of the buying process. As you both know where we are going to be living, if you’d like to pop in for a coffee you’d be very welcome.
Residential Conveyancing

Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Historic Abuse

Verisona Law set me at ease and talked through my options
Employment

Very professional service, polite and very helpful. Me and my wife created a will and are both very happy with the support and process. Highly recommended
Wills, Trust & Probate

Sara-Jane was brilliant in helping me go through a draft order. Ever so friendly and personable.
Family

Having been a client for over 20 years, my experience has been excellent. We would not keep coming back if it wasn't. From property conveyancing to general legal advice they have always provided practical and no nonsense solutions.
General legal advice

Meet the Team

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Andrea Cox
Principal Lawyer - Wills, Trust and Probate

 

Andrea is a Principal Lawyer at Verisona Law, specialising in Wills, probate and tax planning.  She also advises on lasting powers of attorney and declarations of trust in relation to property ownership.  Andrea is often asked to advise elderly parents and their children on the issue of trust of the family home and gift of the family home to the children.

Many clients regard her as their ‘family’s solicitor’ and come back to her whenever they need legal advice. Clients have appointed her to act as their Attorney in the event that they become unable to manage their own affairs and she has acted in this capacity on a number of occasions.

Andrea is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

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Carla Burt
Conveyancing Assistant - Residential Property

 

Carla works for Verisona Conveyancing, which is part of bpl solicitors. Carla joined Gray Purdue, later to become Verisona Law, as a legal secretary in November 2001. She is now a Conveyancing Assistant, dealing with the general day to day support of the Verisona Conveyancing team, post exchange and completion work.

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Charlene Griffin
Team Assistant - Family

 

Charlene works as a Team Assistant in the Family department, she provides day to day support transcribing documents and being the first point of contact for clients.

Charlene has been a legal secretary for over 24 years, working in various departments including Personal Injury, Litigation, Wills and Probate, Conveyancing and, since starting at Verisona Law in 2017.

When she’s not looking after her three children, Charlene enjoys running and keeping fit.

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Charlotte Attwood
Team Assistant - Family

 

Charlotte Attwood joined Verisona Law as a Team Assistant in the Historic Abuse Department in June 2016 and has worked in Law for over five years. She has a passion for family law and in June 2021 transferred to the family team to gain more experience and support our customers.

Charlotte has completed her CILEx Level 3 Diploma in Law and Practice and is in the process of completing her CILEx Level 6 Diploma in Law and Practice at Chichester College in order to become a qualified Chartered Legal Executive and a Fellow of CILEx.

Whilst being a Litigation Assistant in the Historic Abuse Department, Charlotte ran her own Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority case load and worked on civil claims, Lambeth Redress Scheme cases and Clinical Negligence claims. Charlotte also provides valuable support to other team members.

Charlotte is proficient in reviewing and analysing Social Care/Medical Records in order to support claims as well as having experience in speaking with clients and helping them through a very difficult time.

Charlotte is also highly experienced in preparing client’s Witness Statements in support of their claims.

Prior to Charlotte joining Verisona Law she completed a Business Apprenticeship, and in doing so, won the ‘Apprentice of the year’ award and gained experience working in the Will, Trust and Probate, and Family Law departments.

Charlotte has had previous experience in trip accidents relating to occupiers liability. Charlotte is a very well organised individual and is a team player.

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David Hawkins
Litigation Executive - Historic Abuse

 

David Hawkins joined Verisona Law from Slater & Gordon, as a Litigation Executive in the Historic Abuse Team in August 2016.

David has almost 20 years’ experience working in Personal Injury law. After working in the insurance sector for many years, firstly in general insurance, then moving to dealing with Personal Injury claims for the insurers, he decided to join the legal profession to uphold and pursue the rights of people who have been injured through no fault of their own.

After 13 years working for firms in West Sussex, acting for Claimants in a wide range of claims, from Road Traffic Accidents, Work Accidents to Clinical Negligence Claims, he has dealt with many complex, high value cases involving severe physical and psychological injuries. David has earned a reputation as a robust litigator, securing the best results for clients, whilst being approachable, explaining often complicated issues in plain English.

‘Verisona Law has a well-respected reputation and achieved a great deal of success in this developing area of law and I wanted to bring my expertise and experience to an impressively dynamic team,’ he says.

