David Gray Solicitors LLP > Newcastle upon Tyne, England > Firm Profile

David Gray Solicitors LLP

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

David Gray Solicitors LLP’s crime team, stationed in Newcastle, is headed by Brian Hegarty, who focuses on financial crime and driving offences. Hegarty defends clients in the Court of Appeal and is a higher court advocate, while associate Sophie Allinson acts for clients in a wide range of criminal offences before the magistrates and crown courts. Senior associates Janice Hall and Michael Gibson specialise in advising clients at the police station with domestic violence, theft, assault and motoring offences. The team often collaborates with the mental health, immigration and family law practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Brian Hegarty


‘From day one I felt the team took me under their wing and were personal, caring, guiding, caring and patient to say some. Just an all-round comfortable experience.’

‘Brian Hegarty were the best people I could have ever been teamed up with and will be forever in debt to those individuals on everything they have done for me. Caring, supportive, patient. Just all round excellent.’

‘A multi-talented team that is very attentive, courteous and professional.’

‘Having only worked with Janice Hall I was more than impressed with her outstanding ability to present a sound argument against the CPS. She is very confident and quick thinking with her questioning in a court room environment. Her relaxed and calm approach greatly puts her clients at ease and instills confidence in her ability.’

Work highlights

Private client > Family Tier 1

The sizeable Newcastle-based team of specialised family experts at David Gray Solicitors LLP is ‘dynamic, professional and extremely helpful’ and ‘provides excellent service from start to finish.’ The group provides a comprehensive private family law offering and stands out for its public law family offering. Lucy Mead is a member of the Law Society Children Panel and a Resolution accredited specialist in domestic abuse, advanced financial provision and cohabitation. She heads up the team whose ‘level of knowledge is superb.’ The group's managing partner Elspeth Thomson continues to represent adopters and children in cases with cross-border elements. Lesley Monkhouse who has particular expertise in parental alienation is praised by clients: ‘I could not have asked for a better person to take my case, Lesley’s knowledge of family law is unapparelled.’ Senior associate Anna Curphey specialises in care proceedings and child protection.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Mead

Other key lawyers:


‘Elspeth Thomson is a very experienced children law specialist who has many years of running complex cases. She leads the whole firm and passes her knowledge and experience to many of the excellent lawyers in the family team. Lesley Monkhouse gives excellent client care and a lot of attention to detail: she gets great results for clients. Anna Curphey has a lovely warm manner which is great for building rapport with clients. Anna is a safe pair of hand who always goes the extra mile.’

‘Anna Curphey was my Solicitor, and the person I spoke to primarily about anything that occurred during my case. She was honest and open with me from the start of the court proceedings. She was clear, concise and able to listen to my concerns, as well help me decide the best actions for myself and my son. Anna remained professional at all times and really made my first experience with court, and solicitors a positive one (even though circumstances were anything but positive).’

‘This is a special practice that works directly, quickly and concisely. The have a skilled set of Lawyers that in my opinion are second to none in the North East. The level of knowledge is superb, they are respectful of your situation but are very direct in giving you an opinion and strategy which is exactly what you need.’

‘Lesley Monkhouse, I could not have asked for a better person to take my case. Lesley’s knowledge of family Law is unapparelled, you cannot get anything past her without her questioning the motive and she is so supportive and reads people so well, this enabled her to recognise my situation and support my cause to the best of her ability as she believed in me and my case. At times Lesley had to be very direct with me and this was to aid me and my case as I wanted to go a different way but her knowledge and skills and honesty had me place my trust in her from the get go. My case was very complex and everything Lesley does is to make sure the outcome is right for her clients. Lesley is outstanding.

