McCarthy Bennett Holland Solicitors: The Wigan solicitors' navigating the law since 1971

The MBH team: (from left) Paul Ayling, John Petrie, Caroline Rooks, and Gillian Lavelle.
The MBH team: (from left) Paul Ayling, John Petrie, Caroline Rooks, and Gillian Lavelle.

You need one when you're buying a house or starting a new business, when getting divorced or making a will. Solicitors guide people through some of life's most heightened experiences, and at one Wigan firm, they're thriving under that kind of pressure.


Helping their clients safely navigate the often labyrinthine nature of the law since 1971, McCarthy Bennett Holland Solicitors' 19-strong team of professionals have decades of experience between them.

Gillian Lavelle

Gillian Lavelle

"I work in divorce, finance, contact, residence disputes, injunctions, anything like that," says Salford-born Gillian Lavelle, 33, a partner at the firm who has worked there since 2015. "It's quite emotionally challenging, but I enjoy it; it can be stressful when you're dealing with people's personal lives and children, but it's rewarding when we get a good conclusion."

Wigan born and bred, Caroline Rooks, 41, is another partner and works in conveyancing, dealing with people buying and selling houses. "It's rewarding in the fact that clients are happy that they've got their new house," she said, having joined five years ago. "Easing people's minds throughout - I enjoy that."

Gemma Eastham, 25, is a commercial property solicitor, tasked with liaising with clients, business owners, lenders, and brokers and dealing with leases, acquisitions, and mergers. "I really enjoy it," said Gemma, who joined the firm in May and comes from Preston. "It's a good firm, we have good clients, it's good work, we're down-to-earth, forward-thinking, so you can't ask for more. I love that my job challenges me and keeps me on my toes; keeps me sane!"

Having worked at MBH since 1992, Paul Aynsley, 56, is a senior partner who focuses on litigation work and elderly clients. "It's a high-paced environment, even more so these days," said the Sunderland native. "It's evermore pressurised, high-powered; much like plenty of other industries."

Caroline Rooks

Caroline Rooks

Gemma Eastham

Gemma Eastham

Paul Ayling

Paul Ayling