About Us

Guest Walker was established in 1981 when John Guest set up his business in what is now part of the offices that we still occupy on Shambles in the historic heart of York.

The friendly and supportive attitude that he brought with him remains as important today as it was then. We pride ourselves on the long term relationships we develop with our clients, often helping them with both personal and business matters and becoming their trusted advisers over the years.

John Guest was soon joined by John Walker, who became a partner in 1984 and now leads our team. Our expertise and efficiency have led to an ever-expanding range of services and the development of an impressive reputation amongst our peers.  As our range of services has grown, so has our team and we have been very selective in making sure we recruit not just the best talent available but also those who have the personal skills to deliver our caring and friendly approach.

We feel very fortunate to not only be located in such inspiring surroundings, but also to work with some amazing businesses and individuals. Looking to the future, as a dynamic and forward thinking firm, we continue to be committed to offering excellent value for money and delivering our promise of providing smart, friendly, legal services.

 

Smart, skilled and dynamic, we are constantly developing our Team to provide the most effective legal advice for your needs.  Working closely with our solicitors we have a team of highly experienced support staff, who play a key role in delivering a friendly and efficient service to our clients.

Here’s a brief review of who makes up Guest Walker:

  • John Walker

    Partner

    John is senior director of the business and has well over 30 years’ experience in property matters.  After university at Cambridge and training at a large commercial practice in Lincoln, John joined the firm in 1983 and became a partner in 1984.  He leads the commercial property team and has a wide range of experience across a number of areas, ranging from the sale of corner shop businesses to major casino developments.  He specialises in:-

    • Commercial conveyancing (including land and estate development)
    • Commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters (including leases, tenancy agreements, leasehold enfranchisement and possession proceedings)
    • Licensing for all types of premises, including casinos, pubs, restaurants, amusement arcades and betting shops
    • Sales and purchases of businesses and buildings of all kinds (both let out and with vacant possession)
    • Property advice in relation to Self Invested Personal Pension plans (SIPPs) and Small Self Administered Schemes (SSASs)
    • Formation of partnerships and limited companies
    • Management companies
    • Lease renewals for pubs and other businesses

    More about me…

    1. What has been your proudest moment at work?
      Our party to celebrate 30 years of Guest Walker & Co
    2. Name three things you enjoy about being part of the firm.
      a) Working in the city centre with a lot of very nice, honest, hard-working, reliable people.
    1. b) The personal relationships that everyone at Guest Walker & Co develops with our clients.
    2. c) The team ethic whereby people really care about the business and each other.
    1. Who is your hero?
      Richard Whiting (Hull FC)
    2. Radio 1 or Radio 4?
      Radio 4
    3. What is the most flattering thing a client has told you?
      “You’re a  *$%*@*&  good solicitor”
  • Helen Burrows

    Consultant Solicitor

    Helen joined the firm as a full-time Consultant in 2008 and is now a director. She has over 30 years’ experience in the field of commercial property.  During her legal career, Helen has worked in several large commercial practices, reaching partner status and is well known and respected within the local legal community.  Helen has acted for the City of York Council in a number of high profile transactions, a national estate agency chain on their property portfolio in England and Wales, various lending institutions with complex lending requirements and landowners on large agricultural disposals and acquisitions. She specialises in:-

    • Advising developers in relation to commercial development and associated construction issues.
    • Secured lending.
    • Property advice in relation to Self Invested Personal Pension plans (SIPPs) and Small Self Administered Schemes (SSASs)
    • Commercial landlord and tenant matters including the setting up and management of large commercial centres or developments.
    • Advising developers on the acquisition of land for residential development and associated planning and development issues.
    • Sales and purchases of businesses

    More about me…

    1. What 3 qualities should a lawyer have?
      Integrity, grittiness and commercial awareness
    2. What would you look for in a lawyer and why? (if you had to choose one)
      Excellent communication skills – essential to win over the other side
    3. Who would you like to meet and why?
      Colin Firth as Darcy – the “why” is obvious
    4. Please tell us your perfect dinner guests
      George Clooney, Martin Shaw, Clare Balding, Dr Zhivago (before he became manky) and Colin Firth in jodpurs
    5. Who would you be if you could be a fictional character?
      Elizabeth Bennet
  • Deborah Barton

    Solicitor

    Deborah joined the firm’s commercial property team in 2015 and works on a broad range of commercial property matters for both corporate and individual clients based in Yorkshire and beyond. Deborah achieved a first class law degree before going on to gain a distinction on her Legal Practice Course whilst studying at the College of Law, York then completed her training and began her career at a large City firm in London, where she stayed for 12 years. With a wide range of experience across the full commercial property spectrum, Deborah has represented a number of high profile clients.

  • Alison Munro

    Solicitor

    Alison joined the firm in 2016 and works in the commercial property department.

  • Christine Pick

    Christine is a highly experienced solicitor who joined the firm in 2016.  She manages probate and estates as well as complex residential conveyancing.

  • Vicky Middleton

    Conveyancing Executive

    Profile

    Vicky joined the firm in 1986.  She trained in residential property under the tutorship of John Walker. Over the years her capacity for work and her legal acumen have helped her to build up a well-established and ever growing caseload.  Clients return to her time and again because they trust her to see them through the process of buying or selling a property, quickly, efficiently and with a resilient approach to any challenges along the way.

