Meet Our Team

Our team includes members of the Law Society Children and Family panel, Resolution, Solicitors for the Elderly and the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme. Three of our solicitors are Higher Courts Advocates. Two of our solicitors are fluent speakers of Urdu and Punjabi with one also fluent in Hindi.

John Wilkinson
John Wilkinson is a Partner at JWP Solicitors and was instrumental in establishing what has become a highly respected practice in the field of Specialist Criminal Defence and Road Traffic Law. One of the first solicitors to attain the Higher Courts Advocate qualification, John has extensive experience in representing clients facing the most serious charges at the Crown Court and beyond; including dealing with cases at the European Court of Human Rights. Well known for his persuasive advocacy and effective negotiation skills John is a specialist in advising and representing clients to achieve the best possible outcome. John is an established member of the Duty Solicitor scheme and regularly represents clients at the police station. His vast knowledge of law and procedure ensure that whatever charges you face from criminal damage to murder you will receive expert advice at the outset; advice which is often pivotal to the ultimate conclusion of the case
Amanda Steele
Amanda worked as the Head of the Family Law Department at a Private Practice for four years before joining the JWP Solicitors Family Law Department in 2002, becoming a partner in 2006. Amanda is a member of our Child Care law team and is a member of the Law Society Children Panel. Amanda is an advocate of considerable reputation and skill and represents children, parents, and grandparents with a high degree of expertise.
Gareth Long
Gareth is the Head of the Family Department and joined JWP Solicitors following qualification in 2003, becoming a partner in 2011. Gareth is an Accredited member or Resolution and deals with all areas of family law but is particularly skilful in dealing with complex financial matters following divorce or relationship breakdown between co-habiting couples. Gareth has wide ranging advocacy experience and deals with a variety of complex matters before the County and High Courts.
Joanne Whitehead
Having qualified in 2007 Joanne has worked exclusively in family law. She has gained a wealth of experience and knowledge in child law and children matters. Joanne has experience conducting advocacy before Circuit Judges, District Judges and Magistrates. She is also Children Panel accredited enabling her to represent children directly in public and private law proceedings
Lois Monks
Lois began her training contract at JWP Solicitors in 2012 and following qualification has now joined the highly regarded Child Care Law department. Lois has gained valuable experience in Public Law proceedings and regularly appears in the Family Proceedings Court and County Court on behalf of parents. She is also Children Panel accredited enabling her to represent children directly in public and private law proceedings.
Damien Dobson
Damien qualified in 2008; and having practiced in London, Derbyshire and Wakefield, joined JWP Solicitors in October 2016. Damien specialises in cases involving Child Care, Adult Care and Mental Health Law. Damien is an Accredited member of the Law Society Children Panel and represents children, parents and grandparents in the Family and High Courts. He's also a specialist in the field of adoption breakdown, often representing adoptive parents in care proceedings.
Paul Rollinson
Paul joined the JWP team in 2011 having spent the previous 16 years as an Area Operations Manager with Ladbrokes. Paul has a wealth of experience outside of law and his skills in management, compliance, business development and finance will be invaluable to the development and growth of the business. Outside of work Paul is a keen road cyclist whose competitive spirt far exceeds his actual abilities by some degree.
Delia Crofts-Turnbull
Delia qualified as a solicitor in 1992 and has worked exclusively in the West Yorkshire area ever since, joining JWP Solicitors in 2010. Delia is well known and has an excellent reputation as a family solicitor in the Pontefract and West Yorkshire area. Delia has an excellent knowledge of all areas of family law and is a trained Collaborative Lawyer. Delia enjoys networking and is an active member of both the Dovetail and White Rose networking groups. These groups are an innovative way for professionals working in private enterprise to network and use each other’s services. This brings a rich quality of professionals at Delia’s fingertips to provide a complete and bespoke service to all her clients.
Sophie Metcalfe
Prior to joining JWP Solicitors, Sophie worked as a Paralegal at a large law firm in Leeds where she acted on behalf of global insurance companies within the Motor Recoveries Department. Sophie joined JWP Solicitors in March 2015 as a Trainee Solicitor and gained valuable experience within the different departments. At the culmination of her training, Sophie had found her passion within the Childcare department and qualified into this area in September 2016. Sophie represents both parents and grandparents within Pubic Law Child Care Proceeding in the Family Proceedings Court before Magistrates, District Judges and Circuit Judges.
