Trust is a key component when pursuing a housing disrepair claim and so we feel it best to introduce you to our team of housing disrepair solicitors. We hope you’ll feel more connected to our housing disrepair solicitors by sharing some key information about their professional experience whilst also finding common ground by sharing their hobbies and interests outside of work. So, grab yourself a coffee and get ready to meet Next Gen Solicitors’ Housing Disrepair team.
Sandra Craig- Head Of Department
Sandra joined Next Gen Solicitors in November 2021 to head up the Housing Disrepair Team.
With over 30 years of experience, Sandra has worked with some of the region’s top law firms. Sandra has a huge wealth of experience in catastrophic injury, dealing with multi-million-pound settlements and cross-jurisdictional cases.
Over the past five years, Sandra’s main focus has been housing disrepair, with a particular focus on housing disrepair claims against social housing landlords. During this time, she has dealt with hundreds of claims representing both claimants and defendants and has a strong history of success.
In addition to making sure that repairs are undertaken, Sandra has been very successful in recovering compensation for tenants in housing disrepair claims. She has the benefit of many years’ experience in assessing whether any other possible causes of action can be brought, such as a claim for personal injury if the client has suffered injury or their health has deteriorated as a result of the disrepair in the property.
Passionate about generating optimal outcomes for clients, she always ensures that not only their repairs are carried out but that they recover any compensation they are entitled to.
When asked why she joined Next Gen Sandra said “ For me, it was an easy decision. “They are a young vibrant firm who are making a big impact with real values. Representing clients in claims against their social housing landlords is not just about getting the repairs done or even recovering compensation – it’s also about being a voice for our clients. Too often social housing tenant’s concerns are simply ignored, and they are left to live in horrendous conditions. Everyone has the right to live in a property that is free from disrepair and fit for human habitation. If we can help our clients achieve this then I know I have done a good job”.
Sandra was sworn in as a Justice of the Peace in 2020 serving the Liverpool and Knowsley Bench. In her spare time Sandra is a passionate Liverpool FC supporter. She loves animals and has four dogs herself, whom she loves to walk. When Sandra is not watching Liverpool FC team or walking her dogs she enjoys nothing more than to indulge in a bit of baking.
Tochukwu Orji – Solicitor
A qualified solicitor with years of experience dealing with civil litigation cases, Tochukwu Orji is a law graduate from the University of Liverpool, where he completed his LP at BPP Law School. He effectively navigates the law to achieve his client’s needs, and takes great pleasure in ensuring that his clients get the justice they deserve.
Tochukwu works within the settlement team and recently obtained compensation in the sum of £8,500.00 for a client who has been suffering with housing disrepair for several years following neglect by her landlord.
In his spare time, Tochukwu enjoys playing Sunday League Football, following his dream club (he has asked us not to mention the name of the club!!), watching crime documentaries and spending time with his 2 beautiful daughters.
Tochukwu had this to say about Next Gen “Working at Next Gen has helped me tremendously in my personal and professional development. Everyone is passionate about helping clients and I’ve learned a lot from the team”.
Daniel Gardner – Solicitor
Daniel joined Next Gen Solicitors in late 2018 as a paralegal working within the personal injury department dealing with RTA claims before moving into the Housing Disrepair Department in late 2020 as part of the settlement team.
Since being at Next Gen Solicitors, Daniel has completed his LPC and training contract and successfully qualified as a Solicitor in November 2021.
Daniel really enjoys working within the housing disrepair sector and takes great satisfaction from helping tenants in difficult situations achieve justice following their landlord’s neglect in relation to their repairing obligations. In his words, ‘I have had great success in negotiating some fantastic settlements for my clients whilst ensuring their properties are repaired to the requisite standard and that compensation is commensurate with the level of stress, loss of enjoyment and inconvenience my clients may have suffered.’
When asked about Next Gen Daniel had this to say “I have been at Next Gen now for 3 years. During this time, I have seen the company grow and develop and I feel proud to be part of this”.
In his spare time Daniel enjoys walking his dog and likes to go on short city breaks across Europe.
Danielle Cottrell – Legal Executive
Danielle joined the department in January 2021 and is part of the housing disrepair settlement team.
