Meet the Legal Aid team

We have a dedicated team of Costs Lawyers and Law Costs Draftspeople who specialise in all areas of Legal Aid costs. This includes preparing Fixed Fee Ebills, Hourly Rate E-bills, Bill of Costs or High Costs Case Plans. The majority of our work is Family, Care, Court of Protection, Judicial Review and Housing.

Ann Henderson

Director, Bidwell Henderson

Name: Ann Henderson

Location: Alfreton Office

Costs Drafting History: Ann began working in Legal Aid in 1999 and started her costs drafting career in 2012.

Qualifications: Non-practising Solicitor

Ann has many years’ of experience in legal aid, beginning in 1999, and started her legal career when the Green Form Scheme was in use! Ann qualified as a solicitor with Marcus Barnett solicitors in 2002 and thereafter spent 10 years with a busy North London legal aid practice, Burke Niazi solicitors, specialising in family law. She later became a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel.

In 2012 Ann retrained as a Law Costs Draftsman and in 2014, co-founded Bidwell Henderson CC Ltd and established her role as a Director of the firm and is our first point contact for Legal Aid matters. Ann has experienced first-hand the demands and pressures of legal aid billing and understands the billing process from a Fee Earner’s perspective.

Understanding the importance of attention to detail and getting it absolutely right when preparing claims to be considered by the Legal Aid Agency; Ann is meticulous in her approach and prides herself in providing a personal bespoke service with a proven track record of assisting legal aid clients reduce their rejection rates.

Ann regularly prepares complex High Costs Case Plans and advises on negotiations of High Costs Case Contracts with the Legal Aid Agency. She recognises that legal aid billing for high cost cases can be particularly challenging and failure to meet LAA deadlines can have serious financial implications for firms.

Ann also has significant experience of 6 Column Bills (Legal Aid with Inter Parties element) and undertakes negotiations and provides advice on settlement.

In an ever changing Legal Aid landscape, fewer cost drafting firms than ever are offering Legal Aid billing services but Ann understands the importance of maximising costs and frequently provides assistance and advice in relation to Assessed Bills and Claims, and Legal Aid Agency rejections.

Claim to Fame: Ann has met Prince.

“Ann Henderson is fantastic. Her knowledge of the Legal Aid Agency’s procedure, rules and guidelines is second to none. She has a huge amount of experience and as a result there doesn’t seem to be a legal aid related scenario she hasn’t come across. I have found that Ann is always extremely willing to assist with any queries I have and will go above and beyond to ensure I receive a useful, substantive response, often quoting the LAA’s Costs Assessment Guidance, very quickly. She has the knack of making everything easy to understand and follow.”

Abbie Huxley of Burke Niazi Solicitors

David Smith

Head of Legal Aid Training

Name: David Smith

Location: Newcastle

Costs Drafting History: David Smith began his career in costs in 2001.

Qualifications: BSc Hons Mathematics

David has worked as a Costs Draftsman since starting as a trainee in 2001, developing a particular specialism in legal aid costs and especially family legal aid. He gradually started to become more involved with training and was responsible for creating the Training Programme at his previous company.

He has been using CCMS since the pilot in the North East in 2013 and was subsequently part of the pilot for XML claim upload. David also became involved in the Billing Group that was providing feedback to the LAA on billing in the system during the early days of CCMS.

David has presented various seminars and workshops around the country for firms of solicitors looking at maximising legal aid costs and also providing updates whenever new fee schemes are introduced. This has also included being a guest speaker at the LAPG annual conference on various occasions.

David Smith became Training Manager at Bidwell Henderson in January 2018 and has been working on the company training programme in addition to setting up the Newcastle office.

Profile: Formerly a keen sportsman playing both cricket and football, now just an enthusiastic supporter/spectator. Season ticket holder at Middlesbrough FC.

Claim to Fame: In his spare time he dabbles in music production, and he has had tracks played on local and national radio.

Favourite TV Genre: The Wire & The Sopranos, plus of course Postman Pat and Thomas the Tank Engine with his son.

“I find the Cost Draftsman at Bidwell Henderson very knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend their services”.

Denise Cowley, DMA Law

Rebecca Bidwell

Managing Director, Bidwell Henderson

Name: Rebecca Bidwell

Location: Alfreton Office

Cost Drafting History:

Rebecca Bidwell started her full time costing career in 2008 at the John M Hayes Partnership which included both legal aid and inter partes cases. Prior to this she worked part time from 2006 dealing with negotiating costs for a team of 22 fee earners specialising in personal injury cases.

Qualifications: Non-practising Legal Executive

Rebecca worked as a civil litigation fee earner for eight years prior to developing her career in costs. Rebecca has a rounded experience of both legal aid and inter partes cases and specialises in legally aided high costs cases and the preparation of high costs case plans.

She has managed offices from 2011 and heads up the business development department of Bidwell Henderson.

Rebecca spends most of her time on marketing and recruitment. She is a proficient speaker and enjoys presenting seminars helping clients increase profitability.

Rebecca works closely with Business Development Assistant Chelsea Allcock.