Narinder Singh Rathour
Narinder studied at Leeds Metropolitan University and went on to complete his LPC at the College of Law in 2000. He worked as a Crime Paralegal before obtaining a training contract which he conducted at Rafiq Solicitors in Leeds. Narinder was admitted as a solicitor in 2004 and stayed at Rafiq Solicitors for two years after qualification. He then joined John Delaney’s Solicitors working exclusively in the Criminal sector and remained there for 14 years before joining JWP Solicitors in 2018. Narinder qualified as a High Court Advocate in 2010 and has worked on some very complex cases including Murders, Rapes, complex Frauds, Terrorism and International cases including extradition proceedings from the USA. Narinder has also dealt with the Court of Appeal on several occasions appealing against sentences. Having worked in Leeds for his whole career Narinder has a wealth of experience and a high profile within the Criminal legal field.
Alexzandra Kennedy
Alexzandra joined us straight from completion of her Law Degree at Northumbria University where she achieved a Masters in Law with first class honours. As well as her outstanding academic ability Alexzandra brings with her some valuable work experience gained throughout her studies including being a volunteer telephone advisor at the Citizen Advice Bureau and Team Leader for Amnesty International. She also worked within the student law office at Northumbria University as part of her degree giving her a real insight into the law in practice. A real people person with a strong desire to provide the best experience and legal knowledge to her clients, Alexzandra fits our ethos well. Following successful completion of her training contract Alexzandra chose to specialise in childcare law and become part of our superb Leeds Childcare team.
Jason Deacon
Jason is a Chartered Legal Executive having qualified in 2000. He has a wealth of experience in all areas of private family law, though he predominantly represents clients in relation to financial matters affected by the breakdown of relationships. Jason is an Accredited member of Resolution as a specialist in Children Law and Advanced Financial Provision. He is committed to following the Resolution Code of Practice which seeks to ensure that cases are dealt with in a constructive and non-confrontational way.
Phoebe Walsh
Phoebe graduated with a degree in Law from Sheffield Hallam University in 2018. She went on to complete her Legal Practice Course (LPC), along with a Masters in Law, Business and Management at the University of Law in Leeds. She was a member of the Law Clinic whilst undertaking her undergraduate degree in Sheffield, which allowed her to gain insight to the law in practice, offering advice to members of the public. During her studies, Phoebe worked here at JWP most summers, which helped to give her further practical experience. She also gained an Internship in a large civil rights firm in Chicago, US, helping those wrongfully convicted to be exonerated, and helping those who had been subject to police brutality to make a claim against the state. Phoebe qualified as a Care Lawyer in July 2021.
June Kelly
June trained and qualified in 1994 at a Leeds based firm. In 1995 she moved to a reputable firm in Bradford specialising in Family Law, becoming a partner and Children Panel member in 1998, and remaining there until 2015. Her primary focus was on Child care law but she was also a member of the Law Society Mental Health Panel for 14 years, giving her an extra area of knowledge and experience. June moved to a large Leeds based firm in 2015, practising exclusively in Child care and family law until July 2020 when she moved to join the team at JWP. She represents children and parents in care proceedings and is recognised for her tenacious approach in seeking the right outcome for her clients.
Joanna Longfellow
Joanna qualified as a Solicitor in July 2010 and now heads our Private Client Department. Joanna is a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly and specialises in supporting and making a difference to older and vulnerable people. Joanna’s expertise lie with advising clients on their Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Trusts, Court of Protection, Probate Applications and Administration of Estates, Later Life Planning and Inheritance Tax. Joanna was shortlisted in the Private Client section of the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2019 and is a passionate, people focused solicitor whose down to earth approach is valued by her clients.
Sydnee Marsh
Sydnee joined JWP in July 2021 as a Trainee Solicitor straight from the completion of her Law Degree and Legal Practice Course at the University of Huddersfield, graduating with a First-Class Honours and a Distinction, as well as achieving a Dean of Excellence Award. In addition to academia Sydnee has undertaken valuable legal work experience, beginning at the age of 14. Whilst at University Sydnee was an active member of the pro bono Legal Advice Clinic as well as undertaking a modern-day approach to educating the public on elements of practical law through the Street Law project. Sydnee possesses compassion and drive to work within the legal field, along with the desire to serve and benefit society. Sydnee qualified and was formally admitted as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts in March 2023.
Melissa Portlock
Melissa worked as a Legal Assistant and Paralegal at a Specialist Family Law firm in Bradford for three years before qualifying as a Chartered Legal Executive in June 2021. Melissa joined JWP in 2022 with a wealth of experience in relation to Legal Aid, Injunctions and Private Law cases. Melissa has represented both Applicants and Respondents throughout their cases and takes pride in ensuring her clients are kept up to date with their case throughout.
