Photo by cottonbro studio.

I always look back with great fondness at the tests and the pleasure and experiences that I had through the year. This was a challenging year again due
to the continuing problems in producing semiconductors for bikes (and cars) with the lack of availability of demo bikes from main dealers. They are simply not getting them or are all sold immediately online. I had to put my best Oliver Twist impression on and ask for “more” often throughout the year!

I also wanted to broaden the articles and this gave me an opportunity to do so. March was an article regarding contributory negligence “Where there’s blame”. This is a matter for two wheeler riders of any type. Insurers often look at two wheelers as being partly to blame for any accident, as a starting point. Each case is fact sensitive but a robust response is always necessary. The key is to take a keen interest in the detail of each case and obtain witness evidence as quickly as possible then be patient and to persevere.

April saw me riding the Honda NT 1100 which is meant to be a Super Blackbird replacement. This is a supremely comfortable, nimble for its size, powerful and accomplished mile muncher. Difficult to fault. May saw me on the eagerly awaited ride on the upgraded Moto Guzzi V7 850 up from the previous 750 cc capacity. Guzzi have done for this bike what Triumph has done for the Bonneville and upgraded the engine to answer previous concerns that the bike itself was great but it was 46 slightly underpowered. This did the trick, characteristically different and all in black.

June saw an article particularly aimed at cyclists. There are many similarities to acting for motor bike and scooter riders, with cyclists, but cyclists also have their own unique difficulties in relation to cycling law and accidents generally. Speed can be a safety factor for scooter or motorcycle riders in certain instances on the road, but not for cyclists. Cyclists can be particularly vulnerable to road rage incidents from car drivers and highway defects. Fortunately cyclists are very high up the new Highway Code list for priorities on the road. About time. I was pleased to notice, after the new code, an obvious change in the attitude of most drivers towards cyclists.

July I was on the Triumph Tiger Sports 660 and later in November on its roadster brother the Trident 660. It was tallrounder versus naked roadster with different styles but the same main chassis/engine and exhaust. Both very good bikes indeed and depends upon your preferred use and the amount of weather protection that you need. This is called the light middleweight class!

Despite the heat in August I couldn’t get a demo run for love nor money. I thought I would revisit my first ever article in April 2015 and cross-reference that with my own bike which was the same bike a Honda VFR 800 X Crossrunner.

September and October saw me on the smooth Suzuki GSX – S1000GT and the Jolly pop around town Vespa Primavera 125 scooter. Two different ends of the spectrum – both bring a smile to your face in doing their jobs admirably. December saw my retelling of an August bank holiday lads run out to the borders. Marvellous.

Best bike? I’m afraid my heart goes to the Moto Guzzi V7. For me, a great blend of heritage/modernity for this retro roadster. Best pitstop diner? Unfair competition but it has to go to the Buccleuch Arms (Babotie meal) in Moffat. Unfair because that was an overnight stay and not a quick stop at one of the honourable mentions I can give being Pranzo in Whitley Bay, Factory Kitchen in the Ouseburn and Wheelbirk’s Parlour in Northumberland.

Massive shout outs to Triumph Newcastle, Honda Newcastle and Motech in Byker for being able to provide me with “more” demo bikes in my hour of need. Your reward will be in heaven! More of the same hopefully next year!

Thanks for reading. Mark.

Mark Hipkin is a Partner/ Head of the Personal Injury and Civil Litigation department. He welcomes your e-mails or calls on the law (or your biking experiences) at or call 0191 2533509.

Mary was born and has lived all her life in the North East of England. Her first interest was science and she originally studied Biomedical Science at Northumbria and worked in the scientific research field and the NHS, before studying part time, again at Northumbria University, to obtain her degree in Law. Since then she has enjoyed a varied career covering many different areas of law, before specialising in Children Law, which she has done almost exclusively for the past 5 years.

Mary loves reading and history and at a weekend can often be found at one of the many historical sites the North East has to offer and has even been known to play video games when she can find the time.

Chris was originally a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives from 1997 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2001.

He has over 25 years experience in private client work comprising Wills, Trusts, Probate, Powers of Attorney and other Court of Protection Work such as Deputyship applications. Chris has been a Partner in several firms in the North East, being Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate.

