Birkett Longhistory

From 1821 to 1899

  1. 1821

    Geo. Sperling being admitted in 1821 (Deceased at 57, 3 November 1858) - A letter to G. Sperling from 1842 is in storage.

    George Sperling
  2. 1822

    Decimus Sewell was admitted and practised in Halstead High Street. He was joined in Partnership by Edward Henry Inman admitted 1871 and they moved to a house nearly opposite Red House.

  3. 1840

    George William Harris was admitted at Michaelmas.

    George William Harris
  4. 1862

    Robert Rutherford Morton was admitted at Michaelmas. (Robert married Miss Sinclair and had 3 daughters and 2 sons. One daughter becoming a celebrated Wimbledon player - Agatha Morton.)

    Robert Rutherford Morton
  5. 1868

    1 January G W Harris and RR Morton joined partnership. (G W Harris deceased 2 April 1892 at 73) - Partnership deed in storage. The firm’s name changed to Harris Morton & Harris in the deed.

  6. 1877

    6th February, Francis Harris B.A, Son of G W Harris was duly admitted. Francis was practising as a member of the firm Harris Morton & Harris.

    Francis Harris
  7. 1882

    R. R Morton had been appointed Clerk to the Local Board of Health (by 1899 the local board of Health had become the Urban District Council of with R. R Morton was Clerk).

  8. 1884

    Ernest Edward Surridge was admitted and took over the practice in the high street in 1897.

  9. 1894

    R. R Morton became Urban District Council Clerk.

  10. 1899

    W.A. Smith was admitted. He practiced alone in Colchester Road Halstead until 1905.

From 1903 to 1946

  1. 1903

    Francis died a bachelor at Aswan in Egypt on 10th March. (Francis Harris succeeded his father as clerk of the Magistrates and county court registrar as high Baliff). 1918 Egyptian letters of administration in storage.

  2. 1903

    R. R Morton’s son Gerard Sinclair Morton practiced alone in Torquay Devon until 1903 & joined his father in Halstead following the death of Francis Harris.

    Gerald Sinclair Morton
  3. 1903

    Renamed to Morton & Son.

  4. 1905

    W. A Smith entered into partnership with Ernest Edward Surridge. From 1905 - 1914 E. E Surridge was also in partnership with “Beaumont” of Coggeshall.

  5. 1906

    R. R Morton purchased a wig and gown which must have been of reasonable quality since they were still giving good service up to 1983. - Wig in storage, he used this when he was Registrar of the County Court.

  6. 1917

    R. R Morton died on 16 January leaving G. S Morton the surviving partner.

  7. 1922

    G. S Morton accepted Ronald Long as an Articled Clerk.

  8. 1927

    Morton & Son acquired by Ronald Long and G.S Morton.

  9. 1927

    The practice was sold to Ronald Long and that of Morton & Son were amalgamated as W A Smith, Morton & Son.

  10. 1927-1967

    Ronald Long was Clerk to Halstead Urban District Council for forty years. The Limes 33 Head Street Halstead was the office for the firm until 1936. (Ronald Long was admitted as a solicitor in August 1927 and was still a practising solicitor when he died in October 1987, so was therefore one of a very few solicitors to have been in practise for over sixty years). W.A. Smith also practised with his brother, H. Elmore Smith at Temple Chambers London. Elmore was a “libel reader” for the Daily Express. W.A and H. Elmore were the London Agents for the firm.

    Ronald Long
  11. 1927

    GS Morton retired.

  12. 1934

    George Dyer Nott was admitted.

  13. 1935

    From 1935 – 1945 Ronald Long was clerk to the North West Essex Regional Planning committee and in the War years was the Local Executive Office in charge of Food Control and Civil Defence.

  14. 1935

    Red House, Halstead was purchased by Halstead Urban District Council.

    Door Red House
  15. 1937

    31st December W. A Smith died from pneumonia.

  16. 1937

    Terms of partnership with George Dyer Nott started 1st February. - Deed of Partnership in Storage.

  17. 1938

    David H Hughes OBE was admitted. (Only stayed for a short while as he became Official Receiver of Uganda after serving with the Friends Ambulance in the 1939 - 44 War).

  18. 1941

    Ronald Long was the local commanding officer of 1163 squadron Colne Valley Air Training Corps from 1941-45.