Profile:

Rebecca loves all things marketing and outside of the office she can usually be found creating new ideas and projects or attending marketing courses. She has two young children with co-director Mark Bidwell in addition to a giant Labrador x Collie.

Claim to Fame:

Rebecca has been on the front page of the Derbyshire Times and was an extra in the film The Duchess.

Favourite movie:

The Intern.

“I have been assisted in costs matters by Rebecca Bidwell on a number of occasions and have always found the service second to none. She is knowledgeable, expeditious and extremely approachable; the perfect mix for the right result.” Neil Bradley, Partner at MDE Solicitors

“My experience of Bidwell Henderson is very positive – they are prompt in returning files and bills, accurately prepared with useful memos pertinent to the matter, and very helpful with outstanding queries. Always happy to respond to phone calls and give advice on high cost queries and have given two informative presentations for my colleagues.” Sheelagh Coles, Partner at Langleys Solicitors LLP

“Bidwell Henderson are a forward looking and ambitious costs drafting firm who work hard to meet and exceed their client’s expectations. I am very pleased that we have established a support line to Bidwell for complex queries coming from our clients. Rebecca has been instrumental in establishing this service and we  look forward to working with them for many years.” David Gilmore, DG Legal

Heather Shipley

Efficiency and Productivity Manager

Name: Heather Shipley

Location: Birmingham

Qualifications: 2:1 BA Hons in French from the University of Nottingham

Costs Drafting History: Heather began her career in costs in 2011 and joined Bidwell Henderson in 2016.

In her role as Efficiency and Productivity Manager, Heather predominantly works closely with trainees to develop their costing skills in the most effective way, presenting group sessions and 1:1 tutorials. Heather demonstrates a meticulous and pragmatic approach to costs drafting which provides an excellent foundation for trainees to develop their own style.

Heather also maintains her own busy caseload of costing, and is conversant in all aspects of Legal Aid billing, with a specialism in complex High Costs cases, public and private law matters and Court of Protection cases.

Profile: Never a fan of standing still, in her spare time Heather loves to spend time with her 2 young children and 3 labradors. She also loves travelling and is aiming to tick every continent off the list by the time she’s 40!

Favourite TV genre: Crime Dramas

“I have used Heather Shipley for some time now and her drafting of bills is impeccable, nothing is too much trouble and she is always on hand for queries and costs advice. Bills are drafted correctly and the files come back in exactly the same condition they leave me. Bidwell Henderson turn the files round really quickly and everything is sorted for ease of assessment. I am so pleased with the loyal and friendly service both Heather and Bidwell Henderson offer, if only all firms were this brilliant.”
Shona Smalley, Law Costs Drafter at Jackson West Solicitors

“Heather Shipley has a wealth of knowledge and is extremely passionate about what she does. Heather has been there to assist me every step of the way in a complex High Cost Case; I would have been lost without her. She works tirelessly to ensure that deadlines are met, costs are maximised and to answer my many queries. Heather is a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend her.”
Abbie Huxley, Solicitor at Burke Niazi Solicitors

Samantha Wright

Legal Aid Training and Development Manager

Name: Samantha Wright

Location: Ashington, Northumberland

Qualifications: Law LLB (Hons) Teesside University

Costs Drafting History: Samantha Wright joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in November 2020.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:

  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Sam was promoted to Training Coordinator at our first Graduation Day in 2022.

Profile: Samantha enjoys cooking up new recipes and always cooks in her spare time, her favourite dishes to cook are anything spicy with a lot of flavour. She lives with two cats she adopted last year and spends her evenings snuggling up with them and reading a good thriller book.

Claim to fame: Samantha is very passionate about art and design, she love interiors and she is always looking for quirky items to upcycle for her home.

Favourite film: All the soaps, crime documentaries and anything she can binge watch on Netflix.

Liam Fernihough

Law Costs Draftsperson

Name: Liam Fernihough

Location: Derby

Qualifications: Law Degree & LPC

Cost Drafting Experience: Liam started his career in costs drafting in June 2012 after finishing his degree.

After finishing his Law degree and LPC at LJMU, Liam trained as a Law Costs Draftsman at an external cost drafting company in Warrington. From there, he went on to work in a busy in-house costing department for a firm of Solicitors in Liverpool City Centre, dealing largely with inter partes RTA’s, EL, PL and Clinical Negligence claims. He spent a year in-house before moving to Derby and again working externally, where he gained experience in a variety of Legal Aid billing, such as immigration, housing, care and family cases. He also continued to deal with a wide range of inter partes bills, preparing Replies to Points of Dispute, setting down matters for provisional/detailed assessment and completing post-assessment work.

Profile: Liam has a young family who keeps him on his toes. When he gets time he enjoys playing/watching all sport, in particular football, cricket and tennis. He also enjoys endurance sports and has completed various triathlons and half-marathons/marathons.

Claim to fame: Not a claim to fame but something you wouldn’t know about Liam – He lived in Australia for 6 years when he was growing up and his Mum, Dad and two brothers still live out there in Melbourne.

Favourite film/TV genre: Crime drama/documentaries or whatever is trending on Netflix.

