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Meet the Boss

Brendan Fleming

Owner of the company and head of the Public Law Department, Brendan started practicing law in 1966 at just 17 years of age and established his company in 1982.

A criminal lawyer throughout much of his career, Brendan has also practiced civil law; but it is family law that has always been his first love. His firm belief is that children are better brought up by their natural parents and family; and his company has a strict policy of not acting for the local authority in care proceedings. The firm represent parents and families all over the country and Brendan is proud of their success rates.

Meet the Team

Sue Barrett

Sue originally worked with Brendan Fleming Solicitors between 1990 and 2002, before spreading her wings to work with a criminal law firm.  After 10 years, she returned to work with Brendan once again in the Billing department – an area in which she has many years of experience, both on the family and the criminal sides of law.

Sue is a divorced mum of 2 boys aged 20 and 16. Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with her sons, her family and her friends.  She is also a very big football fan.

Michaela Beale

After attending Liverpool University gaining 2.1 LLB with Honours, Michaela’s interest in family law crystallised. She then returned to live at home whilst studying for her LPC at the Birmingham branch of the College of Law.

Michaela started working as a paralegal with Brendan Fleming Solicitors in July 2009, she then gained a Training Contract with the firm and qualified as a Solicitor in August 2012. She has her own case load; this is mainly in relation to care proceedings, although recently she has begun to take on some cases in relation to Contact and Residence.  Michaela now hopes to begin taking on some cases in relation to divorce.

Michaela enjoys socialising with friends and gets on really well with all the Brendan Fleming staff.  She attends the gym regularly and some gym classes.  Michaela has also joined several members of Brendan Fleming team in various charity events.

Zoë Brettle

Zoë joined the firm in April 2012. Zoë completed her degree at Wolverhampton University, achieving a First Class Honours degree in 2009. Zoë then went on to complete a full time Legal Practice Course which further confirmed her interest in Family Law.

Zoë commenced her employment as a Trainee Solicitor and will qualify in  2013. Zoë currently has her own case load of Public and Private Law matters.

In her spare time, Zoë likes to keep active and enjoys walking her dog, going to Zumba and taking part in charity events.   She also loves to travel and socialise with friends and family.

Joan Downer

Joan began her career at Brendan Fleming’s in 1982, when the company first opened for business. She is a loyal member of the team and is known for keeping spirits up.

She has a multitude of responsibilities. This includes ensuring clients get their correspondence, welcoming new clients to the company and liaising with clients. She is hardworking, enthusiastic and always puts clients first.

She also is known for her fantastic cuppas.

She is the first port of call for people who have started out at Brendan Fleming. Her experience shines through as she guides people who are learning the ropes.

Joan loves to read. She also loves cooking and has been known to make the staff a lovely lunch. She is highly regarded at Brendan Fleming and is an essential member of the team.

Rob Fitt

Rob manages our high cost cases through the billing process, and can always be seen with a smile on his face. Rob joined the firm in 2010 after graduating from the University of Wales, Swansea.

Outside of work, Rob enjoys combining music with red wine.

Kerry Gilbert

Kerry’s working life originally began with Brendan Flemings aged nine, when she used to attend the offices on weekends and in the school holidays helping out. This initially sparked her interest in Law and she went on to study law however her career took a turn and she built up a solid career in the catering industry working for the largest catering company in the world, running some of the most prestigious venues including the Grand Prix at Silverstone and The Ryder Cup at The Belfry. Kerry, at 19, was also part of the catering management team who reopened The Birmingham Hippodrome. Kerry has also aided the opening and managed the catering in the VIP Restaurant of the Ricoh Arena and the prestigious banquet for the opening of The Bullring. She then went on to run an Italian Restaurant in Hagley.

Kerry decided to have a career change and retrained working for a firm of Solicitors in Birmingham City Centre. Kerry qualified as a Legal Secretary, predominantly based in Residential Conveyancing running files.

