HAVING successfully launched his own law firm at the relatively young age of 29, Dale Lever vividly recalls the moment his career path was defined.

Dale, just 11 at the time, was visiting relatives in America and met his grandmother’s cousin, who was working for the FBI in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

“He’d studied law at university, had really enjoyed it, and was doing this fascinating job. From then on, working in law was all I wanted to do.”

After studying law at the University of Leeds and cutting his teeth working for two law firms in Sunderland, Dale has now launched Lever Law in Durham, the city where he was born and went to school.

“Durham is such a great market and it just feels like the right time to do this,” says Dale, from his smart office in Carter House, in Pelaw Leazes Lane, a short walk from the city centre. “There’s so much happening in the city – it’s a really exciting time – so we want to be part of it.”

Dale was born in the University Hospital of Durham, raised in Newton Hall, and went to Framwellgate School, so he comes well equipped with extensive local knowledge, a network of contacts, and a passion for the city.

His dad, Stephen, is an electrician who has also launched his own business in Durham – LPD Electrics – while his mum works at Marks & Spencer in the Arnison Centre. Younger sister Jade works in Northumbrian Water’s civil litigation department.

Lever Law has been launched at a time of historic development in the city and across the county. The £400m Aykley Heads scheme in the heart of Durham promises to create 6,000 jobs; the £120m Milburngate commercial and residential development has brought another huge boost to the local economy; and the £30m Riverwalk project features a new cinema, restaurants, shops and student accommodation.

Durham County Council chief executive Terry Collins has described the wave of current developments as “a game-changer” and Dale is thrilled to see such historic progress in his home city.

“There’s so much potential in Durham and it’s fantastic to see the investment and growth taking place,” says Dale. “I already know a lot of the business owners and I obviously hope to build on those connections to offer a personal, trusted legal service.”

He has been joined in the business by conveyancer, Grace Baker-Padden, experienced legal secretary Julie Anderson, who worked with him in Sunderland, and office junior Esme Mitchell. The four-some will soon be joined by office dog, Harvey, a cavapoochon puppy.

The Lever Law team will cover a wide spectrum of specialised legal matters, such as commercial and residential conveyancing; company law; elderly client care; wills; probate; power of attorney; and sport, media and entertainment law.

Clients include football agents, including EOS Sports Management, who also look after one of the rising stars of British athletics David Omoregie, who set world and European junior records in the 60 metres hurdles indoor, and won a bronze medal at the 2014 World Junior Championships, before landing gold in the 2015 European Under-23 Athletics Championships.

“We understand that it is often difficult for clients to choose a solicitor, as most law firms offer a similar level of service, but we pride ourselves on going the extra mile. We offer our clients a higher level of service than they would usually expect by providing a personal approach in a friendly environment,” says Dale.

“We’ve been really busy since we opened our doors, and we have a very experienced team ready to help clients with their legal issues.”

Lever Law ensures that all their charges are transparent.  Clients are informed about what is, and what is not, included in the prices they are quoted; which charges may be subject to VAT; and, where payments to others (known as disbursements) may be required together with what these fees are likely to be.

Clients are always given an indication as to the typical timescales and key stages involved in progressing matters on their behalf, whilst making it clear what factors may have a bearing on these timescales.

The company has recently been accredited with Solicitors For The Elderly as well as Lawyers For Your Business.

And, having been raised in Durham, Dale is keen to put something back into the local community by becoming chairman of the Dunelm Foundation, a not-for-profit company that will raise money for local charities.

The foundation has taken over the running of a charity dinner that has been admirably organised for the past 25 years by Keith Johnson, of JW Wood estate agents. This year’s dinner is at Ramside Hall on October 4, with former England and Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan, and comedian Brian Conley, appearing as guest speakers. Thirty-six tables have already been sold but a few are still available.

Lever Law’s community commitments also include sponsoring Durham United Football Club, which was launched in 2012 and the company’s goals are clear.

“We want to play our full part in Durham at such an optimistic time and be recognised as the place to come for friendly, trusted, personal legal services,” says Dale.

It’s early days for Lever Law – but all signs point to success.


Carter House, Pelaw Leazes Lane, Durham City, DH1 1TB

Telephone: 0191 909 7990

Email: info@leverlaw.co.uk