A SOLICITOR from Tynedale is one of just eight solicitors in the running for a top legal award.

Claire Collinson, who runs Claire Collinson Legal from Bearl Farm, in Stocksfield, has been shortlisted in the Legal 500 Dispute Resolution Solicitor of the Year awards for solicitors operating outside of London.

She and seven others from throughout the UK have made the final list which emphasises how big of an honour it is to make it to this stage.

To make things tougher for firms like Claire Collinson, she operates from the rural Tyne Valley and has to compete with much larger firms based in the heart of Newcastle city centre. The firm is made up of a small team of five people, and deals with complaints about financial products and services, insurance and professional negligence.

Despite this, she and her team have gained a national reputation for expertise in financial services sector claims and complaints.

The recognition ties in with Claire Collinson Legal launching a new, innovative scheme called Pensions Legal Solutions aimed at providing specialist legal advice and representation to consumers who have been affected by the proliferation of poor advice and lack of consumer protection in the pensions sector. It is specifically aimed at those who have made lost pension benefits for individuals built up over many years.

The scheme is a two staged process where an initial legal report is provided for a fixed cost.

This is designed to equip people to pursue a complaint on their own. If further representation is then needed, different options are available. However, the scheme exists to enable people to make an informed choice about whether to make a claim and, if so, by what means.

More details of the scheme can be found at www.clairecollinsonlegal.co.uk.