Kerry went on to have two children, now 4 and 2 and she came full circle in her working life when she came to work for Brendan Flemings again at the beginning of 2012. Kerry is now Personal Assistant to Brendan Fleming himself and loves her job.

Any spare time is devoted to her husband and her two young children who keep her more than busy!

Michael Green

Another experienced solicitor, Michael has worked in both criminal and family law. He joined Brendan Fleming in 2008 to assist in the public law department, acting on behalf of children and parents, and is a great asset to the company. Michael is also on the Children’s Panel.

Sioned Hetherington

Sioned graduated from the University of Wales, Swansea with a 2.1 BA Honours in History in 2009. She joined the firm as a paralegal in March 2010 before joining the College of Law, Birmingham in September 2010. Sioned passed the GDL in July 2011 and has recently completed stage two of the LPC, passing her electives in Immigration Law and Practice, Employment Law and Practice and Family Law and Practice. She completed the LPC in August 2012 and will also be subsequently undertaking her training contract with the firm.

Since Sioned joined the firm in 2010 she has had her own case load in care proceedings working with parents and has personally run these files on a day-to-day basis whilst undertaking her studies in Law.

Vicky Hubball

Vicky attended Birmingham City University and graduated with a degree in Law and American Legal Studies (LLB Hons) in 2008, successfully completing the Legal Practice Course at the same institution the following year.

She began working for Brendan Flemings in October 2010 as a paralegal, and her training contract is due to start in August 2012. She has been responsible for her own case load for some time, mainly consisting of care work.

Vicky has recently taken up running in her spare time and has completed two half marathons. She has also joined several members of the Brendan Fleming team in various charity events, including completing the 10k Race for Life and climbing Mount Snowdon.

Jane Hurcomb

Jane originally joined Brendan Flemings after leaving school in 1987. Having undertaken the Legal Executive Course with ILEX, she was promoted to the Family Department and continued to deal with divorce, financial proceedings and children’s matters for the next ten years until she left to have her two children.

Prior to her return to the firm eighteen months ago, Jane worked for four years for a company specializing in child support problems, helping people to resolve their issues with the Child Support Agency. She is now, once again, dealing with all aspects of family law.

When not spending time with her husband and two children, now aged 11 and 14, Jane enjoys reading – being a member of a book club – and also bike riding and swimming.

Faye Masling

Faye joined the team in July 2010 as Mr Fleming’s PA, having worked as an administrator at a national charity for 10 months.  Prior to this, she graduated from Birmingham City University with a Law (LLB Hons) degree in 2008 and successfully completed the Legal Practice Course at the same institution the following year.

When she was 8 years old, Faye had an accident on holiday and spirally fractured her leg.  She was inspired by the solicitor who acted for her and decided she too would become a solicitor.

Since then, a legal career has been the only career for Faye.  She is now enjoying life as a Trainee Solicitor at Brendan Fleming, and is due to qualify in September 2013.  Faye acts on behalf of adults involved in care proceedings under the direct supervision of Mr Fleming and deals with the daily running of these cases, alongside attending clients, Court and meetings.

Away from work, Faye enjoys spending time with her family, friends and fiancé, attending the theatre, and learning to cook.

Kevin Masling

Kevin single-handedly represents the Estates Department of the firm and is our own resident Bob the Builder: Can Kev fix it? Yes he can!

On the side, Kevin also makes a mean bacon sandwich, as Brendan will testify.

Brian McGeown

Brian McGeown, ACILEx, is an Associate of The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives having more than 40 years experience. An expert in his field, he is considered friendly, approachable and very knowledgeable.

His good advice extends to ensuring clients are fully aware of all the costs and expenses throughout their dealings with Brendan Fleming. He has earned himself a great reputation throughout the Midlands property world and is proud that in all the years he has been in the business he has never had a single negligence claim against him.

Brian’s ever-growing band of satisfied clients is a tribute to his professionalism and his convenyancing and will-writing expertise.

