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Furley Page is a firm that is proud of its roots, and understandably so: not many can trace their history back to 1725, when ’man of affairs’ James Hanson set up a sole practice in Burgate, Canterbury. Since that time the firm has retained strong links with the city.
Probably the biggest moment in its history came in 1967, when Furley and Page merged with Fielding and Pembroke, forming the basis of today’s firm.
Alongside its Canterbury headquarters the firm has three other offices covering the South East of England.
The Whitstable team focuses on private client, while the firm’s Chatham base, which opened in 2006, covers clients in the Thames Gateway, Kent and Medway, handling commercial property, corporate, employment, debt recovery and finance.
Furley Page opened a London office in January 2009, headed by consultant Gary Marshall and based in the Lloyd’s of London office in Lime Street.
The team focuses on specialist insurance work, including litigation, arbitration, alternative dispute resolution and non-contentious work, advising brokers, risk managers and overseas insurers.
Senior partner Peter Hawkes says the firm fared well in the recession, with turnover remaining steady at £7.2m last year. Headcount has also remained stable, with lawyers added in debt and insolvency, employment, private client and commercial property.
“It’s a case of so far, so good,” says Hawkes. “At the moment the economic climate in Kent is stable, although there’s still a degree of uncertainty; we’ll wait and see how things pan out. Private client has held up very well despite the recession and dispute resolution and debt recovery have been very busy.”
Hawkes joined the firm in 1979 and has since seen it expand its presence in the South East, as well as its turnover.
Hanson would be proud.
Managing partner: Peter Hawkes Turnover: £7.2m Number of partners: 21 Number of lawyers: 36 Number of fee-earners: 64 Main practice areas: Private client, dispute resolution, employment, commercial property, corporate, personal injury Key clients: University of Kent, The Dean & Chapter of Canterbury, GSE Group, Cambridge Arts & Sciences Number of offices: Four Locations: Canterbury, Chatham, Whitstable, London