David is married with two young children.

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Ellie Reynolds
Solicitor - Wills, Trusts and Probate

 

Ellie is a Solicitor and is currently working in the Wills, Trusts and Probate department.

“Upon completion of my studies, I was yet to decide which area of law I wanted to pursue. I was given the opportunity to assist the Wills, Trust and probate team. I really enjoy the one on one time spent with clients and in particular, putting client’s minds at rest when dealing with sensitive subject matters.”

Ellie completed her legal practice course in 2018 and joined the team in August that year as a Team Administrator and has since worked her way up to Solicitor. As well as her masters in legal practice, Ellie has also completed the dementia friends training provided by the Alzheimer’s Society alongside other members of the team.

Ellie spends her free time reading and enjoys eating out with family and friends.

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Gail Benzies FCILEx
Conveyancer - FCILEx

Gail is a Conveyancer within our Residential Conveyancing team. With over 25 years of experience, Gail has a wealth of knowledge in a number of different matters including leaseholds, new builds, transfers of equity and remortgages. Gail qualified in 2001 and has handled over 5,000 cases over the span of her career

Outside of work, Gail enjoys exercising, taking her dog for walks, reading and tasting good food and wine.

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Gemma Johnson
Team Assistant - Residential Property

 

Gemma works for Verisona Conveyancing, which is part of bpl solicitors. Gemma is a Team Assistant in the Residential Property team at Verisona Conveyancing, based in Waterlooville.

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Iain Belcher
Consultant - Wills, Trust and Probate

 

Iain has an extensive history with Verisona Law and its predecessors, having first joined Dyer Burdett and Co back in 1997 after moving from Chichester where he practised for 20 years and still lives. Iain went on to become a Partner in the firm and successfully headed up the Probate, Trusts and Conveyancing department.

In 2004 Iain became a consultant and has continued in this role ever since. Following the merger with Gray Purdue, he now works as a consultant for Verisona Law, overseeing improvements to our Probate department. Nevertheless, as a result of his invaluable experience, impeccable reputation and long standing client base, Iain continues to undertake a number of conveyancing transactions, and provides assistance on Wills, Trust and Probate files.

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Jackie Dobson
Team Assistant - Historic Abuse

 

Jackie works as a Team Assistant in the Historic Abuse Team. Jackie provides day to day support transcribing documents and being a point of contact for clients.

Jackie started with Verisona Law in 2018, and was previously a Litigation Executive & Team Manager dealing with litigated PI and Credit hire claims. Jackie has a training accreditation, Team Manager experience and has over 30 years of experience in insurance claims, she has also been a Union Representative.

In her spare time Jackie enjoys swimming, watching football and spending time with her family.

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Jacky Sneddon
Team Assistant - Family

 

Jacky works as a Team Assistant to the Family team. Jacky provides day to day support, transcribing and producing documents and being the first point of contact for clients.

Jacky has been a Legal Secretary for over 40 years and has worked at Verisona Law since 1998 where she has worked in the Family Department for those 22 years.

In her spare time Jacky enjoys socialising with friends, reading, listening to music and spending time with her family.

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Jane Pethick
Team Assistant - Employment and Corporate & Commercial

 

Jane works as a Team Assistant to both the Corporate & Commercial and Employment teams. Jane provides day to day support transcribing documents and being the first point of contact for clients.

Jane started work as an Office Junior in Dyer Burdett, which later joined forces with Gray Purdue to become Verisona Law in 2008.

In her spare time Jane enjoys socialising with friends and family and spending time with her French Bulldog, Ernie.

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Kate Anderson
Principal Solicitor

 

Kate joined the family department in April 2022 as a Principal Solicitor. She qualified in October 2017 after attending Portsmouth University and Guildford School of Law and has over 7 years’ experience working within the legal industry.

In Kate’s spare time, she enjoys going to the gym, swimming, walking her Italian Greyhound and spending time with her partner and her family, especially her two year old niece.

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Katherine Davey
Business Support Assistant

 

Katherine joined the group in March 2022 as a Business Support Assistant for Verisona Law. She has over 16 years of experience in customer service.

In her spare time, she likes going on adventures with her family and enjoys reading a good book.

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Kelly Stillman
Legal Secretary

 

Kelly joined the Metamorph Group in April 2021 as a legal secretary. She has an extensive range of knowledge on a multiple of matters as she has worked as a legal secretary for 20 years.

