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Birkett Long celebrates 200 years

View profile for Martin Hopkins
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2021 marks Birkett Long’s 200-year anniversary and we are looking forward to a year of celebrations with our local communities, employees, clients and all those that have been involved in our history and making us what we are today.

200 years’ experience has taught us that it’s not just about knowing the law, it’s also about the impact we have on our communities. So, taking inspiration from “Random Acts of Kindness Day” this 17 February, we are carrying out as many random acts of kindness as we can throughout 2021.

Our first random act of kindness will be to celebrate the staff working for St Helena Hospice’s service SinglePoint, a 24/7 advice and support helpline which helps to coordinate care for those in north Essex who may be in the last year of life or who have specialist palliative care needs.

Birkett Long will be sending ‘calm kits’ to hardworking staff containing The Happy Newspaper, chocolate, tissues, calm tea, sweets and mints which we hope will put a smile on their faces.

Birkett Long has had a long standing relationship with St Helena Hospice. In 1986, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, officially opened St Helena Hospice, with Christopher Holmes, our late Senior Partner, by her side.

For as long as we can remember, our community has been at the heart of our business. A great part of the firm’s success is being able to share it by supporting local charities and organisations. We do that in various ways, through fundraising within our offices, donating legal services and offering individuals’ time. Since 2002 the firm has helped contribute in excess of £725,000 to various charitable causes, including several staff-nominated charities of the year.

In addition to charity initiatives, we will be empowering our staff to carry out some individual random acts of kindness of their choice throughout the year. If they have encountered a helpful receptionist or a supplier has gone the extra mile, they will be able to acknowledge them with a little surprise, be it a bunch of flowers or a voucher for a coffee.

Several of our lawyers are Trustees, Governors and Board members at local charities, schools and organisations. They could choose to turn up at the next Board meeting with a treat for the attendees.

A valued client could receive a cake from one of our team on their birthday or a house-warming gift when we complete their purchase.

A business partner could receive a gift to help them settle into a new office.

We also plan to donate our time. You might see some of our staff handing out gifts to those visiting loved ones at the door of local hospices. You might even see them gardening, painting or helping somebody out in our community. We want to make a difference to somebody’s day.

Furthermore, over the next year we will be taking a trip down memory lane and looking at the history that has made us what we are today, in addition to reflecting on the contributions and achievements of our colleagues, associates, clients, business partners and friends.

From Geo. Sperling being admitted in 1821, followed by Decimus Sewell practising in Halstead High Street, right up until Martin Hopkins becoming Managing Partner and Birkett Long taking residency in Colchester’s Amphora Place and opening offices in Basildon, Chelmsford, London and Malta! We will be looking at both our heritage and our future.

Did you know that photos dating back to the nineteenth century which chart our history were loaned to Halstead’s heritage museum? Or that one of our former Partners received a Knighthood? Or even that a former Partner’s daughter was a celebrated Wimbledon tennis player, reaching four ladies’ singles finals?!

We haven’t forgotten our current employees, and will this year be celebrating a number of staff who have been with the firm for 20 years and one member of staff who will mark 35 years with us. We will hear from some of our staff who recall starting work at Birkett Long with only a desk, a filing cabinet and a phone, no computer! Every one of our employees will receive a small gift from the firm this month in an act of kindness to kick off the celebrations.

There are many surprises to come along the way that we look forward to sharing.

The last year has been so difficult for so many and the coming year may be difficult too. We care for our clients, for each other and for our communities and we hope to make a difference during this time. I am proud to be part of Birkett Long and of all that we have achieved, and will continue to achieve, as we celebrate this milestone of 200 years.”

If you would like to find out more about our 200 years celebrations email or call 01206 217612.