Willans LLP toasts its 70th year with elegant celebration at Chapel Arts
PUBLISHED: 16:06 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:06 22 September 2017
A leading Gloucestershire law firm has marked its 70th birthday with a celebration at one of the town’s most exciting new art venues
Chapel Arts, a former Baptist chapel in Knapp Road, played host to Willans LLP solicitors as they toasted the firm’s big milestone. Around 200 clients, friends, staff and partners reminisced over the rich history of Willans, which began as a ‘one man band’ in 1947 and today employs over 75 staff across four office buildings on Cheltenham’s Imperial Square.
Local pianist Harry Wallace provided ambient background music while guests enjoyed artfully-presented canapés.
Guests were also able to view the work of artists Melanie Cormack-Hicks and the late Sandra Blow, which remains on display at the gallery until 24 September. 10% of the proceeds from art sales on the night went to childhood bereavement charity Winston’s Wish, Willans’ charity of the year.
On the night, managing partner Bridget Redmond commented: “We’re incredibly proud to be celebrating this milestone, with our wonderful staff (past and present), clients, fellow professionals and friends of the firm. They stand us in good stead for the next 70 years of doing what we do best: delivering first-class, dependable and sincere legal advice in a friendly, clear and timely way.
“Tonight is all about saying thank you – to our clients, our lawyers past and present, and everyone who has helped to shape Willans into the firm it is today.”
Former partner Mark Hodgkinson, who joined the firm in 1973 as a newly qualified solicitor, said: “It’s lovely to see so many Willans clients here today showing the support that they’ve given to the firm. I am proud to see what the firm has grown into”.
Joseph Purcaro, managing director of Joedan Manufacturing UK Ltd, commented: “My grandfather, then my father and I have worked with Willans’ private client and commercial lawyers for many years, and I’ve brought my 10 day old daughter here today. Willans always have a great personal touch. They care about what we care about”.
The gathering was not the only activity undertaken by Willans to commemorate its special year; the firm has also sponsored a range of county events including the Gloucestershire Business Awards and Cheltenham Festivals, along with a series of fundraisers for local charities. The firm has also teamed up with the University of Gloucestershire’s law school to provide mentoring and coaching to the lawyers of tomorrow.