Megan Kutter

Costs Lawyer

Name: Megan Kutter

Location: West Sussex

Qualifications: Costs Lawyer

Megan used to work in hospitality then transitioned into costing in 2011 almost accidentally. She says revenue management in high costs cases isn’t actually all that different.

Cost Drafting History: All Legal Aid files civil files including Private Law, Public Law, COP, JR, Housing, CAPA/HRA, with a focus on complex and high costs cases.

Profile: Megan is an early bird, and has 2 Hungarian Vizslas to keep her sane/insane, both of whom like to get involved and can be quite vocal during work calls. Megan used to be a big baker (thanks Bake Off), and recently has taken up pottery (thanks Throw Down).

Claim to Fame: I’m a twin, the younger one. Thanks to my hilarious father my middle name means ‘fortunate accident’.

Favourite movie: Almost all British crime dramas, although Megan finds audiobooks better than TV/films due to screen time overload at work.

Francesca Rigo

Costs Lawyer

Name: Francesca Rigo

Location: Colchester

Costs Drafting History: 4 years

Qualifications: Law Degree (LLB) (2:1), LPC (Merit), Non-Practicing Solicitor and Costs Lawyer (Distinction)

Francesca started working as a Paralegal in 2011 and she qualified as a Solicitor in 2015 in specialising in Family Law. During her time working as a Paralegal and Trainee Solicitor, she assisted the in house Costs Department and really enjoyed the work. As a result of this, she embarked upon the Association of Costs Lawyers course in 2015 and qualified as a Costs Lawyer in 2018.

Francesca now specialises in Family Legal Costs with a particular interest in High Costs Cases including traditional fully costed case plans and events case plans. She is also able to draft CLAIM1s, CLAIM1As, CCMS E-Bills and Bill of Costs.

Francesca’s experience in Legal Helps including billing. She also assisted, in her previous role, with LAA audits of Legal Help files.

In her previous role, she provided training on assessing eligibility for Legal Aid to the Housing and Family Department. She also provided training on work that was in and out of scope following on from the introduction of the Legal Aid and Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act and the evidential requirements that would be needed in order to assist clients in family matters.

Profile: In her spare time, she enjoys reading, watching films/documentaries, cooking and spending time with her family and friends.

Claim to Fame: She achieved Grade 7 of 8 in singing.

Favourite Movie/TV Genre: One of her favourite films is Bridesmaids. She also enjoys a good thriller or a documentary (particularly crime ones!).

Jessica Bromage-Hughes

Senior Costs Draftsperson

Name: Jessica Bromage-Hughes

Location: Haywards Heath

Qualifications: Animal Management BSc

Costs Drafting History: Jessica began her costing career in January 2011.

Jessica specialises in Legal Aid, particularly High Costs Cases, and Court of Protection. She also has experience preparing Inter Partes Bills, Points of Dispute, Points of Reply, and Costs Budgets.

Jessica works on a range of Legal Aid cases, including Care, Child Arrangements, Family, Wardship, Child Abduction, Inherent Jurisdiction, Court of Protection, Housing, Action Against the Police, Judicial Review, and other non-family civil cases.

Jessica prepares both traditional and CCFS High Costs Case Plans and considers the most financially rewarding option on a case by case basis.

Jessica can prepare Court of Protection Short Form Bills and Full Bills, and can advise whether fixed costs or actual costs should be claimed.

Profile: When she’s not working she is looking after her daughter, Annie. She enjoys indoor cycling and takes part in regular cycling challenges. She also enjoys cooking and playing board games.

Favourite film/TV genre: She watches more TV than film, although she did watch all the Marvel films over lockdown! Her favourite TV shows are Stranger Things and Parks and Recreation.

“Jessica Bromage-Hughes has steered me through the complexities of a VHCC plan with enormous efficiency. It has been a great relief to pass the burden of this onto someone who clearly has a firm grasp of the procedures. She prepared an accurate case plan from the complex information on the electronic file without having to come back to me except to approve the plan and the updating versions. I have been impressed and would highly recommend Jessica.”

Heather Vassie of TV Edwards Solicitors

Laura Bell

Consultant Costs Draftsperson

Name: Laura Bell

Location: Newcastle

Costs Drafting History: Laura started her career in costs drafting in 2013

Qualifications: LLB(Hons) and PgDip(LP). Laura studied at the University of Sheffield where she achieved an LLB (Hons) Degree. At postgraduate level she attended BPP Law School in Leeds and successfully completed the Legal Practice Course.

Laura joined Bidwell Henderson as an experienced Costs Draftsman in May 2018 having previously worked at John M Hayes since 2013 and prior to that as a Paralegal in a local law firm.

Laura undertakes work in all manner of legal aid cases to include the drafting of bills for assessment by the court, CLAIM1/As and CCMS bills to be submitted to the Legal Aid Agency, post assessment claims, 6 column bills and high costs case plans. She also manages a caseload of inter partes matters including bill and costs budget preparation, negotiating settlements and progressing matters to court assessment.

Laura enjoys working closely with clients to ensure maximum recovery of their costs and is always happy to assist with any costs issues which arise throughout a case.

