Liza is an experienced Chartered Legal Executive within the Holdens' Family Department. Based in Lancaster, Liza deals with all areas of Family, Matrimonial Law and Children Matters. Liza’s experience and expertise has assisted many families in the local community in resolving their family disputes.
Liza specialises in Divorce and Financial Disputes together with Childrens Matters and regularly represents parents in Disputes. She is also experienced in dealing with all areas of relationship breakdowns and the financial difficulties which can sometimes follow from divorce by way of negotiating, referral to mediation and ensuring protection is provided following agreement and if necessary in Court.
Liza was born in Lancaster and was educated at Ripley St Thomas C of E High School. She went on to study at the University of Central Lancashire where she qualified as a Fellow of the Institute, now known as a Chartered Legal Executive, in 2003.
Liza has worked at Holdens as part of the Family Department since 2001.
Liza spends her spare time with her husband and her young family.
Memberships and awards
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
Liza is a Member of Resolutionl.
Nicola Houton FCILExFamily
Nicola Houton FCILEx
Nicola is a Chartered Legal Executive within the Holdens' Family Department. Based in our Lancaster Office, Nicola deals with all areas of Family, Matrimonial Law and Children Matters including care proceedings on behalf of parents.
Nicola specialises in all aspects of family law but predominantly represents parents in Contact and Residence Disputes. She also has extensive experience in Relationship Breakdowns including Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnerships, as well as Non Molestation (injunctions) and Occupation Proceedings which are sometimes sadly necessary.
Nicola was born and educated on the Fylde Coast, studying at Blackpool & The Fylde College and Blackburn University Centre before she qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive. She has been with Holdens since 2007 where she has worked hard to achieve her place in the Family Team.
In her spare time, Nicola has a keen interest in music and regularly travels the country enjoying gigs and festivals.
Memberships and awards
Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Legal Executives
Member of Resolution
Hafiza is an Assistant Solicitor within the Holdens' Family Department and is a Children Panel Solicitor. Based in our Lancaster and Kendal Office, Hafiza deals with all areas of Family, Matrimonial Law and Children Matters including Care Proceedings on behalf of children and parents.
Hafiza’s client base extends from Lancashire into Cumbria and she is available in Barrow, Kendal and Lancaster Office for appointments.
Hafiza specialises in Children Matters and regularly represents parents and children in Contact and Residence Disputes. She also has extensive experience in Care Proceedings in which she frequently represents parents.
Hafiza was born and educated in the Lancashire area studying at the University of Central Lancashire where she qualified as a Solicitor in January 2008. She has been with Holdens since 2004 undertaking a wide variety of work before pursuing her favoured area of Family Law.
Hafiza is a Trustee of The Abaseen Foundation developing health, education and research in the North West Province of Pakistan as well as providing humanitarian relief following natural disasters in conjunction with the University of Central Lancashire.
Memberships & Awards
Hafiza is a Member of Resolution as well as an Accredited Member of The Children Panel and The Family Law Panel.
David qualified as a Solicitor in 1998 and has been a partner at Holdens since 2004.
As a specialist in Criminal Law, David has defended a vast number of people charged with a variety of offences, and has handled numerous high profile cases. David has, in addition, established a reputation for advising and representing young people. He regularly looks after their interests at both the Police Station and Youth Court. He is also a Motoring Law Specialist.
Having built a career in Management, his interest in the law grew to be a passion, prompting him to qualify as a Solicitor. Before studying Law, David obtained a BA Hons in Politics at Lancaster University, where he also demonstrated his powers of persuasion by being elected president of the Student Union in 1985.
He is not at all athletic but enjoys watching sport.
Chris is a Barrister, who specialises in criminal defence work. His main focus is on providing representation at the Crown Court. Recently, Chris has defended Holdens clients across the country, including offences of Murder, Conspiracy to Supply Drugs, Sexual offences and Fraud.
As a former Solicitor, Chris also has extensive experience of representing clients in matters at the Magistrates Court and at the Police station.
Prior to relocating to the North West, Chris was a partner at a large legal practice dealing with work in the South East and the Midlands.
In addition, Chris is a Registered Lawyer under the Football Agents Regulations.
Kevin was admitted as a Solicitor in 1994 and joined Holdens Solicitors in 2003. Prior to joining Kevin was a partner at a large legal practice with offices in Greater Manchester and East Lancashire.
He has practised almost exclusively in Criminal Defence work throughout his career dealing with the full range of offences including Murder, Sexual Offences, Serious Assaults, Conspiracy, Drug Offences, Fraud, Theft and Motoring Offences.
Kevin is a member of the 24 hour Police Station Duty Scheme and Court Duty Scheme.
Jackie is a Solicitor, recently joining the Holdens Crime Team after working in Cumbria for over 10 years.
Having originally trained as a nurse, Jackie qualified as a Solicitor in 2005 and has specialised in Criminal Defence since then. Throughout her career she has gained experience representing clients in matters at the Magistrates Court and Police Station in respect of the full range of offences.
Jackie is a member of the 24 hour Police Station Duty Scheme and Court Duty Scheme.
Amy Wood F.Inst.PaCrime
Amy Wood F.Inst.Pa
Amy is an Experienced Accredited Police Station Representative, who specialises in advising clients in Police Stations throughout the area. She is a valuable asset to the Criminal Department with her caring approach and infectious enthusiasm. She also assists the Crown Court Department in the preparation of cases likely to be contested.
She is an integral member of Holden’s 24/7 on call Police Station rota which ensures that clients can be assured of a Holdens representative if detained at a Police Station. Her interests include travel and socialising.
