Legal advice
with a difference…

Meet our team

MOVING HOME?

Fiona Smith LLB LLM

Head of Residential / Commercial Property Team

Senior Partner

Fiona was born in Hartlepool and now lives in North Yorkshire. She is married to Andy and has three children.

Fiona studied at University of Wales Aberystwyth where she studied at degree level and subsequently obtained a Masters Degree in Business Law. She studied for her professional qualification at Chester College of Law, before commencing her training in Hartlepool.

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Originally MSP Legal Services LLP was Malcolm Smith & Partners. Fiona is the daughter of founding partner Malcolm Smith who had practiced in Hartlepool since 1974. Malcolm returned from retirement on Fiona qualifying and the foundation of MSP was born. Sadly, we lost Malcolm in 2015, but his memory will forever live on in the Practice and our business ethos.

Fiona is one of the leading Property Lawyers in the North East.

Outside of work, Fiona loves being with her family (even when misbehaving!!) and is a keen baker (Great British Bake Off remains an ambition). Previously, Fiona was a rower having done so from an early age. Unfortunately, being married to Andy and having two boys, she had no choice but to develop two interests in rugby and football and spends many a Sunday morning on the touchline. Her daughter has a keen interest in musical theatre and performing arts, so there is many a time when “the touchline” is replaced by a proud member of the audience!

 “I cant change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination” 

Andy Jones LLB (Solicitor Advocate)

Managing Partner

Head of Private Client Team

Andy is a proud “Valley’s Boy” having grown up in a small mining village in South Wales, hence his usual comment “You can take the Boy out of the Valley. But you will never take the Valley out of the Boy”

Andy joined the firm in 2004, having previously worked at two leading law firms in the North East.

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He qualified at the University of Wales Aberystwyth and received his professional qualification through the College of Law Chester. In 2006 Andy qualified as a Solicitor Advocate when he specialised in litigation work, which involved a broad spectrum of cases in the County Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and the House of Lords.

Having practiced in litigation for over 15 years, Andy decided to take a work-type change now specialising in Private Client work, involving wills, tax planning, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Elderly Client planning advice.

Outside of the practice, Andy is married to Fiona (yes – the same Fiona as the Senior Partner) so he too has three children. Andy was a keen rugby player having played to semi- professional level before moving into coaching. Andy’s son has now taken up the mantle!

“Life is what happens when you are busy making plans … so try not to make too many plans and enjoy life”

Katie Storey

Head of Operations & Management

Senior Paralegal / Fee Earner

Private Client Team

Katie has lived in Hartlepool for most of her life and is married to Richard and is a busy mum to two small children Solomon and Delilah.

Katie is a qualified paralegal and a senior member of our team. She qualified as an Associate in 2006 and subsequently a Fellow Member of the Institute of Paralegals.

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She has a keen interest in Probate work, but also Wills and Private Client areas of Law. She obtained the role of Practice Manager in 2016 and oversees the New Business Team.

Outside of work, Katie enjoys reading, fitness and has an avid interest in healthy eating with the odd dose of wine thrown in for good measure!

“Stay Positive Work Hard Make it Happen”

Fiona Bloxsome

Senior Legal Assistant

Private Client Team

Born and bred in Hartlepool, Fiona is a Proud “Poolie”.

She started as part of the team in 2016 and was quickly promoted to part of the Private Client Team.

Fiona has an extensive background in hospitality and event planning. She also studied counselling and counselling therapies. As a result, she utilises that background and loves the client interaction, knowing that she is helping, and the fact that no two days are ever the same.

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Previously, Fiona lived & worked in Basingstoke and then later Surrey. This is where she met her husband, who is originally from Liverpool and they have two boys together. She is now a fully-fledged Liverpool FC supporter (by proxy).

Outside of work Fiona is an avid reader and has a varied and eclectic taste in music – she loves anything from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

“Work hard in silence let success make the noise”

Diane McKenner

Senior Conveyancer Executive/Team Supervisor

Residential / Commercial Property Team

Diane was born and raised in Hartlepool and has worked in Property for 10 years.

Diane has recently re-joined our firm after a short stint away.

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Outside of work Diane enjoys spending time with her family with the odd alcoholic beverage added into the mix.

“If you give a person a fish, they’ll fish for a day. But if you train a person to fish, they’ll fish for a lifetime”

Angela Scarsbrook

Senior Conveyancing Executive

Residential/Commercial Property Team

Angela is a recent addition to the firm and supports the Conveyancing Department.

Angela has over 20 years experience working within the legal field.  Originally from the North East, Angela relocated and worked in London within various law firms, before moving to Devon and having her children.  She has now returned to the North East to be close to family.

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She has a very active lifestyle with two young children so can often be seen at the beach, in the park, dancing around like a mad woman or taking part in some form of activity with the kids.  Angela’s hobbies are walking, going to the gym, travelling and ancient history.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”

Katie Taylor

Conveyancing Executive

Residential/Commercial Property Team

Originally from Manchester, Katie moved to the area in 2013 and is now rooted in the North East with her husband and two young sons. She is proud to have studied for both her law degree and post-graduate qualifications via distance learning whilst juggling work and home life commitments.