Profile: In her spare time Laura enjoys travelling, going to the cinema and the theatre, reading (particularly Philippa Gregory books), and spending quality time with friends and family.

Favourite TV Genre: Crime Dramas – Line of Duty, the Bodyguard, Luther and Silent Witness.

“I find the Cost Draftsman at Bidwell Henderson very knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend their services”.

Denise Cowley, DMA Law

Andrew Clarke

Consultant Costs Draftsperson

Name: Andrew Clarke

Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Degree in Journalism

Costs Drafting History: Andrew began his career in costs in 2010

Andrew joined Bidwell Henderson as an experienced costs draftsperson in May 2018 having started his career in costs with John M. Hayes in 2010. Andrew deals with a wide range of Legal Aid billing matters to include care, housing, judicial review and family work. Andrew has extensive experience in preparing XML e-bills together with inter-partes knowledge having previously prepared large value multi-track bills, Precedent H costs budgets and replies to points of dispute.

Profile: Away from the office Andrew attends a boxing class at Northumbria University, follows Newcastle United, is a keen cyclist and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Claim to fame: Undertook work experience with The Shield’s Gazette as a sports reporter which involved attendance in the Newcastle United press box on a match day followed by conducting interviews with Michael Owen and Mark Viduka after a win against Leicester!

Favourite film/TV genre: Heat is Andrews favourite film and The Sopranos is his favourite TV series.

“I find the Cost Draftsman at Bidwell Henderson very knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend their services”.

Denise Cowley, DMA Law

Michael Fitzpatrick

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Michael Fitzpatrick

Location: Hexham (but born & bred in Jarrow)

Costs Drafting History: Michael began his career in costs in 1989.

Qualifications: B.A. (Hons) Law (Sheffield) & M.A. Criminology (Keele)

Michael started at a costs drafting firm in Norwich in early 1989 and in 2000 he joined John M. Hayes. He set up their Newcastle Office in 2001 where he was manager for over 16 years. Joined Bidwell Henderson in 2018. Over the years he has had extensive experience of most areas of costs, particularly family legal aid and civil inter partes work (including regular engagement in negotiations, Points of Dispute/Replies, and Court assessment hearings). Michaels workload also consisted of a large range of managerial/administrative tasks, including recruitment & training, marketing and credit control.

Profile: Previous employment has included RAC motor insurance, Magistrates Court work, HM Prison Service and criminal litigator. Married with 2 grown up daughters and 1 granddaughter, Abigail. Lifelong Newcastle United follower. Regular gym goer and enjoy participating in running events.

Claim to Fame: Since September 2011 Michael has completed 44 half marathons (including 8 consecutive Great North Runs) and 1 marathon in 2018 (on his 60th birthday). Hoping to reach 50 HMs in 2019.

Favourite TV Genre: Favourite films are ‘Ice Cold in Alex’ and ‘Twelve Angry Men’ (both in black and white!). On TV he mostly enjoys crime documentaries and dramas (particularly ‘A Touch of Frost’).

Vicky Kane

Consultant Costs Draftsperson

Name: Vicky Kane

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Costs Drafting History: Vicky began her costs drafting career in 2004.

Qualifications: LLB Hons

Vicky has experience in all areas of costs with a focus on preparing court assessed bills and CCMS claims in all legal aid matters including care, family and Court of Protection cases.

Vicky has extensive experience preparing high costs case plans including traditional case plans and under the CCFS schemes/events models and am also able to deal with all aspects of the post-assessment process including the preparation of EX80 forms and post-assessment claims.

Profile: Vicky  enjoys reading, going to the theatre, baking and spending time with her nieces and nephews.

Favourite TV Genre: Medical dramas, particularly Grey’s Anatomy and E.R.

“ I find the Cost Draftsman at Bidwell Henderson very knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend their services”.

Denise Cowley, DMA Law

Emma Washington

Consultant Costs Draftsperson

Name: Emma Washington

Location: Norwich

Qualifications: LLB Hons Law with European Legal Systems

Costs Drafting History: Emma began her costs drafting career in November 2007.

Emma studied Law at the University of East Anglia and at KU Leuven in Belgium which included Space Law and Armed Conflicts. She has many years’ experience in legal aid matters undertaking all aspects of this area and specialising in care proceedings.

Emma undertakes legal aid housing, Court of Protection and injunction cases and is adept in paperless electronic billing and CCMS cases and processing, having undertaken much of the administration process for previous clients.

Profile: Emma keeps tortoises and volunteers at a reptile sanctuary as well as running a business (Norwich Sewcials) hosting dressmaking/sewing workshops, classes and events.

Claim to fame: Emma has a Diploma in Herpetology, lived in four different countries and once got to walk the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival.

Favourite Film: The Dish (true comedy about Australian monitoring of moon landing)

“I have had dealings with your colleague, Emma Jackson, over a number of years. I have always found her extremely helpful, pleasant and competent. I have no doubt that she is a considerable asset to your firm. It is the fact that Emma is now with you which led me to utilise your firm’s services in the first place.

