NGCAA Limited

About the NGCAA

Since 1922 the NGCAA has provided support, advice and guidance - from start to resolution - on all legal matters impacting upon both Proprietary and Private members golf clubs.

Managed by a Board of Directors who are all experienced in golf club management, the NGCAA delivers on-hand support to Golf Club Managers, Committees and Owners.

Alongside the office staff mentioned below, the NGCAA engages the services of a team of specialist Solicitors to assist in legislative guidance for clubs. One member of the team is a specialist in Scottish specific law.

The NGCAA can assist with any legal issues that a club may encounter, such as Employment law, Licensing & Hospitality, Disability & Equality or CASC.

As well as the personalised support offered over the telephone and by email, members have access to a comprehensive library of templates and briefing notes which are held on our secure website. These can be downloaded and used as often as required. There is also a facility to upload your key documentation onto our central resource so that we are better able to assist you when you need us most.

The NGCAA team are also willing to visit clubs in order to review documentation, attend your General Meetings and/or meet with your Committees if required. The Chief Executive is a seasoned lecturer and can provide informative and entertaining speeches at your events on a number of legal subjects.

The NGCAA are a well-respected industry body and contribute regular articles to relevant golfing publications.

Delivering Effective
Legal Support


Contact us on
01886 812943
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help your golf club.



Membership Details




Jackie Howe - Chief Executive

Jackie Howe

Jackie has been with the NGCAA since 2006 when she decided to move from Golf Club Management to the more challenging role of Chief Executive with the NGCAA. Jackie has worked in golf management since 1986 and has an in-depth understanding of the problems faced by golf club managers and their committees in the 21st century. In her time she was also a single figure handicap golfer.

As well as her extensive knowledge and experience of golf clubs, Jackie is also a trained Health & Safety Advisor and holds a UK Mediation Practitioners Certificate.

Jackie manages all legal queries and you can call her at any time to discuss issues or email her to ask for help. In many cases she will be able to resolve the issue herself, but if required, she will pass it to the legal team for advice.

Jackie writes a regular Blog which is available to view on our website, and also a monthly Newsletter which is emailed automatically to all members as well as to any interested parties who subscribe.


Deb Bufton - PA and Office Manager

Deb Bufton

Deb is Jackie's right-hand woman and has been with the NGCAA since 2012. Although not a golfer, Deb has extensive experience in a number of office management roles and is likely to be the first point of contact for our members.

Deb is in charge of all non-legal elements of the office, in particular membership and account queries, website log-in enquiries and club profile updates. She is responsible for organising the annual Golf Days and for ensuring the smooth running of the office by providing plenty of cups of coffee to Jackie!


Tom Rean - Marketing Administrator

Tom Rean

Thomas is the most recent addition to our team, with specialist skills in marketing and administration techniques. Having been part of several successful online ventures his expertise in this area will no doubt become part of our ongoing mission to provide additional services to our members. He is currently overseeing our social media accounts and online presence and will be assisting Deb in the smooth running of day to day operations at the NGCAA office.




NGCAA Legal Team - Specialists in legislative guidance for clubs


Our team of specialist solicitors advise upon and provide documentation on a wide range of subject including:

  • Employment Law
  • Disability/Equality
  • Club Constitution
  • Voting Procedures
  • Discipline of Members
  • CASC
  • Social Media/Wi-Fi
  • Neighbour Disputes
  • Redundancy
  • Licensing & Hospitality
  • Membership Disputes
  • Articles of Association
  • Club Rules/Byelaws
  • Consumer Credit
  • Data Protection
  • Property Lettings
  • Policy Reviews


Alistair Smith - Head of Law

Alistair Smith

Area of Law: Employment

I trained at a sports law firm in Manchester, where my interest in employment law and contracts began. I now have over 15 years’ of experience as an employment lawyer advising local and national businesses on employment law and HR matters.

I am appointed as the Legal Adviser to the National Golf Clubs Advisory Association, working closely with Jackie and her team to help golf clubs on employment law and HR matters.

With a passion for achieving practical solutions for clubs, on matters such as dismissals, re-organisations and “problem employees” I am keen to help employers to move quickly through the minefield of employment law, successfully negotiate the red tape and to help clubs focus on their core objectives.

In addition, I enjoy working with employers on the preventative side of employment law, operating employment law helplines, implementing systems to maximise employee engagement and retention, as well as drafting the building blocks of the employment relationship such as contracts, handbooks and associated documentation, I work in conjunction with our sister company, Hadrian HR, to offer a rare full service solution of employment law and HR assistance.

I am a very keen golfer and a member of Northumberland Golf Club.


Paul Crawley - Corporate and Commercial Solicitor

Paul Crawley

I qualified at a regional law firm in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2008, and subsequently worked for an international legal and tax advisory firm in Asia. Since qualification I have gained a wide range of experience advising local and national business on issues surrounding business and corporate law as well as commercial contracts and commercial property law.

I am more than happy to assist golf clubs with any matter falling within those categories and have experience of advising golf clubs on the incorporation process and ancillary matters related thereto. Often, there is an element of property work involved in the process. I regularly liaise with other professional advisors, namely tax advisors and accountants, in order that a reasonable and practical solution can be found to any issues affecting a club or its members or in carrying out restructures of the corporate structure to mitigate any personal liability that may be incurred by the shareholders or the directors.

I thoroughly enjoy a game of golf, however due to family commitments my game has never improved beyond an unofficial 24 handicap. As the saying goes "my worst day at golf still beats my best day at work".


Gwen Jones - Licensing

Gwen Jones

I joined the firm in May 2014 having previously worked at two other Newcastle based firms within their Commercial Property Departments.

