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Get to know the team here at Best Solicitors and some of the people who will be working on your case.

Meet our team

Who We Are…

Best Solicitors was set up in 2001 by three like-minded solicitors, Donna Tilbrook, Vanessa Saxton and John Booth. The aim was to provide access to justice for everyone and bring a personal and professional legal service to the people of Sheffield.

Today, the three partners remain the same and take great pride in leading such a committed, dynamic team.

Always striving to improve the quality of service, alongside the Head Office, Best opened Sheffield city centre’s first legal walk-in centre back in 2012. The idea was to bring law to the high street and offer a client-focused, friendly walk-in service. The success speaks for itself as the busy walk-in centre welcomes new clients and assists with a whole range of legal queries 6 days per week.

The team at Best use their combined experience working diligently to ensure they get to know you, your needs and take the time to achieve the very best result, every time.

Wendy Bailey

Wendy Bailey Head of Family Department

wendybailey@bestsolicitorsonline.co.uk View Full Profile
Nicola Stone

Nicola Stone Conveyancing Department

nicolastone@bestsolicitorsonline.co.uk View Full Profile
Jill Eddison

Jill Eddison Conveyancing Department

jilleddison@bestsolicitorsonline.co.uk View Full Profile
Martyn Wood

Martyn Wood Childcare Department

martynwood@bestsolicitorsonline.co.uk View Full Profile
Elizabeth Ann Rowley

Elizabeth Ann Rowley Criminal Department

elizabethrowley@bestsolicitorsonline.co.uk View Full Profile

Want to speak to one of our staff?

Use the contact details listed above, or call our head office on 0114 358 3134

Hi Shetal, I just wanted to say a massive thank you for what you have done, and all your hard work over the last 12 months. On the back of this the evidence which was presented in Court was second to none and no stone unturned. There has always been a professional yet welcoming service from you and your colleagues. This is a very an important factor with the families that I support and the need for them to feel comfortable. I would happily recommend Best Solicitors and your services to others.Claire Walker, Family Support Worker, Home-Start South Yorkshire

I am an Advocacy worker at Ashiana Sheffield. I support BAMER women who suffered or are still suffering from Domestic Violence, Forced Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, Human Trafficking and Honour Based Violence. Many of our clients needed a family law solicitor. I chose Best Solicitors for my clients because they have a very good reputation. Shetal Gudgeon has been a great support for Ashiana’s service users. She would meet them on short notice because in most cases they need urgent help. The consultation session is always free of charge for my vulnerable clients. Not only is Shetal competent but she is also empathetic and knows how to listen to distressed clients. All of my clients have had successful outcomes to their cases. I am glad I have had the opportunity to collaborate with Shetal Gudgeon and I have recommended her to many other professionals.Myriam Trabelsi – Advocacy worker

Thank you very much Stacey for all your efforts re the case. Your professionalism and sound advice has been much appreciated.A Commercial Client, Sheffield

I really liked Jill and Kerrie. I thought they were really helpful and as it was my first mortgage I was very anxious and calling with questions everyday, they were always available to contact and happy to help me so thanks to the whole team.Kelly

We have used Jill for our house conveyances over the past 7 years and would never use anyone else. She is brilliant at her job and not only extremely efficient but also has a 'can do' attitude and nothing is ever too much trouble. We would recommend Jill highly to anyone else.J. Terris

Jill was always available to answer any queries or concerns we had in a very stressful situation. Jill was competent and kept me sane through the whole process. An asset to Best Solicitors! Thank you so much. Mr & Mrs Hodkin

I would like to thank all at Best for the outstanding effort and help that was given. I cannot express my gratitude enough to Alison. Many thanks. Family client, Sheffield

Top solicitors! Big thanks to Ben Strelley for his hard work, he's a true professional!R. McVeigh

Have advised others re the good service provided by BestD. Marshall

I would like to thank Donna and the team for all of their helpA. Stobbart

Alison is extremely friendly and knowledgeable. She immediately put me at ease – fully explaining the process. An excellent figurehead for the companyA Family Client

Thank you Kerrie for being so helpful and please pass on my thanks to Nicola. I can honestly not fault the service I have receivedS Ahmed

I have a good experience with Martyn and Best Solicitors. If someone is asking for legal assistance in the UK, i would recommend Martyn Wood.International Child Abduction client

Fully accredited solicitors…

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In partnership with…

Donna Tilbrook

Donna Tilbrook

Managing Partner

Donna Tilbrook

Donna is the Managing Partner of Best Solicitors. Donna is responsible for the delivery of legal service and advice to clients of an excellent standard and efficiency throughout the whole firm.

Donna graduated from Exeter University and is a post-graduate from Sheffield University. She has previously lectured in law.

Donna is a Panel Member of the International Child Abduction Panel which means that she is appointed through the Central Authority to represent left-behind parents. She also takes instructions from the Respondents to proceedings and she has acted for Guardians in children and international child abduction cases. This area requires legal expertise and precision. Donna has been involved in a number of reported cases.

