Melanie Dunton – Partner and Head of Private Client Department
Melanie joined the firm in 1986 initially working in all areas of the law. As the firm expanded she headed our Family Department and specialised in finance, pensions and mediation. She now heads our Private Client Department assisting clients with the financial aspects of wills, trusts, taxation and probate.
Vernon Hadida – Partner & Head of Dispute Resolution Team
After a successful career in engineering, Vernon trained as a Solicitor in the City of London. He qualified in 1991 and joined Thomas Dunton in 1992.
Through both litigation and mediation, Vernon is experienced in the resolution of a wide range of commercial disputes, as well as those involving employment, personal injury, property and debt.
As a CEDR Accredited Mediator, he is also an Accredited Mediation Trainer.
Vernon is also a Chartered Physicist.
For Vernon’s more detailed biography, please click here.
Tessa Bengo – Partner
Tessa qualified as a Solicitor in 1990 and became a partner at Thomas Dunton in 2002. She is currently Head of the Family Team and specialises in Children Law and Financial issues arising on relationship breakdown (divorce/separation) including Trust of Land proceedings in respect of unmarried partners.
In addition Tessa also specialises in public law care cases and is an Accredited Law Society Children Panel Solicitor as well as a member of the Association of Lawyers for children.
Robert Sardo – Solicitor
Robert is a Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution Group. A graduate of London and Oxford Universities, he qualified as a Solicitor in 1992, joining Thomas Dunton in 2004.
Robert specialises in Personal Injury, Employment and Contested Inheritance work, and undertakes a wide range of other contentious matters. He is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, has Senior Litigator Approved Status with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and is an Approved Member of the Law Society’s Specialist Personal Injury Panel.
Stephen Cosford – Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
Stephen qualified as a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 1986. Having previously worked in London, Stephen joined Thomas Dunton Solicitors in 2006. He specialises in all areas of residential conveyancing.
Catherine Westcott – Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
Catherine joined Thomas Dunton Solicitors in 2002, qualifying as a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2005.Catherine works in our Private Client Department, where she specialises in freehold and leasehold sales and purchases, mortgages, transfers of equity and re-mortgages.
Linda Charman – Solicitor
Since 1987 a general practitioner, partner and more recently a consultant in Central Bromley dealing with a broad range of legal issues including family, residential conveyancing and wills and probate. She is now part of our private client team.
Rae Broughton – Solicitor
Rae qualified as a solicitor in Reading in 1994. She has a range of experience in property and private client work. She joined Thomas Dunton in 2011 and now specialises in Commercial Property, Wills, Probate and LPAs and the sale and purchase of businesses.
Catherine Crabtree — Solicitor
Catherine qualified as a solicitor in 2002 and practised initially in the City of London. She holds an Advanced Certificate in Will Preparation from the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP) and specialises in private client work.
Jayshree Patel – Solicitor
Jayshree is a Solicitor and part of the Personal Injury Team headed by Robert Sardo. She also works with the Dispute Resolution Group but specialises in Personal Injury. She qualified in 2003, joining Thomas Dunton in 2011. She has also taught the Legal Practice Course (which all solicitors need to pass to qualify) at BPP Law School, in particular the modules Personal Injury and Civil Litigation.
Jayshree is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and the Society of Asian Lawyers.
She is also fluent in Gujarati.
Ruchi Keerthiratna — Solicitor
Ruchi qualified as a solicitor in 1991, dealing with Family and Employment Law in the London and Kent areas. She joined Thomas Dunton in 2012 where she specialises in family financial issues and matters relating to children following the breakdown of relationships. Ruchi is a member of Resolution (Solicitors Family Law Association). She also carried out voluntary work as an adviser for the Citizens Advice Bureau and at an advice centre for abused families. Ruchi is fluent in Sinhalese.
Maria James – Solicitor
Maria joined the firm in February 2016 from a City practice. Qualifying in 1994, she has worked exclusively in Family and Matrimonial Law since 1997 dealing with a mixed caseload of divorce, dissolution and separation matters, many with complex financial aspects. She advises and represents clients in Children Act matters relating to Child Arrangement Orders, Specific Issue and Prohibited Steps orders as well as leave to remove children from the jurisdiction. Maria also has a particular interest in international children cases and the firm are panel members of the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) meaning Maria receives instructions to act for parents from around the world whose children have been brought to the UK by the other parent against their wishes as well as from those parents who have come to the UK with their children but not necessarily with the agreement of the other. She advises on adoption and parental orders following a surrogacy arrangement. Maria is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Financial Remedy, Children Act work and Child Abduction as well as a qualified Collaborative Lawyer
Ovid Busette – Solicitor
Ovid joined the team at Thomas Dunton in 2017. Prior to joining us, Ovid worked with national firms and organisations dealing with a mixture of personal injury, private client and commercial matters. On qualification as a solicitor in 2015, Ovid specialised in private client work including Wills, Probate and Powers of Attorney.”