Team Listing

Here at Maples we have a wealth of experienced staff ready to assist you with legal matters.

Anita Toal LLB image

Anita Toal LLB

Anita has been with the Firm since 1989.  She joined as a Trainee Solicitor, before qualifying in October 1991 and eventually becoming a Partner in the Practice with effect from 1st January 1995.

Since 2004 Anita has been the Firm’s Managing Partner, and in particular has been responsible for guiding the Firm through Lexcel Accreditation.

Anita’s work is split between Family Law, Criminal Litigation and management of the Firm.

With respect to Family Law, Anita is a Member of Resolution, which is an organisation of Family Lawyers who attempt to resolve family disputes and divorce on a non-confrontational basis.  Having said that, if family disputes do have to be settled by the Court, then Anita has nearly 30 years’ experience of advocacy.

Anita has undertaken all types of family work from matters concerning children to complex divorces involving several million pounds’ worth of assets.

So far as Criminal Litigation is concerned, Anita is a Member of the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme and is also a Police Station and Court Duty Solicitor.  Her experience has involved her undertaking defence work of a wide nature ranging from the most serious crimes to constructing technical defences for motoring matters.

Outside of work, Anita served for 15 years on the Board of Governors at St Johns Primary School & is currently a Vice-chair of Governors at Spalding High School. She is married with two children.

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David Hicken LLB image

David Hicken LLB

David was born and brought up near Grimsby and after obtaining a Law Degree from Sheffield University joined Maples in September 1982 as a Trainee Solicitor.  After qualifying in October 1984 he became a Partner in January 1986.

David specialises in Commercial Property and is well respected for his work on behalf of some of the area’s leading property developers.  The work ranges from the sale and purchase of individual plots to larger estates of 300 plus dwellings and includes complex acquisitions.


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Mike Pepper MA image

Mike Pepper MA

Mike qualified as a Solicitor in April 1981.  He joined Maples in October 1983 before becoming a Partner in the Practice in 1986.

Mike specialises in Residential Conveyancing, and has over 35 years’ experience in this field.  He is very well respected and liked by the local agents, and is renowned by his clients for his efficiency and speed in dealing with the conveyancing process.

Outside of work Mike likes to spend as much time as possible with his family.

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James Turner BA image

James Turner BA

James qualified as a Solicitor in September 1996, having completed his Articles in his hometown of Blackpool.  James joined the Firm in 1997, and became a Partner in January 2001.

James specialises in Commercial Conveyancing (particularly with a Leasehold slant), Business Transfers and Company matters.

Outside of work James likes to travel and is a very keen and enthusiastic skier.

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Jane Mawer LLB image

Jane Mawer LLB

Jane joined Maples in September 2000.In January 2007 she became a Partner of the newly formed Limited Liability Partnership.

Jane is head of our Private Client Department and covers all areas of Wills, Probate and Trust Law.

Outside of work, Jane enjoys spending time with her young family

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Daven Naghen LLB image

Daven Naghen LLB

Daven was admitted to the Solicitors’ Role in September 2003 and joined Maples in April 2004. With effect from the 1st January 2009 Daven has become a Partner in The Firm.

Daven specialises in Criminal Law, Motoring and Licensing matters.  He is a Member of the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme and is also a Member of the Boston and Spalding Duty Solicitor Scheme for both the Police Station and the Court.

He has vast experience of all matters of Criminal work including high profile cases involving rape and murder ranging to the bottom end of the scale of seriousness to criminal damage and public order offences.

Daven is also well respected locally for his representation of clients in motoring matters, whether he is trying to prevent a driving ban or to obtain an acquittal.

Since our Firm holds a Criminal Defence Service Contract, Daven can apply for and obtain legal aid for many Criminal Law matters.  However when legal aid is not available, Daven has on many occasions successfully applied to the Court at the end of a case for a Defendant’s Costs Order from Central Funds to have the client’s costs met by the Court/State.

Daven is a keen cricketer, being a Member of Spalding Cricket Club. 

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Gemma Mayer LLB image

Gemma Mayer LLB

Gemma joined Maples Solicitors LLP in 2007 as a Trainee Solicitor, having obtained a First Class law degree at Liverpool John Moores University and commendation on the Legal Practice Course at the BPP Law School.

Gemma qualified as a solicitor with the firm in November 2009 and was made a Partner on 1st January 2015.

Since qualification Gemma has worked in the firm’s commercial team and has gained a wealth of experience in a wide range of matters from advising on the best type of business media and drafting any required constitutional documentation, to the buying and selling of a business and drafting or reviewing terms and conditions or other commercial contracts, including employment contracts.

Gemma also undertakes a range of commercial property work, which she finds compliments the pure commercial elements of her work.

Gemma regularly represents the firm at networking events and social events within the local community. Outside of work, Gemma enjoys reading, baking and watching live bands.

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Chris Ayre (Non Solicitor - Head of Finance & Operations)  image

Chris Ayre (Non Solicitor - Head of Finance & Operations)

Chris is Spalding born and bred and joined Maples as an Office Junior in August 2001 straight from Spalding Grammar School at the age of 17.

Over the years Chris has progressed within the firm initially taking over the role of IT Manager in 2003 and then together with acting as assistant legal cashier from 2005 onwards.

Chris assumed the role of Office Manager in 2013 and then in 2017 stepped up to also become our Senior Legal Cashier.

Over the years Chris has taken on more and more management and oversees the firm’s compliance for Lexcel, CQS and the like. Chris oversees all the finances and administration within the firm from preparing Estate Accounts for the Probate Department to dealing with all HR matters including recruitment (and everything in between). Chris is the firms COFA (Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration).

From 1st January 2021, Chris was made a Partner of the firm in his 20th year after starting with us.

Outside of work, Chris combines his love of sport with spending time with his young family. Chris also serves as Honorary Treasurer to the Spalding Sunday Football League.

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Faye Blair LLB image

Faye Blair LLB

Faye joined Maples in November 2011 as a Newly Qualified Solicitor after recently completing her training with a local firm.

Faye will be assisting our Private Client Department including the Writing of Wills and Probate.

Faye recently became a member of the Peterborough and District Law Society after being named Trainee Solicitor of the Year by the Law Society in 2011.

Outside of work Faye enjoys spending time with her young family along with Baking, Reading and Running. She is also a strong supporter of the Sue Ryder Hospice and regularly takes part in fundraising activities.

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Jamie Dobbs GCILEx image

Jamie Dobbs GCILEx

Jamie started at Maples in 2006 and moved to the Private Client Department in 2008 where she has gained much experience within this area of law over the years. She commenced her Chartered Legal Executive training in 2013  and during her training she received many distinctions for the examinations that she took. In her last exam she scored the highest mark in the country for an examination.

Jamie advises clients in relation to Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney as well as administering estates ranging from small, more simple estates to those that are more complex involving foreign assets, intestacies or high values.

In her free time Jamie enjoys spending time with her partner, family and friends.

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Donna Sandison FCILEx image

Donna Sandison FCILEx


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Matthew Day  image

Matthew Day

Matthew started working at Maples in September 2018 fresh out of school. He mainly works in the Family and Criminal Law departments, but as part of his training he will eventually have covered all other areas.

Matthew is our Apprentice Solicitor. He studies at the University of Law on their Solicitor Apprenticeship scheme which is spread out over a long period of time to incorporate a law degree, training contract and the solicitors qualifying exams. Once he has finished his course is 2024, Matthew will have a Law degree and have qualified as a Solicitor. Matthew is currently in his second year of the course and is an outstanding asset to Maples.

Outside of work Matthew keeps fit at the gym most nights and plays hockey for Spalding Hockey Club first team.

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Newly Appointed Partner image

Newly Appointed Partner

Maples Solicitors LLP are delighted to announce Chris Ayre became a Partner of the firm from 1st January 2021.


Managing Partner Mrs Anita Toal said “Chris has been a loyal member of the team since he joined us as a fresh-faced teenager and office junior many years ago. Over the years, Chris has increasingly taken on more and more responsibility and has been responsible for most of the day to day management of the firm for some time. Chris’s support of and commitment to  Maples has been consistently outstanding-never more so in 2020. We hope Chris will help the firm continue to flourish for many years to come”.


Chris commented “Maples has been like a home to me for nearly 20 years so I was thrilled when the very unexpected offer of Partnership was made. 2020 was a challenging year for everyone and let’s hope 2021 can be the start of a new brighter future”.

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Jamie Dobbs SCILEx

"I should like to take this opportunity to express my very sincere and grateful thanks for Jamie's unfailing helpfulness and efficiency in all aspects of the handling of my late stepmother's estate. Jamie have always replied to my (many!) queries promptly and comprehensively which has been a enormous help throughout what I know can be a fraught and stressful process. Sadly, it is increasingly rare these days to experience the highs standards of service that Jamie has provided."

Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

James Turner BA

James Turner was extremely helpful with our buying process. Everything went smoothly. We are very happy with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the office. Highly recommended solicitors. Will definitely do business with them again.

Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs GCILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Donna Sandison FCILEx

Donna has been helpful and professional every step of the way during the process. Always on hand to answer any queries and totally professional and friendly at all times.