About Franklins Law

Steven Clews

Steven Clews - Director and Senior Partner

Steven joined Franklins as an Assistant Solicitor in 1985, was made a Partner in 1987 and Senior Partner in 2002. He holds an Honours Degree in Law from University College London and qualified as a Solicitor in 1981. He is an accredited specialist family lawyer with particular specialisation in financial provision and domestic abuse cases. He is also a long-standing member of the Resolution Organisation (formerly The Solicitors Family Law Association), which promotes a non-adversarial approach to resolving problems arising from family and relationship breakdowns. Apart from specialising in family and criminal/motoring law he also deals with Wills, Probate and Transfers of Equity. Steven is a member of Duty Solicitor schemes and was on the first ever rota after the introduction of the schemes under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act in the 1980s.

Rugby has at long last given him up as a player but he remains an enthusiastic committee member at his local club where his main task is to remind the current players that it is not like it was in his day. They are enthralled. Otherwise he is a dedicated explorer of the pubs of the Yorkshire Dales- sorry, intrepid long distance walker.



Nick Tuckfield

Nick Tuckfield - Partner

Nick became a solicitor in 2006, having obtained a 2:1 honours degree in Law. He specialises in all aspects of family law, and has developed particular skills dealing with children cases. Nick's caseload also includes a wide variety of other areas of legal work including employment, civil litigation, and probate. He developed his experience and sympathetic approach working with the University College Hospital NHS Trust and his local Citizens Advice Bureau and is now also a member of Resolution. Nick holds a specialist accreditation as an established member of the Law Society’s Children Panel.

Somewhere along the line he found time to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Psychology. Nick demonstrates that ex-prop forwards can be human beings too, and with a young family to support, in more ways than one, his sporting ambitions are now realised vicariously from the touch line through the football skills of his son.



Janice Gabbott

Janice Gabbott - Solicitor and Head of Residential Property

Janice qualified as a solicitor in 1996 and was previously a director of a national residential conveyancing firm. She now lives near Leighton Buzzard and has taken up a role that gives her the chance to combine her experience with a more individual approach to clients.

Janice enjoys spending her spare time being taken for long walks in the countryside by her five Jack Russell terriers. She also enjoys Salsa dancing and keeps her enviable sense of calm with the occasional assistance of yoga.



Deborah Whicker

Deborah Whicker - Head of Private Family Law and Family Mediation

I am delighted to be part of the Family Team at Franklins Law Leighton Buzzard Ltd. As a Specialist Family Lawyer, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, and an Accredited Family Mediator my passion lays with supporting families and helping them to resolve difficulties arising from relationship breakdown and separation issues.

My family work is wide-ranging and covers all issues arising from divorce and separation including financial and child arrangements. I have experience working within various disciplines of law since 1984 and have specialised in Family Law since 2003 and Family Mediation since 2009 with my particular focus being on helping clients explore alternative methods of finding solutions. I qualified as an Accredited Family Mediator in 2010 and a Child Inclusive Mediator in 2012.

As a Member of Resolution (an organisation of family lawyers and other professionals in England and Wales) I am committed to their guidelines which aim to foster a non-confrontational approach and to resolve cases as amicably, fairly and cost-effectively as possible.

Outside of the office, I am devoted to my family and friends and enjoy volunteering as a parent cub leader. I also enjoy walking and of course the occasional spot of retail therapy!



Parminder Matharu

Parminder Matharu - Head of Criminal Law

Parminder started his working career with Pictons and after qualifying in 2006 joined The First Law Partnership as a criminal solicitor.

Parminder is an accredited duty solicitor and has extensive experience in a wide range of cases including murder, terrorism, and rape. kidnap, robbery, conspiracy to supply class A, GBH amongst many others. Parminder is a regular at Luton Magistrates Court and the local police stations in Bedfordshire. No matter how big or small the problem you may face, Parminder will always fight your corner and achieve the best possible result.

Outside of his professional duties Parminder is a keen sports fan although these days it is mainly watching rather than playing



Michael Greenidge

Michael Greenidge - Solicitor

Michael is a hugely experienced Criminal Law Solicitor having held a specialist accreditation as a duty solicitor to represent clients at Police Stations and Magistrates Courts since 1994.

With that knowledge and expertise Michael adds a calm and reassuring manner. He is cooler than a polar bear in a deep freeze. Also if you need to know anything about the geography and customs of Lithuania he is the man to go to although he might reply in Russian.