Donna is a member of the Children Panel which specialises in issues concerning children potentially being removed from their parent’s care and issues surrounding child law.

In addition Donna oversees and advances litigation in relation to civil procedures.

Appointments of Membership

  • International Child Abduction Panel (ICACU)
  • Children Panel
  • Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
  • Co-opted Regional Committee Member of Child Abduction Lawyers’ Association (CALA)

Donna has been shortlisted for Managing Partner at Yorkshire Legal Awards 2016.

John Booth

John Booth

Partner

John Booth

John was admitted as a solicitor in November 1986 and is one of the founding partners at Best. John is a specialist in Criminal law and Head of the Probate, Trust and Will department. In addition John is the firms’ compliance officer and Money Laundering Reporting Officer.

Criminal Law

John is a Criminal solicitor principally defending cases of all levels of seriousness in the Magistrates and Crown Court. He continues to advise clients at the police station. John has conducted high profile prosecutions for The Health and Safety Executive.

Probate

John deals with non-contentious probate within Best and has overall responsibility for the firms’ Probate, Trust and Will drafting department. John is pleased to meet clients for a free half hour interview in order to assess the client requirements in Probate, Trust and Court of Protection matters.

Coroners Law

John is able to advise and represent interested parties in matters before the Coroners Court; a complicated area of law in which those involved benefit from taking early advice at what can be a difficult time.

Appointments and Memberships

  • Court and Police Station Duty Solicitor

Notable cases

  • R v Sultan Khan 1996 3 ALL ER 289 – The case involved issues of privacy and the admissibility of evidence obtained by Covert listening devices. The case was pursued in the Crown Court, Court of Appeal and the House of Lords.
  • R v Dearman – Successful defence of a youth charged with murder of three victims by arson.
Vanessa Saxton

Vanessa Saxton

Partner

Vanessa Saxton

Vanessa is a Partner of the practice who specialises in criminal law and mental health law. She is a Higher Courts Advocate representing clients before Crown Court, Court of Appeal, Mental Health (First Tier) Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and County Court.

Crime

Vanessa exclusively deals with serious criminal work and has conducted jury trials including being led by Queens Counsel.

Mental Health

Vanessa primarily represents detained patients and has been instructed to do Special Hospital work. She has also represented Trusts, Nearest Relatives and those patients receiving treatment in the community.

Cases of Interest

  • R v Andrews (2012) theft from employer charity significant sums of money – defendant suspended sentence
  • R v Vernarsky (2012) murder –defendant acquitted of murder convicted of manslaughter. Case referred to Court of Appeal (Criminal) by Attorney General for ‘unduly lenient sentence’. Application to increase sentence rejected.
  • R v Rayner and others (2012) multi handed drugs supply conspiracy – long running enquiry into criminal enterprise for the distribution of drugs case against defendant withdrawn
  • R v Epworth (2012) robbery – case against defendant successfully challenged on facial recognition expert evidence
  • R v Mehmedov (2013) murder – high profile case wherein bad character evidence at issue. Complex legal issues challenged in the Court of Appeal and the High Court (Family Division)
  • R v Ahmed (2014) murder – high profile case of youth defendant. Pre trial legal challenge as to preserving anonymity of defendant successfully defended.

Appointments and Memberships

  • Criminal Law Solicitors Association
  • Mental Health Lawyers Association
  • Law Society Mental Health Panel
  • Duty Solicitor
Wendy Bailey

Wendy Bailey

Head of Family Department

Wendy Bailey

Wendy is Head of the Family Team at Best. She is a family law specialist and also trained as one of the first Family Mediators in 1995.

Wendy deals with all aspects of family law, including divorce, children, collaborative law, separation, ancillary relief, international child abduction, domestic violence issues, and cohabitee disputes.

Divorce

Wendy has dealt with Family and divorce cases for over 20 years. Wendy deals with all elements of divorce and separation, including divorces with an international aspect and civil partnership dissolution.

Ancillary Relief

Wendy regularly acts in financial proceedings of all levels, whether high value or few assets and major debts.

International Child Abduction

Wendy has acted on behalf of abducting parents bringing children to the UK and for those who have removed children and brought them to the UK in the High Court proceedings required for child abduction cases. Wendy also acts for parents in private law proceedings applying for the court’s permission to remove a child from England and Wales on a permanent basis.

Children

Wendy regularly acts in private children cases, representing parents, grandparents and extended family members. Wendy has also acted in public cases representing parents, grandparents and other family members in care proceedings

Collaborative Law

Wendy is a trained Collaborative Lawyer and regularly helps couples to resolve their issues in a collaborative manner, without the use of the court process.

Cases of Interest

  • VC v GC [2012] EWHC 1246 (Fam) – International Child Abduction case – issue of jurisdiction/habitual residence

Appointments and Memberships

  • Accredited Resolution Specialist
  • Advanced Member of Law Society Family Panel
  • Resolution Accredited Collaborative Lawyer
Shetal Gudgeon

Shetal Gudgeon

Family Department

Shetal Gudgeon

Shetal is a family law specialist.

