Dickinson Dees LLP

The Scoop

One of the UK's top 60 law firms by turnover and the largest law firm in the North East, Dickinson Dees boasts more than 200 years of history. With three offices outside its native Newcastle and an office planned for Leeds, the firm is extending its reach across the country.

Olde English

Dickinson Dees can trace its ancestry back as far as the founding of Griffith and Co in 1786 and the establishment of Dees and Thompson, which came into existence around the turn of the 19th century. The Dickinson family got its start in the legal practice in 1859 with Robert Dickinson, who practiced in the Royal Arcade. Today's Dickinson Dees can count five generations of Dickinsons connected to the firm. The ancestral lines finally came together in 1975 when Dickinson Miller & Turnbull and Dees & Thompson Griffith & Co merged into Dickinson Dees.

In 1998, the firm reached beyond Newcastle with the opening of an office in Tees Valley. In 2007, Dickinson Dees opened offices in York and London. Most recently, the firm has secured space in Leeds city centre, where it plans to set up shop in 2012.

Staying on top

Dickinson Dees is known for its strong property practice and in recent years has seen solid growth in its corporate, litigation and private client practices. Throughout its history, Dickinson Dees has acted as a representative for a larger number of landed estates and large businesses, and was engaged in the transfer of mineral rights from its clients to the National Coal Board. Today, the Dickinson Deeds private client department holds title deeds to more than one third of the land in Northern England.

Responsible citizenship

Dickinson Dees was a founding signatory to the Law Society's Diversity and Inclusion Charter and worked on the Law Society's Diversity Standards and Toolkit. The firm is active in mentorship programs for ethnic minorities, and won the 2011 Mentor of the Year award from the National Mentoring Scheme. Dickinson Dees also participates in the PRIME program, which focuses on providing workplace opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Dickinson Dees offers a wide variety of charitable fundraising activities, including standard fare such as raffles, bake sales and auctions (hosted on an e-Bay type site dubbed DDbay). Among more unusual fundraising techniques, the firm offers days where staff can pay £1 for the privilege of dressing casually, or face a £2 penalty for not doing so.

Recent News

The play's the thing

In September 2011, Dickinson Dees signed a deal with the Northern Stage (formerly Newcastle Playhouse) to provide production sponsorship for the next four years. The deal continues Dickinson's 20 years of support for the theatre.

Combining powers

Dickinson Dees advised on and brokered a merger between Mechanical Engineers Flow Matters and Technical Ex Services. The two companies specialised in mechanical and electrical engineering for the energy sector, making the newly formed ENEX Group the leading energy services company in the North East. The merger was completed in September 2011.

Teaching assistants

Dickinson Dees' reputation in the education sector has earned it recognition as one of the top legal advisors by Education Investor Magazine. In August 2011, Dickinson Dees was appointed to a panel of advisors to the Leeds City College, the third-largest further education college in the UK. The firm will provide advice on property law, contracts, employment law, student issues and other general legal issues.

One year earlier, Dickinson Dees facilitated a multimillion-pound agreement between the University of York and the Leeds-based Evans Property Group. The two formed a joint venture to own and run the new Goodricke College on the university's campus at Heslington East. The deal allows the university to recoup some of its capital investments while still maintaining a degree of control over Goodricke, and a share of its future earnings.

Dealing with the economy

Despite a global debt crisis and a fairly stalled economy, Dickinson Dees saw an uptick in transactions in 2010-11. The firm advised on share sales, private equity investments and public offerings with a combined value of £2.4 billion in the 12-month period ending in March 2011. Among the clients on these transactions were industrial and medical engineering company Metal Spinners Group, temporary accommodation business Procomm Site Services and energy engineering company Wilton Group.

Public-minded

In June 2010, Dickinson Dees secured a three-year position on the UK's largest public sector legal panel, a consortium of nine London boroughs and five Kent districts. The consortium was established to enable participating councils to share in the procurement of legal services, thereby reducing costs. Other local authority appointments for the firm include the London Boroughs Legal Alliance, which consists of 10 London boroughs; the Tyne and Wear Legal Framework, which covers five North East jurisdictions; and a panel in the North West comprising 20 authorities.

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Dickinson Dees LLP


St Ann's Wharf
112 Quayside
Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 3DX
Phone: +44 (0)844 984 1500
www.dickinson-dees.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing partner: Jonathan Blair
  • Total No. Attorneys 2011: 310

Major Office Locations

  • London, United Kingdom
  • Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
  • Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
  • York, United Kingdom

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