Denis O’Callaghan

Denis originally joined the firm in June 2009, working through the summer learning the ropes as a paralegal. After returning to his studies Denis came back to the firm as a full-time member of the team in June 2010 when he joined the Billing Department. Never having worked in this area before, Denis embarked on a steep learning curve, discovering many an as-yet-well-hidden talent for Legal Aid billing. Denis now works as an important part of the Billing Team where he manages the incoming public funding to ensure we receive the right funding for each one of our clients, while also trying to get regular payments for our work from the LSC to allow Brendan Fleming Solicitors to continue representing its clients. Denis hopes to become a fully trained Costs Draftsman and, with continued support from the boss and just a little training to add to his ever expanding experience, that is something he will achieve in near future.

Away from work Denis enjoys music, particularly going to live shows as often as he can, while also trying to keep fit. Denis also enjoys socialising with friends over a nice meal or with a few good drinks as well as travelling and cooking.

Vicky O’Callaghan

Vicky O’Callaghan joined Brendan Fleming in June 2009 after completing her Law Degree at Coventry University and then her Legal Practice Course at the Birmingham College of Law. Vicky joined Brendan Fleming as a paralegal and was quickly given the opportunity to be responsible for her own case load and now deals mainly with cases where we represent the children in childcare proceedings.

Vicky particularly enjoys this area of work as it allows her to deal with a varied client base and with other professionals, including solicitors and experts alike. Vicky qualified as a Solicitor in August 2012 and is looking forward to continuing to work within this area of the law.

In her spare time Vicky enjoys running, kickboxing and socialising with her friends and family.

Rachel Porter

Rachel joined the firm in September 2006 having moved to Birmingham from Liverpool.  She had completed a degree in Law at Liverpool John Moores University, achieving a 2.1 in June 2004.  Rachel then went on to complete a full time Legal Practice Course which she successfully accomplished. The practical learning that the Legal Practice Course offered further confirmed her interest in Family Law. Therefore, Rachel was excited to be afforded the opportunity to work at Brendan Fleming Solicitors, a well-established and renowned family firm in Birmingham.

Rachel commenced her employment as a paralegal and enjoyed having the responsibility of a number of adult care cases from very early on. After 9 months in this position, her training contract was registered and she started life as a Trainee Solicitor.  Rachel subsequently qualified as a Solicitor in April 2009 and she has remained at the firm since. Rachel currently has her own case load of adult care cases and conducts hearings on a daily basis on behalf of both adult and child clients of the firm. She thoroughly enjoys this area of the law, has received her Children’s Law Accreditation and is now a member of the Children’s Panel.

In her spare time, Rachel likes to keep active and enjoys running and taking part in charity races.  The Birmingham half-marathon has become a regular event on Rachel’s calendar! She also loves to travel and socialise with friends and family. Rachel has a promising career ahead of her at Brendan Fleming Solicitors.

Charlotte Raybould

Charlotte joined the firm in September 2011, having previously worked at a family law firm in Dudley for nearly two years.  Prior to that she studied Law & Criminology at the University of Sheffield, followed by the LPC at Birmingham College of Law, where she received a Commendation.  Since joining the firm, Charlotte has run a full caseload in private law family matters, and is now moving into public law matters.  She also has an interest in divorce and matrimonial law.  Charlotte hopes to start a training contract with the firm in the near future, and will continue to manage her caseload and conduct her own advocacy.

In her spare time, Charlotte enjoys running and is training towards taking part in a half marathon.  She also travels to visit her friends all over the country, and is a keen reader with varied tastes.

Jennifer Ryan

Jennifer obtained her law degree with honours from Wolverhampton University where she also completed the Legal Practice course. She qualified as a solicitor in 2010 and joined Brendan Fleming in January 2012.

She deals with family law and private children law proceedings.

Her spare time is devoted to her ex-racehorse!

