The team at Punch Robson Solicitors says farewell this month to Geoff Cruickshank who leaves the firm after 26 years.
Having qualified as a solicitor in 1979, Geoff joined local firm Outhwaite, Sutcliffe & Howard and quickly built up a reputation as a well respected general practitioner, going on to specialize in the fields of family law and personal injury (where he acted on behalf of both claimants and for a number of national insurance companies and regional businesses in their defendant claims). Geoff’s rising profile and early promotion to Partner status brought him to the attention of Punch Robson Solicitors, whom he joined in 1990.
“Personal Injury has changed a lot over the years. Until the early 2000s you were busy or not based on your reputation, and I was always busy as I had a good reputation” says Geoff who successfully led the firm’s Personal Injury department for more than ten years.
Geoff’s role as department head led to him taking on the role of Finance Partner in 2007, and ultimately to taking on the management of the firm and the role of Managing Partner at Punch Robson Solicitors in 2011. Since then he steered the firm through the deepest UK recession since WWII, weathering the storm and maintaining the position of Punch Robson as one of the leading mixed-practice high street law firms in Middlesbrough.
“Geoff is a traditional, gentleman solicitor in the way you don’t see so much these days” says Partner Elaine McLaine-Wood, “His attention to the detail of client care is second to none, and his understanding of the legal world and commercial attitude brought the firm through the challenging times of the past ten years with success.”
Under Geoff’s guidance the firm is proud of its track record in representing some of the most vulnerable residents of Teesside both through the extensive Legal Aid work offered by Punch Robson Solicitors as well as the busy Mental Health & Capacity department – one of only a small number of accredited departments in the local area. Geoff has also played a leading role in the development of the solicitors of the future in Teesside both by ensuring that the firm continues to provide quality training contracts as well as in his role as Chair of the Tees Valley Law Society Education and Training Committee.
There’s no doubt that Geoff will be missed by the team and we wish him all the best for the future.