  19. 1945

    R. Long and James Alfred Hines agreed terms of partnership on 1st November. J. A Hines was a Captain in the R.A. due for early release from the Army because he had joined up at the commencement and served throughout the war.

  20. 1946

    The Partnership agreement with R Long and James Alfred was recorded. Partnership Agreement in Storage

From 1950 to 1979

  1. 1950

    Ronald was appointed as a member of the Society’s Eastern Legal Aid Committee on its inception.

  2. 1952

    Ronald Long became President of the Suffolk and Essex Law Society.

  3. 1959

    Ronald Long was appointed a member of the Disciplinary Committee.

  4. 1963

    R. Long became President of the Law Society and was knighted in 1964.

  5. 1963

    Ronald Long, James Alfred Hines, David Lumsden Colthorpe and Tony Frost became partners under the name Smith, Morton & Long. - Partnership agreement in box.

  6. 1964

    In July Ronald Long was knighted and became founder and first solicitor member of the criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

  7. 1966

    Sir Ronald Long was Chairman of Whitlock Bros Ltd, of Great Yeldham from 1966-72.

  8. 1967

    Richard Ronald Long son of Ronald Long became partner from 16th May. Sir Ronald Long becomes Chairman of the School Governors.

  9. 1968

    Sir Ronald Long was Chairman of the Stansted Airport Consultative Committee (1968-78).

  10. 1970

    Christopher Holmes became partner.

  11. 1973

    1st April Smith, Morton & Long took over Mr John Donnelly’s practice on 11 & 12 West Stockwell Street Colchester. Mr Donnelly let the office premises to them on a five year lease.

  12. 1973

    A re-organisation of the firm was undertaken by six partners – Sir Ronald Long, James Alfred Hines, Anthony Hazelwood Frost, David Lumsden Colthorpe, Richard Ronald Long and Christopher John Holmes. This was recorded in a Deed of Partnership dated 20th February 1973 which was in effect from 15th May 1972.

  13. 1974

    Mr Robert Douglas Mark Stevens became a salaried partner and retired on 15th May 1976.

  14. 1975

    The firm surrendered the Lease of West Stockwell Street and took a lease of part of Essex House, Crouch Street, Colchester. - Lease of Essex House in storage.

  15. 1976

    Philip William George M.A. and Edmund John Barton became salaried partners with the six. Mr George was based at Colchester and Mr Barton at Halstead. - Deed of partnership in storage.

  16. 1978

    On 15th May J. A Hines retired. - Documents of retirement and London Gazette clipping in storage.

    JAH to retire
  17. 1978

    Sir Ronald Long became Chairman of the Governors of Earls Colne Grammar School and President of the Essex Club.

  18. 1979

    Sir Ronald Long became consultant.

  19. 1979

    Adrian W. Livesley LL.B joined.

From 1980 to 2000

  1. 1980

    On 15th May Sir R Long retired as a partner & stayed as a consultant at the firm. - Deeds of retirement as partner in storage.

  2. 1984

    Susan Masters and Adrian Livesley became partners.

    Adrian Livesley
  3. 1986

    Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother officially opened St Helena Hospice, with Christopher Holmes by her side.

  4. 1987

    4 October Sir Ronald Long dies. - Newspaper clippings from the Halstead Gazette are in storage.

    Sir Ronald Long Halstead Gazette
  5. 1988

    They took over the practice J E Daldy & Co in Clacton on Sea. John Daldy (admitted 1950) retired in 1992 and in 1992 the practice was disposed of to the then resident solicitor Miss Jane Pleass. - Agreements in storage.

  6. 1988

    Bill Mabon became partner.

  7. 1989

    The firm moved into 42 Crouch Street.

    Essex House Crouch Street
  8. 1989

    1st October was called Birkett Westhorp & Long.

  9. 1989

    Smith Morton & Long merge with Birketts and Westhorp Ward & Catchpole.

  10. 1989

    The Colchester office was officially opened by John Wakeham who was a government minister and local Maldon MP.

  11. 1989

    Birkett Long introduce Independent Financial Advisers to the firm.

  12. 1990

    Jane Calnan became partner.

  13. 1991

    Sheldon Pumfrey became partner.

  14. 1992

    Chris Holmes was Chairman of St Helena Hospice until 1996.

  15. 1994

    Philip Hoddell became partner.

