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North Wales lawyer’s Beatles poster raises cash for Merseyside cancer charity

Lisa Harbour who has joined leading law firm Swayne Johnson. Picture by Mandy Jones Photography.

A 1960s poster for a concert signed by the man who designed posters for The Beatles helped raise over £800 at a charity event organised by a North Wales lawyer for a top cancer charity.

Lisa Harbour, who has joined the Family Law team at Swayne Johnson which has branches across North Wales, received the donation of the poster from a family member who was left the rare item by her great uncle, Tony Booth.

Tony worked with Beatles manager Brian Epstein, and famously designed posters for the Fab Four in their early years.

This one was for a concert at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool, in the early Sixties when the Fab Four were headlining ahead of Gerry and the Pacemakers and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.

A poster designed by Lisa Harbour’s great-uncle Tony Booth for an early Beatles concert at The Cavern Club and which has recently been auctioned for Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.

Lisa, 35, who is based at Swayne Johnson’s St Asaph office, said: “My mum died of breast cancer when I was 17 after being treated at Clatterbridge Hospital who were really wonderful with her.

“Her uncle used to work with Brian Epstein and The Beatles in the 1960s and did the artwork for their concert posters and of course they’re now collectors’ items and sell for a lot of money but we wanted to keep this one in the family for sentimental reasons.

“Mum would have been 60 this year and we thought it would be great to mark that by having a fundraising event and auctioning this signed and framed poster in aid of Clatterbridge Cancer Charity and it’s actually a cousin who bid successfully for it so we know great-uncle Tony’s work is staying in the family and will be cherished.

“I have done a lot of charity fund-raising and most of it has been for Clatterbridge Cancer Charity and it’s something I’d like to continue at Swayne Johnson who are very supportive of staff’s charity work.

“At a previous employer in Liverpool I was head of charity and we raised £10,000 in my first year which of course made a huge difference.”

Lisa, who went to West Kirby Grammar School and lives in Wirral, is a specialist in Family Law after becoming fascinated with the profession after seeing the Reese Witherspoon rom-com Legally Blonde as a teenager.

After leaving school she began an unpaid voluntary placement with a law firm in Liverpool which lasted nine months and they were so impressed that they decided to pay her and backdate this at the end of her placement.

She said: “I was only 18 years old and I’d never seen so much money in my bank account so it was very exciting. This placement also helped get my foot in the door at a law firm and I did a bit of everything in those nine months while studying.

“I began an earn while you learn CILEX course and eventually secured a permanent position at a reputable firm concentrating on family law.

“At the time, my mum had recently passed away and I didn’t want to ask my dad to put me through university or indeed place too much pressure on myself with respect to this.

“I’m really glad I took the CILEX route and I would really advocate people considering all routes to law and increasing awareness of how accessible the profession now is for people from all backgrounds.

“I also feel that CILEX has resulted in me having more practical experience and as I concentrated on family law I became more and more interested in it.

“Family Law is very rewarding because the main focus on most of what you do is to ensure children in a relationship are taken care of and what could be more important than that?

“No-one is ever happy to visit a family lawyer, we are usually a distress purchase. I do however often find that by the end of the process clients are grateful because you are helping them re-gain control of their life and get a fresh start.

“I am also finding that people want to plan more these days, with pre-nuptial agreements becoming more and more common, perhaps because people are more aware of them due to the media, but are also mindful of protecting their assets in the current financial climate.

“For me it is important to build a trusting relationship with my clients. It’s often a difficult time for them, and can be very emotional, so you have to try and help them navigate a way forward.

“I have worked for different firms but I have always liked the personable yet professional high street vibe and that was what attracted me to Swayne Johnson. I also liked the idea of working here in North Wales, though it does feel strange that I’ve actually holidayed in St Asaph and now I travel here most days.

“It’s a very rewarding job. I love helping people and family law gives you the opportunity to do that.  I am incredibly pleased to have joined Swayne Johnson Solicitors.”

In her spare time Lisa and her husband, along with friends, run a Mini Car Club and she organises events, often at stately homes, for its nearly 600 members.

She said: “My husband got a Mini and I wasn’t very impressed but then I drove it and became hooked. I’ve now got a very nice Mini to get me to work and back.”

Swayne Johnson Managing Director Sarah Noton said: “We’re delighted Lisa has joined us and she will strengthen our family law department considerably with the breadth of experience she has.

“We are making more high calibre appointments as we continue to grow the business and within Swayne Johnson we have lawyers with a wealth of experience in all aspects of legal work and that makes this a very good environment for those who join us.

“We offer a comprehensive range of services across a wide area of law and we have the kind of high-quality expertise that means clients don’t need to look to firms from outside the area for the legal skills they need.

“At Swayne Johnson we believe in building relationships with our clients and providing them with the reassurance that they’re dealing with people who know and understand them.”