Meet our Team
Our team has many years of collective experience in delivering high quality work. Regardless of who works on your matter they will be supervised by one of our specialist Supervising Private Client Lawyers.
Mark John Deavall
Solicitor & Director, Head of Private Client Department
Mark qualified as a Solicitor on 1st September 2000 after gaining both a Law Degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (with Distinction) from Staffordshire University (where in 1998 Mark was awarded the Annual Prize for Outstanding Performance) and undergoing a Professional Skills Course with the College of Law in 1999.
Having previously worked for Woolliscrofts for seven years prior to 2006 (including just over two years as a Partner), following employment and Partnerships with other Legal Practices, Mark returned to work for Woolliscrofts in August 2014 – since when Mark has been appointed as a Director of this Company.
Mark has considerable experience of:
- Dealing with Probate matters and the Estate Administration of Estates (typically dealing with in the region of 60 Probate matters per year);
- preparing Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney; and
- A range of Elderly Client issues, such as Applications to the Court of Protection, Deputyship and the like.
Mark is the Head of our Private Client Department and manages a team of Probate and their support staff across our 6 branch offices. Our ethos is to go above and beyond the call of duty and to help whenever and wherever we can.
Mark’s supervisor is Ray Basnett.
Solicitor and Director
Having qualified as a Solicitor in 1978 after gaining his Law Degree, Ray has considerable experience in Wills, Probate and Powers of Attorney. He began his training at Rees Jones Solicitors and joined Woolliscrofts Solicitors in 1982 and has practiced here since then. He became a Partner of the firm and, following the incorporation of what was originally a Partnership Practice, is now an Executive Director of Woolliscrofts Solicitors Limited.
Ray is proud to have had dealings with many long standing clients during his time with Woolliscrofts – in many cases acting for successive generations of families – and typically deals with in the region of 100 Probate matters per year.
Ray’s supervisor is Mark Deavall.
Josephine Begg FCILEx
Josephine Begg qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 1992 and has specialised in Probate matters and the preparation of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney since 1999. She is a full member of Solicitors for the Elderly, a national association of independent lawyers who are trained in older client law, and has trained as a Dementia Friend with Alzheimer’s Society.
Jo Begg typically deals with in the region of 50 Probate matters per year.
Jo’s supervisor is Mark Deavall.
Laura has a degree in Film, Television and Radio Studies from Staffordshire University and has completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course at Staffordshire University. Laura began working at Woolliscrofts back in 2007 (initially Part-Time between University studies and Full Time since 2009), commenced her Training Contract with us in September 2017 and was ultimately admitted as a Solicitor on 2nd September 2019, since when she has worked within our Private Client Department dealing with the preparation of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney in addition to dealing with Deputyship Applications to the Court of Protection and a variety of elderly client law related issues.
On a day-to-day basis Laura works alongside Ray Basnett and the overall supervisor of our Private Client Department is Mark Deavall.
Lisa Bradley has worked for Woolliscrofts Solicitors since January 1997 and formerly in other Solicitors Practices since 1987. Since 2004 Lisa has specialised in Probate work. On a day-to–day basis Lisa works alongside Ray Basnett, assisting him with a typical caseload of in the region of 100 Probate matters per year. The overall supervisor of our Private Client Department is Mark Deavall.
Lisa has completed Professional Development courses of relevance to the Administration of Estates and Probate Updates during her time with Woolliscrofts Solicitors.
Senior Legal Secretary / Probate Assistant
Juliet has worked in the Legal Profession for 30 years. She has a Pitman Business Diploma, Pitman Typing Level 1 & 2, Pitman Audio Typing Level 1 and is an Affiliate Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.. During her career Juliet has worked in the Conveyancing and Litigation Department but, having previously worked for Woolliscrofts, has exclusively worked in our Private Client Department since returning to work for Woolliscrofts in 2015.
Juliet currently works alongside, and is supervised by, Mark Deavall.
Legal Secretary / Probate Assistant
Janet has worked in the legal profession for over 30 years providing excellent secretarial and administrative support. Since joining Woolliscrofts in 2014 she has gained extensive knowledge of all probate matters and older client law so is able to assist clients with any queries on a day to day basis.
Janet works alongside Ray Basnett and the overall supervisor of the Private Client Department is Mark Deavall.
Phoebe joined our Probate Team as a Legal Secretary in 2018 and participates in ongoing studies to increase her knowledge and experience in this area. On a day-to-day basis Phoebe is supervised by Jo Begg, for whom she works.
The overall supervisor of the Private Client Department is Mark Deavall.
Having previously worked for Bishops Solicitors since 1996, Kathryn has worked for Woolliscrofts since Bishops merged with Woolliscrofts in 2005. On a day- to –day basis Kathryn is supervised by Laura Harding, for whom she works.
The overall supervisor of the Private Client Department is Mark Deavall.
Hayley has worked for Woolliscrofts since July 2007 and her role includes assisting our Private Client Department with the initial Client Identification process, making appointments and processing Card Payments.
Receptionist & Administrative Assistant
Having previously worked in reception roles on and off since 1987, Claire initially commenced her career with Woolliscrofts, as a Senior Receptionist at our Hanley branch, in September 2002, before taking a break in January 2013 to run her own business prior to returning to work for Woolliscrofts in 2016 – initially at our Alsager Branch before ultimately returning to work at our Head Office in Hanley.
Claire has extensive experience of looking after Woolliscrofts clients both on the phone and face to face and assists our Private Client Department with the initial Client Identification process and general administrative support.
Gemma is the Receptionist at our Stone Branch Office. She has an English Degree from Staffordshire University. She joined Woolliscrofts in 2016 after previously working for Stoke City Football Club. Gemma’s wider role within the Company also includes her being involved with dealing with Client Identification procedures on behalf of, and providing general administrative assistance to, our Probate Department.
Receptionist / Administrative Assistant
Sarah began work with Woolliscrofts in May 2012 and her role includes assisting our Private Client Department with the initial Client Identification process.