All of the Partners in the Law Practice are hands on and at your disposal. Each Partner is an experienced solicitor with a broad wealth of experience and a particular interest or speciality that enables us as a Practice to offer a "one stop shop" for all the legal services that you require whether it to be for you, your family, your business or your workplace.

The Partners are assisted by qualified Solicitors, Licensed Conveyancers, Legal Executives & Trainee Solicitors, together with experienced secretaries and loyal administrative staff most of whom have been with the Practice for a lengthy time and are well known to our existing clients.

Our aim is to provide a personal service and friendly professional prompt reliable and accurate advice to you the client.

  • Mark T. Boon B.Sc. (Hons) - Partner

    Born in Wigan, Mark's parents owned Boon Chemists in Market Street Wigan. Mark however chose a career in the Law in his home town of Wigan. Mark's clients value his knowledge of the Town and many of his clients have become personal friends over the years.

    Mark's first degree was a Science degree in Economics followed by the College of Law in Chester qualifying as a Solicitor in 1983 and becoming a Partner in the Practice in 1984.

    Mark who initially specialised in Criminal and Civil Litigation and Family matters was appointed at the age of 39 as a Deputy District Judge on the Northern Circuit sitting on a regular basis in the High Court and the County Courts throughout the North West. After 13 years of service Mark resigned his appointment within the Judiciary to enable him to concentrate fully on the Practice following the retirement of his Partner Tom Bennett.

    Mark brings a unique wealth of experience to his job having dealt with many diverse and varied legal problems and situations from both a Solicitor’s point of view and from a Judicial point of view. There are few areas of law that he does not have some experience of.

    Notwithstanding Mark's Litigious background he now specialises in Commercial matters, the acquisition of Companies and Businesses, Landlord and Tenant matters, Commercial Leases, Commercial and Residential Conveyancing.

    Mark also leads with the help of experienced support staff the Probate and Administration and Advice for the Elderly Department including Lasting Powers of Attorney.

    Mark spends his free time with his family. He has always had a love of sports enjoying skiing on snow and on water, sailing, fell walking, playing 5 a side football, golf (when he can find the time) and general DIY.

    Mark is practical and down to earth in the advice that he gives. He is a good listener and his experience enables him to quickly assimilate information, identify the essential issues and find solutions to problems.

  • Paul D. Aynsley LL.B. (Hons) - Partner

    Paul is a very experienced Litigation Lawyer who has been with McCarthy Bennett Holland for over 20 years.

    He has an in depth knowledge of a wide range of litigious matters encompassing all aspects of Civil Litigation to include Debt actions, Insolvency matters, Personal Injury Claims and actions arising out of breach of Contract. A proportion of Paul's work arises out of Accidents at Work and Road Traffic accidents. Paul is a long-standing member of The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

    For many years Paul has also practiced as an Employment Lawyer in claims before the Industrial Tribunal and is used to acting for both Employees and Employers.  Paul carries out a lot of work for Employees with regards to Compromise or Settlement Agreements.

    Paul also prepares Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection Orders and Wills.  Paul is also involved in Probate & Estate Management.

    Finally, Paul is also a qualified Family Solicitor and has trained as a Family Mediator albeit he is no longer practicing.

    Outside of work Paul enjoys a number of different interests such a listening to rock music and attending rock concerts. He follows a number of different sporting events, such as football, boxing and cricket. He has a very keen interest in horse racing and attends some of the key festivals in the racing calendar. He also enjoys socialising with friends and family.

  • John C. Petrie BA - Partner

    John was born and raised in Wigan. He joined MBH Solicitors in August 2002 as a residential conveyancing Solicitor, having qualified as a Solicitor in 1983.

    Throughout his career as a solicitor John has specialised in residential conveyancing. He has bought and sold numerous houses, properties and apartments for clients both in Wigan and the surrounding towns and throughout the UK.

    He has extensive experience in knowing what problems can arise when you are buying and selling houses. John has the experience to avoid these problems or to take the necessary action to prevent the problems arising.  In this way he is able to ensure that your house move goes through as smoothly and swiftly as possible.

    Outside of work John enjoys reading and also has a passion for Rugby League and needless to say, in particular, Wigan Warriors and has been for many years a long-standing season ticket holder at Central Park and the DW Stadium. John also enjoys watching the horse racing and attends some of the key festivals in the racing calendar.

  • Caroline Rooks LL.B - Partner

    Caroline completed her Law Degree in 1998 at the University of Teeside and completed the Legal Practice Course at Northumbria University in Newcastle the following year. She qualified as a Solicitor in 2002 and qualified as a Licensed Conveyancer in the same year.

    Caroline has worked in the field of Residential Conveyancing in the Wigan area since 2002 and during this time has assisted many people in both Wigan and across the country with their sales, purchase and re-mortgages. Caroline is approachable, well organised and well-liked by her clients who come back again and again.

    Outside the office Caroline enjoys spending time with her young family. She follows many sports including Rugby League supporting Wigan Warriors and football supporting Manchester United. Caroline is also an avid fan of cycling.


  • Gillian Lavelle Solicitor FCILEX

    Gillian began her legal career as a legal secretary in an award winning top 150 law firm. Encouraged by the firm who recognised her potential and wishing to progress her career she studied part time and swiftly attained Legal Executive status. She was promoted to a fee earner in December 2006 and to her delight qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in June 2010 specialising in Family Law

    At that point most people would have settled for that, but not Gillian. She made the decision to continue her part time studies at Manchester Metropolitan University to enable her to become a Solicitor. Gillian qualified as a Solicitor in July 2014.