Rochai Simms

Rochai joined Brendan Fleming solicitors in April 2011 as a business admin assistant to the solicitors and caseworkers of the firm, after completing a business administration apprenticeship. In addition to administration, Rochai takes the time to provide support to clients of Brendan Fleming by attending meetings and court with them.

In her spare time, Rochai likes to socialise with her family and friends. She has also joined several members of the firm in various social activities including climbing mount Snowdon and completing a 12-mile bicycle ride around Lake Vyrnwy.

Laura Stocks

Laura joined the firm as a paralegal in July 2011. After gaining a 2:1 in her degree, Laura completed the Graduate Diploma in Law at the College of Law in Birmingham, achieving Commendation. She has almost completed her Legal Practice Course at the same institution and is looking forward to starting her training contract with the firm and qualifying into this area of law.

Laura is currently responsible for her own case-load, representing parents in mainly Public Law proceedings, although she has now begun to take on some Private Law matters. She deals with the day to day running of these files; including meeting with clients, pre-hearing negotiations and also some Court work.

In her spare time, Laura enjoys spending time with friends and family, travelling and shopping.

Dawn Sweeney

Dawn first started out in Law in 1988 before specialising in Family Law in 1990. She joined Brendan Fleming in 1993 because she wanted to gain experience in one of the top Family Law firms.

She remained with Brendan until 2000, when she moved to another firm to broaden her knowledge of Family work.  She had a break from the legal world between 2006 and 2010 to have her two younger boys before rejoining Brendan Fleming at the end of last year.

Dawn is a busy mum of three boys – 14 years, 6 years and 3 years old – which has given her a practical understanding of some of the situations that Clients with children face.

If she does get any spare time (which is a premium) she is into genealogy, reading, music and good films.

Anne-Marie Tidmarsh

Anne-Marie began her career at Brendan Fleming Solicitors in the 90’s and she worked here for 8 years when we were based at the Gazette Buildings. After having a break to start a family, Anne-Marie made a welcome return in 2010.

Anne-Marie specialises in cases where supportive parenting is required and the Local Authority have removed children from a parent’s care. Anne recently had great success in a long-standing case where our client’s children were returned home following a successful appeal in the Royal Courts of London.

Anne-Marie enjoys spending time with her two children and being a child herself. She enjoys cycling, trampolining and long mountain walks. She is also a keen runner and has been in many charity fun runs. Anne-Marie is an asset to Brendan Fleming Solicitors. She has a great energy and passion for her work and is always focused on getting the best outcome for her Clients.

Rebecca Ward

Rebecca first joined Brendan Fleming as a paralegal in 2008 and since that time, driven by her indomitable enthusiasm and commitment to her work, has gone from strength to strength, having now fully qualified, and been formally admitted to the Roll as a solicitor.

She is a true solicitor in the Brendan Fleming style: a star of the firm with a terrific and effervescent personality. Working in the area of complex cases, Rebecca specializes in the area of non-accidental injury, where she works very hard for her clients.

She is highly thought of by both colleagues and clients alike. As one client put it: “She was so compassionate to us as a family and dealt with us on a very caring basis. She went far and above what a normal solicitor would have done…. She was wonderful with our children.”

Annette Woodall

Annette has a wide experience in all matters relating to family breakdown, particularly in respect of financial matters. This includes dealing with high net financial claims, often involving substantial assets and pension issues. She has a firm and practical approach to achieving high levels of settlement and client satisfaction.

Annette has specialised in family law for many years, having joined Brendan Fleming in 1984 before moving to head up a large family department at another firm in Solihull. She is a Member of Resolution (former Solicitors Family Law Association). Her return to Brendan Fleming was welcomed throughout the company.

Louise Woodall

Louise originally joined Brendan Fleming in 1989 and returned to us in 2008 after leaving to have her two children. Louise returned to assist in the divorce and financial department and now deals with all our divorce proceedings, together with private law children matters and the more straightforward financial matters.

Away from the office Louise enjoys time with her two young children and socialising with her family friends and her work colleague.

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