The coronavirus pandemic has forced one of the region’s largest and longest established law firms to mothball celebration plans to mark 50 years of service to local and wider communities. Safety is far more important than celebrations they say.
GHP Legal, now ranked among the top 500 law firms in the country, has five offices, in Wrexham, Oswestry, Llangollen and Chirk. The firm was established in April 1970 when three partners from the Wrexham & Shotton practice of Cyril Jones & Co joined forces to form Gwilym Hughes & Partners. Founding partner Gwilym Hughes, who still lives locally, reaches his 90th birthday in May this year.
In 1991 Gwilym Hughes & Partners expanded with the acquisition of Llangollen firm, Charles Richards & Sons. Five years later a merger with Edmund Pickles and Upton of Wrexham saw the partnership owning and redeveloping the large triangle of buildings at the junction of Grosvenor Road and Rhosddu Road into their current Wrexham head office complex.
To mark the new millennium in 2000 Gwilym Hughes & Partners merged with Brown & Lloyd of Oswestry, keeping on Richard Lloyd and John Hulme as partners and working out of the firm’s current premises at The Albany, Willow Street. Both men remain partners of GHP Legal to this day, with Richard Lloyd being appointed Senior Partner in 2012.
After many years of being referred to as ‘GHP’ by clients, other professionals and the media alike, the firm’s management team decided to formalise the abbreviation of their name and in 2009 they officially became known as GHP Legal. Six years later they acquired the Chirk and Oswestry practices of Stevens Lucas and took over offices in Chirk.
A further expansion came in 2018 when GHP Legal acquired the Oswestry practice of Milton, Francis & Hughes and the following year the firm purchased the old Co-op bank building at 21 The Cross, Oswestry, refurbishing it for the relocation of the firm’s commercial and property departments.
By the start of 2020 GHP Legal had become a multi-disciplinary practice employing in the region of one hundred staff and offering across the board services to a client base stretching over more than ten counties in England and Wales.
Whilst the current coronavirus pandemic has forced the firm to temporarily curtail some parts of its operation due to such as social distancing and the closure of courts, Senior Partner Richard Lloyd believes the firm’s carefully planned expansion and efficiently run management strategies of the past will ensure its continuing long term success and vision for the future.
“For 50 years we have been providing legal services to different generations of the same families,” he says. “I believe that along with the trust our clients have in our ability to provide sound legal advice, it is testament to the loyalty we feel towards them and they to us. The same goes for our staff, and in fact we have five members of staff who this year will have been with us for thirty years.
“Without doubt, these are the most challenging times any of us have faced in peace time. But it is our intention to do everything we can to ensure we can continue to offer the high levels of service our clients have rightly come to expect from us, and I am sure that together we will all get through this and be stronger at the end of it.”