Outside of work Kelly enjoys going to the gym, shopping and visiting friends and family.

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Kerry Henderson-Parish
Conveyancer

 

Kerry works for Verisona Conveyancing, which is part of bpl solicitors. Kerry joined the team in January 2022 as a Conveyancer within the residential property department. After qualifying for her CILEx in 2015, Kerry has dealt with hundreds of cases including freehold and leasehold purchases, newbuild purchases, remortgages and transfer of equity.

During Kerry’s spare time, she enjoys long walks or camping with family and meeting up with friends to socialise.

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Lisa Ackroyd
Team Assistant

Lisa joined the team at Verisona Law in March 2019 as a Team Assistant supporting the Wills & Probate department.

Lisa specialises in the administration of estate and grant of Probate, Last Powers of Attorney and Wills and Codicils.

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Lisa Gafarov
Litigation Executive - Historic Abuse

 

Lisa has specialised in childhood abuse and social care negligence for the last 8 years and has extensive experience in relation to civil abuse litigation, CICA claim maximisation and Redress Scheme claims. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Since 2018 she has travelled around the country to see clients who were failed by Lambeth Council during their childhood in order to collate evidence for submission to the Lambeth Children’s Home Compensation Scheme. Lisa’s style of working is tailored to providing emotional support whilst applying the specialist legal expertise required to ensure her client’s have the best evidence for making a successful claim.

Lisa is able to access key psychiatric and social care experts to obtain evidence and therapy recommendations for clients. She can direct clients to treatment providers if required. Often such treatment costs can be claimed as part of the compensation process. This is a priority to ensure her clients have the best opportunity to make positive steps into the future. Lisa excels in applying questions to psychiatric experts to clarify and ensure they have a deeper understanding of the case issues where required. She is also experienced in negotiation to maximise outcome according to specific scheme terms.

For the last year and half, Lisa has been leading the firm’s participation in the National Abuse Inquiry specifically relating to the IICSA Lambeth investigation acting on behalf of 6 core participants. Such work involved the preparation of core participant applications, section 40 funding applications, detailed consideration of social care record evidence, witness statements preparation, attending preliminary hearings for consideration on the extent of other key party involvement, detailed work on documentary disclosure evidence from the council, police and other core participants to identify deep seated failings within the past care and policing systems, cross referencing, and work with counsel on composing Rule 10 questioning of corporate and police witnesses giving evidence at the IICSA Lambeth hearing. Lisa also accompanied a key core participant giving evidence to the IICSA hearing providing support and understanding to ensure her client’s evidence was sensitively taken into account when the panel make recommendations to protect children in the future. Questions were raised on the effectiveness of the current Serious Case Review system and how this has been operating within police and council’s across the country, something which has also been identified whilst working on specific civil cases. The hope is that improvements in the child protection mechanisms can ensure the safety of children in future.

Lisa also specialises in CICA claims, an area of work which has increased significantly following the lifting of the pre 1979 same home abuse rule which facilitated many victims being able to finally achieve justice relating to serious childhood abuse.

Lisa also has extensive particular experience in running civil claims relating to foster carer abuse, abuse in private/public/approved school institutions, church abuse, and abuse linked to gymnastics.

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability.

Lisa is fluent in German and Persian. She also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law.

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Lucy Davies
Legal Assistant - Residential Property

Lucy joined the team at Verisona Law Conveyancing in February as Legal Assistant. Lucy joined us from the Police and now supports the residential conveyancing team.

In her spare time she enjoys keeping fit at her local CrossFit gym.

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Marie Forbes
Solicitor - Historic Abuse/Litigation

 

Marie Forbes is a Litigation Solicitor. She qualified in 2006 and is currently working in our Waterlooville office.

Marie has the following areas of specialism: Historic Abuse, Small Claims, Contract Disputes, Professional Negligence against solicitors, architects, project managers, accountants etc, Intellectual Property disputes, Insolvency and Bankruptcy proceedings, Debt Collection, Enforcement of Judgments, Partnership Disputes Shareholder’s disputes and Defamation. Marie acts for both company and individual clients.

Marie was previously involved in a successful and reported case of Professional Negligence against a magic circle firm and has successfully settled numerous cases for termination charges on telecommunications contracts.

