In 1977 Keith Howell-Jones, Alan Roper, Peter Scott and David Hutchison had a vision. Keith was 31 and the others in their twenties. They would make a good law firm with a simple aim: happiness; happiness of the clients, the staff and partners and all who had a stake in the firm in one way or another.
Howell-Jones & Partners was born. The founding partners had an unusual partnership agreement. It was handwritten, and clause 8 said, "There shall be no nonsense." Whilst they would not now advise clients to have such an agreement, it has worked for them. Partnership is a relationship of the utmost good faith and therefore trust. David retired in 2000 and Peter in 2008.
In 1985 the partners firm acquired Thomas Dobson & Co, a firm which Mr Dobson started in Walton-on-Thames in 1929, which became our Walton office. As the practise grew we also established offices in Leatherhead, Raynes Park and London (Old Bailey).
In May 2007 the Partnership joined forces with rhw solicitors in Guildford and the merged firm became Howell-Jones LLP. Initially the indications were that this would be a success, however this was shortly followed by one of the greatest recessions in UK history and it soon become apparent that it was not a good time to maintain market presence whilst merging 2 practices. There was no disquiet, the owners all agreed that to ensure the survival of all offices rhw should break off. rhw was re-established and we retained the name Howell-Jones LLP together with all of our original offices. Nothing else changed and the firm continued to move forward and flourish, with the primary focus being on its clients and a leading firm of solicitors in Surrey.
The Partners are forward thinking and confident in the future. This is reflected in the development in January 2010, when the firm changed its London office from Old Bailey, to 218 The Strand and then (in 2013) to where it is now, Canary Wharf. This office is located in a busy London district and is also within easy reach of the High Court, which was ideal for the commercial, litigious, family and agency work we undertake in the High Court, Principal Family Registry, Court of Appeal and Technology and Construction Court. The office complimented the practice by giving us an ability to be a leading firm of solicitors in Surrey, the heart of London and to those wider afield.
The firm has also seen that there is strength in numbers. It had had close ties with Taylor Willcocks solicitors in Cheam, Surrey. The two firms had aligned values on client care and could see that if they joined forces they could offer clients a new law firm that (jointly) had 150 years of high street presence, a total lawyer practising experience of 400 years and they could operate seven teams between six offices. Taylor Willcocks first became a division of Howell Jones and in the same year as the move to Canary Wharf adopted the Howell Jones name.
The formula was repeated in 2012 when the Tolworth based firm, Chivers Easton Brown, became another division of the firm and increased the number of offices to seven.
In October 2015 the expansion continued this time into the neighbouring county of Hampshire with Bordon based firm Harveys Solicitors becoming a further division of Howell Jones.
This leads to the current day. In April 2018 the founding Parnter, Keith Howell-Jones retired and transferred his interest to six long standing lawyers of the practice, namely Juliet Petchey, Andrew Petchey, Helen Hotten, Simon Carter, Jo Cullen and Jess Buttaci. The new Partners are now building upon what Keith developed and taking the practice to new heights with exceptional lawyers and client care.