    Philip Hoddell
  16. 1995

    The Partnership of Birkett Westhorp & Long which had been formed in 1989 by the merger of Smith Morton & Long merge with Birketts and Westhorp Ward & Catchpole, was dissolved and the practice divided down the county boundary and the modern firm Birkett Long was born. Bruce Ballard, Jane Eatock, Andrew Cotterell, Louise Long and Wanda Domhof joined the new partnership of Birkett Long.

  17. 1995

    Keith Larkman and Tony Peel (Chairman of Essex County Council), Partners in Asher Prior Bates of Colchester joined the firm as Partner and consultant respectively.

  18. 1996

    Chris Holmes was Chairman of Macmillan Cancer Support in Essex until his death.

  19. 1997

    Richard Long retires.

  20. 1998 was created.

  21. 2000

    In June David Colthorpe stepped down as a Partner, remaining with the firm on a consultancy basis, and Peter Allen, Kurt Goddard and Tim Ogle were admitted into Partnership.

From 2000 to 2010

  1. 2000

    Chris Holmes was Deputy Lieutenant and was awarded the OBE for his public services.

  2. 2002

    In June Birkett Long increased its presence in Essex, when it opened its third office at Ocean House, Waterloo Lane, Chelmsford. At the same time, David Cammack became a Partner.

  3. 2002

    Birgit Ris joined the Firm as a Partner in the Corporate and Transactions team, becoming a consultant on 16 August 2004.

  4. 2003

    David Wybar, a Partner with Ashton Graham in Ipswich, joined the Firm as a Partner in the Rural Business Team and Martin Hopkins became a Partner in June 2003.

  5. 2004

    David Wisbey joined the Firm and the Corporate and Transaction Team as a PartnerTony Frost stepped down as a Partner, remaining with the firm on a consultancy basis, and Simon Loome was admitted into the Partnership.

  6. 2005

    Claire Read became a Partner in the Personal Tax, Trusts & Probate Team.

  7. 2006

    The office grew rapidly and on 29 August the firm moved to much larger premises at Number One Legg Street Chelmsford; this was part of a long term strategy to be the leading full service firm in Essex by providing all legal services in both offices. On the same date the firm closed its Halstead office and personnel working there were transferred to the Chelmsford or Colchester offices. 

  8. 2006

    Tracey Dickens became a Partner in the Commercial & Corporate Finance Team.

  9. 2007

    Christopher Holmes and Sheldon Pumfrey retired from the Partnership, with Christopher remaining with the firm on a consultancy basis. David Colthorpe and Tony Peel retired as consultants with the firm. Justina Ridley became a Partner in the Residential Property Team. October Birgit Ris was no longer a consultant with the firm.

  10. 2008

    Keith Larkman stepped down as a Partner, remaining with the firm on a consultancy basis. Keith Songhurst became a Partner in the Commercial Litigation Team and Stephen Avila became a consultant with the firm.

  11. 2008

    June 1st Birkett Long became a LLP and rebranded the website, logo and colours.

  12. 2009

    Chris O'Mahony became a consultant with the firm. John Morgan became a consultant with the firm and Tony Frost former MP and senior partner retired as a consultant with the firm.

  13. 2009

    1 May Birkett Long acquired with Jackson & Partners.

  14. 2010

    Philip George stepped down as managing partner and retired from the Partnership but remained with the firm on a consultancy basis.

  15. 2010

    1 June Birkett Long acquired Weight Wolny & Trusler. Bob Wolny became a Partner in the Chelmsford Property Team and John Trusler became a Consultant with the firm. David Rayner became a Partner in the Chelmsford Property Team.

From 2011 to 2016

  1. 2011

    Liz Jones became a Partner in the Care Team. Amanda Smallcombe became a Partner in the Civil Litigation Team. Kevin Sullivan became a Partner in the Corporate & Insolvency Team. Louise Pisano and David Cant became the first non-lawyer Partners with the Firm. Simon Loome left the Partnership. Keith Larkman became a Non-Practising Consultant.

  2. 2011

    On the 3 October a new South Essex office opened at Phoenix House in Basildon. This was part of a long term strategy to be recognised as the leading full service firm and the best legal business in and throughout Essex.

  3. 2011

    Birkett Long opened its first Twitter account.

  4. 2012

    Birkett Long employs their first apprentice.

  5. 2012

    On the 1 June Birkett Long acquired Brian Ruff, Angus & Jewers. Alex Angus and Robert Jewers became Consultants with the firm.

  6. 2012

    In July Birkett Long support a local Basildon athletic runner Gemma Kersey.