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Mark Robertson
Solicitor

Mark is a litigation solicitor in our Dispute Resolution team. With over a decade experience in litigation, Mark helps both businesses and individuals navigate a wide range of civil disputes.

Advising clients who have been let down and suffered loss by other professionals, Mark specialises in handling complex and high-value professional negligence claims against solicitors, surveyors, architects and accountants.

Mark deals with commercial and residential property litigation including landlord and tenant, possession claims, forfeiture, lease renewals, commercial rent recovery, dilapidation claims, breach of restrictive covenant, trespass, private nuisance, rights of way, boundary disputes, adverse possession, co-habitation and trusts of land claims.

Mark expertise also covers business and commercial litigation including contractual disputes, shareholder disputes and general debt recovery, including personal and corporate insolvency proceedings.

Mark also acts for clients in respect of contentious probate claims where there is a dispute about Wills, trusts or how a person’s estate is administered.

Mark understands his clients’ objectives and advises the best route available, whether through the court or alternative forms of dispute resolution such as mediation and arbitration. Pragmatic and sensible, Mark takes a commercial approach to deliver an early and effective settlement with the aim of achieving his clients’ goals.

Mark enjoys spending time with his family and two children. Mark also has a keen interest in walking and cycling around the South Downs. Mark is a long-suffering season ticket holder for Portsmouth Football Club.

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Michael Dyer
Principal Lawyer and Head of Business Law

 

Michael is Head of Business Law at Verisona Law, specialising in all areas of corporate and transactional work, including acquisitions, mergers, start-ups and MBO’s. He leads the majority of Verisona’s high-value corporate and commercial transactions, and is responsible for the co-ordination of all legal services relating to such work.

Michael qualified in 1977 and was one of the founding partners of Dyer Burdett.  That firm successfully practiced in Havant for over 30 years, before it merged with another local firm in 2008 to form Verisona Law.

His commercial experience ranges from software contracts through to shareholders’ agreements and he regularly helps high profile clients in relation to media and entertainment law. He is also active in the insolvency field.

Michael is mentioned in Legal 500 (2017) as an ‘extremely sound and level-headed lawyer‘.

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Natalie Chance
Team Assistant - Marine

 

Natalie works as a Team Assistant to the Marine Law Team. Natalie provides day to day support, transcribing and producing documents and being the first point of contact for clients.

Natalie has been a Legal Secretary for 31 years and has worked at Verisona Law since 1988.

In her spare time Natalie enjoys socialising with family and friends.

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Natalie Tait
Team Assistant

Natalie works as a Team Assistant in the Wills Trust and Probate team. Natalie provides day to day support transcribing documents and being the first point of contact for clients.

Natalie has worked at Verisona for over 10 years and has experience in Mediation, Matrimonial and Aged Debt.

In her spare time Natalie enjoys cooking, going to the gym, socialising with friends and walking her Dachshund, Jemima.

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Nickie Mills
Team Assistant - Wills, Trust and Probate

 

Nickie joined Verisona Law in October 2012 and works as a Team Assistant to the Wills, Trusts and Probate Team. Nickie provides day-to-day support transcribing documents and being the first point of contact for clients.

Nickie is a mother of two young boys and in her spare time she loves spending time with her family.

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Nigel Wale
Team Assistant - Commercial Property

 

Nigel works as a Team Assistant for the Commercial Property team. Nigel provides day to day support transcribing documents and being a first point of contact for clients.

Nigel has extensive experience in the legal sector, 21 years in total! He joined Verisona Law in December 2018 and has played a vital role in the growth of the Commercial Property department.

In his spare time Nigel enjoys walking, baking, cooking and travelling.

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Rhiannon Stonehouse
Principal Lawyer – Head of Trusts and Estates

Rhiannon has worked across Hampshire and West Sussex during her career. Qualifying in 2006, Rhiannon’s time is dedicated to private client work encompassing a wide variety of matters. Rhiannon’s day-to-day work includes estate administration, trust administration, will drafting and associated tax planning, drafting Powers of Attorney and applications to the Court of Protection, as well as assisting with the financial affairs of someone under a registered Lasting Power of Attorney or Deputyship Order.

Rhiannon is member of The Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP).

