Civil Litigation Department

Civil Litigation Department


Sarah Magson
Head of Civil Litigation / Actions against Police

I am a highly motivated solicitor with specialist knowledge of litigation, advocacy and Civil Court procedure.

Having started my career in Personal Injury work at Williamson Hill Solicitors in 2002, I then moved to Watson Woodhouse Solicitors LLP in 2006 to join the Prison Law team.

Since qualifying in 2008 I have taken up the role of departmental supervisor for the Civil Litigation Team.

I regularly deal with cases covering all aspects of Civil Litigation as well as personal injury work including RTA claims, Accidents at work and Public Liability cases. I also specialise in ‘Actions Against Public Authorities’ and Criminal Injury cases. I particularly enjoy the more challenging and ad hoc nature of my work - committed to achieving the best outcome possible for my clients.

I am born and bred in Middlesbrough and consider that my knowledge of the local area allows me to support and advise my clients with understanding and compassion.

In my spare time I enjoy socialising and keeping fit.


Alistair Smith

I have been a Solicitor for 25 years. Initially practising in Newcastle, I transferred to Teesside and spent almost 20 years at Archer’s Law in Stockton becoming a Partner in the firm and specialising in Personal Injury work including spinal and head injuries, fatal accidents and disease cases.

I was a Member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, a member of APIL and I am a CEDR accredited mediator.

I left Archers to pursue other fields including remedial massage work, a teaching assistant role and claims investigations before Joining Watson Woodhouse in January 2014. I, now, do all aspects of civil litigation but have specific interest in historic sexual abuse cases, spinal and head injuries and accidents at work.

Outside of work, my interests are travel, water sports, walking and climbing, film, reading and, of course, the family!


Joanne Lewis
Legal Clerk

I have been working in the legal profession since 1998, specialising in personal injury law.

I studied Law at Teesside University and graduated in 2007.

I gained Graduate membership of the Institute of Legal Executives in 2015 and I am currently working towards achieving Fellowship membership.


Claire Dunn

I graduated in Law from De Mont Fort University before going on to study my Legal Practice Course at The College of Law in Newcastle for which I achieved a Distinction.

Initially qualifying and working as a Legal Executive for a number of years, I then went on to qualify as a Solicitor in 2005 and have specialised in Claimant personal injury work for over 12 years. I have experience in all types of claims such as accidents at work, occupiers liability claims, public and product liability, including claims involving children and accidents at school.

I have also previously worked defending claims for a couple of years and so know how ‘the other side’ works.

I recently joined Watson Woodhouse in 2016 to specialise in Actions Against the Police. I currently provide personal legal advice to individuals on a range of matters including complaints and civil claims against public authorities for unlawful detention, assault and general misconduct within Police Forces. I also deal with Parole Board delays and actions against Prisons.

Outside of work I have a keen interest in keeping fit and spending quality time with my family.