Meet our People

Ripon Office

  • Martyn Clarke

    Martyn Clarke

    Partner

    Commercial Property, Business Advice, Farming & Agriculture, Wills & Probate, Advising the Elderly, Estate Planning

    Martyn is based at our Ripon office where he heads the firm's commercial property/corporate department. He also maintains a private client base with an interest in trusts and estate planning. He graduated in law at University College London and spent his early career with a leading Leeds firm (now Pinsent Masons) where he was articled. After joining the firm as an associate solicitor, he became a partner in 1990.

    Martyn has wide experience of commercial matters, including companies, take-overs, contracts, leases and all aspects of property law. He values the rapport to be gained with clients in both commercial and private matters. He also advises some local charities.

    Outside the office, Martyn's main interests are musical. He sings with Cantores, a chamber choir based in York, and is a peripatetic church organist in Thirsk and the surrounding villages. He is the chairman of the highly regarded Ripon St. Cecilia Orchestra, of which he is a keen supporter. In the past, he has been seen on stage and, despite protests, with his violin. In his spare time he may be found in the gym and, on sunny days, on his bike.

    Email Martyn Clarke

  • Claire Green

    Claire Green

    Associate Solicitor

    Wills & Probate, Advising the Elderly, Estate Planning

    Claire joined our Ripon Office in March 2013 and specialises in Wills, Probate, Inheritance Tax, Trusts and Elderly Client Work. Claire was admitted as a solicitor in 2005 and is a member of the Probate Section of the Law Society. She is also a full member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP), having achieved a distinction in the entrance exams.

    Claire read English Literature at the University of York before going on to complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course, both on a part-time basis through the College of Law in York. During this time, she also worked in the Legal Department at Norwich Union dealing with a range of legal matters including trust and taxation work. Claire began her career in private practice at Fitzgerald-Harts solicitors in Boroughbridge, where she worked primarily in litigation, before deciding to specialise in Private Client work. Claire then spent seven years at Heptonstalls LLP in Goole before joining Eccles Heddon.

    Claire's experience is wide-ranging, but her specialty lies in elderly client work, including Wills, Powers of Attorney, Tax Planning, Trusts and Court of Protection work.

    Claire has two young children and, in her spare time, enjoys playing the clarinet, practising karate and swimming.

    Email Claire Green

  • Liz Kidd

    Liz Kidd

    Partner

    Family & Children, Dispute Resolution, Employment

    Liz is a Partner based at our Ripon office, where she heads our Family and Litigation department.

    Having begun her education at Ripon Grammar School, Liz obtained a 2(1) law degree studying in Birmingham, before moving on to The College of Law in Chester to undertake her Law Society finals. Liz completed her training with the firm before being admitted as a solicitor in March 1980 and has been a Partner since 1990.

    Liz is experienced in all areas of family law, including divorce, judicial separation, nullity, resolving financial issues, children's matters and unmarried family disputes. Whilst dealing primarily with family and matrimonial work, Liz also heads our Civil Litigation team, which includes Rajinder Richards at our Ripon office and Jane Midgley at Bedale. Liz is a member of Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association).

    Liz is married with two children and enjoys spending time with the family whenever possible. She is involved in village life and with local charitable bodies. When her family and home life allow, she also likes to read, listen to music, travel, garden, cook, and go walking locally. On occasion, Liz can also be found inland water dinghy sailing.

    Email Liz Kidd

  • Jo Nylan

    Jo Nylan

    Associate Solicitor

    Commercial Property, Business Advice

    Jo joined our Ripon office in February 2015 as a Senior Solicitor specialising in all aspects of commercial property.

    Having obtained a degree in Biochemistry from the University of St Andrews, Jo then went on to complete the Common Professional Examination and Law Society Finals at Manchester Metropolitan University with commendation and honours.

    Following qualification, Jo practised in Manchester for five years, before swapping the red rose for the white and moving to Yorkshire.

    Jo has obtained considerable experience as a partner with the firms of Keeble Hawson and Radcliffes Le Brasseur in Leeds. Her work has included dealing with landlord and tenant matters, investment sales and purchases, property management, and has involved acting for clients in relation to business purchases. Jo also has experience in residential property work.

    Now living in North Yorkshire, Jo spends her free time with her husband, dogs and cat, but returns to Manchester on a regular basis as a season ticket holder at Manchester City FC.

