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A leading North East law firm is celebrating a very special anniversary, as one of its staff marks half a century with the firm.

Lesley Charlton, who works as an archivist at Newcastle-based Mincoffs Solicitors, has been with the business for 50 out of its 75-year history after joining in 1973 when she was just 16 years old.

During this time, she has witnessed the firm go through a multitude of changes including five company names, three different offices and the business growing from 35 staff to a team of more than 100.

Starting as an office junior assisting staff across all departments, she then worked as a filing clerk before moving into archives, which housed old files, wills and title deeds.

After that, she spent time as general typist, helped former senior partner Howard Gold to draft and deal with wills, manned reception and also worked in the residential conveyancing department.

She later spent time as a fee earner in the litigation department where she handled miners’ compensation and vibration white finger claims, before setting back into the archives department – which had become computerised since she had last been there.

“When I first started at Mincoffs all those years ago, I couldn’t have imagined I would stay with the business for 50 years,” said Lesley.

“I’ve had a whole multitude of different roles over the years but it’s the people who work here which have made it a place I wanted to stay and I can certainly say I have made friends for life.”

While 50 years is an impressive milestone, Lesley is by no means an outlier at the firm, joining a number of staff members who have racked up decades of service with the business.

Howard Gold – now a consultant – has 53 years with the business under his belt, client relations manager Chris Richardson boasts 45 years’ service and former head of residential conveyancing, Una Coulson, retired in 2020 after 40 years with the firm, along with legal secretary and fee earner Anne Henderson, who had been with the firm for 45 years.

Senior partner Paul Hughes, who has spent more than three decades with the firm, believes the list of longstanding staff is a testament to the culture of the business.

“Mincoffs is a fantastic place to work and there’s no better evidence of this than the number of staff we have who have chosen to spend the majority of their careers here,” he said.

“While the business has no doubt changed massively over the years, one thing has consistently stayed the same and that is our commitment to always putting our clients, and our staff, first – an approach which has served us well for 75 years.

“50 years with the same business is an incredible achievement and I think everyone at the firm would agree that Mincoffs truly wouldn’t be the same without Lesley.”

Mincoffs Solicitors has provided expert legal services and advice across the North East and beyond for 75 years.

Alongside corporate and commercial, the firm’s services include real estate, dispute resolution, employment law, licensing and gaming, residential conveyancing, family law and wills, trusts and probate.

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