Firm Profile: Sintons

Firm Profile: <a class=Sintons” />Newcastle-based Sintons has shown its commitment to the North East by building up four distinctive practices: commercial, private client, personal injury (PI) and ecclesiastical.

The firm acts in a defendant capacity on PI cases for insurers. In 2007 it was chosen to pilot IT systems to deal with PI claims for insurers at a time when the sector is going through robust reform. The firm says its strong reputation in PI has helped it win national clients such as Zurich and Highway Insurance.

In 1998, Sintons went through a strategic reorganisation that resulted in the creation of a commercial practice. Today the group accounts for more than a third of the firm’s £8.2m turnover.

The practice handled more than £500m of projects in 2007. This included advising Graphite Resources’ management team on its £50m private equity-backed investment project in the waste sector on Tyneside and the £42m sale of Portland’s care homes to Southern Cross.

Commercial property work grew by 46 per cent in 2007. The firm predicts that the practice will continue to grow as the region dodges the economic slowdown.

Key clients include Church Commissioners, which the firm advised on the £65m sale of its London headquarters to the House of Lords.

Sintons’ private client practice delivers a steady stream of work, with the firm advising many North East-based trusts. The practice also incorporates family work. The firm’s ecclesiastical practice handles work for the Church of England’s Newcastle and Carlisle dioceses, with the latter being won through a competitive tender in 2006.

Chairman Jim Dias says Sintons promotes an inclusive culture that has resulted in a low staff turnover of 3 per cent. “I’m a great believer that life is much more important than work and I try to instil this at all levels in the firm,” he says. “Perhaps it’s easier to achieve this outside the capital. I think I lead a happy firm. I’m very proud that egos, obsession with PEP [profit per equity partner], endless league tables and internal politics are not, generally, part of Sintons’ vocabulary.”

Chairman of partners: Jim Dias
Turnover: £8.2m (2007)
Number of partners: 20
Number of lawyers: 75
Number of fee-earners: 85
Main practice areas: Commercial group, private client, personal injury, ecclesiastical
Key clients: Thompsons of Prudhoe, Northumbrian Water, SITA, Allied Irish Bank, Alnwick Castle, Church Commissioners, Nissan, Highway Insurance, Zurich, Newcastle and Carlisle dioceses
Number of offices: One
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne