History of the firm

The firm can trace its history back to 1984 when Brian Southern established Brian Southern & Co as a sole practitioner based in Felling. Ian Stewart joined Brian in 1986 to establish the firm Southern & Stewart operating from offices in Felling and Prince Edward Road in South Shields.

The firm subsequently merged with Walker & Co in February 1995 bringing Frances Walker into the partnership and allowing the firm to operate from three offices which included the Beach Road, South Shields location. Sadly, Brian Southern died in June 1997. Shortly afterwards, in September 1997, the firm merged with Small Hindson, which brought Geoff Hindson and Richard Small into the practice. The latter retired in 2002 leading to the closure of the Felling Office. Frances Walker retired from the Partnership in December 2004 but continued working as a Practising Consultant until her retirement in January 2011.

Ian Stewart retired from the Partnership in May 2012 and John Langers became a Partner at that time. The firm undertook legal aid work and obtained a Franchise in 1999 and thereafter Crime and Family contracts in 2000. The firm withdrew from Crime work in 2006. The firm was Lexcel Accredited in April 2012. It achieved the Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation in July 2012. John Langers left the Partnership in February 2014 and Nina James was appointed to the Partnership at that time. Nina James left the Practice in May 2018 and the firm withdrew from Family law work. Derek Logg was appointed to the Partnership at that time. Derek Logg currently works reduced hours with a view to retiring in the near future. Joanne Blackwood was appointed to the Partnership in April 2019.

The firm continues to operate from two offices in South Shields, being at 15 Beach Road (the main office) and 157 Prince Edward Road.

Business Aims

The firm is strongly committed to excellent client service and to using the legal system to defend and protect clients’ legal rights. We aim to offer access to justice to all seeking the firm’s services. To this end the firm continues to strive towards providing the best in legal advice, assistance and advocacy for those having recourse to the law. The firm endeavours to undertake all case work with high standards of client care and a commitment to protecting clients’ rights whilst consolidating a reputation of client and professional respect for the firm and its work.

Services to be delivered

Our core services are as follows:

  • Residential and Commercial Property: We deal with both residential conveyancing and commercial property transactions, including where appropriate transfers/leases of existing businesses.
  • Wills, Probate and Elderly client including Court of Protection: We deal with the provision of Will writing services to our clients as well as dealing with Probate issues following death. We also assist clients in the creation and registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship appointments.
  • Business Affairs: This includes providing advice and assistance to clients on business set up and eventual sale or transfer of their business.
  • Personal Injury: We deal with a wide range of Personal Injury cases.
  • Litigation and Dispute resolution: We deal with debt matters, residential landlord & tenant disputes, commercial landlord & tenant disputes, contract disputes, negligence claims, neighbour disputes and consumer law matters. We can deal with all stages of a dispute including preparation for court hearings.
  • Other services: Drafting residential tenancy agreements and setting up tenant deposit scheme accounts, drafting change of name documents, administering oaths, affidavits and statutory declarations, certifying ID and other documents.

Client Groups served

Our main client groups include:

  • Clients with landlord/tenant issues
  • Elderly clients
  • Local businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Clients suffering from injury
  • Local property investors and developers
  • Home buyers and sellers
  • Clients with consumer disputes