Fast-growing law firm moves into its fifth town

Coles Alison SkeneEXPANDING law firm Coles Solicitors has unveiled a fifth office and welcomed a new family lawyer.

Hot on the heels of its fifth acquisition of a business in the Yorkshire Dales last month, the Northallerton firm has just opened up in Yarm-on-Tees.

Coles managing director and principal solicitor Peter Gibson said he was delighted to have acquired a presence in the Teesside town’s High Street. The branch joins outlets in York, Thirsk and Settle, as well as its headquarters in North Yorkshire’s county town.

Family law specialist Alison Skene, who joined Coles as a consultant almost four years ago, is now heading up the new office, at 133A High Street, above the town’s Bang & Olufsen store.

“We’ve been looking for suitable premises in Yarm for some time, so are particularly pleased to be able to open our doors there at last, continuing to push at the old traditional boundaries of Yorkshire,” said Mr Gibson. “This one is within spitting distance of the River Tees – the old county boundary.

“We’ll be able to offer our full range of services through our newest office, from wills and probate, conveyancing, personal injury, debt recovery, and of course Alison’s specialism – she is a Resolution-trained family collaborative lawyer.

“Collaborative family law provides a flexible process of resolving issues together by agreement with the assistance of lawyers to seek to achieve agreed aims but without the threat of court proceedings.

“It is a developing area of legal practice. With our dedicated facilities we are expecting to see this area develop rapidly, particularly with significant impending changes to family law practice and the end of Legal Aid provision in many family matters.”

Coles Elizabeth MatfinAs well as retaining Miss Skene, who lives in Darlington, the new office will see Carrie Irving join the team in a support role.

Ms Skene said: “Carrie and I are delighted to be able to offer a quality service to clients in the Yarm and Northallerton areas. I am particularly excited to be able to develop the collaborative law aspect of the practice. Collaborative law is the genuine “other way” to resolve family issues together, which many people seek yet do not think exists.”

Meanwhile, family lawyer Elizabeth Matfin has joined the Coles team in Thirsk, having spent her career at Wood Sherwood, in Pocklington, and more recently at Hethertons, in York.

Ms Matfin, who lives in York, has been qualified for almost ten years.  She joins the Finkle Street branch in Thirsk.

“I’m really thrilled to join and become part of the Coles team,” she said. “This is a time of great change in the legal world, and in family law in particular, and it is exciting to be part of a firm that has a refreshing outlook in embracing these changes.”

In October, Mr Gibson expanded west into the Pennines after buying Derek M Jordan’s practice in Settle.

Coles has seen major investment and development since it was taken on by Peter Gibson almost six years ago, opening purpose-built headquarters in Northallerton and taking on practices in York and Thirsk.

Today the firm is a multi-disciplinary agency, offering clients across York and North Yorkshire, Teesside and South Durham access to personal injury services, will writing, conveyancing, probate, family and employment law services. It now employs 25 staff.

* Coles Solicitors is at Trinity House, Thurston Road, Northallerton, DL6 2NA; 133A High Street, Yarm, TS15 9BB; 96 Micklegate, York, YO1 6JX; Finkle Street, Thirsk, YO7 1DA and now Chapel Street, Settle, BD24 9HT. Call 03300 50200 or visit

Date Posted 27 November 2012
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