Rachel West

Rachel West - Trainee Solicitor

Rachel will soon be admitted as a solicitor having successfully completed all the necessary courses and exams, throwing in a Master’s Degree just for fun. This makes her the most highly academically qualified member of the firm although thankfully she is not much good at “Pop Master”.

Rachel already has considerable experience in residential conveyancing and family law especially private and public children law and domestic abuse cases.

She has an eccentric dog who hides cocktail sausages in unusual and inappropriate places. She organises the firm’s quizzes and helps us old folk with our IT problems.



Nicola Hilton

Nicola Hilton - Child Care and Criminal Law Paralegal

Nicola embodies practicality and professionalism.

Originally with a background in Criminal Law Nicola now combines organising the smooth running of our Crime Department with developing an increasing following and caseload of her own in the area of Public law Child Care.

To her down to earth common sense approach she adds a sympathy and understanding greatly appreciated by her clients.

As a child Nicola ran away to join the circus which probably accounts for her ability to juggle, herd cats and ride a unicycle, usually at the same time.



Stephanie Czoboriek

Stephanie Czoboriek - Trainee Licensed Conveyancer

Stephanie joined the firm in 2020 as a trainee Licensed Conveyancer and is already a registered Conveyancing Technician with the Council of Licence Conveyances and holds a Level 3 award in Paralegal Practise.

Stephanie has extensive knowledge of the property market and conveyancing process from working in the industry since 2014, previously working within corporate estate agencies and local independent estate agencies which has allowed her to gain a great understanding of the local property market together with the problems clients can face when buying or selling a property enabling her to provide clients with the best advice.

When not working she enjoys going on long walks with her beautiful golden retriever, Barney, drinking wine and of course spending all her money on designer handbags. She is also an avid traveller and enjoys nothing more than visiting new destinations around the globe and trying new cuisines. She also designed Asper Casinos uniform. She makes dynamos seem lazy.



Kim Welford

Kim Welford - Conveyancing Assistant

Kim has worked in conveyancing since she left school in a year which it would be far too indiscreet to specify. Kim joined Franklins in 2000 and since then has added a knowledge of Wills and probate to her conveyancing skills.

Whenever the chance arises Kim likes to spend time on her country estate in Turkey. She is also a keen supporter of the Wasps Rugby Club, unofficial wine expert and multiple - but glamorous - granny.



Colette D’Arby-Wright

Colette D’Arby-Wright - Family Law Assistant

After completing a Business Studies Course Colette went into family law at the age of 19 and has worked in this field ever since, which she claims to be 20 years. She has almost forgiven Joanna Lumley for impersonating her. Colette must be one of the few grandmothers recently to sustain a burn from the exhaust pipe of her go-kart. Apart from setting a bad example to her 2 children and 7 grandchildren, Colette likes to spend time skiing, scuba diving or just relaxing on her canal boat.



Angela Clements

Angela Clements - Family Law and Private Client Assistant

Angela is Steven’s very efficient, fantastic amazing secretary with a bottomless depth of knowledge in many different areas of law. A friendly outgoing individual who enjoys dancing, a good walk in the Peak District (can’t beat the views) and swimming.

She also writes her own website profiles.

Angela’s dedication to the cause extends to commuting to the office farther than most people go on holiday.

Angela sorts out problems and gets things done. If she cannot help you then you are beyond help.



Sarah Barrett

Sarah Barrett - Administrator

Sarah assists with the administration of the firm and secretarial duties.

Unfailingly polite and helpful Sarah has quickly established herself as a talented all-rounder rather like Ben Stokes but less ginger and never arrested for brawling outside a nightclub – so to that extent not all that much like Ben Stokes.

What we mean is she is really good at anything she turns her hand to and combines this with an inherent talent for dealing with clients.

Her time in South Africa has given her a mastery of languages. She can say “Cabernet Sauvignon” in Bantu Xhosa and Swahili.



Hilary Chappell

Hilary Chappell - Family Law Assistant

Hilary is Deborah Whicker’s indefatigable assistant with many years’ experience in Family Law over 10 of which have been spent in Leighton Buzzard. She is reliable, calm under pressure, friendly and trustworthy, although too modest to say so herself.

Her hobbies are reading, taking long country walks and bungee jumping.



Deborah Bourne

Deborah Bourne - Receptionist

Debbie aka “The Organiser” is our cheerful receptionist and your likely first point of contact with the firm. A loyal empathetic work colleague, her eldest grandson says that she is a quirky upbeat Nan and he should know.