The origins of Keoghs, Nicholls, Lindsell & Harris date back to a time when courtroom punishment could be measured in lashes of a whip or hours in the stocks……a period when homes were timber framed with wattle and daub walls and an era when there were so few houses, that a typical address could be ‘No. 15, Hale’. That was the society in which Isaac Worthington decided to be an attorney and his Altrincham based law firm is dated from his first known indenture on 29th September 1733.
Throughout the centuries the firm has evolved its practices and spectrum of legal services in order to keep up with the changing face of the law. New partners have been welcomed; mergers completed and new offices opened across the North West, with the final name of the firm being Keoghs, Nicholls, Lindsell & Harris Solicitors.
Michael Sandler joined the firm in 1981 and became partner in 1983. He spearheaded the increased use of technology in the same way that his predecessors had used the penny post to speed up communication 140 years earlier and in 1992 became the Sole Equity Partner.
In 2003 and 2009 respectively, the firm successfully merged with Gregorys Solicitors, and Holland Knight Solicitors, both of Hazel Grove, Stockport. It is from these two offices in Hazel Grove and Altrincham that the vast majority of private client work is carried out. The firm provides services in relation to Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Trusts, Guardianships, Probate, Residential Conveyancing and also Commercial Conveyancing.
The firm not only provides privately funded legal services but also publicly funded work. ‘Our essence is to provide quality service irrespective of an individual’s social position or who may, or may not be paying’ says Michael. ‘And that is an absolute belief. Like any other business the law needs to have certain moral as well as professional ethics’.
The conviction is influenced by Michael’s own background as the son of a pioneering infertility consultant who believed that access to basic human services should be denied to no-one on the grounds of expense.
The Legal Aid Agency awarded the firm numerous contracts to provide publicly funded legal services to those vulnerable and socially disadvantaged members of society. The Litigation Team helps people with housing and community care problems – from those facing rent arrears, harassment and repossession to others unlawfully evicted and thrown on to the street. The successful appointment of the Legal Aid contracts has resulted in the firm opening up a further two offices in Preston and Oldham.
In April 2013, the firm was awarded its first Immigration and Asylum contract. Sean Ell has been appointed as Head of Department and he works closely with organisations and individuals throughout the Manchester and West Lancashire areas providing advice on these matters. It’s a pivotal move for the firm and again highlights the diversity of the legal services the firm provides.
Our approach of ‘Traditional Values, Modern Methods’ has certainly contributed to the success of the firm to date and we hope that we continue to evolve over the next 280 years!