    Gillian has worked in the field of Family Law since 2010 and in the Wigan & Manchester area throughout. She has a wealth of experience in divorce and financial resolutions including property and pension adjustments following a break up. She also has vast knowledge with injunction applications and children and contact issues. She is familiar with all the local Courts and their procedures.

    Gillian also specialises in cohabitation disputes (unmarried couples) and has worked with in this area since December 2006. Gillian is able to help in all family breakdowns regardless of whether there is a marriage.

    Clients like Gillian’s no nonsense approach, the fact that she is down to earth, well organised, well-motivated, thorough in her preparation and accurate in the advice that she gives.

    Outside the office Gillian enjoys spending time with her family. She enjoys reading, relaxing and catching up with family time at weekends.

  • Kim Busby Solicitor FCILEX

    Kim is the latest Solicitor to join our successful and expanding Family Department at Team MBH.

    Kim has always specialised in Family Law and has worked within this area of the law in different roles for over 10 years. Kim is experienced in dealing with a variety of Family Law matters including Divorce, Financial Matters following a Divorce, separating couples, Pre-Nuptial Agreements and children matters.

    Kim obtained her Law Degree at Lancaster University and after gaining valuable experience in several large North West firms, joined MBH in June 2017.

    Kim is very motivated and well organised and is thrilled to be part of the family department at MBH whose mission is to achieve the very best outcome for the clients who instruct us.

    Kim is friendly and approachable and understands the importance of spending time getting to know clients to understand their needs. Kim is conscientious and possesses an ability to quickly assimilate information and provide bespoke practical advice on those matters that a client is concerned about.

    Outside of work Kim enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys keeping fit and has achieved Grade 1 in Irish Dancing and is working towards her further grades. Kim has also recently passed her motorcycle test, having decided she wants her own set of two wheels after riding pillion with her husband.

  • James Ford LL.B

    James joined McCarthy Bennett Holland as a Trainee Solicitor in September 2016. He studied Law at the University of Lancaster and completed his studies at the University of Law, Manchester.

    James then went on to complete further professional qualifications with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. He obtained an Advanced Certificate in Contentious Trusts and Probate whilst working in the Private Client department of a Lancashire law firm before relocating to Wigan.

    James has amassed considerable experience in all Private Client matters including Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection work alongside dealing with contested estates and complex wills. He has also done significant regulatory work, representing the interests of registrants being pursued by their respective professional regulatory bodies as well as dealing with transport law, customs seizures and Proceeds of Crime matters.

    James is kept busy outside of the office by his partner and their two show dogs, which take up the majority of weekends!


  • Sammy-Jo Woodward LL.B

    Sammy completed her Law Degree at the University of Salford in 2014 and is currently undertaking her CLC qualification to become a Licenced Conveyancer. She will qualify as a Licenced Conveyancer later this year.

    Sammy has worked in various roles at McCarthy Bennett Holland over the past two years, including receptionist, secretary and now trainee conveyancer.  She therefore has vast knowledge of the firm and the local client base.  Sammy has worked closely with our Head of Conveyancing, Caroline Rooks to deliver a reliable service when buying, selling or transferring property. She is always ready with a smile and goes above and beyond to assist clients wherever possible.

    Sammy has recently also made the decision to continue her part time studies at Manchester Metropolitan University to enable her to become a Solicitor. Sammy will be admitted as a Trainee Solicitor with MBH in September 2016.

    In her free time, Sammy loves drawing, painting and reading. She also runs a blog where she regularly works on watercolours and scenic stamping. She is a regular ice-skater and swimmer. She enjoys attending the theatre, musicals and concerts.


  • Support Staff

    To provide you with a quick overview of our support staff please see the following:

    • Julie Barlow is John Petrie’s secretary.  She has worked for MBH Solicitors since November 1991.  She can be contacted at
    • Geraldine Eccles is Paul Aynsley’s secretary.  She has worked for Paul since December 2012.  She can be contacted at
    • Jane Sixsmith manages the wills & probate department.   She is friendly, down to earth and extremely helpful and has worked for MBH since April 2008.  She can be contacted at
    • Christine Bullen works for all of the solicitors in the practice providing help and assistance.  She has worked for MBH since January 1985 (previously working for Holland & Co before they merged with McCarthy Bennett) and can be contacted at
    • Joanne Dinsmore is Gillian Lavelle’s secretary.  She has worked for MBH since April 2009 and specialised in family work.  She can be contacted at
    • Linda Lane is Caroline Rooks secretary in the conveyancing department.  Linda joined us in early 2016 and she can be contacted at
    • Janet Higham is our receptionist.  She is always friendly and helpful to all clients.  Janet has worked for MBH since August 2007.  Janet is in charge of our general incoming e-mails and you can contact her at
    • Rosie Boon is our assistant receptionist who also completes a variety of general office duties for all staff.  Rosie graduated from Leeds Trinity University in 2015 and has worked for MBH since this time.  Rosie can also be contacted at
    • Jane Ollerton is an accountant and our Head of Accounts and is responsible for keeping MBH’s accounts up to date.  Jane has worked for MBH since February 2013.  Jane can be contacted at
    • Karen Isherwood is Mark Boon’s secretary.  Karen joined us in late 2016 and she can be contacted at

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McCarthy Bennett Holland Solicitors

26, Bridgeman Terrace, Wigan WN1 1TD

01942 206060

01942 200505

Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
SRA No. 00329730

This firm maintains professional indemnity insurance in accordance with the rules of the Solicitors Regulation Authority

Details of the insurers and the territorial coverage of the policy are available for inspection at our offices.