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  • “The SBA confirms my professional standing as a lawyer

  • “No one should feel their life is in such a state that they can’t ask for help”

  • “You know that there are people there to support you and that you are not alone”

  • “I was not yet suicidal but I was close to breaking point

Two new SBA volunteers in the Tees Valley!

We are delighted to welcome not one but two new SBA Area Representatives in the Tees Valley!  Debra Burton and Joanna Maine will act as the charity’s Area Representatives for Tees Valley lawyers and their families. Their main role will be to facilitate SBA’s application process on a confidential, one-to-one basis but they will also be helping to raise awareness of what SBA can do to help solicitors in times of trouble.

Debra Burton

Debra Burton is an Associate Solicitor at Tilly Bailey & Irvine Law Firm based at the Wynyard office.  She qualified in 2006 in the Commercial Litigation Team and become an Associate in 2014.  She deals with the full range of commercial litigation matters,  although Debra’s specialism is in Contentious Probate, involving disputes regarding wills, trusts and estates.

She is an affiliate member of STEP and an Associate member of ACTAPS.  She brings the skills she has developed as a litigator particularly in the sensitive and often emotional area of Contentious Probate to the role of Area Representative.

Joanna Maine

Joanna Maine is a Solicitor with more than 25 years experience in Family Law.  During her career she has dealt with different aspects of Private law and notably was part of the team who represented one of the main parties in the Cleveland Child Abuse Enquiry chaired by Dame Butler-Sloss.  However, her preference has always been Family law.

Joanna is also a Family Mediator, an area in which she is particularly interested.  She has recently become involved in assisting the research into ways of improving the experience and helping the ever-increasing numbers of litigants in person in court.  She has worked throughout her career in the private sector and is aware of the pressures and challenges that face practitioners on a daily basis.

Tim Martin, SBA’s Chief Executive, said,

“We are delighted to welcome Debra and Joanna to our network of volunteers.  We have considerable capabilities and the SBA Trustees expect our annual distributions to exceed £2M in future years.  With Debra and Joanna now on board to strengthen our presence in the North East, we will be very well placed to help Tees Valley colleagues facing tough times.”

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