2014 has proved to be one of our busiest years to date, from the launch of our first issue of Lodders Life, to celebrating the growth of our Cheltenham office in its first year.
It has been a year jam packed with activity where we have welcomed many new faces, hosted a wealth of events and celebrated some great achievements.
Back in January we welcomed Charity Law expert Mark Lewis into our Company and Commercial team. Chartered Tax Adviser Eamonn Daly achieved a distinction in his STEP qualification and we confirmed our sponsorship of the Children’s Day at the 2014 Stratford Literary Festival.
In February we hosted our Private Client Seminar for accountants; we hosted our free Employment Law webinar and welcomed Constantine Berry into the Real Estate team at our Cheltenham office.
During March we welcomed Henrietta Brooks into the Care and Capacity team and Bradley Roberts as our latest addition to our team of aspiring solicitors. We also launched Lodders Life, our new magazine for clients and friends of the firm.
In April we hosted our most successful Private Client seminar at Ettington Chase Hotel with a record attendance which reflected growing concerns among those approaching retirement who want to ensure they receive the right advice when planning for their future. We also sponsored an evening with Chris Beardshaw and the Children’s Day at the Stratford Literary Festival. Agriculture solicitor Katherine Burge ran the London Marathon raising a staggering £3,800 for our chosen charity, the Heart of England Community Foundation.
In May we won a competitive tender to provide legal services for Stratford Town Trust. Stratford Town Trust is a grant-giving charity based in Stratford upon Avon which is dedicated to supporting local people and community projects.
In the middle of June we welcomed Natalie Smith into the Private Client team in our Cheltenham office. We also confirmed that, for the fifth year running, we would be sponsoring Stratford’s Big 10k, which would take place on Sunday 7 September. At the end of June we said goodbye to our head of residential property Frances Lees who retired from the legal team at Lodders Solicitors after almost 30 years.
At the start of July we celebrated Martin Green becoming Senior Partner of the firm. Martin has taken over the role from David Lodder, the third generation of the Lodder family to spearhead the firm and David will continue heading up the Agriculture and Estates team here at Lodders. During July we also celebrated Paul Mourton becoming an equity partner and in the middle of the month we welcomed Paul Reed as the new head of Residential Property at our Stratford office. Paul joined us from Shakespeares’ Solihull office.
In August we said goodbye to trainee Amy Bloomer, but we also celebrated Wills & Probate Executive Vicki Gow gaining a Merit in her Level 6 CILEX exams.
September proved to be our busiest month here at Lodders. We kicked off on the first Saturday in September by entertaining guests and fellow professionals at the annual Moreton-in-Marsh Show. On the following Sunday by sponsoring and taking part in, Stratford’s Big 10k; we entered a team of 16 runners in the race as well as having a large number of helpers handing out well deserved bottles of water, T-shirts and bananas to the finishers. During the middle of September we hosted our Golf Day with the guest list reflecting our first year since opening our Cheltenham office in the autumn of 2013 and several clients and contacts from Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds were represented. Guests at our Golf Day were treated to a complimentary club cleaning service, as well as being handed goody bags containing Lodders’ branded golf balls.
October started with partners David Lodder and Victor Matts welcoming guests to Warwick races. The event coincided with another round of plaudits for our expertise in private client, agricultural and real estate from industry bible Legal 500. This was followed by our Anniversary Party, where many guests joined us to toast a successful first year in Cheltenham. The drinks event was held at The Queens Hotel on the other side of Imperial Square, where guests were welcomed and addressed by managing partner Rod Bird. This event was closely follows by the Lodders-sponsored Stratford Music Festival, an event which we have supported for a number of years. Lodders hosted a reception before guests were seated to listen to the renowned classical guitarist, Craig Ogden. At the end of October hosts from Lodders, Brewin Dolphin and Kellands in Tewkesbury welcomed guests for a VIP tour of the Morgan Motor Company Factory in Great Malvern along with a unique opportunity to test drive a variety of the Morgan models.
November brought round the Annual Lodders Property seminar. We welcomed over 100 clients and professionals to Henley Golf Club and heard from speakers John Bellfield, Managing Director of Barberry Group, Ashley Hollinshead from Deloitte, our very own Alastair Frew as well as Simon Horan and Michael Davis of Savills in Birmingham. One of the main themes of the event was the changing lifestyles of the under-35s and a shift in sentiment towards property ownership. These are set to contribute to a surge in the UK’s Private Rental Sector (PRS) and could be the solution to the country’s housing problems. Guests were welcomed by Lodders’ chairman, George Campion.
At the end of November we welcomed Caroline Nemecek as associate into our top-ranking Agriculture team. Caroline will work alongside partner and team head David Lodder providing specialist agricultural, rural and real estate legal advice to the firm’s rapidly growing portfolio of agricultural businesses and individuals working and living in the rural sector.
At the start of December Lodders Real Estate partners took a number of property professionals down to Twickenham to watch the sought after Varsity Game.
Throughout December we are looking forward to the festive season and we would like to wish our clients and fellow professionals a very merry Christmas and a happy new year and we look forward to seeing you all in 2015.