    Her caseload includes residential matters, namely ;-

    • Sales and purchases of freehold property
    • Sales and purchases of leasehold property
    • Sales and purchases of part of a property
    • Sales and purchases of shared ownership properties
    • Plot Sales

    More about me…

    1. What has been your proudest moment at work?
      Becoming a fee earner in 1999.
    2. What is the most flattering thing a client has told you?
      That they really appreciated the job that I did for them and that everything was explained to them without the “legal jargon”.  This allowed them to understand what was happening.
    3. What is your guilty pleasure?
      I don’t do guilt, life is too short!
    4. Who is your hero?
      My mum.
    5. Finish this sentence: “At heart, I’m just a frustrated…”
      Millionaire
  • Paula Simpson

    Licensed Conveyancer

    Profile

    Paula joined Guest Walker’s residential property team in 2015. Paula graduated with an Honours Degree in Law and holds a Diploma in Conveyancing and Executry Practice.  Having a keen interest in property law, Paula qualified as a Licensed Conveyancer in 2005.

    She has experience in dealing with all aspects of residential property matters including;-

    • Freehold and Leasehold properties
    • New build
    • Right to Buy
    • Transfer of Equity
    • Re-Mortgage

    More about me…

    1. What is the highlight of your working day?

    Telling a client we have completed and they can pick up the keys to their new home.

    1. Are you a lark or an owl (early riser or a late sleeper)?

    Definitely up with the lark!

    1. What is your mantra/motto?

    What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.

    1. Walk on the beach or shopping in town?

    Walk on the beach.

    1. Name three things you enjoy about being part of Guest Walker & Co.
    • Great colleagues.
    • Amazing location.
    • Interesting work.
  • Rachel Butterfield

    Solicitor

    Profile

    Rachel joined the firm in 1994. She trained with the firm and qualified as a solicitor initially working in family law and immigration. She then concentrated her efforts on conveyancing and then on probate matters.  She has become our probate specialist because her meticulous approach and attention for detail together with her caring personality makes her ideally suited for this type of work.  Her experience in litigation and in working to tight timescales in conveyancing ensures that she has the breadth of skills and knowledge required to undertake probate matters.

  • Sean Gallagher

    Solicitor

    Sean qualified in 2005 and joined Guest Walker in January 2017. He deals with all types of commercial property transactions and has particular experience in advising clients on infrastructure agreements for the development of housing estates.

  • Ava Krajniewski

    Paralegal

    Ava joined Guest Walker in January 2017, having previously worked as a Paralegal at a large commercial law firm in Leeds, where she acted on behalf of an institutional landlord, dealing with leases, large scale acquisitions and disposals and management transactions, including licences to assign. Ava completed her law degree in 2012 and has now completed her Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in Leeds. She currently assists John Walker on various commercial and residential transactions and provides general support to the commercial property team.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Deborah Watson

    Receptionist

    Profile

    Debbie joined the firm in 2014. Her responsibilities include providing reception and administrative support to the office.

  • Celine Wahab

    Legal Secretary

    Profile

    Celine provides secretarial support to John Walker in the Commercial Property department and to Paula Simpson.

  • Claire Taylor

    Legal Secretary

    Profile

    Claire joined the firm in 2010. Her responsibilities include:-

    • Providing secretarial support to Paula Simpson.
  • Jenny Kemp

    Legal Secretary

    Profile

    Jenny joined the firm in 2003.

    Her responsibilities include:-

    • Providing secretarial support to John Walker
    • Dealing with a caseload including residential property matters
  • Carolyn Thompson

    Legal Secretary

    Profile

    Carolyn joined the firm in 2007.

    Her responsibilities include:-

    • Providing secretarial support to Deborah Barton.
  • Marina Wade

    Legal Secretary

    Profile

    Marina joined the firm in 2002.

    Her responsibilities include:-

    • Providing secretarial support to Helen Burrows and Steven Berry
  • Karen Smith

    Legal Cashier

    Profile

    Karen joined the firm in 2000.

    Her responsibilities include:-

    • All aspects of the firm’s finances and accounting

    More about me…

    1. How long have you been at the firm?
      12 years
    2. Are you a lark or an owl? (early riser or late sleeper?)
      Lark
    3. What did you want to be growing up?
      Hairdresser
    4. Who is your hero?
      My dad
    5. Bach / Beethoven or Plan B / Black Keys?
      Plan B / Black Keys
  • Bev Miller

    Legal Cashier

    Profile

    Bev joined the firm in 2002. Her responsibilities include:-

    • All aspects of the firm’s finances and accounting

    More about me…

    1. How long have you been at Guest Walker & Co?
      10 years this year! (Do I get a special present from the management?)
    2. What is your guilty pleasure?
      Double Gin and Tonics from Oscars
    3. Radio 1 or Radio 4?
      Radio 1 You don’t stop listening because you grow old; you grow old because you stop listening!
    4. Who is your hero?
      Troy Bayliss
    5. Joke
      Two fish in a tank, one says “Can you drive this thing?”
  • Katie Thompson

    Office Administrator

    Profile

    Katie joined the firm in 2014 and assists with reception and general office duties.