‘They are a firm I would recommend to anyone. Print in their responses, careful and temperate in the face of confrontation. Lesley Monkhouse has sound judgment and a good work ethic’

‘My experience has always been one of confidence that the right outcomes will be achieved for the child/children concerned, owing to the robustness of legal advice provided and the strong conduct of the solicitors in Court. Helpful written summaries are always provided from the solicitors to me and usually relate to important case milestones and any relevant information received during the course of proceedings; this is not always mirrored with other solicitors I instruct. The solicitor will analyse the information received, for instance lengthy toxicology reports and provide me with a summary of pertinent points which is always helpful and as aforementioned is not always replicated outside of this firm.’

‘The Family Law Team at David Gray Solicitors has had a strong, continuous and good leadership. The stability in the partner’s group is an asset and makes the firm reliable with difficult cases in family law. All partners are knowledgeable and give good advice being very clear about their roles. Their expertise and up to date knowledge of case law is always beneficial. The team at David Gray is supported by an extremely good administrative staff. Hence, clients are always kept informed and as soon as the information is received by the firm so there is no delay.’

‘I regularly work with Lucy Mead, Elspeth Thomson and Lesley Monkhouse at the firm. I have found them friendly, caring, supportive and protective (of me as a client). They are really well versed in family law. They are well respected by all the Judges at Newcastle Family Court. They all adhere to timetables and provide good court attendance notes.’

The firm: David Gray Solicitors LLP was established 40 years ago and has offices in Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields. Over the past four decades it has cemented its long-standing reputation for quality and established itself as a leader within the legal services market. As well as having a significant presence in the local legal market, it is highly regarded nationally for its expertise in a number of key practice areas. Its team of around 90 foster a genuinely collaborative approach to advising clients, drawing on the broad legal expertise that is available across the firm. This means that clients requiring complex multi-discipline legal advice have access to a streamlined and highly knowledgeable team of advisers. The firm prides itself on its open and innovative approach in providing clear and straightforward advice, taking the time to understand a client needs and work with them to find the right, cost-effective solution.

With eight partners and over 80 staff across Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields, David Gray Solicitors LLP is able to offer a degree of specialist expertise not available in smaller firms.

Types of work undertaken: David Gray Solicitors LLP advises on:

Family Law: a key department within the firm, and one which includes several lawyers with a national reputation for their expertise. The team of over 25 provides specialist advice across the whole range of family and childcare law including divorce and unmarried relationship breakdown, financial remedy, disputes concerning childcare arrangements, removals from the jurisdiction, child abduction, care proceedings, adoptions and domestic abuse. Resolving family disputes can be conducted in a range of ways, including collaborative law and mediation. In addition, and almost uniquely, the firm offers couples meetings regarding process options which aids co-operation and early resolution.

Mental health and Court of Protection: the mental health department has more than 30 years experience in the area and a national reputation for its expertise. The dedicated team undertakes Court of Protection work under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, protecting the interests of vulnerable people. This growing practice area and a shift in recent years towards a focus on mental health issues mean this team is busy representing individuals and family members at mental health review tribunals, managers hearings, section renewals and case reviews.

Immigration: the firm has been nationally recognised as a leading law firm in the north for immigration law for over 35 years. The team provides specialist immigration advice and assistance to business and personal clients. The team advises on all stages of the process, including assistance with applications and challenging refusals and penalties, representation at appeals and with judicial review.

Wills and probate/elderly client: the team provides specialist advice, drawing up clear and straightforward wills for clients while also advising on more complex matters including tax planning, gifts, legacies and trusts. The dedicated team is able to provide a full service for the administration of estates and probate. The team has an attorney and deputy in the Office of the Public Guardian.

Crime: the department is a large general criminal practice with many years of experience and a particular specialism in large-scale fraud and white-collar crime. The team also conducts inquests, in particular controversial deaths at the hands of the state. The firm continues to attract significant instructions in serious and complex crime matters and is frequently involved in many of the most high-profile cases in the region. Like the family team at the firm, the criminal department flourishes because of its unique multi-disciplinary approach to advising clients. The department won The Legal 500  Regional Team of the Year 2017.  The department has a growing reputation for assisting clients convicted of driving offences such as Exceptional Hardship, Speeding and Drink Driving.

