Gotelee Solicitors > Ipswich, England > Firm Profile

Gotelee Solicitors

Crime, fraud and licensing > General crime and fraud Tier 1

Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich is ‘understanding and supportive with good personal service‘. Lead partner Hugh Rowland has a broad criminal law practice that includes niche expertise in advising victims of crime who are having difficulty navigating the criminal justice system. He also has in-depth knowledge of the enforcement of Tree Preservation Orders and Felling Licences, and he advises on all areas of regulatory breach such as trading standards, HMRC, POCA, environmental law, animal welfare, firearms, planning enforcement and road traffic. Solicitor Matthew Swash has 18 years’ experience in advising and representing clients in relation to all aspects of criminal law. Clients remark that ‘his client care is outstanding, he has a ready empathy, and is meticulous in explaining law and procedure to clients‘.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Rowland

Other key lawyers:


‘Understanding and supportive with good personal service, direct and good legal advice.’

‘Hugh Rowland was extremely knowledgeable and well practised in this specific area of the law. He dealt with my case sympathetically and commitment to me.’

‘They do seem to be well organised and kept up communications all through the pandemic. There was a good balance between dealing with the Solicitor and supporting staff. The standard seem to be high in comparison with other firms.’

‘They seemed very professional and to the point and had a good command of the law in the area we were working in.’

‘Very sympathetic and patient when dealing with a sensitive situation.’

‘From my first contact with Gotelee Solicitors to the last dealings with them everything was performed and carried out in a thoroughly professional manner. However, this didn’t stop the firm treating me as an individual and with a personal touch. All of this was very reassuring given the position I found myself in and helped to alleviate some of my fears.’

‘Nearly all my dealings were with Matthew Swash. The service he provided was in my opinion exceptional. He was straightforward in his dealings with me so I was fully aware of what was happening and the situation that I was in. The case he prepared on my behalf and presented to the Police was instrumental in helping reach the outcome that we did. His attention to detail and the way he interpreted the information that we gave him was remarkable and really helped highlight to the Police where they should perhaps be concentrating their efforts.’

‘I have worked regularly with Matthew Swash for over 10 years. His client care is outstanding. He has a ready empathy, and is meticulous in explaining law and procedure to clients. He works particularly well with his vulnerable clientele, and is perceptive in identifying potential areas in which expert witnesses will be needed to assist the trial process. He is fearlessly robust in protecting his client’s interests in dealing with the police. He is a diligent litigator and a pleasure to work with.’

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: elsewhere in East Anglia Tier 1

Gotelee Solicitors has an extensive office network throughout Suffolk, through which it advises on all manner of private client matters, from trust and estate management to wills and probate. In Ipswich, department head and STEP member Peter Crix and partner Karina Jowitt are the key practitioners. Matthew Boast in Felixstowe has a strong local client base for wills, tax planning, probate and estate administration, powers of attorney and residential property. Associate Richard Guy, who joined from Birketts LLP, leads the practice in the Woodbridge office.

Practice head(s):

Peter Crix; Matthew Boast; Karina Jowitt; Richard Guy

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in East Anglia Tier 2

Gotelee Solicitors has an extensive office network across Suffolk but its corporate and commercial practice is based in Ipswich, where Max Harnden is the lead partner. He has extensive experience in in negotiating contractual terms, particularly in transactions involving transfers of assets and TUPE matters, both in the public and private sector. He acts predominantly for SMEs in East Anglia and has notable expertise in transactions for clients in the railway, transport and logistics sectors. In 2021, the firm was involved in the negotiation and completion of numerous share and asset acquisitions with values in the range of £1m to £15m.

Practice head(s):

Max Harnden

Employment Tier 2

Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich has a strong presence in the local market and frequently acts for corporate clients, to which it provides a fixed price HR advice retainer service. 'Every single person has been kind, fun, knowledgeable and responsive', remarks one client, picking out practice head Marie Allen, who handles a broad range of employment and immigration matters, and managing partner Andrew West. 'They work quickly, respond quickly and their knowledge is great', says another. Allen advised Boost Drinks Limited on the termination of the Covid-19 furlough scheme and return to work issues.