Family Law

Shetal has expertise in all aspects of family law work relating to married, unmarried and same sex couples including problems with financial matters, children disputes and injunctions. She also represents extended family members such as grandparents in children disputes.

She works with an emphasis in assisting people in resolving their relationship breakdown during an often stressful and emotionally difficult time. She is well known for providing her clients' with clear and practical advice in order to achieve solutions to her clients' problems in an efficient and effective manner.

Appointments and Memberships

  • Member of Resolution
Alison Leversidge

Alison Leversidge

Family Department

Alison Leversidge

Alison specialises in Family and Wills & Probate and is an Associate member of CILEx (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives).

Family Law

As a family lawyer, Alison undertakes a range of work, including divorce and injunctions and specialises in work involving children and carries out her own advocacy work in courts across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. Alison has been involved in complex cases heard by the High Court of Justice.

Wills & Probate

Alison provides a friendly and efficient service assisting clients in ensuring their affairs are in order and providing peace of mind. Alison has experience dealing with:

  • Powers of Attorney
  • Wills
  • Probate and Administration of Estates
  • Inheritance Tax Advice and Planning
  • Trusts and Trust Advice

Additional Info

Alison is also involved in the local community, attending Women’s refuges to provide advice and assistance, and also providing staff training and advice to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and other organisations that help vulnerable people.

Nicola Stone

Nicola Stone

Conveyancing Department

Nicola Stone

Nicola has worked as a residential conveyancer for 15 years and adopts a client focused and pragmatic approach to helping you with all your property needs.

Nicola is a qualified Licensed Paralegal as well as being a part qualified Licensed Conveyancer.

Residential Conveyancing

Nicola specialises in all aspects of residential conveyancing including:

  • Sale
  • Purchase
  • Re-mortgage
  • Equity transfer
Jill Eddison

Jill Eddison

Conveyancing Department

Jill Eddison

Jill specialises in all aspects of residential conveyancing and is a Member of CILEx.

Jill has worked as a Chartered Legal Executive in Sheffield for 20 years and has a wealth of knowledge and experience ensuring an efficient and friendly approach to all your property needs.

Residential Conveyancing

Jill undertakes the full range of residential conveyancing work including:

  • Sales
  • Purchase
  • Re-mortgages
  • Equity transfers
  • Auction sales
Debbie Tickle

Debbie Tickle

Head of Childcare

Debbie Tickle

Debbie is a family law specialist and experienced advocate, with expertise in children matters and divorce with a complex financial element.

Children

Debbie is regularly appointed by Children’s Guardians to represent children in public law children cases. She also represents parents and grandparents in public law children cases and has over 20 years experience dealing with all aspects of both public and private children law work.

Divorce and Financial matters

Debbie has over 20 years experience representing clients in divorce proceedings and has particular experience in dealing with financial claims arising out of divorce proceedings.

Appointments and Memberships

  • Law Society's Children Panel – as children and parent representative
  • Advanced Member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel
Martyn Wood

Martyn Wood

Childcare Department

Martyn Wood

Martyn is a family law specialist with expertise in children matters and matters with an international element, particularly international child abduction.

International Child Abduction

Martyn has an expertise and particular interest in this field, having represented both left behind and abducting parents in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Children

Martyn regularly acts in public law children cases, having represented parents, grandparents, children and local authorities.

In addition Martyn also has experience in areas of private law children work. 

Cases of Interest (International Child Abduction):

  • Martyn was the instructed solicitor in the case of X v Y and Z Police Force [2012] EWHC 2838 (Fam)

Appointments and Memberships

  • Member of resolution
  • Family Law Advanced Scheme – Children Law – Private, Child Abduction
  • Law Society’s Children Panel - as a children and parent representative
Tom Tilbrook

Tom Tilbrook

Civil Department

Tom Tilbrook

Thomas Tilbrook is a Civil Litigation specialist with expertise in Personal Injury, Property Litigation and Contentious Probate.

Personal Injury

This field is a particular interest to Thomas. He has experience of successfully representing a large number of clients covering a whole range of injuries.

Property Litigation

Thomas has extensive experience in this area notably in respect of Boundary disputes and Rights of Way and has represented clients in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Contentious Probate

Thomas understands this can be a delicate area of law and works with you to ensure you receive what is rightfully yours. He has a wide knowledge in this area and can assist you whether you are bringing a claim or defending a claim.

Appointments and Memberships

  • Associated Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
Elizabeth Ann Rowley

Elizabeth Ann Rowley

Criminal Department

Elizabeth Ann Rowley

Elizabeth qualified as a solicitor in October 2004, after graduating with commendation from the Legal Practice Course at Sheffield University in 2002. Elizabeth began working in Criminal Defence work upon qualification and has spent all her career specialising as a Criminal Defence Solicitor.

Criminal Law

Elizabeth is a Criminal Defence specialist with expertise in all areas of criminal law covering all levels of seriousness from motoring matters to murder.

Appointments and Membership

  • Police Station Accreditation
  • Duty Solicitors Accreditation