Nicola is a member of the Criminal Team, working within the Crown Court department as a Caseworker.
Nicola is relatively new to Holdens, joining in November 2015, however, has worked within the Criminal Justice System since 1993. After working in various administrative positions initially, she studied a Law Degree part time at the University of Central Lancashire, graduating in summer 1998. Thereafter, she was employed in more senior administrative roles and managerial roles before working as an advocate in the magistrates courts throughout the county from 2005, until joining us in 2015.
As an advocate, she was a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and since November 2015 is a Fellow of the Institute of Paralegals.
Joe is a Crown Court Caseworker in the Crime Department. He works closely with the Solicitors in the firm and colleagues in the Crown Court Department on preparation of case files and the routine management of them. Joe is very experienced in Criminal and Motoring Matters and works closely with Senior and Junior Barristers with Crown Court Cases. He is very approachable and shows care and understanding when dealing with clients , other professionals and agencies . His interests are Football and Cricket he is a local league cricket umpire .
Peter RutherfordCommercial & Private
Peter Rutherford is Senior Partner and Head of the thriving Commercial and Private Client Department.
Peter is a member of the Compulsory Purchase Association and has worked over the last 11 years on a landmark case in this speciality. As an experienced Solicitor of over 30 years standing he has contributed to the community in voluntary roles latterly having been committed to the Lancaster Abbeyfield Society for over 30 years and has a long standing and established relationships with SMEs many of whom have maintained their relationship as they have grown and found success both nationally and internationally.
The bespoke package of legal support to individuals and SME’s is provided from the perspective of accessible, pragmatic friendly advice borne out of a deep appreciation of the business demands of building and maintaining a business in the context of ever increasing business risks and need for flexible innovative solutions.
Jennifer LartonCommercial & Private
Jennifer is a Solicitor specialising in all aspects of Private Client matters, including Wills and Probate, Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection, Trust administration, Inheritance Tax and succession planning.
Jennifer attended Lancaster University before completing her Legal Practice Course at the College of Law (now the University of Law) in Chester, where she was awarded a Distinction. She joined Holdens from another local firm, and has worked in the Lancaster and Preston areas since qualifying as a Solicitor in 2011.
Jennifer is a full member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP); the internationally recognised leading professional organisation in her area of law.
When she is not at work, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her young family. She is a frequent gym goer, but is at her happiest when she can get outdoors to enjoy the beautiful area.
Miss Jemma HigsonCommercial & Private
Miss Jemma Higson
Jemma is a Solicitor who specialises in Residential Conveyancing. She has recently joined Holdens after moving to the area from her home town of Bolton.
Jemma completed her law degree at the University of Hull and then went on to study the Legal Practice Course in Manchester. After gaining experience in real estate and residential conveyancing whilst working as a paralegal at firms in Manchester and Bolton, she then undertook her training leading to her qualifying as a Solicitor in 2014.
Jemma deals with all aspects of residential conveyancing including sales, purchases, remortgages, new builds, shared ownerships and leasehold properties. Client care is very important to her and she strives to build good relationships with her clients and ensure that they understand all aspects of the transaction to make the process as stress free as possible.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going on holiday and going to the gym.
Sharon Mashiter F.Inst.PaCommercial & Private
Sharon Mashiter F.Inst.Pa
Sharon is a Certified Paralegal specialising in residential Conveyancing work as part of the dedicated team at Holdens with all aspects of Property Law.
Sharon joined Holdens back in 1971 and worked for the firm for 11 years. Following a career break she then re-joined Holdens in 1998. She has clients from all over the country and she strongly believes in providing clients with a dedicated professional but friendly service that is second to none.
Sharon lives in Lancaster and in her leisure time enjoys going to the theatre, cinema and good food and wine but most of all likes time with her grandchildren enjoying the local countryside.
Graeme BradshawCommercial & Private
Graeme is a Solicitor who qualified in 2000. He studied Geography at Lancaster University before converting to Law at the University of Central Lancashire. He has recently joined Holdens from a major north-west law firm.
Graeme has expertise in many litigated cases including personal injury.
Graeme is also able to advise businesses and individuals on disputes including employment issues that arise. He prides himself on having a very professional yet approachable manner.
In his spare time Graeme is a Scout Leader in Lancaster.
Susan Rutherford F.Inst.PaPractice Management & HR
Susan Rutherford F.Inst.Pa
Susan Rutherford works part time in the Firm as the Practice Manager ensuring the highest business practice is maintained in the most efficient and effective way led by our client focused approach. Holdens is fortunate to have a professional and committed administrative and Legal Secretarial support team who strive to provide the highest quality support and continually aim for excellence of standards.
Susan is also able to support individuals and SMEs with a range of organisational and people issues that ensure that early approaches minimise the risk in later legal processes. The advice also supports and builds on Business Development Strategies that may be in place or evolving.
Susan’s early career in the commercial world paved the way to a 20 year career at Board level working as the HR and Organisational Development Director within a major reasearch University and for 10 years as a non-executive Director in 2 inner city University Hospital Trusts. Susan has also spent many years as Trustee and later Chair of a national Charity, The Reader Organisation. Susan is now working in consultancy mode both within the Commercial, NHS, Care and Charitable Sectors.
She has been instrumental in achieving best practice standards within our Quality framework, Lexcel and has also provided advice in terms of embedding other systems such as PQASSO and EFQM into organisations as a way of driving business forward.
Susan is a Director and Chair of the Lancaster Business Improvement District. Lancaster Bid Susan is also the current President of the Lancaster Morecambe and District Law Society.