Two young North East solicitors are taking their next steps forward in their careers after joining North East law firm Hay & Kilner.

Jessica Cousin and Ashleigh Barrett have joined the Newcastle-headquartered practice’s award-winning corporate & commercial and commercial property teams respectively.

Originally from Hexham, Jessica holds a Master’s degree in Law from Northumbria University and has specialised in financial and banking contracts during her career so far.

In her new role, she is focussing on commercial contract work for Hay & Kilner’s business clients.

Also a Master’s graduate from Northumbria, Ashleigh worked as a paralegal after completing her studies, specialising in residential conveyancing work, while since qualifying as a solicitor, she has worked in corporate conveyancing on a range of property projects.

She is now advising both landlords and tenants with leasehold property matters including the grant of a new lease, sale or purchase of an existing lease and the extension of a lease.

Jessica Cousin says: “Negotiating contracts for over five years has enabled me to gain a lot of experience which will be useful to a number of clients across Hay & Kilner’s different specialist teams”.

“I felt Hay & Kilner’s reputation as a close-knit, professional firm would match my own style well and I’ve had a really friendly welcome from the team.

“The firm’s vast array of clientele will also allow me to grow and expand my knowledge after previously working in a fairly niche area of law.”

Ashleigh Barrett adds: “I’ve been keen to move towards commercial property work for some time and my new role gives me the chance to use the knowledge I’ve gained so far in meeting this ambition.

“The development opportunities that Hay & Kilner offers and the supportive team culture makes an ideal move for me, while our recent move into fantastic new offices means it’s the perfect time to be joining.”

Hay & Kilner, which celebrated its 75th anniversary last year, is one of North East England’s leading independent law firms and provides comprehensive legal advice across every aspect of the law to businesses and individuals from both within and outside the region.

It recently moved into new state-of-the-art headquarters within The Lumen development, which sits on St James’ Boulevard within the landmark Newcastle Helix hybrid city quarter.

Jonathan Waters, managing partner at Hay & Kilner, says: “Recruiting young solicitors with great potential and giving them the support and training they need to realise it is a crucial part of our long-term growth plans.

“Jessica and Ashleigh have all the qualities that we look for and we’re very pleased to have them as part of our growing team.”