Named by one client as "The Rockstar of Compliance", Michelle is head of Weightmans' award-winning Compli service which advises the legal sector on all aspects of regulation, compliance, risk management, discipline and claims and complaints handling.
Michelle qualified as a solicitor in 1992, specialising in professional negligence litigation, and joined Weightmans as a Partner in February 2008. She is also the firm's MLRO.
Over the years, she has advised and represented many hundreds of lawyers and legal businesses on their regulatory obligations and is known for her pragmatic, commercial and supportive approach.
Michelle is the author of The COLP's Toolkit, a Law Society best-seller, and co-author of The Good Risk Law Firm, published by the Solicitors Journal. She is a well-known speaker and commentator on the legal circuit and sits on the editorial committee of the Law Society’s Legal Compliance Bulletin.
Michelle was extremely proud to be elected as the President of Manchester Law Society for 2019, having been a council member of Manchester Law Society for six years and chair of its regulatory affairs committee and COLP and COFA Forum. During her Presidency, she launched the Manchester Law Society Access to the Profession Hub to help improve Diversity and Inclusion in the legal sector and she appears in the Manchester Power 100 list 2019 of most influential people in Manchester.
Andrea joined Weightmans as a Consultant in March 2018 to work in Compli, Weightmans' bespoke regulatory consultancy service for the legal sector, advising on all aspects of regulation, compliance, risk management, discipline, claims and complaints handling. Andrea also delivers training on a wide range of areas, most recently doing a country wide ‘tour’ on the SRA Standards and Regulations.
Andrea qualified as a solicitor in 1988 and specialised in bringing negligence claims against professionals, including solicitors, accountants, surveyors etc. In 2006, Andrea moved into the management team of a Top 100 law firm, developing a niche expertise in risk and compliance. Following five years as Consultant in her own risk and compliance business, and Head of Risk and Compliance and Training Principal at a law firm, she moved to Weightmans, where she continues to advise clients on a range of issues from setting up new law firms, retainers, policies and procedures, AML obligations and concerns, to disciplinary investigations.
One client wrote to our managing partner to say ‘Andrea has a professional, engaging manner and she provided high quality advice and documents backed up by an understanding of what the regulator would require… she has been an outstanding support to my business and I shall not hesitate to work with her again.’
Andrea is a founder member and Chief Executive of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association (PNLA), member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Professional Negligence and member of the Manchester Law Society regulatory affairs committee and COLP and COFA Forum.
James joined Weightmans in 1989, qualified as a solicitor in 1991 and became a partner in 1997. He has 27 years' experience of professional indemnity claims acting for the insurers mainly of solicitors. He has extensive experience of alternative dispute resolution.
James is Weightmans' Head of Compliance. In that capacity he is COLP, Financial Services Compliance Officer, Money Laundering Compliance Officer and Data Protection Supervisor. He leads the audit team and is responsible for the practice's Lexcel and ISO27001 accreditations. He deals with all the practice's professional indemnity insurance issues.
Mickaela has over 20 years’ PQE and became a Partner in 2005. She specialises in solicitors’ and valuers’ indemnity claims and regulatory work. Chambers & Partners name her as a leader in her field. Mickaela is the chair of the Liverpool Law Society’s Regulatory Committee.
Mickaela has acted for a number of large national firms and is well regarded for her skill and expertise in the conduct of complex, high-value indemnity cases. Over the years she has advised on claims involving trusts, taxation, banking, property, fraud, group litigation, consumer protection, personal injury/clinical negligence and, in more recent times, cyber crime.
Mickaela advises on coverage and policy issues and acts as a consultant to law firms who require compliance advice as part of the Compli team. She was responsible for the launch of the firms risk management consultancy service for lawyers and has been instrumental in the development and growth of Compli.
Deborah qualified in September 1998 and has worked in Weightmans' professional risk team throughout her career.
She has extensive experience of acting for solicitors in professional negligence claims arising from a wide range of underlying subject matters. Deborah frequently deals with lenders' claims and cases involving complex commercial transactions. She is particularly adept at dealing with document-heavy claims and has successfully handled several matters arising from personal injury litigation involving brain damage and other catastrophic injuries.
In recent years, Deborah has drawn upon her considerable knowledge of claims against solicitors to advise other professionals about risk management and compliance issues. She has had a number of risk-management articles published in the legal press and has also dealt with outsourced complaints work and disciplinary issues.