    Email Jo Nylan

  • Rajinder Richards

    Rajinder Richards

    Associate Solicitor

    Family & Children, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Personal Injury

    As an associate solicitor based at our Ripon office, Rajinder works alongside Liz Kidd in our Family and Litigation department.

    Having completed her legal education at the College of Law in Chester, Rajinder served her articles in Oxford at the firm of Ferguson Bricknell and was admitted as a solicitor in 1987. After a further two years in Oxford, Rajinder moved to Yorkshire in 1989, working at Raworths solicitors in Harrogate until 1993. Rajinder moved to Eccles Heddon in 1999 following a career break.

    Rajinder is experienced in dealing with a wide range of matrimonial and family matters, including divorce, judicial separation, nullity, ancillary relief and children's issues. In addition, Rajinder is able to deal with high value civil litigation and also represents clients in connection with landlord and tenant disputes, employment matters and personal injury claims.

    Rajinder has previously been a Governor of Holy Trinity (Junior) School and Ripon Grammar School. In her spare time, Rajinder enjoys visiting the theatre and, at home, pursues her interests in music and reading.

    Email Rajinder Richards

  • David Shackleton

    David Shackleton

    Partner

    Wills & Probate, Advising the Elderly, Estate Planning

    Having joined the firm as a trainee in 1998, David was admitted as a solicitor in 2001 and is now a Partner at our Ripon office. David specialises in the area of Wills and Probate and also deals with some of our high value residential conveyancing.

    David's extensive education began with a degree in Pure and Applied Physics from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). He then went on to attain a masters degree in Technical Change and Industrial Strategy from Manchester University. Having chosen a career in the legal profession, David obtained a masters degree in Law at Leeds Metropolitan University, where he also completed his Legal Practice Course.

    Since qualifying in 2001, David has worked extensively in the areas of residential conveyancing and employment law. Whilst still dealing with some of our conveyancing work, David now specialises in the area of Wills and Probate and qualified as a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) in 2008. David has experience in preparing all manner of Wills, from the relatively simple to more technical trust arrangements. He is also proficient in the administration of complex estates. We believe that David's careful approach to this challenging area of work is helpful to clients who are perhaps dealing with personal issues and difficult circumstances.

    David is married with two young sons, who occupy much of his time away from the office. However, David enjoys watching football and keeps a close eye on the fortunes of Leeds United. David also likes to turn his hand to DIY, even having been CORGI registered in his younger days.

    Email David Shackleton

  • Nick White

    Nick White

    Partner

    Commercial Property, Business Advice, Farming & Agriculture

    Nick joined the firm as a trainee solicitor in September 2005, having previously worked at Harrogate County Court. He qualified in September 2007 and now works alongside Martyn Clarke in the corporate/commercial property department. Nick has experience in dealing with various commercial property matters, including sale, purchase and lease transactions. He also assists with company acquisitions and sales. Nick studied law at Liverpool John Moores University and completed his Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in York.

    Away from the office, Nick maintains his fitness as a member of his local gym. He is also a keen supporter of Liverpool Football Club and is the chairman of the Harrogate & District branch of the Liverpool FC Supporters' Club. However, we are pleased to say that his team's fluctuating fortunes do not affect Nick's disposition around the office!

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  • Carol Wood

    Carol Wood

    Partner

    Residential Conveyancing

    Carol joined the firm in 1998, initially at our Bedale office and then moving to Ripon. She assisted on a wide range of property-related matters and subsequently trained to be a Legal Executive, qualifying in June 2003 and becoming a Partner in August 2012.

    Carol heads the residential conveyancing department at our Ripon office. She has wide experience in dealing with all aspects of conveyancing, including freehold and leasehold sales and purchases, re-mortgages, transfers and title rectification issues. We feel that Carol's professional but friendly approach helps our conveyancing clients to feel comfortable during what can be a stressful time.

    Carol's spare time is largely spent with her husband and son. However, she is a regular at her local gym and, when given the opportunity, also enjoys walking and swimming. Carol and her family are keen golfers, her husband being the resident professional at a local golf club.

    Carol's presence at the firm provides something of a link to the firm's origins, her late grandfather having been the firm's founder partner. Her father, Pat Heddon, was also a senior partner until his retirement in 1991.