It is clear from the above that I feel that Emma is a considerable asset to your firm and I am very pleased to be able to continue my dealings with her. I am reported to be a person who is not particularly easily pleased but feel it is appropriate to make it very clear that I have always been more than satisfied with the service provided by Emma.” – Wayne Clarke, Powleys Solicitors

“I first worked with Emma, Melissa and Laura at another firm of costs draftsmen and have built an excellent working relationship with them since then. The ladies are very knowledgeable and full of expertise In Legal Aid, Interpartes and High costs cases. They are always at the end of the phone or email if myself or anyone else in the firm have a billing enquiry and would highly recommend them to any legal firm.” – Danielle Conaghan of Edwards Duthie Solicitors

Ann Kelly

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Ann Kelly

Location: Flintshire, North Wales

Costs Drafting History: 2010 – 2015; and 2020 to date.

Qualifications: Higher Diploma in Administrative Procedures (1988) and successfully completed ACL Modular Course (2013)

Ann has worked in the legal profession since 2001.  She started in private practice as a Legal Secretary in Criminal, Personal Injury, and Family.  Progressed to Billing Clerk/Legal Costs Co-ordinator for NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) in Birkenhead, Wirral, a children’s charity, dealing with all billing aspects of Legal Aid hourly rate billing (incl court and LA assessed bills, EX80a, claim preparation) and the registration and managing of High Cost Cases.

From 2015-2020 Ann worked as a Barristers’ Fees Clerk/Credit Control Manager at Coram Chambers, London, dealing with all areas of Legal Aid as well as Private & Local Authority work.  Areas of expertise within Legal Aid include FAS, hourly rate, High Cost/Events/FGF.

Profile: Ann has 2 grown-up daughters, one works as a dog trainer/behaviourist and the other as a primary school teacher. She loves the piano and  musical theatre and she also sings in a musical theatre choir based in London.

Favourite Film: Ann likes Forrest Gump, The Sound of Music, and The Shawshank Redemption.

Claim to fame: Ann is a trained Remedial Massage Therapist and she appeared on the Noel Edmonds show in the 1980s!

Charlotte Foulston

Consultant Costs Lawyer

Name: Charlotte Foulston

Location: South Yorkshire

Qualifications: Costs Lawyer

Costs Drafting History: Charlotte began her career in costs in September 2007.

Charlotte specialises in family and care Legal Aid work and has previous experience of working in house at a firm of Solicitors processing and submitting claims to the Legal Aid Agency. Proficient in all aspects of legal aid costs including legal helps, CCMS e-bills, Bill of Costs and complex very high costs cases.

Profile: Charlotte was employed by Atherton Godfrey Solicitors from October 1998 to June 2011 in various positions including Clerical Assistant, Legal Secretary, Trainee Legal Executive before moving to the position of Costs Clerk in September 2007.  Within this role, Charlotte put in place procedures to ensure concluded matters were billed, processed and paid as swiftly as possible and was responsible for setting up the Costs Department.  She also involved in every aspect of the costing process, including legal aid audits undertaken by the Legal Aid Agency.  In July 2011 she was employed by Gibbins Consultant Costs Lawyers where she expanded her costing training and experience and qualified as a Costs Lawyer in December 2011 and in October 2014, commenced employment at Ramsdens Solicitors, being responsible for the all aspects of legal help and legal aid costs for the Private Law and Public Law Departments who were located at six offices.  She left the firm in September 2016.  Charlotte then joined Bidwell Henderson in October 2016.

“Charlotte is thorough, quick to respond and knowledgeable.”
Mary Ann Edwards of TV Edwards

“Charlotte is fantastic. She is approachable, diligent and extremely thorough. She is also someone who is willing to answer your queries and provide you with a detailed explanation, no matter how simple your question might be. I found Charlotte and I built an instant rapport. She is a real joy to communicate and work with and provides an excellent service.”
Jennifer Crossthwaite of Goodman Ray Solicitors

Angela Ward

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Angela Ward

Location: Sheffield

Costs Drafting History: Angela began her costs drafting career in around 2004.

Angela’s Costing career began during her time as a paralegal in the family department of a busy legal aid firm, which undertook all areas of work.  Angela became their in-house Costs Draftsman undertaking a large and varied caseload.  She has over 12 years costing experience and has a wealth of experience undertaking all manner of legal aid cases, particularly family and care proceedings but also housing matters including drafting of bills for assessment by the court,  Claim 1 and Claim 1A forms, and CCMS claims.

Profile: Angela enjoys holidaying with her family in their touring caravan.

Favourite Film: She loves too many films to name one.

Nicola Evans

Consultant Costs Draftsperson

Name: Nicola Evans

Location: Shropshire

Costs Drafting History: Nicola began her career in costs drafting in 2010.

Qualifications: Law Degree – LLB (Hons)

Nicola worked in the Family and Care department at a large legal aid law Firm in Shropshire since graduating in 2010.

She has 11 years in-house costing experience preparing Family, Care and Mental Health legal aid claims. Extensive experience in preparing 3 column bills, Claim 1 and Claim 1A forms, CCMS XML claims, EX80, post-assessment claims and legal help claims.

Profile: Outside of work Nicola has two young boys who keep her extremely busy. She loves visiting family and friends and travelling with her young family.

