Our team of lawyers and support staff at Backhouse Solicitors is dedicated to providing a first class service to businesses and individuals in the Chelmsford area and beyond. We appreciate that the needs of all of our clients are different so we tailor our advice and way of working to your needs.
Minal Backhouse – Director and Head of Employment and Litigation
Minal qualified as a solicitor in 1997. She has worked in several High Street practices in London and the East of England, initially as a general litigator then specialising in Employment Law. In 2005 Minal started Backhouse Solicitors with the aim of offering her clients the best possible expertise, service and value for money. Minal heads the Legal team within the company and the rapid growth of the business has been helped by many personal recommendations and is testament to Minal’s belief in a culture of client care. Minal is a member of the Society of Mediators where she uses her wealth of experience to resolve disputes.
Nick Welch – Director and Head of Commercial Property
Nick qualified as a Solicitor in 1980 and was a partner in Winckworth & Pemberton from 1984 (Chelmsford and Westminster offices) until opening his own practice in Chelmsford in 1998, later merging to become a partner of Duffield Stunt.
Nick is a property expert, for many years advising a major house builder, specialising in redevelopment work in London, in both private and social housing schemes. He has worked for varied clients including NHS trusts, housing associations, ecclesiastical and law enforcement authorities. In addition to commercial and residential property matters, Nick advises on business transactions, Wills, Probate and Powers of Attorney.
Outside of work, Nick’s interests include country walks, skiing and music.
Liz Searl – Director and Head of Residential Property
Liz qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 1996 and joined Backhouse in August 2017 as Head of Residential Property. Prior to that time Liz spent most of her career at Foskett Marr Gadsby & Head in Epping, and more recently has worked in the Chelmsford and Colchester areas.
Liz is an expert in all aspects of residential property and is highly regarded in her field. She has a particular interest in new build property transactions, acting both for Buyers of new build properties and for developers in the sales of new build schemes. Liz has acted extensively for Buyers of leasehold apartments in London and the South East, and is an expert on the Government “Help to Buy” scheme and similar equity mortgage schemes available to homebuyers.
Liz thrives on achieving tight timescales and says “I take great pride in my work and I offer my clients everything that I can to ensure a smooth transaction. I have a large number of clients for whom I have acted several times over a number of years and I believe this is a testament to the high level of service I provide to my clients”.
Liz has two teenage sons and outside of work enjoys socialising and gardening.
Ann Coutts – Director and Head of Private Client
Ann qualified as a solicitor in 2004 and after working in senior positions at firms in London and the Home Counties joined Backhouse in August 2019 to head the Private Client legal team.
Ann is a member of STEP, the Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners and is also a member of Solicitors for the Elderly. She is passionate about helping her clients young and old plan their legal affairs for the future, and uses her expertise to make sure they have the right Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Trusts and other later life plans in place.
Ben Backhouse – Chief Financial Officer
Ben qualified as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1997. He then managed teams in credit and market risk reporting for Credit Suisse until 2007 when he left to work full time at Backhouse Solicitors. Ben heads the Finance, IT and Operations teams of the company, making sure the legal teams have what they need to run efficiently. Outside of Backhouse Solicitors, Ben is a Trustee of Chelmsford Cultural Development Trust, Chairman of the Mid-Essex Business Group, Vice Chair of Chelmsford Business Breakfast Club and enjoys motorsport and computing when he gets a few minutes of spare time!
Liz Lister – Office Manager
Liz has spent her working life within the Legal sector. Starting out as a Junior Legal Secretary with Kennedys, she rose through the ranks to become a Legal PA at leading firm Ashursts. As she progressed, Liz developed a passion for Legal IT and worked her way up to IT Helpdesk Manager at Kennedys in their London Office and more recently at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP.
Liz joined Backhouse Solicitors in 2014 as a Legal Secretary and now leads the Admin Team in her capacity as Office Manager. Liz is also heavily involved in the development and maintenance of our document management system and assists Ben with all areas of IT Support.
Outside of work, Liz enjoys the great outdoors and in particular sailing on the River Crouch.