He brings a wealth of experience to his role and works closely with clients, providing them with a service tailored to their needs

Susan was born and bred in the North East, spending all of her working life in Blyth. She qualified in 1981 and, after some years at Alderson Law, began to specialise in family law, covering both private and legal aid. Susan was a member of the Law Society Family Panel and an accredited Resolution specialist, specialising particularly in private children law and domestic violence.

Susan took part-retirement in December 2018 but still works as a Solicitor here at Alderson Law. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, walking, reading, and spending time with her family. She has also been a Brownie leader for over 40 years.

Originally from East Yorkshire, Jasmine moved to the North East in 2012 to study at Northumbria University undertaking the M Law Exempting (BPTC) course (the only undergraduate course in England and Wales which incorporates the Bar Professional Training Course), graduating in 2016 with a First Class Honours and a Very Competent in the Bar Professional Training Course. Prior to joining Alderson Law Jasmine specialised in RTA Fraud in a Personal Injury firm, before moving to another firm to work as a Family Law Paralegal.

In 2018 she joined our team as a Family Law Paralegal and before qualifying as a Solicitor within the Family Law Department based at our Morpeth office. Jasmine represents clients in a wide range of matters including; divorce and matrimonial finance, disputes regarding the arrangements for children as well as parents who are subject to Local Authority involvement both before and during Court proceedings.

In her spare time Jasmine likes visiting the beach, going to the gym, watching live music and looking after her pet rabbit.

Julie is a highly experienced property solicitor. She studied Law at Northumbria University and, after qualifying in 2000, went on to work at national and international firms prior to joining the team at Alderson Law in 2017. She works alongside her clients, advising on residential and commercial property development, property investment, portfolio management, property finance, landlord and tenant, easements and restrictive covenants.

Fiona is a specialist private client lawyer providing advice and assistance with wills, trusts, tax planning, probate & estate administration, lasting powers of attorney, court of protection and elderly client work. Having previously worked with a number of Newcastle-based firms listed in The Legal 500, Fiona brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. She is a full member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), the association for specialists in family inheritance and succession planning.

Fiona grew up in Northern Ireland and studied law at Durham University, and has remained in the North East ever since. She enjoys spending time with her family at their cottage in Northumberland.

Mark Hipkin, partner at Alderson Law LLP, has been advising businesses and claimants since he qualified as a solicitor in 1982.

Mark’s passion is for representing claimants on two wheels in complex, serious and catastrophic motorcycle, scooter and cycle injuries, but he also has extensive experience of acting for claimants in many other personal injury areas including occupiers and public liability work and accidents at work. He specialises in challenging and complex cases. Mark always puts the client first, looking from the first day of instruction to obtain the best and fairest outcome for a claimant, no matter how long a case may take. He is a fan of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and early neutral valuation as alternatives to litigation. Sometimes, however, litigation is the best option, together with the necessary drive to see every matter through to a fair conclusion.

Mark also, having started his own business, advises business clients, often with motorcycle-, scooter- or cycle-related businesses and also deals with complex commercial disputes, professional negligence cases, and general civil litigation.

Mark likes to spend what free time he has with his family and practising Tai Chi and Tang Soo Do (Korean Karate – in which he is a second Dan).

Having worked in family law for over 25 years, Julie is a highly accomplished specialist in her field. She has a vast body of experience in dealing with family law, from divorce and related financial issues to complex child-related cases. Julie was the first person in North Tyneside to achieve the status of an accredited advanced family law specialist, and is a member of the Law Society Advanced Family Panel, which demonstrates her experience in complex contested family cases and other subject-specific matters.

Though multi-talented and highly experienced, Julie’s particular speciality is in complex ancillary relief (financial settlement) claims and complex residence and contact disputes.

In her spare time Julie enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family and three grandchildren. She attends clients at our Whitley Bay and Blyth offices.

Tracey is one of our Partners and qualified as a solicitor in 1997. Throughout her career she has had a varied caseload undertaking matters in most areas of civil and private client law. Tracey can assist clients in a wide range of matters including: Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney, Debt Recovery, Residential and Commercial Conveyancing as well as Licensing and Landlord and Tenant matters.

Tracey is one of our most senior practitioners with over 20 years of local experience, having graduated from both Newcastle University and Northumbria University. When not in the office she enjoys walking, cycling, and cooking with her family.