Claim to Fame: Nicola has a passion for adventure and love hot air balloon flights.

Favourite Film: Crime and action films/dramas.

Chloe Smith

Law Costs Draftsperson

Name: Chloe Smith

Location: Alfreton

Qualifications/Degrees/Professional Status: Bachelor of Laws with Honours in Law, Second Class Honours (1st division).

Costs Drafting History: Chloe began as a Trainee Law Costs Draftsperson with Bidwell Henderson in March 2021.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Claim to fame/Something we wouldn’t know about you: Chloe met Sir Ian McKellen when he gave an anti-bullying talk at her secondary school.

Profile: Chloe loves travelling, she has been on a few cruises so has been able to visit many amazing places, her favourite place has to be the Bahamas! Chloe also has a dog so loves going on walks and exploring the countryside, and loves spending time with friends and family. Chloe previously worked as a sales assistant for three years.

Favourite film: Chloe loves Christmas films and her favourite is Elf!

Celine Heathcote

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Celine Heathcote

Location: Sheffield

Qualifications: AS Level – English & Art

Costs Drafting History: Celine Heathcote began her costing career as a trainee with Bidwell Henderson in March 2021.

BHCC History: Celine has worked as a processing administrator assisting for the past year with LAA Assessed Claims, Court Assessed Bills and High Cost Case. She has now began her training contract with Bidwell Henderson in March 2021 as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Profile: Celine’s hobbies include the gym, kickboxing and she loves going on city breaks.

Favourite TV genre: Drama and thrillers.

Megan Almond

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Megan Almond

Location: Sheffield

Qualifications/Degrees/Professional Status: A Levels in History, English Language and Psychology. Level 3 in Business and Administration. She has 7 years experience working in administration in a law firm and 5 years as a paralegal in the Children Team.

Costs Drafting History: Megan began as a Trainee Law Costs Draftsperson with Bidwell Henderson in March 2021.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Profile: Megan’s life revolves around her two daughters. She and her family all love to go on walks around her local area with their whippet Buzz.

Favourite film: Megan’s favourite film is Splash.

Beth Brayshaw

Legal Aid Team Manager

Name: Beth Brayshaw

Location: Rotherham

Qualifications/Degrees/Professional Status: BSc Hons Maths and Business 2:1

Costs Drafting History: Beth joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in August 2021.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Something we wouldn’t know about you: Beth used to dress up as a mascot which involved dressing up as a giant goat.

Profile: Beth enjoys long, muddy walks with her partner and their dog. She also likes to bake and share those bakes with friends and family.

Favourite film or TV genre: Beth’s favourite film would be the jungle book and her favourite TV programme would be The US Office.

Jessica Nicholls

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Jessica Nicholls

Location: Derby

Qualifications/Degrees/Professional Status: BSc Hons Criminology (1st Class)

Costs Drafting History: Jessica joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in January 2022.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Claim to Fame: Jessica is a Grade 5 Flautist.

Profile: Jessica lives in Derby with her partner and two cats. In her spare time she enjoys reading, gaming and fitness.

Favourite film: Red Dwarf

Leanne Collett

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Leanne Collett

Location: Blyth, Northumberland

Qualifications/Degrees/Professional Status: BA in English with Language Pathway

Costs Drafting History: Leanne began a training contract with Bidwell Henderson in January 2022.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Something we wouldn’t know about you: Leanne has interviewed voice-over artists that have appeared in Transformers, Winnie the Pooh, and Dragon Ball Z – as well as someone that has appeared in films alongside Will Smith and Danny DeVito, among others.

Profile: Leanne is a mother of two, writer/director/chairperson of an amateur Pantomime Society, and a host at TFNation. She loves being on stage, is an avid reader, and enjoys camping with her family. In her spare time (what little of it she has!) she enjoys gaming with her eldest son and husband.

Favourite film or TV genre: She loves fantasy films and TV programmes such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, but also reality programmes that involve people showcasing their skills such as Blown Away, The Great Pottery Throw Down, and Portrait Artist of the Year.

May Hollis

Costs Draftsperson

Name: May Hollis

Location: Belper

Qualifications/Degrees/Professional Status: 2.1 BA Hons – media and communications & Triple distinction National Diploma- Photography

Costs Drafting History: May began a training contract with Bidwell Henderson in January 2022.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Claim to Fame: May has swam with Whale Sharks in Australia

Profile: May has previously worked as an accounts assistant in the television industry. Hobbies include crochet, walking and travel.

Favourite TV genre: Documentaries

Kelly Job

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Kelly Job

Location: Carmarthen

Costs Drafting History: Kelly joined Bidwell Henderson in May 2022 on our bespoke Trainee Law Costs Draftsperson Programme.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Claim to Fame/ Something we wouldn’t know about you: She was previously an Antiques Dealer and still enjoys collecting vintage jewellery.

Profile: Kelly a mother of two and has a degree in Economics from Bristol University. Kelly lives in West Wales and enjoys walking on the beautiful beaches they have there.

Favourite film or TV genre: Kelly was born in the 80s, so her favourite film has to be Back To The Future!

