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 merged with Walker & Co in 1995 bringing Frances Walker into the partnership. The firm then operated from 3 offices including the Beach Road, South Shields office. In 1997 the firm merged with Small Hindson bringing Geoff Hindson and Richard Small into the practice. The Felling office closed in 2002.

Since then there have been other Partners, including John Langers who became a partner in May 2012, Nina James in 2014, Derek Logg in 2018 and Joanne Blackwood in April 2019.

The firm undertook legal aid work and obtained a Franchise in 1999 and thereafter obtained 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. In May 2018 the firm withdrew from Family law work.

The current Partners are Geoff Hindson (Managing Partner) and Joanne Blackwood.  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 using the civil justice system to defend and protect clients’ legal rights. We aim to offer access to justice to all seeking the firm’s services. 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 work to a high standard while exercising excellent client care whilst consolidating a reputation of client and professional respect for the firm and its work.

Services offered

Our core services are as follows:

  • Residential Property: We deal with residential conveyancing and other property transactions.
  • 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 and estate matters following death. We also assist clients in the creation and registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship appointments.
  • 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, advising on employment Settlement Agreements, drafting change of name documents, administering oaths, affidavits and statutory declarations, certifying ID and other documents and providing independent legal advice on certain matters.