    Email Carol Wood

Thirsk Office

  • Michael Armstrong

    Michael Armstrong

    Consultant

    Wills & Probate, Advising the Elderly, Estate Planning, Farming & Agriculture

    Michael is a Consultant at our Thirsk office who specialises in tax planning, wills and trust work, whilst also maintaining a base of local agricultural clients.

    A graduate of Hull University, Michael completed his Law Society finals after studying at the College of Law at Lancaster Gate, London and was admitted as a solicitor in 1971. He joined the firm of Eccles Heddon & Young (as it then was) and, but for a spell at our Ripon office between 1975 and 1981, has remained in Thirsk to the present day.

    Whilst he continues to represent the firm's broad base of agricultural clients, Michael specialises in the area of Wills, Trusts and Tax Planning and has been a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) since 1995. He has also now qualified as a member of Solicitors for the Elderly. Michael's knowledge and experience in this area of work enable him to provide clients with specific advice tailored to their individual circumstances. He was Clerk to the Thirsk division of the General Commissioners of Income Tax from 1992 until the abolition of the role in 2008.

    Michael is married with four adult children and his wife, Sue, is also employed at our Thirsk office. In his spare time he enjoys walking and gardening. When the opportunity arises, Michael and Sue also enjoy travelling to destinations in the UK and across Europe, where Michael can further his interest in medieval architecture.

    Email Michael Armstrong

  • Andrew Clarke

    Andrew Clarke

    Partner

    Residential Conveyancing, Commercial Property

    Andrew joined the firm in 2004 and became a Partner in February 2006. Based at our Thirsk office, Andrew presently deals primarily with residential and commercial Conveyancing, including freehold and leasehold properties at all value levels. He has considerable experience of more technical land and property issues, such as rights of way and boundary matters. Andrew has many regular clients throughout the country who instruct him in relation to high value properties, or seek his advice on "problem" titles. As well as specialist legal work, Andrew can also provide more general services such as preparing or advising in relation to wills and powers of attorney. He also has considerable prior experience in handling family matters, but does not offer specialist advice in this area.

    Andrew began his education locally at Thirsk School before moving to Leicester University, where he completed a law degree in 1977. Following completion of his Law Society finals at the College of Law in Chester, Andrew was admitted as a solicitor in 1980.

    Only three years after his admission, Andrew was appointed as a Partner of a well respected Northallerton firm, where he remained until joining Eccles Heddon. Whilst in Northallerton, he enjoyed a varied caseload, gaining experience in domestic and commercial Conveyancing, private client work and a wide range of matrimonial and family-related issues. Andrew also prosecuted and defended in criminal cases, but this is not an area in which the firm now specialises.

    Andrew is married with a son. In his spare time, he is a keen musician, playing the trumpet with the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, the Richmondshire Orchestra, and the Cleveland Philharmonic. He also plays cornet with Alverton Brass. Andrew is also an enthusiastic photographer.

    Email Andrew Clarke

  • Marie Nelson

    Marie Nelson

    Associate Solicitor

    Wills & Probate, Advising the Elderly, Estate Planning

    Marie is a Solicitor based at our Thirsk Office who specialises in Wills, Probate and Trust Administration. Having been admitted as a solicitor in 1998, Marie is a member of the Probate Section of the Law Society, and is also a full member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP). Marie qualified as a Notary Public in 2006, which means she is authorised to perform certain legal formalities in relation to documents for use outside the UK.

    Having obtained a First Class Honours Degree in law from Leeds Metropolitan University in 1995, and a distinction in the Legal Practice Course from the College of Law in York, Marie began her legal career at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors in West Yorkshire, initially dealing with matrimonial work, wills and probate. After deciding to specialise in private client work, she moved to Bywaters Topham Phillips in Wetherby and in 2001 became a Partner. In 2004, Marie joined the firm of Wrigleys in Leeds and later, following maternity leave, re-joined Bywaters on a part time basis.

    Marie has a wealth of experience dealing with the administration of high value trusts, estates with complex tax issues, and with all aspects of lifetime tax planning and will drafting.

    Marie is married with two daughters and in her spare time enjoys yoga and running.

