A LOCAL solicitor’s passion for ‘giving people a voice’ has resulted in him heading up the latest North-East branch for a successful regional practice.

Criminal defence lawyer, Stephen Andrews, brings nearly 25 years’ experience to the Watson Woodhouse office that operates from Duke Street, Darlington, and which sees them expanding in the region. 

Originally established more than 30 years ago in Teesside, the firm later opened offices in Durham and North Yorkshire, before moving into Darlington just two over years ago. They most recently opened an office in London.

Stephen says: “Criminal Defence work is at the heart of the range of services that we offer. Watson Woodhouse recognised that with the client base that I brought with me, coupled with their depth and expertise, they could develop a practice in Darlington.”

As well as Stephen, the Darlington team includes three other full-time solicitors - Stephanie Thompson, also working in criminal defence; Kirsty Nelson, a specialist care lawyer who represents Parents and family members in care proceedings, and the most recent addition to the team, Nicola Merson, who specialises in all aspects of family law.

Although it is a small office, the team can offer the full range of services, such as conveyancing, wills and probate, divorce, personal injury, childcare, and housing, by bringing in expertise from the other Watson Woodhouse branch offices. Appointments are always available at the Darlington office.

Stephen said: “We do have the opportunity to expand in the future, and to bring in other colleagues. The practice in Darlington has proved very busy and has scope to grow.”

Of all the disciplines, Stephen has always been interested in pursuing Criminal Law. Even as a young man, he says that he always wanted to make sure people had a voice.

“Regardless of whatever is alleged, everyone has rights, and people need to know that they’ve been heard. It’s part of my job to ensure that happens,” he explains. “Generally, people don’t know the process of the law, and they might be expecting the worst. It is for me to explain to them what is likely to happen, or what won’t happen, and to advise them so that they understand the full process. Generally, people feel reassured if they understand.

“To hear a client say, ‘I feel so much better now that I’ve spoken to you’, is such a reward, and it tells us that that we are doing things the right way.”


Darlington office: 3 Duke Street, Darlington, County Durham, DL3 7RX

Telephone: 01325 462598

Email: info@watsonwoodhouse.co.uk