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We are based in the centre of the historic market town of Berwick upon Tweed, and the Firm has been practising law from the same location since 1887.

We have a settled and experienced team of solicitors and paralegals, each working within their own specialisms so that they can offer the best possible advice and assistance. This allows us to deliver a professional and quality legal service over a broad range of practice areas. We spend a great deal of time in training all of our staff so that they are as proficient in their chosen roles as they can be. Our solicitors and paralegals regularly attend external courses in their specialist areas, and this is supplemented by webinars and in-house seminars.

We are all based in Northumberland and many of us live in the town itself and so we share the same concerns as any other small business or individual in our area. This helps us to understand the nature and context of the issues, problems and transactions that we are asked to assist with.

We think that you will be pleasantly surprised by the service we offer. Try us and see!

Performance Standards

Here at TC Smith we aim to deliver our services to defined quality standards.  We encourage both our staff and our clients to tell us where they think we might improve, and we regularly review feedback to see where we can make changes.  We would therefore encourage any comment (both good and bad) as we find this very helpful.

We are accredited by the Law Society with the Lexcel Practice Management Standard and the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Standard.  These accreditations demonstrate our commitment to the provision of an excellent service and, especially in the case of Lexcel, demonstrate that the firm adheres to good practice in all of the most crucial and important areas of providing a legal service.

In relation to the provision of family and child services, the firm is also accredited by the Law Society for the provision of Family Law Services.

Law Society Accredited .   T C Smith Family Legal Services : Law Society Accredited .    T C Smith : Law Society Accredited Conveyancing Quality

Our Solicitors

Mark Butson


Mark qualified as a solicitor in 1985 and has been a partner since 1990. He is now our senior partner.

He has expertise in the preparation of wills, and has considerable experience in the administration of estates, deeds of family arrangement and related inheritance tax issues. He can provide advice where there is no will, and also where a will becomes contested.

He regularly advises upon the creation and tailoring of Lasting Powers of Attorney, and in relation to Court of Protection applications where the person concerned no longer has the ability to manage their own affairs.

Mark advises in all aspects of conveyancing (both commercial and residential), including development and with commercial landlord & tenant transactions. He has experience of dealing with contested issues before the First-tier Tribunal of the Property Chamber, and in relation to boundary and rights disputes concerning property and ownership claims – including those by adverse possession.

He also regularly assists small businesses in the practical resolution of employment issues.

Tel: 01289 301284

John Marshall

Consultant Solicitor

John joined in 1970, qualified as a solicitor in 1975 and was our senior partner until the end of December 2014. He has now retired as a partner but continues to assist the firm as a Consultant Solicitor on a part-time basis.

Coming from a farming background, he has a particular interest in agricultural matters, including the forming (and changing) of farming partnership agreements and Farming Business Tenancies. He also specialises in commercial conveyancing and all aspects of landlord and tenant work.

John developed an expertise in Wind Farm agreements and related legal arrangements and continues to hold an interest in this area.

Tel: 01289 301289

Sara Stockdale


Sara qualified as a solicitor in 1996 and became a partner in 1998.

Her passion and expertise lies in all kinds of family work (including separation, divorce and financial matters), but with particular emphasis on care and child-related work. She regularly attends court on behalf of parents and family members – and is an effective and highly-respected advocate. She can assist in both private and publicly funded work.

She is a member of the Law Society Family Law Panel and RESOLUTION – an association of specialist family lawyers. She also has accreditation with the Law Society Children Law Scheme – meaning that she has been recognised as having a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice in the area of children law, be that in private practice or working for a local authority.

Tel: 01289 301290

Frances Cowan


Frances joined the firm in 2000, completed her training with TC Smith and qualified as a solicitor in 2002. She became a partner in August 2014.

Her interests are in all aspects of commercial conveyancing, including residential developments. She also has considerable experience in assisting with residential conveyancing.

Her family are actively involved with farming, and she has a keen interest in agricultural matters – heading up the firm’s agricultural section with assistance from John Marshall. In 2014 Frances qualified as a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association, and this has enhanced her expertise in all areas of rural practice – including agricultural holdings, farm sales and purchases, estate planning & taxation, town & country planning and the common agricultural policy.

Frances also advises as to the preparation of lasting powers of attorney and wills – and the administration of estates.

Tel: 01289 301294