I specialise in non-contentious landlord and tenant matters advising both landlords and tenants with their leasehold property matters. I regularly advise clients upon the acquisition and disposal of their commercial properties together with any finance required in connection with such matters. My experience also extends to advising on property insolvency matters and I have acted for public and private sector clients, leading financial institutions and charities.

In addition, I act for a number of Care Home providers, advising in transactions involving both the acquisitions and disposal of their interests. Where required I provide advice and assistance for all funding matters relating to their care homes.

I also act for various licensed establishments assisting them with licence renewals, premises licenses and entertainment licences.

As the head of our small business unit Core the team and I advise new business start-ups and growing businesses with all of their legal needs. We work closely with our small business clients to ensure that they obtain the right legal and business advice from the appropriate sources, working closely with organisations that assist small businesses.


Jonathon Stokes - Commercial Litigation

Jonathon Stokes

I joined what is now GBLF on 1 January 2008 following a merger with my own firm.

I specialise in employment and commercial litigation disputes. I am part of the last cohort of lawyers who have, at some point in time, done a little bit of everything. Having started out with a sole practitioner in London I tried family, wills and probate, employment, litigation and inevitably, lots of conveyancing. Those were the days when the Christmas box came from the agent to us and not, as it very much now is, the other way round.

When I first moved to Newcastle I specialised in clinical negligence as well as employment before moving into the field of commercial litigation. I am privileged to have appeared not only the County Court and High Court but the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court; as well as the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal.

I provide both contention and non-contentious employment advice and work closely in conjunction with our HR professionals. My commercial litigation work centres around contract disputes, building disputes and large debt claims. I also undertake landlord and tenant work as well as contentious probate claims and both contentious and non-contentious insolvency work.


Deb Tweedy - HR Consultant

Deb Tweedy

As an HR Consultant, my remit is to ensure my clients are not only legally compliant but that they are able to operate a professional and ethical business practice. As a team of specialists ranging from qualified HR practitioners to qualified employment lawyers we aim to take the headache away from our clients by providing a range of training packages for business leaders, confident in the knowledge they can go away with a personalised toolkit to assist them when dealing with tricky employment issues.

In my spare time I enjoy nothing better than socialising with my friends and my now grown up family. Whilst I cannot profess to having taken up the sport of golf – preferring to leave that to our wider team of experts – I do enjoy cycling, walking and generally spending time socialising with my friends and family.








NGCAA Board of Directors



Ian Skellern

Ian Skellern

Began working life as a science/maths qualified teacher in a York secondary school. Joined the Royal Air force in 1966 and served for 28 years before retiring in the rank of Wing Commander. Became manager of the Gog Magog Golf Club for the next six years during which time helped to manage the project of building a second 18-hole course, the Wandelbury; the R&A liked the new course and were given permission to hold their regional qualifying event for 5 years. Represented, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and the Royal Air Force at Golf.

Have been on the NGCAA executive committee since 1999 and Chairman for the last 9 years.


Ray Howell

Ray Howell

Sqn Ldr Ray Howell was first elected on to the committee of NGCAA in 1996., and has been involved continuously since then. In 2001 he was elected President & Chairman, continuing as chairman until 2007. He managed Tredegar Park Golf Club, Gwent for 10 years, being involved in the construction of, and move to, a newly built course. He is a long standing member of Radyr Golf Club, Cardiff and has served on the committee of that club, and been temporary manager of the club on two recent occasions.

Previously, Ray was in the Royal Air Force for 25 years as a pilot and flying instructor. Apart from golf club management, Ray has worked as a commercial director for a number of family companies, and this continues on a part-time basis.


Gary Pearce

Gary Pearce

I have been the General Manager at Fulford for 10 years. Fulford is a busy traditional members club, with a rich history in Championship Golf. Other roles I have held during my time at FGC include; Yorkshire GCMA Regional Committee member, York Union Secretary for the past three years, and I support England Golf as a member of the Club Managers Advisory Group. Prior to Fulford GC, I worked for Marriott Golf at Hollins Hall and at Dalmahoy, and I was also General Manager at Cottesmore Hotel, Golf and Country Club. I have experience working in the Municipal Golf sector, working for Leeds City Council Golf during my University years where I studied Business Management.


Martyn Bonner

Martyn Bonner MBE

Martyn has been the Manager of Notts Golf Club (Hollinwell) since January 2013. Prior to that he was in the Army for almost 40 years, man and boy. In his final military position, as the Commanding Officer of Sennelager Support Unit, he was appointed Chairman of the British Army Golf Club (Germany) for almost three years. He is married with two children and 4 grandchildren and is a single figure (at times) golfer!


Nick Lewis

Nick Lewis

Nick qualified as a solicitor in 1974 and became a partner in KBL Solicitors in 1980 undertaking a variety of contentious legal work but settled as the head of Family Law at KBL. He trained as a collaborative lawyer in 2008 and along the way has been a member of AVMA (Action for victims of Medical Accidents), APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) Trial Lawyers of America. Nick was also President of Bolton Law Society, Bolton Round Table and 41 Club and was a director of the Octagon Theatre for many years. He has been a lifelong member of Bolton Golf club and became interested in Golf Club law through his long association with Mike Shaw former CEO of the NGCAA and has been Head of Legal for the NGCAA for 5 years. Nick is also a long-standing member of Windermere Motor Boat racing Club and is currently retired. Nick is concerned about the long-term future of Golf Clubs and therefore convinced that the advice given by the NGCAA will make the way forward less daunting.




NGCAA - Legal advice and administrative support to member golf clubs