    Gemma Kersey
  7. 2013

    On the 1 May Birkett Long merged with E.Edwards, Son & Noice. Jane Calnan retired in December.

  8. 2013

    Birkett Long achieved the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Standard.

  9. 2014

    Birkett Long win gold an award in the Essex Chronicle’s “use of social media for business” Digital Awards.

    Essex Digital Awards
  10. 2014

    Birkett Long sponsor Colchester athlete Louis Persent.

  11. 2014

    Melanie Bache is promoted to Partner in the Colchester office.

  12. 2014

    Birkett Long is awarded the gold Investors in People award.

    Investor in Gold
  13. 2014-2014 Philip Hoddell was the President of The Suffolk and North Essex Law Society

  14. 2015

    Birkett Long win gold an award in the Essex Chronicle’s “use of video for business” Digital Awards.

    Birkett Long Firm Video
  15. 2015

    On the 1 September Birkett Long acquired Asher Prior Bates.

  16. 2015

    Justin Stock joins Birkett Long as Partner.

  17. 2015

    Caroline Dowding is promoted to Partner in the Colchester wills, trust and probate team.

  18. 2015

    November Birkett Long creates a Facebook account.

  19. 2016

    January – Birkett Long choose Cry as Charity of the year

  20. 2016

    January – Birkett Long 2015 charity of the year RGF raise over £11,000

  21. 2016

    February – Ben Parmenter and Liz Jones become Solicitors for the Elderly

  22. 2016

    March – Birkett Long raise £3,825 for CoHoC

  23. 2016

    April – Birkett Long launch BL Human Resources

  24. 2016

    April – Birkett Long teams become members of Dementia Friends

  25. 2016

    April – James Anaxagorou joins as BD for BL HR

  26. 2016

    April – The Birkett Long Chelmsford office relocates to prime site: Faviell House, 1 Coval Wells, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1WZ

  27. 2016

    April – Birkett Long become award winners for third year! We win Bronze at the EDA awards for business blog

  28. 2016

    June – Daniel Sturman and Paul Chilver become associates

  29. 2016

    August – Birkett Long IFA’s employ its 1st Financial planner trainee

  30. 2016

    September – Birkett Long’s trainees qualify! Caroline and Ella

  31. 2016

    November – Birkett Long becomes an Innovation50 Businesses within Essex

From 2017 to 2020

  1. 2017

    January – Simon Green, Jenny Bruce, Emma Harper and Lorraine Younger are promoted to Associate

  2. 2017

    January - Emma Clarke, Lisa Collins, Mel Loxley and Emma Wraight are promoted to Partner

  3. 2017 After 28 years in Crouch Street, Birkett Long move to Amphora Place

    Alternative Text
  4. 2017

    Marc Thurlow joined the firm as Partner

  5. 2018

    June - Joann Kebbell and Ben Parmenter are promoted to Partner

  6. 2018

    June - Francesca Cozens is promoted to Associate

  7. 2019

    January - Katie Gibson-Green is promoted to Associate

  8. 2019

    Julie Temple returns to Birkett Long on 2 January 2019 as a Partner and team leader of the BLHR and Employment team, based in Colchester

    Alternative Text
  9. 2019

    January - Mark Davidson joins us as our Director of IT

    Alternative Text
  10. 2019

    April - Jonathan Perlmutter joins us as Head of IP and an Associate of the firm

  11. 2019

    June - Adrian Livesley steps down as Managing Partner after 9 years in the post and 40 years at the firm. Adrian remains at Birkett Long as a Consultant Solicitor

  12. 2019

    June - Martin Hopkins becomes Managing Partner

    Alternative Text
  13. 2019

    June - David Wisbey steps down as Chairman, making way for Kurt Goddard to take on this role

  14. 2019

    Tim Field and Muntech Kaur are promoted to Associate

  15. 2020

    June - Leonie Dolling, Thomas Emmett, Emma Jenkins, Karen Johnson and Joanna Tollworthy are all promoted to Associate

  16. 2020

    June - Emma Coke, Mark Davidson, Tim Field, Emma Harper, Jonathan Perlmutter and Helen Pettican are promoted to Senior Associate

  17. 2020

    December - Marina Athanasiou, Gaye Eason, Perdeep Grewal, Rachel Leech and Jasmin Patel are promoted to Associate

  18. 2020

    December - Tracy England is promoted to Senior Associate