Lawyers on the case to back our bid to Shop Local in Hartlepool

Carolyn Tilly, Martin Levinson and (standing) John Hall and John Ellwood(right).
Carolyn Tilly, Martin Levinson and (standing) John Hall and John Ellwood(right).

A LAW firm has thrown its considerable weight behind the Hartlepool Mail’s campaign to keep spending local.

Tilly Bailey & Irvine, which is one of the town’s oldest companies and dates back to 1841, has backed the Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign.

Our project aims to protect the vibrancy of Hartlepool town centre by encouraging people to spend their money locally and support the retailers we already have in the town.

The campaign got the backing of the law firm which employs 155 people – 70 of them in town.

The rest are at the company’s other three offices.

Four of the most senior figures in the company spoke to the Mail and described how the firm relies and thrives on an ethos of employing local people.

But it also goes further and supports the local companies that it does business with – such as plumbers, decorators and electricians – by reciprocating trade. Managing partner John Hall started as a trainee solicitor at the firm, studied his articles in Sunderland and finished them back in town in 1976. He has remained ever since.

“We offer a complete range of services and these are supplied by local people,” he said.

“They are committed to the practice.

“We tend to recruit staff and bring them through the departments with the view that they stay with us. Our retention rate is pretty exceptional and very few people leave.”

The Tilly Bailey & Irvine practice, which has offices in Hartlepool, Wynyard, Barnard Castle and Stockton, offers all forms of legal services including corporate and commercial litigation, conveyancing, personal injury and clinical Negligence.

Martin Levinson, the head of the business law team at the Wynyard office, said: “We reciprocate our support services and try to buy them from clients at a local level.”

Head of the family and criminal litigation department John Ellwood, said it was crucial that the firm had an ethos where it employed local people.

He added: “Hartlepool is a town where people can succeed through hard work.”

Carolyn Tilly is head of the private client department which includes wills and probate, conveyancing and investment managing. She said: “It is important for clients to see qualified people.

“This firm is part of the community and that has always been our philosophy.”