Laura Fahy
Laura qualified as a Solicitor in 2014 and initially worked in litigation, before moving to Private Client work in 2017. Laura joined JWP in June 2022 and offers a wide range of expertise in all areas of Private Client work, specialising in advising clients on their Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Trusts, Court of Protection and Administration of Estates. Laura prides herself on the relationship she builds with her clients.
Tara McElvaney
Tara joined our Childcare team in November 2022, having previously worked in a family law department for 4 years before qualifying as a family solicitor in 2019. Tara has a broad knowledge of family law matters including care proceedings, injunctions, private children matters, divorce and matrimonial finances. Tara is down to earth, approachable and very client focused.
Samantha Woolley
Samantha graduated with a Law degree from the University of Lincoln in 2016, before completing her Legal Practice Course with integrated Masters of Legal Professional Practice at the University of Law in 2018. Prior to undertaking her Training Contract with JWP Solicitors, Samantha worked at a Yorkshire law firm in their Abuse Law department, acting for survivors of sexual and domestic abuse. Samantha prides herself on her client care and approach to addressing sensitive cases with the delicacy they require, providing the best service possible.
Shauna Pitchforth
Shauna graduated from Edge Hill University in 2020 with a first class honours degree in Law. She then went on to complete her Legal Practice Course (LPC), along with a Masters in Law at BPP University in Leeds. She was a member of the Law Clinic whilst completing her undergraduate degree, which allowed her to gain valuable experience advising clients in difficult circumstances, she also worked at a Criminal Defence firm, part time within her final year. Throughout her studies Shauna worked at a Yorkshire Law firm in their Family department until securing her Training Contract with JWP.
Louise Firth
Louise joined JWP in 2023 upon completion of her Law with Criminology Degree at the University of Huddersfield, graduating with First Class Honors, a Global Professional Award, and achieving a Dean of Excellence Award. Having completed a multitude of virtual internships gaining valuable experience in areas such as Human Rights, Criminal, and Family Law, Louise found a strong passion for family law and is keen to grow on her experience within Childcare.
Chelsea Bonar
Chelsea qualified in 2014 having completed her training contract in the North East of England and has worked exclusively in family law since 2012. Chelsea joined JWP in November 2023 and is a member of the highly regarded Childcare department, where she specialises in child law and children matters. Chelsea is well known and has an excellent reputation as a childcare solicitor in the Pontefract, Castleford, and Wakefield area. Chelsea has a wealth of experience representing parents and grandparents in Public Law Childcare proceedings and of conducting advocacy in the Family Proceedings Court before Circuit Judges, District Judges and Magistrates.
Leigh Clayton-Greaves
Leigh graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2019. She went on to complete the LPC and Masters in Law at the University of Law in Leeds between 2019-2021, studying part time whilst working full time. Leigh completed various legal work experience placements in crime and family during her time at University, and after completion of her LPC/masters worked at two firms in Yorkshire, primarily in the fields of Family and Civil Litigation. She started her career at JWP in March 2023 in the Childcare department, beginning her training contract in January 2024 with her first seat being in Childcare.
Maia Wood
Maia studied at The University of Law from 2018 and finished in 2023 with her Undergraduate law degree/LPC/Masters course. Whilst in university, Maia became an ambassador and sat in a couple of work experiences in different areas of law. There, she joined extracurricular activities such as Street Law which teaches an area of law to the public e.g. schools or prisons. Prior to working at JWP, Maia worked as an appropriate adult in police stations making sure that the legal process had been followed and communication between everyone was correct. She has dealt with children who are in the care system and often created contact with welfare services in the area. Maia also worked as an appropriate adult whilst going through university, where she enjoyed speaking to both the adults and children about their lives. Maia started at JWP solicitors and joined the Family Team as a Family Paralegal in January 2024.
Lewis Porritt
Lewis graduated with a Law Degree from the University of Hull in 2020 and went on to achieve a distinction in the Legal Practice Course (LPC) along with a Masters in Law at The University of Law, Leeds. Following completion of the LPC in 2021, Lewis worked at a Yorkshire firm for over two years as a paralegal and gained experience in multiple areas of law including wills and probate, conveyancing, and civil litigation. Lewis began his training contract at JWP Solicitors in February 2024 with his first seat being in Private Client