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Sara-Jayne Fildes
National Head of Family Law

Sara is an established senior solicitor with twenty years’ experience in all aspects of family law.

After studying Podiatric medicine and working for the NHS for several years, she made a career change in her late twenties to enter the legal profession. After finishing her studies at Nottingham Law School, she began a training contract in 1998 at The Owen Kenny Partnership and joined its Family Team as a permanent, fully qualified solicitor two years later.

‘I am sure that my years of caring for patients, listening to their concerns and trying to work out the best possible solution contributed to my aptitude for family law,’ explains Sara. ‘I have always enjoyed advocacy, felt comfortable in a courtroom, but work very hard to find a practical and cost effective solution at the earliest stage. I find using a wide range of skills helps achieve the most amicable and well thought through settlements, saving stress and expense.’

Sara specialises in advising on all matters relating to relationship break down and family disputes and has particular experience in dealing with high net-worth separations, complex financial affairs and sensitive issues regarding children.

Sara has successfully handled cases as far as the Court of Appeal including acting for the father in the reported case E v E (shared residence: financial relief) [2006] 1FLR 1228 concerning relocating of children. She is qualified in Collaborative Law, a Mediator and a past president of the Chichester District Law Society. Sara is also a member of the national organisation of Family Lawyers, Resolution.

Away from the office, Sara enjoys spending time with her family, looking after twins with her partner.

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Sue Ball
Principal Lawyer, Head of Employment & Southern Region

Sue is Head of Employment & Southern Region. Praised for her combination of common sense and expert knowledge, she offers advice to commercial clients on all employment matters and has also handled complex cases for individual employees.

From defending claims for damages and allegations of breached restrictive covenants or franchise agreements, to helping a multi-national organisation achieve the favourable resolution of a claim from its former CEO, Sue has successfully represented clients in the civil courts and at employment tribunal.

Sue enjoys sharing her legal and HR knowledge with organisations in the fast-moving world of sport, particularly football. As an experienced member of Verisona Law’s Football and Sports Law team, Sue understands the issues that are specific to the industry and deals with the many legal elements involved in employment contracts for non-playing staff at a very senior level. Sue also gives advice and support to individuals in contractual negotiations and disputes with Clubs in the Premiership, Championship and lower divisions. She also provides employment and HR advice to Clubs.

Sue also acts for individuals, often giving advice on settlement agreements, ensuring that employees understand their rights and get the appropriate remuneration for their service. She has also helped clients pursue claims against their employers for breach of contract, unfair dismissal and discrimination. Sue understands that bringing a claim against an employer can be stressful and works alongside clients to ensure they feel comfortable and understand the steps involved.

Sue is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, and is a specialist trained ADR workplace mediator.

Sue is recommended in the Legal 500 2019.

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Tim Reynolds
Principal Lawyer and Southern Region Head of Marine

 

Tim is Head of the Marine at Verisona Law. Tim specialises in marine and admiralty law particularly in relation to pleasure vessels and is recognised as one of the foremost experts in the field, addressing a vast range of issues from contractual to technical, via the statutory and occasionally bizarre.

Practising internationally, Tim represents owners, insurers, boatyards and high profile marine organisations, as well as those buying or selling their boats.

Tim is regarded as one of the foremost marine lawyers in the UK, serving a client base ranging from leading industry names and marine institutions to private individuals and clubs.

In recent years Tim has been instructed in projects and cases ranging from the multi million acquisition and full restoration of large well known classic sailing and motor yachts, the pre purchase verification of Dunkirk Little ships participation in Operation Dynamo through contemporary records, through to the establishment and protection of ancient manorial rights of mooring, as well as the sale, purchase, management and provision of business support to a wide range of marine business ranging from large shipyards down to small chandleries.

Tim is also a Leading Individual in the prestigious Legal 500 guide 2019.

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Tricia Moore FCILEx
Conveyancer FCILEx

 

Tricia joined Verisona Conveyancing, which is part of bpl solicitors in January 2022 as a Conveyancer and has been working within the legal profession since 1981. Since qualifying in 2005, she has dealt with all areas of residential conveyancing which includes remortgages, freehold and leasehold transactions, shared ownership, new builds, equity releases as well as lease extensions.

Outside of the office, Tricia spends time volunteering at the Hayling Island Donkey Sanctuary and keeps fit by walking the dogs and doing Pilates.