Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pay-Fight Law Firm 'Runs out of Cases' Company Won Back Millions for Women

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pay-Fight Law Firm 'Runs out of Cases' Company Won Back Millions for Women

Article excerpt

Byline: Robert Gibson? 0191 201 6139 ? robert.gibson@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE North East law firm that has led the fight for equal pay for women in the region has been placed into voluntary liquidation.

Newcastle's Stefan Cross Solicitors has won back millions of pounds for female public sector workers, earning the man at its helm the coveted Honorary Queens Council award earlier this year.

However, Mr Cross said the company's work had now reached a "natural conclusion", its negotiations with councils meaning it had essentially "run out of cases".

It will therefore be wound down by next month, with the loss of 15 jobs. No new clients will be taken on, but ongoing claims against Sunderland City Council will be completed.

"We've got what we think are really good deals for our clients, while other solicitors and their clients are still waiting," Mr Cross said.

"That's good news for the clients, but not good news for us.

"We've split the business between England and Scotland for several years and the English cases have pretty much reached the end of their natural life, but I'm still involved in thousands of cases in Scotland through separate legal firms."

Having trained as a solicitor in Bournemouth, Mr Cross moved to Newcastle in 1986, remaining with Thompsons' Solicitors for 17 years.

During his time with the company, he got involved with equal pay cases in Cleveland, which largely centred around pay for dinnerladies.

When, by 2002, the issue was still far from resolved, Mr Cross decided the unions were not pursuing it with sufficient fervour and set up his own company.

It was hard going at first, but went on to thrive, at one stage employing over 50 people.

For around the last eight years, it has focussed solely on equal pay, making Mr Cross a hero to many but a villain to some. …

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