Behind the scenes of a family law firm

Published: 22 July 2016

Author: Hayley Crossman-Shaw

Category: Firm News

In 1982 a young Mark Burn qualified as an Articled Clerk and joined his father at the family law firm in York. Thirty four years later he still sits at the helm of Burn and Co Solicitors, alongside his brother Graeme and fellow Director Claire Rutter.

Mark describes himself as “a bit of a legal anorak.” From around six or seven years of age he would visit the office in Cumberland House, sit in his father’s chair and announce that he was going to be a solicitor. This commitment continued as he joined the firm on school holidays and weekends to help out with filing and other tasks. Mark went on to take his Law Society finals in Chester, completing his exams on the Wednesday lunchtime before heading straight back to York and starting work alongside his father Raymond on Thursday afternoon.

Raymond Burn began as a solicitor in York in 1955, armed with a clear vision of the ethos driving the practice; high level client service balanced with performing a beneficial role in his local community. He sadly died from cancer in 1993, leaving the two brothers to decide which direction the firm should take next. Even though Burn and Co is now much larger than the firm started by Raymond, it still operates under the same principles of a family law firm within the local community. Mark’s wife Jane works part time on reception and the website proudly displays a photograph of their ‘Head of Security’ – Harvey his black Labrador.

“It is important that we maintain and develop as a traditional, provincial firm practicing general law and that we continue to do what we do to the highest standard.” Mark points out. “We work hard to deliver a personal approach; we want to get away from some of those stereotypical views of the legal world. Our work is built on the idea of know, like and trust. A large percentage of our work comes from returning clients or referrals through family members and other professionals who work alongside us. It helps that we employ people who share the same values. Many of our staff have been with us for years”.