As we start a New Year, we look back over the past 12 months and what an eventful year it has been for the firm.

Some changes you may already be aware of but just in case you have missed any part of it here is a brief round-up.

We started the year with the launch of our new website and plans afoot for expansion. We certainly made the most of the start of 2017 to implement changes and growth across the board.

New Appointments

We expanded our fee earning staff across the departments and throughout the year. In April Christopher Lloyd joined the firm as Solicitor dealing with both Private Client and Conveyancing matters.  A Welsh speaker, Chris added to our already strong Private Client department.

June saw the promotion of our Conveyancing Executive Elizabeth Williams to lead the Conveyancing team at our Shrewsbury office.  She is very much enjoying the cut and thrust of the Shropshire property market. Luke Townsend moved permanently to head the Conveyancing team at our Newport branch and is firmly established in Newport life already.

In July, solicitor Rachel Davenport was appointed as the latest Member of the partnership and said “having joined Clarkes as a Consultant some time ago, I am delighted to be joining this well regarded and progressive firm at partnership level. I am looking forward to being part of the great plans ahead for Clarkes”.

August heralded the arrival of Laura Tarbuck a very experienced and highly regarded family solicitor.  Laura joined the firm as an Associate in the Family Department.  A real coup for Clarkes and, luckily for us, we persuaded Laura to come aboard.

During August Clarkes acquired the practice of Geoffrey Milne Solicitor. Geoffrey Milne and his team joined the Private Client team at our Wellington office. Geoffrey has settled in to life in a larger firm and his clients, old and new, have happily joined us too.

We also welcomed Maria Schulz a Legal Executive and Licence Conveyancer in August.  Maria brings to Clarkes her wealth of experience in Commercial property to add weight to the expanding department at Telford Centre after we lost Charlotte Ellis who relocated to Nottingham for love . . .

September saw Elizabeth McEvilly join the firm as a Private Client Executive at our Shrewsbury office. Another coup for Clarkes when Liz (as she is known) decided to leave her then employer for life at Clarkes, bringing with her a “can do” attitude and an excellent reputation.

In November Lisa Blair another Fellow of the Institute of legal Executives joined the firm’s Civil Litigation department.  Lisa is a very experienced and highly regarded Legal Executive expanding the litigation team further and specialising in debt recovery, disputes and general litigation.

But most importantly, Barney (the Cockerpoo pup) joined the team and can be seen holding the fort and greeting clients at our Newport branch office!  He even has his own following on Twitter and Facebook.  We may need to consider a pay rise for him!!

Fun Times and Sponsorships

Clarkes staff trained to become “Dementia Friends” and now are part of the Dementia Alliance in the county’s first dementia friendly town of Newport.

The summer saw our annual sponsorship of the Wildlife Trust’s Merefest hosted in Ellesmere with one of our own Members, Paul Harrison, playing the festival gig with his blues band, wearing Clarkes T shirts.

Wrekin Flower Show enjoyed sponsorship of the whole event via our Wellington office with a ticket giveaway for our Facebook followers for this much anticipated event.

Cakes were the order of the day for Macmillan Cancer Coffee Morning and a “dress down day” for Children In Need. Then it was a “dress up day” as we took part in Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children.

Intrepid staff members sailed the Severn Seas (!!!) with the annual Coracle Race in Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park and even more intrepid Sian Harrison and Amy Follows jumped out of a plane to raise funds for the Severn Hospice, a cause close to our hearts here at Clarkes. We also took part in their “Do Something Amazing Today” campaign which we will continue to support in 2018.

We sponsored undefeated local boxer Tony Blaze, run a Christmas picture competition with schools throughout Shropshire. Sponsored Moorfield Primary events in Newport and supported the Wellington Kids Festival.

We have plans to get out and about supporting local events and increasing our community presence throughout 2018.

 In Memorium

Unfortunately the year wasn’t all fun for the firm. With great sadness, the firm said goodbye to one of its Members and friends, Warren Lewis, who passed away on 2 June 2017.  Warren, one of Shropshire’s great legal characters, was a Member of the partnership of Clarkes since 1985 and is greatly missed by friends, colleagues and clients.

And Finally

We wish to take this opportunity to thank our clients, both old and new, our staff and friends of the firm, and wish them all a happy New Year as we start 2018 with even greater excitement.