Practice head(s):

Marie Allen

Other key lawyers:


‘The most outstanding and refreshing thing about working with Gotelee is the strength of the relationships that you form with them. They are very human- which is (in my experience) rare across the board in legal firms. Everyone is so willing to help and they seem to have a culture where they thrive on helping their customers. They work quickly, respond quickly and their knowledge is great. I found it refreshing that they listen to my needs and don’t just come up with a blanket standard solution.’

‘My company is a bit unusual and our approach isn’t very traditional, and Gotelee have helped us in the tone we want, not in some stiff legal style.’

‘I have worked with multiple people at Gotelee over the last five years and every single person has been kind, fun, knowledgeable and responsive. I feel listened to, cared for and I feel like a unique client, not just a number or a job. I have has especially good interactions with Andrew West and Marie Allen and both have left me feeling hopeful, energised and confident that every detail was thought through. I honestly cannot fault anyone- the best service I have ever had from legal professionals.’

‘The firm is a traditional business with care for its clients needs. Access to the advice on the HR retainer has always been timely and responsive. The employment team understands the needs of a business at our size that also has the family element which fits with our values.’

‘Access to Andrew West has always been brilliant. He is responsive, pragmatic and the business trusts the advice he gives. He gives no nonsense approach with measured risk for each situation and talks in a language we all understand at every level. He is my go to for all HR advice and would always recommend him to any business needing employment law or HR support.’

Key clients

Mervyn Lambert Ltd

Boost Drinks Limited

Jack Sealey Limited

Hotel Technology Management (HTM) Limited

East Suffolk Council

Sackers Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Jack Sealey Limited on day to day employment law issues under an HR retainer.
  • Advising Mervyn Lambert Plant Limited on day to day employment law issues as and when they arise under a longstanding HR retainer arrangement, and regularly audit all employment policies, procedures and related documentation.
  • Boost Drinks Limited: providing general employment law advice.

Employment > Health and safety Tier 2

Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich handles the defence of health and safety matters as part of a broad-ranging criminal practice led by experienced partner Hugh Rowland. His work encompasses all aspects of criminal law, which sees him advise clients involved in cases of multiple fatalities and also in minor claims. Howard Catherall moved to Leathes Prior.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Rowland

Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant Tier 2

Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich handles both fast-track and complex personal injury and clinical negligence cases. Its PI work encompasses fatal accident claims, asbestos related cases and historical and current abuse cases, and the practice also has a strong track record in employers liability and public liability matters. The clinical negligence practice deals with cases arising from all aspects of medical treatment including claims against GPs, hospitals, dentists and matters arising from private treatment. This includes severe birth injury claims and matters concerning permanent life-changing injuries. Tim Humpage leads the injury department, while Diana Infanti is the lead partner for clinical negligence. Legal executive Sian Mullane is highly recommended. Stevan Stratton  left the firm in December 2021.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Humpage

Work highlights

  • Acted for estate of man who died of Mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos in the 1960’s working in factory. We settled the case in excess of £100,000 for the estate.

Private client > Family Tier 2

The first thing would be their kindness and willingness to listen to you about every detail of your situation‘, says a client of Gotelee Solicitors. Practice head Demelza Butler is based in Ipswich but also advises high-net-worth individuals across Suffolk through the firm’s other offices in Felixstowe, Framlingham, Hadleigh and Woodbridge. Legal director John Simpson is the only Resolution-accredited specialist practising in Ipswich. ‘His calm manner gave me confidence‘, remarks one of his clients. Legal director Samantha Markham also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Demelza Butler

Other key lawyers:


‘Everybody I had dealings with gave a ‘family’ feel to the company as opposed to being a faceless corporate company. Everybody from the receptionist through to my lawyer, John Simpson, to the accounting staff were incredible friendly and welcoming whilst still being professional in approach.’

‘John Simpson made the process of my divorce clear and straightforward. He explained everything to me as we went along and always kept me information either by telephone or letter. His calm manner gave me confidence. John and the company made me feel that I was being treated as an individual, that my case was important not that I was just another case/statistic.’

‘The first thing would be their kindness and willingness to listen to you about every detail of your situation. Their strengths and capabilities are endless, whatever angle you come at they point you in the right direction. Other firms just seem to have a quick fix attitude but Gotelee Solicitors really makes you feel part of their family. Every aspect of communication from emails to billing is easy and very understanding. I would not even think about going anywhere else as they work with you in every possible way to achieve the right result.’

