The origins of Canterbury-based Furley Page date back to the 18th century, when it was founded by a sole practitioner named James Hanson. Today, following a number of mergers, the firm comprises 20 partners and is one of the leading practices in the South East.
Approximately 50 per cent of Furley Page’s turnover is derived from private client work. Furley Page senior partner Peter Hawkes explains that, because the firm is based in a prosperous region of the UK, the private client team is focused on the upper end of the market and features a significant amount of tax planning.
Furley Page is also running a large class action on behalf of 3,000 miners and their families, who are claiming compensation under the respiratory and vibration white finger compensation schemes. Personal injury partner Neille Ryan first became interested in miners’ industrial diseases after advising the plaintiff in Tanner v National Coal Board, which went all the way to the House of Lords in the early 1990s. This was the first successful claim against the Coal Board for chronic bronchitis/emphysema.
The other 50 per cent of Furley Page’s turnover is generated from advising corporate clients. Hawkes says that because Kent does not have any large manufacturing companies, most of the firm’s corporate client base comprises small and medium-sized enterprises. He adds that the challenge, therefore, is to persuade clients to come to the firm.
Additionally, Furley Page acts for a number of organisations in the education sector and counts the University of Kent as one of its trophy clients. Hawkes says the added benefit of acting for clients in the education sector is that it has generated quite a lot of work for the firm’s IP department.
Furley Page has a small branch office in Whitstable, which focuses principally on conveyancing and probate work. Hawkes says the firm has no plans to open any further offices.
“Opening offices in this day and age is not the best way to expand,” he argues. “We’ve grown successfully by focusing on expanding our Canterbury office.”
Total number of partners
Total number of lawyers
Total number of staff
Main practice areas
Commercial, family, litigation, private client and real estate