By Colin Young
In the three years since they launched their own practice Greystone Legal, Newton Aycliffe-based partners Paul Humble and Ben Healey have established a reputation as the go-to firm for employment and business law.
The decision to concentrate on their specialised subjects when they set up the firm from Parson’s Court on the park has paid dividends, and the pair now take on a significant number of cases for solicitors and businesses across the North East seeking their HR expertise.
It is a nod to more than 60 years of experience in employment and commercial law and an impressive range of specialised services at fixed rates.
Their clients like Greystone Legal’s plainspeaking delivery and the reassurance that their personal approach brings results.
Greystone Legal have recently added employment tribunal judge Sharon Langridge to the team as a consultant lawyer. A senior employment solicitor with over 25 years specialist experience, Sharon has acted mainly for employers, including SMEs, local authorities, charities and colleges.
Greystone Legal have now formed a partnership with Logico NE, a team of consultants who provide support to transport companies with compliance, transport audits and transport management.
Logico work alongside Greystone to provide a complete support package, including human resources and employment law support.
Not many people take on the taxman, or even want to, but Greystone Legal’s partnership with Logico led to a recent victory representing a North East haulage firm at a tribunal, which is an example of their knowledge reaping rewards for their clients.
On behalf of one driver, who claimed he had not been paid the minimum wage, HMRC investigated the firm and served a £45,000 penalty notice on the business for underpayment of the minimum wage.
Greystone Legal appealed against the penalty notice in the employment tribunal and were able to successfully show that additional payments to drivers for kilometre commission, collections and drop-offs meant that driver payment well exceeded the minimum wage.
Paul said: “It is quite rare that businesses successfully challenge under payment notices from HMRC, but we did on this occasion and we succeeded at tribunal, cancelling out the notices and associated fines.
“The fact is there are not many firms who have that experience in these specific matters who can make significant savings for the clients.
“There are very few employment lawyers in this region who can provide what we exclusively do, and we have a high level of expertise in both employment law and commercial work.”
Paul and Ben both live locally and with the business partnership’s roots also deep into the park’s infrastructure, they remain committed to delivering their advice to fellow entrepreneurs, SMEs and large employers on the site.
They have recently overseen work in Japan, France and Ireland for a major manufacturer on the business park, while an increasing number of firms on the park are joining their retained client roster.
The pair are hoping to further increase the number of Aycliffe businesses on the books and they want to help them act, rather than react.
Greystone Legal offers business support packages for small to medium sized businesses, payable in monthly instalments. Most work is taken on at a fixed rate, rather than estimation.
“It is one of the major criticisms of our industry”, Ben added. “People get an estimate and it is amazing how quickly it disappears. I think our clients appreciate the fixed rate from the start and the security that we will stick to it.
“A lot of work we get is reactive. Businesses tend to put commercial matters and employment law on the list to sort out in the future and there are a million other things to do, but the time to come us is when you are getting on reasonably well and the business is growing, not when there is a dispute.”
Find out more about Greystone at greystone.legal – or contact them on 01325 787 007 or by email [email protected]