‘What can I say about John Simpson – the first thing that makes him different from others is his knowledge and understanding of your situation. He listens to every word you say and guides you in the right direction. I have been with John for nearly three years now and every bit of advice he has given me has been successful.’

‘Without John Simpson’s guidance I would hate to think where I would be now, not only has he helped me but also my two children in providing us with a better life together. Mr Simpson is truly a remarkable man in everyway and I value his passion, his respect, his knowledge and most of all his kindness in what has been a very tough time for me and my children. A truly truly remarkable man.’

‘The Family department were excellent, the communication was first class always keeping me up to date with proceedings. Very efficient and professional.’

‘John Simpson showed compassion to my situation and would always offer me advice on the best approach to take. He was always respectful in engaging with my ex partners solicitor even when the same could not be said of them. I feel having John by my side in court was one of the key factors in getting the result I wanted and deserved. I can’t recommend John highly enough.’

‘I am going through a very difficult divorce and my solicitor Samantha Markham has been amazing throughout. Extremely professional in some very trying circumstances.’

Transport > Transport and shipping Tier 2

Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich is known for its transport litigation expertise, which sees it involved in matters concerning the importation of goods to the UK from outside the EEA and the importation of contraband goods. Higher Rights advocate Hugh Rowland is the sole partner in the practice  and he has a long-standing reputation in defending businesses being investigated by Trading Standards, HMRC and other regulatory bodies. He is heavily involved in the firm’s work for clients in the freight sector and for warehousing associations.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Rowland

Crime, fraud and licensing > Licensing Tier 3

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

The contentious probate practice at Gotelee Solicitors is based in Ipswich, but also services clients through the offices in Woodbridge, Felixstowe, Framlingham and Hadleigh. The firm frequently handles claims under the Inheritance Act, claims against trustees, contested wills, constructive trust claims and disputed Court of Protection applications. Lead partner Peter Crix, who is a trustee of numerous and substantial trusts including several farms in Suffolk, acts for both claimants and defendants. Senior associate Kay Baker moved to Birkett Long LLP.

Practice head(s):

Peter Crix

Real estate > Commercial property: elsewhere in East Anglia Tier 3

Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich acts for numerous landlord and tenants in regard to commercial and retail premises including SIPP investments, as well as for developers of both residential and commercial developments, including a number of large distribution hubs along the A14 corridor. Claire Barritt leads the practice from Ipswich and advises investors and lenders on real estate transactions, as well as assisting clients in the retail, health and logistics sectors. Martin Whitworth continues in his role as a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Claire Barritt

Other key lawyers:


‘I have used Gotelees for a wide range of business needs, from property to litigation and even criminal. I have found them to be strong in all departments. A thoroughly professional firm.’

Key clients

Elemento Group


Starglade Limited


Monumart Limited

Gotelee solicitors provide a complete, seamless legal service to businesses and to personal clients in Suffolk with offices in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe, Framlingham and Woodbridge. We are bold in offering fixed fees across all practice areas.

Our commercial team has a blend of lawyers with real expertise and experience who understand business needs and deliver practical legal solutions. Gotelee’s lawyers are featured regularly in the survey of East Anglian firms, in The Legal 500.

Gotelee’s hallmark is practical legal advice with a personal touch. Our customers are very important to us and our customer service and building relationships with clients is always at the top of our agenda.

Our team of lawyers specialise in a wide range of legal expertise. Gotelee is part of the ‘Making Suffolk the Greenest County’ initiative and is committed to doing all it can to reduce its carbon footprint as well as being a member of the Legal Sector Alliance.

Gotelee are Investors in People and have accreditation from the Law Society for meeting high standards

Employment Law/Managing Partner Andrew 298179
Criminal Law Hugh 298141
Family Demelza 298158
Commercial Property Claire 826312
Employment Law Marie 298133
Conveyancing Matthew 218305
Probate Peter 298112
Business Law Max 298139
Medical Negligence Timothy 298122
Medical Negligence Diana 298180
Private Client Nicola 388605
Inheritance Disputes Kay 298187
Personal Injury Stevan 298111
Equity partners : 8
Partners : 10
Associates : 6
Solicitors : 9
Legal Executives : 5
Paralegals : 12
Employment Lawyers Association
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
Law Society of England and Wales
Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS)