Holly Dobson is a partner with Yorkshire law firm Lupton Fawcett. Born in Ethiopia to a mother who worked for the Foreign Office and rode horses for Emperor Haile Selassie and a father who drafted finance legislation for ex-Commonwealth countries...

…Holly moved around the world with her family before settling in Sheffield. She has lived and worked in the city for more than 35 years after meeting and marrying a born and bred Sheffielder. She joined Lupton Fawcett in June this year.

Based at its Sheffield office, she is an experienced solicitor with more than 35 years’ experience, specialising in employment law in the charities and schools, healthcare, construction and professional services sectors, as well as data protection / GDPR.

She advises businesses and individuals on the full range of employment issues and data protection compliance and training.

Holly is an experienced advocate and a robust litigator. She holds a part-time public service appointment and is a member/part-time Chair of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. She is also a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and Industrial Law Society.

In her spare time, Holly enjoys gentle rambles through the countryside around Sheffield including the Peak District, usually with a good pub at the end. She loves history and travelling around historic towns and cities, whether at home or abroad. She is a keen gardener and collects early editions of various crime writers; but has yet to find a first edition.


 I love the outdoors and like to spend as much time as I can outside. Whirlow Hall Farm is just up the road from home and is a fantastic jumping off point into the surrounding countryside. There are some lovely round walks through the fields and down to Whirlowbrook Hall Gardens which, as a keen gardener, I enjoy. The garden is a public 39 acre site with a variety of walks and leading straight into woodland and the Limb Valley walk into Derbyshire.

The educational trust which runs Whirlow Hall Farm Trust does some great work promoting the importance of outdoor learning, particularly for those from challenging backgrounds who struggle in mainstream education. It is so important that children learn where their food comes from and how it is produced.

If you feel like a well-deserved treat there is a well-stocked farm shop and a child-friendly café – both stocked with produce grown on the farm and from neighbouring local producers. The farm even has its own vines and you can buy great wine to go with your local goodies.


Food is another of my passions and I love the vibrant and lively buzz of Sharrow Vale Road, just a short stroll from Ecclesall Road. It’s the Notting Hill of Sheffield with its fantastic range of independent shops from clothes boutiques to butchers and bakers to some fantastic pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Favourites include The Lescar, a characterful pub with good food and a warm welcome and where my friends and I enjoyed some great comedy nights pre-covid. We are looking forward to supporting live events again.

While we’ve not been able to travel over the last 18 months, we can enjoy some great international cuisine without leaving Sharrow Vale Road. The Mediterranean offers authentic Spanish and Mediterranean tapas, fresh fish and succulent seafood, while Akentannos is run by a Sardinian and specialises in traditional Sardinian cuisine. It is buonissimo!  It’s deli also sells delicious, authentic Sardinian produce to take home.


 Of everything I have achieved, I am proudest of my 19 years supporting fundraising for Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

I was a trustee for the Gardens Trust for 19 years (also serving as pro bono Trust treasurer for five years and pro bono Trust Secretary throughout) and part of the small team which successfully raised £1.22 million matched funding over a time span of 8 years to access a National Lottery Grant of £5.06 million by 2007.

As a result of the generosity of local and national charitable trusts, businesses and individuals, the Gardens were restored to their former 19th century magnificence and reopened to the public in June 2007. Work very much continues to add to the Gardens restoration and amenities.

I was so lucky to work opposite the gardens for 10 years. Not only are the gardens beautiful but they are used daily by an extraordinary number of Sheffield residents of all ages and from all walks of life. The ethos of the Gardens was free to all and, with the importance of green outdoor space never so apparent as over the past 18 months, long may that continue.


My partner and I love Sheffield’s theatres and can’t wait until they open again. We are also keen supporters of the Curzon cinema. There is a limit to how much you can watch on the small screen!

A fixture in Sheffield since 1968 and one of the region’s first pizzerias, Mama and Leonies is a Sheffield institution and ideally placed for both the theatres and the Curzon cinema.

The service is great – they are well experienced in turning out good Italian seasonal food quickly, so customers can get to get to the theatre or cinema in time.


Sheffield has some impressive museums. I never tire of dipping into The Ruskin Collection at Millenium Galleries – it is so eclectic and changes twice a year.

Created for Sheffield’s workers over 130 years ago; the collection was designed to inspire creativity at a time when England’s manufacturing cities were becoming wealthy, whilst their workforces lived in poverty. Ruskin founded a museum specifically for Sheffield’s workers and filled it with a collection of artworks, illustrated books and minerals, all chosen to reflect his exploration of beauty.

Sheffield is synonymous throughout the world for its association with steel and cutlery so the steel and cutlery collection is another must. Like so many modern collections it is fun, interactive and educational. The collection is made up of 13,000 items representing Sheffield’s long manufacturing craft history and reflecting the stories of generations who contributed to the city’s success   I love bringing friends and family from out of town here when they visit.


 I am a proud trustee of the Freshgate Foundation, a grant-making charity established in 1941 by Harry Brearley, the inventor of rustless – later stainless – steel in Sheffield.

Harry Brearley was a fascinating man who achieved great things from very humble beginnings. The son of a steelworker, he left school at 12 to labour in the local steelworks, studying steel production techniques in his own time, and ultimately leading a research project into metallurgical problems for two of Sheffield’s principal steelmaking companies.

With an initial investment of £20,000, Harry’s vision was to provide a new opportunity to those like him who were born into modest circumstances to enable them to experience the finer things in life such as heritage, travel, education, the arts and music.

Since 1941 the initial investment has significantly increased, and the dividends earned have been used to support local causes. To date, grants exceeding £2m have been made to many hundreds of charitable groups.

My favourite places in Sheffield

Holly Dobson of Lupton Fawcett LLP.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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