A year in the life of Birkett Long - what we've been up to

With our South Essex office now over a year old, working with clients and business partners is going from strength to strength.

Following our announcement in our last edition that we would be opening a South Essex office in Basildon in October 2011, working with clients and business partners in the area has been going from strength to strength.  Just eight months after opening, our initial team was joined by lawyers and support staff from Wickford solicitors Brian Ruff, Angus and Jewers (BRAJ), who moved into our newly expanded offices in Christopher Martin Road in June (top left).  BRAJ, which has a 50-year history, specialises in personal client work such as probate, tax, trusts, family law, conveyancing, personal injury and landlord and tenant work.  Managing Partner, Adrian Livesley, said the acquisition highlights our commitment to business in South Essex.  “We have great confidence in the marketplace as well as an ongoing determination to thrive in a difficult economic climate.”

Year in the life

The firm’s activity hasn’t been limited to Basildon however! In December 2011 we launched, with accountants Grant Thornton, the inaugural Essex Ltd survey. Essex Ltd is an in depth survey into the performance of the county’s top 100 companies and their industry sectors.  The results provide a barometer of the county’s overall business performance and this year’s results will be announced at a dedicated event in December.

We also launched new fixed-price initiatives, including commercial lease reviews, an education law retainer scheme for schools and various services for businesses.  Our education team continues to help schools with conversion to academy status and our construction team has remained active – in particular assisting Sorba (UK) Ltd with the legal aspects of their construction of The Shoal sculpture in Stratford.

Birkett Long in the Community

Supporting local charities and our community remain a high priority.  Examples of recent events and causes we have supported include Colchester Hospitals Charity where we raised £2,500 through a wills week and the Birkett Long £50 Challenge in aid of St Helena Hospice.  Via the Challenge, local businesses were given £50 and 3 months in which to make as much for the hospice as possible.  At the  time of writing the total raised is over £15,000 and the Challenge continues!

In Chelmsford, 2012 sees the firm celebrating ten years in the city.  We began sponsoring the cricket team at St Cedd’s Preparatory School, with our sponsorship allowing the school to invest in cricket whites for 24 boys from year six (top right).  Also in Chelmsford, our support of the Chelmsford Cathedral Choral Foundation continued with the Birkett Long LLP Concert.  Following on from last year’s concert given by the Tallis Scholars, this year’s performers, the Swingle Singers, drew a big crowd to the event in September (centre).

Expanding into Basildon has meant that we were able to look for opportunities to support our new community.  In June we provided financial backing for the restoration of a John Wells painting, which is owned by the Basildon Arts Trust (centre top).  Involute No 6, an abstract oil on board which dates back to 1979, was in need of cleaning and repairing.

The firm also began  sponsoring one of Basildon Athletics Club’s stars of the future, Gemma Kersey (bottom right).  Gemma is a 1500m runner and, having made the final of the 1500m at the Olympic trials this year, has hopes of making it to Rio in 2016.

Further afield, a team of our solicitors took part in Trailwalker UK, a gruelling 100km walk across the South Downs, in aid of Oxfam and the Gurkha Welfare Trust (bottom left).  The team raised over £5,000 and all of them say the blisters were worth it!

More on our work in the community can be found on Twitter @birkettlong, on our website - www.birkettlong.co.uk/blinthecommunity or on our blog - www.birkettlong.co.uk/blog.

Click here for details of Birkett Long's new Charity for the Year.