About Us

Eccles Heddon

In 1937 John William Heddon and Stanley Brayshay formed the partnership known as Heddon & Brayshay at 24 North Street, Ripon, together with a third solicitor by the name of William Maylott Eccles, who was Mayor of Ripon at the time of the Queen’s coronation in 1953 and attended the ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Having changed its name in 1970 to Eccles Heddon & Young, reflecting the names of the then partners, the firm became known by its current name of Eccles Heddon in 1975.

The firm continues to practice in Ripon, although its offices are now located on Westgate, having also occupied premises on the Market Place following the early days at North Street.

In addition to its location in Ripon, the firm also has offices in the market towns of Thirsk and Bedale. The Bedale office was the creation of John Heddon in approximately 1942 and maintains a strong client base to this day, both within the town itself and further afield. The firm has occupied offices overlooking the Market Place in Thirsk since 1974, from where it continues to provide a wide range of legal services to its clients.

Our Work

In a brief summary it is impossible to set out all the legal activities we undertake on behalf of our clients. Our practitioners can bring to your assistance experience gained over many years after qualification in a wide range of areas some of which may be unfamiliar or surprising to you. To assist as far as possible you will find on these pages many of the more common work areas in which we are constantly engaged. Our legal expertise is always applied in conjunction with a pragmatic realism acquired over many years of practice in the Vale of York and against a culture of long term commitment, not short term self interested gain. Most of our practitioners have been with the firm for many years and, in our experience, many of our clients value continuity of individual service very highly.

Whilst a large proportion of our clients live or work within the middle part of North Yorkshire we do advise and act for many people in other parts of Great Britain and indeed throughout the World. England and Wales comprise a single legal jurisdiction and we are qualified to act in domestic matters anywhere between Berwick on Tweed and Penzance. We do not normally deal with foreign legal matters except in cases where the estate of a deceased person includes property overseas.

Although we do not approve of the practice, our regulatory bodies now allow solicitors to give or receive so-called ‘referral fees’. These are payments to or from third parties in consideration of the referral of client business. Examples of this practice include solicitors paying estate agents in return for recommendation of people buying and selling houses or receiving benefits from financial advisers as a bonus for referring clients perceived as needing their advice. Until quite recently such practices were outlawed as likely to compromise the strict independence that was always regarded as the hallmark of a solicitor’s professional duty. Although the rules in this area have been relaxed, we still hold to the view that payment or receipt of referral fees is not in the public interest and therefore we do not participate in the practice. We prefer to retain and expand our client base on the foundation of client satisfaction and personal recommendation not the payment of ‘bungs’ to third parties. Equally, we will recommend other professionals solely on the basis of our judgment of their ability and not as the result of any undue influence arising from monetary benefit.

Our Philosophy

As a traditional firm with offices in three Yorkshire market towns, we are proud of the relationships which we have always enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, with the people of Ripon, Thirsk and Bedale and the surrounding areas of North Yorkshire and beyond.

Whilst we continue to promote and maintain existing relationships with local people and businesses, we are equally keen to build relationships with new clients, who may be based in the surrounding areas or further afield. Whilst much of our business comes from clients with whom we have formed strong connections down the years, we are always pleased to meet new people, in the hope that they too will become established clients in the future.

In an increasingly commercial world, we at Eccles Heddon are keen to promote our image as a traditional firm with traditional values and as a place where we hold our relationships with our clients, and our role within the local communities, in the highest regard.

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