Property and housing: the burgeoning property team advises a broad and varying client base, from private individuals making a house sale or purchase, to landlords with large property portfolios. Its focus is on delivering an efficient and high-quality service that is competitively priced. This is evidenced by its growing and loyal client base which generates referrals and repeat work.

Other offices: South Shields


Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Elspeth Thomson
Head of Family Lucy Mead
Head of Crime Brian Hegarty
Head of Immigration Bryony Rest
Head of Property Cliff Veitch
Head of Mental Health and Court of Protetion Emma Silburn
Photo Name Position Profile
Pierrette Tshibuyi photo Pierrette Tshibuyi Solicitor
Photo Name Position Profile
Anne Austin photo Anne Austin Associate Solicitor
Jenny Carter photo Jenny Carter Solicitor
John Cavener photo John Cavener
Helen Cruickshanks photo Helen Cruickshanks Solicitor
Anna Curphey photo Anna Curphey Senior Associate Solicitor
Nicola Fisher photo Nicola Fisher Associate Solicitor
Michael Gibson photo Michael Gibson Senior Associate Solicitor
Janice Hall photo Janice Hall Senior Associate Solicitor
Paul Harbison photo Paul Harbison Associate Solicitor
Josh Hart photo Josh Hart Criminal Defence Solicitor
Mehdi Hassan photo Mehdi Hassan Solicitor
Brian Hegarty photo Brian Hegarty Head of Crime, Partner, Solicitor
Claire Hunter photo Claire Hunter Senior Associate Solicitor
Amy Lamb photo Amy Lamb Solicitor
Lucy Mead photo Lucy Mead Head of Family Department, Partner, Solicitor
Lesley Monkhouse photo Lesley Monkhouse Partner and Solicitor
Emma Neale photo Emma Neale I am a Solicitor in the Court of Protection Department at David Gray. I…
Sukhi Patter photo Sukhi Patter Senior Associate Solicitor
Gael Phillips photo Gael Phillips I am a solicitor working in the family department; I have experience in…
Bryony Rest photo Bryony Rest I am a Partner, Solicitor and head of the immigration department at…
Jennifer Roberts photo Jennifer Roberts Solicitor
Lisa Russell photo Lisa Russell Senior Associate Solicitor
Emma Silburn photo Emma Silburn Partner and Solicitor
Matthew Smith photo Matthew Smith Senior Associate Solicitor
Elspeth Thomson photo Elspeth Thomson Managing Partner and Solicitor. I was admitted as a solicitor in 1994…
Beth Tilley photo Beth Tilley Associate Solicitor
Rebecca Tonkin photo Rebecca Tonkin Senior Associate Solicitor
Cliff Veitch photo Cliff Veitch Partner
Alexa Wilson photo Alexa Wilson I undertake work in Wills and Probate, Estate Planning, Court of Protection…
Resolution Accredited with particular specialisms in Children Law and Private
Law Society Children Panel

TESTIMONIAL: This is the second time we have used David Gray Solicitors and have been extremely impressed on both occasions. This time they handled the conveyancing on our property sale; our allocated conveyancer was courteous, prompt and very professional.The transaction was managed without issue and we will be using David Gray Solicitors in the future without hesitation.

TESTIMONIAL: The team were very helpful throughout the process of buying our first home, Much appreciated for everything they have done to get all the problems sorted. Highly recommended.

TESTIMONIAL: Very honest, helping , genuine and quite economical as well – knowledgeable firm

TESTIMONIAL: I would recommend David Gray Solicitors without any hesitation, they were very professional in dealing with my case. I felt in good hands which made it very easy for me to cope with my case. Thank you for getting me an excellent result.

TESTIMONIAL: Very efficient service. My solicitor handled the work with knowledge, confidence and professionalism. I would fully recommend David Gray solicitors

TESTIMONIAL: One of Newcastle’s larger and more professional solicitors. Used this company twice and they were very helpful and speedy. Will definitely use them again.