Sarah Hill

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Sarah Hill

Location: Head Office

Qualifications: GCSEs, A Levels and a Level 3 in Business Administration.

BHCC History: Sarah Hill joined the Bidwell Henderson Team in September 2020.

At Bidwell Henderson Sarah started as a Business Administrative Apprentice, fulfilling roles such as file management, assigning files to Consultants and answering and transferring calls, helping run a busy office environment. She swiftly progressed to the processing department working, before joining our bespoke award-winning Trainee Law Costs Draftsperson Programme in May 2022.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Profile: From as long as Sarah can remember she’s taken a great interest in Dance and Acting. Performing has always been a key hobby and passion of Sarah’s from a young age. She’s performed all over the country including stages in Tamworth, Leicester and London. At her dance school she also worked as a Dance teacher from 2016 to 2019, acting as a role model for differing age groups. From her performing arts journey she’s gained so many valuable skills and lifelong friends!

Before joining Bidwell Henderson, Sarah was employed as a customer advisor for nearly 2 years. She loved working there due to the supportive, friendly staff and the differing daily experiences she would encounter. The job provided her with lots of valuable skills such as providing exceptional customer service, which is very important in her role at Bidwell Henderson now.

Favourite TV and Movie genre: Sarah absolutely loves comedy films.

Claim to Fame: Sarah performed at a West End theatre in London in November 2017, a mesmerising experience she will forever treasure.

Mike Begg

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Michael Begg

Location: London

Costs Drafting History: Mike started his costing career when he joined the Bidwell Henderson Trainee Law Costs Draftsperson Programme in May 2022.

He will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Claim to Fame: He was part of setting the world record for the number of people playing trombone in unison (the record has since been broken!)

Profile: Mike previously worked in digital project management in the Civil Service for a number of years before deciding to change careers. He and his wife got married at the start of 2022 and they have a cute Japanese Spitz called Jasper. Mike and his wife are both food bloggers in London and have the incredible privilege of regularly being invited to eat at restaurants for free – very lucky indeed! @mikeeatslondon if you’re interested… Otherwise, he enjoys video games, board games, TV, film, and going for long runs.

Favourite film or TV genre: Pacific Rim is his favourite film and he is a big fan of sci-fi, action, and anime.

Helen Harris-Jones

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Helen Harris-Jones

Location: Bolton

Costs Drafting History: Helen joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in May 2022.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Claim to Fame/ Something we wouldn’t know about you: Helen and her wife had both secretly planned to propose to each other on a holiday to the Caribbean. Her wife got there first! 

Profile: Before joining Bidwell Henderson Helen was at her last employment for 13.5 years, since she was 18 years old. She has a twin sister who has 2 nephews who are 4 and 1 years old, she also has a younger sister who is a Data Scientist for the NHS after completing a Bachelor’s degree in Maths and a Masters in Data Science. They enjoy getting the family together for nights out and card games, and are passionate about Liverpool FC as her mother is from Anfield in Liverpool and was always a keen supporter, so they had no choice but to follow suit! Helen and her wife enjoy walks with their dog and in the summer they like going to watch cricket.

Favourite film or TV genre: Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Angel – anything horror or thriller.

Ibrahim Tania

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Ibrahim Tania

Location: Bolton

Qualifications/Degrees/Professional Status: Graduate from The University of Salford.

Costs Drafting History: Ibrahim Tania started his costing career when he joined the Bidwell Henderson Trainee Law Costs Draftsperson Programme in October 2022.

He will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Something we wouldn’t know about you: Ibrahim got married at 21 and became a Dad at 23.

Profile: One of his hobbies outside of work is football.

Favourite film or TV genre: Peaky Blinders

Dean Nicholson

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Dean Nicholson

Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne

BHCC History: Dean joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in January 2023.

He will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Profile: Dean has previously worked as an Accounts Administrator and has a degree in Accounting from Northumbria University. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to rock music and tries to get to as many gigs as he can. He enjoys video games and has occasionally streamed himself playing these to a small audience.

Something we wouldn’t know about you: Dean is the Stage Manager of a local amateur Pantomime Society. Each year they put on a show to raise money for a local charity.

Favourite film: Dean’s favourite show is Taskmaster.

Sandra Cassidy

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Sandra Cassidy

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

BHCC History: Sandra joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in June 2023.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Sandra was at her previous job for 21 years where she was as a Paralegal at a solicitors in Newcastle upon Tyne. Her main duties were to submit the claims for costs provided by Bidwell Henderson including Private/Public Law and High Costs Cases as well as Legal Help Claim Submissions. She also worked regularly in CCMS submitting claims and also submitting POA’s and allocation of costs to Counsel. She also did private client billing, Schedules of Costs and Form H/H1’s in relation to financial cases.

Profile: Sandra’s current hobby is her house. She has just finished a kitchen renovation and are starting to plan the renovation of the rest of the house.

She also used to run, completing the Great North Run twice. She stopped due to injury but plan to start again shortly, with a view to running a marathon. Her goal is to run the New York marathon.

Favourite film: Sandra has two, Notting Hill and Shaun of the Dead.  But, she likes a good romcom but also anything that is zombie based as well.

