FORMER Ward Hadaway partner Claire Collinson has moved her specialist solicitor's practice into its first office near Stocksfield.
Collinson has over 14 years of experience in disputes and litigation, and was a partner at Newcastle’s Ward Hadaway from 2005 to 2007.
She is currently at the helm of a team of four staff, handling claims including insurance litigation and financial services-related claims. Claire Collinson Legal has been running for nearly three years from Collinson’s home, but recently moved into an office in Northumberland.
The practice is currently seeing a lot of clients looking to challenge rejected insurance claims, as well as a growing number of claims by businesses or individuals nationwide who say they have been mis-sold interest rate hedging products.
Collinson said: “At the moment we’re dealing with a large amount of litigation over interest rate hedging products that are meant to protect against rising interest rates. In fact, the interest rates have got so low there have been a lot of adverse effects that people weren’t expecting.
“A lot of the complaints are around the fact that people weren’t given sufficient information. There’s often a large break cost if people want to exit early, and some hedges last longer than the loan. You can sometimes have five-year loans and 10-year hedges, so people’s loans end, but they’ve still got this hedge product. There are a few people we know in the North East that are affected, but it’s very much a national thing.”
Staff at the Financial Services Authority are currently reviewing whether to investigate banks over the selling of these products.
But Collinson does not want the practice to grow so large that she cannot have personal involvement with the cases.
“I took about 18 months off when the children were young, and then decided I wanted to work like this rather than for a large firm.”