As a graduate of Law from the University of Liverpool, Danielle then went onto study the Graduate Fast Track Course at the Liverpool Law Academy of an evening whilst working as a Paralegal for a Defendant firm of Solicitors. She qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive (FCILEx) in 2017.
Danielle’s predominant experience is Defendant Litigation. She has experienced great success in the past in negotiating some fantastic settlements for clients in this area. Danielle has embraced her new role within the department and is applying her skills to ensure that she delivers a service to her clients of a high standard, ensuring that she attains a very reasonable outcome for them. Danielle takes pride in client service and as such, she takes great pleasure in achieving the best result for her clients and ensuring that they get the remuneration they deserve.
Danielle was a speaker at the Law Society Annual Conference in 2017, which she is extremely proud of as this was a challenge and a great accomplishment in her career.
Danielle had this to say about joining Next Gen Solicitors: “ I feel proud to work for a firm with such inspiring values as Next Gen Solicitors and to be a part of a department that is changing people’s lives for the better and continually growing.
In her spare time, Danielle enjoys going to the gym and exploring new places. She is especially fond of long walks and socialising with friends and family. She also loves a good beach holiday!
Sian Dickson – Paralegal
Sian has worked as a paralegal within the First Response Team in the HDR department in Next Gen Solicitors since September 2021. As a member of First Response she deals with our client’s cases from the outset of taking their details, to sending the letter of claim, obtaining disclosure, booking an expert inspection, and obtaining the inspection report. Sian is a key part of the First Response Department and has developed an excellent eye in determining whether a case is viable.
Alongside working full-time, Sian is currently studying for her GDL with hopes to one day enter the world of Corporate Law. Sian joined Next Gen Solicitors to develop her legal skills and legal understanding in readiness for starting her LPC which she hopes to undertake at the same time as a training contract.
Sian started her journey when she went to the University of Liverpool to study Psychology to understand the human mind. She then went on to study a Masters in Forensic Psychology, where she found her passions actually fell into the legal world.
Sian has said that working for Next Gen has “helped her to develop and grow the necessary skills needed to progress and achieve her life goals”.
Ashley Fitzgerald – Paralegal
Ashley is a 22 year old graduate with a 1st class degree in law and Criminology from Birmingham City University.
He started working for Next Gen Solicitors following his graduation from Birmingham City University in September 2021. Ashley originally intended to start post-graduate study and begin his LPC, however he decided to start developing his skills in the workplace first.
Ashley works within the first response team as a paralegal and is thriving in this role. He acknowledges that building relationships with clients and opponents is a fundamental part of the claim process and enjoys forming these relationships.
When asked about how his first experience of working in an office has been, Ashley said “ Next Gen and the Housing Disrepair team have become such a core part of my life and I enjoy working with the team and performing the role that I do. As Head of Department Sandra has made the system in which we work streamlined and I improved the workflow of the department immensely. I don’t regret my decision to develop myself in the workplace and I am grateful for Next Gen Solicitors for giving me the means to develop my skills and to be part of such an amazing team. I still intend to pursue the LPC and become a solicitor but will be doing so alongside my role here”.
Kylie Ong – Paralegal
Kylie came to the UK from Malaysia to study Law at University of Liverpool where she achieved a 2.1 classification. Multilingual, Kylie speaks English, Mandarin, Malay and Cantonese.
She joined Next Gen Solicitors shortly after graduating and works alongside Sian and Ashley as a paralegal within the First Response team.
Outside of work Kylie spends her free time drawing, painting and practising calligraphy. She also enjoys cooking and the occasional baking!
Kylie said “Having not worked in a law firm before, working in Next Gen Solicitors has been a wonderful experience. I am looking to taking the LPC and hopefully securing a training contract. Thus, I am grateful that I was offered the opportunity to work alongside everyone and build experiences along the way to prepare me for the future to come”.
Sophie is the newest recruit, having joined the department in February 2021 undertaking work experience. Sophie is currently studying Law at Liverpool John Moores University and hopes to become a solicitor.
When asked how her work experience was going Sophie had this to say “Working at Next Gen has been a great experience for me. Everyone is so friendly and I’m learning new skills every day. I’m really looking forward to putting these skills to use when I embark on my legal career.
When Sophie is not studying, she loves nothing more than spending time with her boyfriend going for long walks with the dogs and watching Liverpool Football Club.