Oscar Goodman

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Oscar Goodman

Location: Swansea

BHCC History: Oscar joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in January 2024.

He will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Profile: Oscar graduated from Swansea University after completing the Legal Practice Course in 2020. He then worked as a paralegal in a busy commercial law firm for nearly two years before joining Bidwell Henderson. In his free time, he enjoys video games, literature, and his hobby of historical re-enactment and he is currently learning Japanese.

Favourite film: ‘Alien’ and ‘Seven Samurai’

Claim to fame: He is a historical re-enactor, part of a national society focusing on Anglo-Saxon and Norse civilisation and history in the British Isles.

Niamh Lynch

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Niamh Lynch

Location: Chesterfield

BHCC History: Niamh joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in January 2024.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Profile: Niamh has recently finished her degree and has previously worked as a bar manager. She has also recently learnt how to sew her own bags.

Favourite film: Fantasy & Sci-fi

Claim to fame: Niamh once made a scarf with the lord of the rings elvish script as a gift, and ended up just under 3 meters long.

Chandler Edlin

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Chandler Edlin

Location: South Normanton

Qualifications: A Level – English Literature, History, German

BHCC History: Chandler joined Bidwell Henderson in July 2021. He joined the Trainee Costs Draftsperson Course in January 2024.

Profile: Chandler was previously employed as a care worker in Nottingham and lives with his mum, two sisters, his partner, and their Blue Staffordshire puppy named Rufus. He enjoys travelling and exploring the outdoors.

Something we wouldn’t know about you: He has recently bought an SWB van, and is in the process of converting it into an off-grid micro-camper.

Favourite film: Chandler likes horror and psychological thrillers, his favourite film is Snatch and his favourite TV show is Lucifer.

Benjamin Pienaar

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Benjamin Pienaar

Location: South Normanton, Derbyshire

Qualifications: A-Level Mathematics and Accounting

Ben is starting with business administration, then beginning his journey into costs drafting with our January Cohort.

BHCC History: Ben joined Bidwell Henderson in August 2023.

Profile: Ben loves birdwatching and anything to do with nature in general. He likes to collect vinyl records, mainly 60s-80s but he listens to most genres and eras of music. He also really enjoys painting and drawing.

Something we wouldn’t know about you: Ben was the only person in his family born in England, his parents and siblings span from Zimbabwe to Johannesburg.

Favourite TV Show: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Kate Harris

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Kate Harris

Location: South Shields

BHCC History: Kate joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in May 2024.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Profile: Kate enjoys going for a swim in the freezing cold North Sea or having a dip in her ice bath, and she likes to go for walks with her husband there dog Buzzy, sometimes stopping off for a refreshment.  She loves anything crafty and has recently started sewing classes where she has made various things including a handbag and some new clothes.

Favourite film: Kate likes many films that she can’t name an overall favourite. She loves TV programmes that are crime-related or horror.

Claim to fame: She was once pictured in a local newspaper in a swimsuit standing in a bathtub (for a charity event they used to race on a local river)

Victoria Mowatt

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Victoria Mowatt

Location: Alva

BHCC History: Victoria joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in May 2024.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Profile: Victoria enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, paddle boarding and agility with her Border Collie, Riot.

Favourite film: Victoria enjoys watching Epic Fantasy Films.

Claim to fame: Victoria has previously rescued a bat, that’s rarely found in the UK.

Mazaffar Hussain

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Mazaffar Hussain

Location: Sheffield

BHCC History: Mazaffar joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in May 2024.

He will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Profile: Mazaffar enjoys playing various sports with his friends.

Favourite Film Genre: Mazaffar enjoys watching all film genres.

Abbiegail Harvey-Cowlishaw

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Abbiegail Harvey-Cowlishaw

Location: Nottingham

BHCC History: Abbiegail joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in May 2024.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Profile: Abbiegail has previously worked in the hair and beauty industry and also worked for a recruitment agency.

She has 3 siblings. One of her best achievements would be buying a house with one of her siblings at the age of 19. She enjoys going on holidays and trying new restaurants with her friends.

Favourite film or TV programme: Abbiegail’s favourite film is Mulan and she also loves watching Call The Midwife.

Something we wouldn’t know about you: Abbiegail has a pet rabbit.

Katalin Skorka

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Katalin Skorka

Location: Stevenage

BHCC History: Katalin joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in May 2024.

She will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Profile: Katalin is married and has a young daughter. She enjoys walking, reading and crafting.

Favourite film genre: Adventure, period films.

 

Jorge Abreu-Marques

Costs Draftsperson

Name: Jorge Abreu-Marques

Location: London

BHCC History: Jorge joined Bidwell Henderson as a Trainee Costs Draftsperson in May 2024.

He will be trained on various types of Legal Aid files, including but not limited to the below:
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Discharge of Care Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child Arrangement Orders: Residential and Contact
  • Domestic Abuse

Profile: Jorge’s passions are music and biomedical science. Also areas where learning and improvement are constant.

Favourite film or Programme: Jorge enjoys watching Doctor Who and Sci-fi.

Claim to fame: Jorge has previously performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Award winning firm