    Email Marie Nelson

  • Oliver Riley

    Oliver Riley

    Property Solicitor

    Farming & Agriculture, Commercial Property, Business Advice

    Oliver read law at the University of Leicester from 2006 to 2009 before completing the Legal Practice Course in 2010 at the College of Law in York. He qualified in 2013, subsequently spending three years working as a Solicitor in Malton after a short but enjoyable period in Harrogate. Oliver joined Eccles Heddon in September 2016 with considerable experience in Agricultural and Commercial Property as well as Landlord & Tenant matters and Business Sales. He enjoys working with clients and brings great enthusiasm to his role. Much of Oliver’s work comes from recommendations and referrals. Oliver has also been appointed Honorary Secretary of the Yorkshire Law Society.

    Outside the office, Oliver’s interests include sport and music.

    Email Oliver Riley

Bedale Office

  • Alison Johnson

    Alison Johnson

    Legal Executive

    Wills & Probate, Advising the Elderly, Estate Planning

    Alison is an experienced Lawyer and heads the firm's Probate department at our Bedale office.

    Having begun her working life in industry as a Personal Assistant in Harrogate, Alison took a career break before joining the firm in 1989. She was initially employed as a legal secretary and assisted the Clerk to the Internal Drainage Board working closely with the local farming community, but she was later encouraged by the firm to develop her career in the law. Following a successful period of training, Alison was admitted as a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives in 1998.

    With considerable experience specialising in the area of Probate and Succession law, Alison is able to deal with a wide range of private client matters, including the drafting of both simple and complex wills, agricultural matters and the administration of estates. She is also able to advise clients on tax and estate planning in a variety of individual circumstances.

    To further her academic career Alison successfully passed the examinations to qualify as a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) in 2001. This is a respected worldwide professional organisation whose members include accountants and lawyers specialising in trusts and taxation.

    Alison also advises elderly clients, which is an area of work she particularly enjoys and in which she has now become highly specialised. Having been a member of Solicitors for the Elderly since 2003, an organisation which promotes advice to the Elderly and vulnerable people, Alison undertakes a considerable amount of work in relation to Powers of Attorney and the Court of Protection and provides advice on such matters as financial responsibility and funding criteria for long term care. She receives referrals from charitable organisations such as Help the Aged (shortly to be known as Age UK) and The Alzheimers Society.

    Email Alison Johnson

  • Jane Midgley

    Jane Midgley

    Associate Solicitor

    Family & Children, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Personal Injury

    Jane is a Senior Associate Solicitor and runs the Family and Litigation department at our Bedale office. After reading Law at Durham University, Jane served her Articles at Emsley Collins in Leeds, moving to the Criminal and Family Litigation department on her admission as a solicitor.

    Following her marriage to an Army officer, Jane moved to the firm of Ingledew, Botterell, Roche and Temperley (now Eversheds) in Newcastle upon Tyne. After a spell away from the profession, owing to her husband's posting to Germany, Jane returned to practice with the firm in 1989 as Head of the Family and Litigation department at Bedale.

    Jane has considerable experience of all areas of family law, including divorce, judicial separation, nullity, ancillary relief, children's issues and unmarried family disputes. In addition to her family and matrimonial work, Jane also deals with a wide range of Civil Litigation and Employment matters. Jane is a member of The Law Society Family Law panel and is a member of Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association).

    Jane is married with two daughters and her ‘spare' time is therefore somewhat limited. However, when she does have a few minutes to call her own, she enjoys gardening, cooking, reading and walking her dog.

    Email Jane Midgley

  • Angela Thompson

    Angela Thompson

    Licensed Conveyancer

    Residential Conveyancing

    Angela works as a Licensed Conveyancer at our Bedale office.

    Angela began her career with solicitors in Northallerton before completing nine years as a civilian with North Yorkshire Police, also in Northallerton. She joined Eccles Heddon as a legal secretary in 1993. Having been closely involved with the firm's work for the Bedale & Upper Swale Drainage Board, Angela then spent a brief period working for the Rural Payments Agency, before returning to the firm in 2002.

    Following her return to the firm, Angela obtained a Higher National Certificate in Business and in 2005 she began the course with the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, which she successfully completed in the summer of 2009. Having worked on a wide range of property-related matters during her employment with the firm, Angela has accumulated considerable knowledge in this area of work.

    Away from the office, Angela comes from an agricultural family and regularly assists on the family farm. Having dedicated recent years to her studies, Angela is hoping to return to the tennis and badminton courts. She also enjoys visiting the theatre whenever the opportunity arises.

    Email Angela Thompson

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