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Along with spending time outdoors with her family, Katie is a self taught crocheter and at a weekend enjoys nothing more than a takeaway and a boxset!

“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”

Kelly Morris

Conveyancing Executive

Residential/Commercial Property Team

Since first studying Law in Sixth Form College, Kelly always knew that her career path would lead towards law. A few years later and Kelly has a degree behind her and a bright future in property law as a part of the MSP family.

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In her spare time, Kelly loves to work on her small business “KelizabethPlans”, where she designs and makes market planner(s) and journal stickers. She also loves days out with her Airedale, Holly.

“You gotta keep on keeping on.”

Shannon Dale

Conveyancing Executive

Residential/Commercial Property Team

Originally from London Shannon moved to Teesside when she was young. She commenced her Law Degree at Teesside University in 2016 then went on to do the LLM Legal Practice Course at Sunderland University in 2020.

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In her spare time Shanon likes to bake, my family and friends say cheesecake is her speciality. She also enjoy going walking, socialising with friends and travelling as much as possible.

“Never regret a day in your life. Good days give you happiness and bad days give you experience”

Paula Higham

Accounts Team

Paula was born in Hartlepool and has lived here all of my life.  She is well and truly a Hartlepudlian.

She joined MSP in 2006, left in 2018 but re-joined in 2019.

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She has one son who she is immensely proud of.

Outside of work Paula enjoys walking her dog Sasha (when she can be bothered), seeing and spending time with family and friends and shopping (especially for clothes).

“The future will be better tomorrow”

Lauren McBride

New Business Team Co-ordinator

Residential/Commercial Property

Lauren is Hartlepool born and bred, she is married to Daniel and has a daughter and son.

She joined the team in late 2020, starting as a legal secretary and quickly progressing into the field of New Business.

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Lauren has sizeable background and has given almost every trade a chance. She originally studied Information Technology and Beauty Therapy, although this in turn, was not the trade for her. She is never one to shy away from a challenge and is always keen to learn.  

Previously, Lauren worked in transport where she met her husband Daniel. Together they have a son and young daughter.

Outside of work, Lauren enjoys family time, as well as beating the boys on their XBox. She enjoys singing and dreams of being able to re-join a choir once Covid is over. 

Time is non-refundable, use it wisely and with intention.”

Becky Balderson

Admin Support Team

Becky is a true Hartlepool girl; she lives with her Fiancé David and is planning on getting married in 2022.

Becky has mainly worked within retail and administration, she joined the team in January 2021. She has previously worked within fashion retail and technology.

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Outside of work, Becky enjoys travelling, walking with her dog (breed?) Issac and interior design. She is currently planning her wedding to David which had to be put on hold due to Covid-19. As such, she is extensively researching how exactly a post-covid wedding will be.

“When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I did not understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

Cath O’Donovan

Admin Support Team

Born and raised in Belfast Cath then joined the Air Force where she was a telephonist.  She then moved to Hartlepool and had two children, Diane and Stuart. 

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Cath is our longest serving member of the team being here a whopping 19 years!!

Outside of work Cath enjoys reading and socialising with friends and family.

 “Take a deep breath.  Its just a bad day, not a bad life”

How we can help

At MSP Legal Services we pride ourselves on offering an extensive range of legal services for individual and business clients. We offer specialist expertise in commercial law, civil litigation, dispute resolution, residential property, commercial property, wills and probate, personal injury, clinical negligence, wealth management and estates.

Conveyancing

Business

Private client advice

Elderly client advice

Advice for new parents

Getting married again

Helping someone with dementia

Inheritance tax

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Making your will

Trusts

Contact MSP

"My wife and I have used the services of MSP for over 30 years and during this time the family run practice has looked after my family for over two generations. My children too, now use the services offered, in the full knowledge and confidence Andy and Fiona offer excellent legal advice and services tailored to the current climate. Thank you both for an excellent service over many years."

Steve and Shelley

"We as a family have used MSP for a range of things from registering a property, buying and selling a house , Power of Attorney and doing a Will We have dealt with Katie who is fabulous and nothing is ever too much trouble. She is very professional, friendly and is very happy to answer any questions you may have. We have also dealt with Fiona when we found out that our house had never been registered with the land registry. Fiona was very helpful and very prompt in keeping us updated with the progress of the registration. Everyone who we have dealt with at MSP legal have been great and I would very much recommend them. Thanks for everything"

Claire and Family

"I highly recommend MSP Malcolm Smith & Partners, in their provision of expert guidance and assistance, towards an efficient and successful completion of matters involved. I am totally satisfied with my choice of this legal company, it has been a pleasure in dealing with their highly efficient, helpful and pleasant legal consultants, assistants, and staff. I will continue to consult this legal company, should any future requirements arise. Their expertise and efficiency is much valued."

Happy client