TWO long-serving leading lights at Leamington law firm Blythe Liggins are retiring this month.
Richard Thornton, joint senior partner and head of dispute resolution, and Andrew Brooks, executive partner and head of family law, have jointly notched up almost 80 years with the firm.
Richard, who attended Warwick School, joined the firm in 1978, became a partner in 1984 and has been joint senior partner since 2008. He qualified as a mediator in 2011 and is a passionate believer in the benefits of mediation.
Richard said: “I have worked with many excellent colleagues and have stayed rather longer than I could have imagined in 1978. The firm has made two excellent appointments to the litigation and family departments and I am certain Blythe Liggins will go from strength to strength.”
Outside of work he has been secretary of Leamington Cricket Club, served on the committee of Warwick Boat Club, played real tennis at Moreton Morrell Tennis Court Club and recently retired as chairman of the Old Warwickian Trust, which provides bursaries to Warwick School. He is also a past chairman of the St Mary’s Hall charity in Warwick.
Andrew joined Blythe Liggins in 1987, having spent the previous three years travelling throughout the Far East and Australasia, including a stint working on a prawn fishing boat off Australia.
He was made a partner in 1991 and has spent the last 30 years heading the family law department specialising in divorce, finance and property matters.
He said: “My philosophy has always been to look for reasonable, pragmatic and fair solutions and not for those problems that can and often do unnecessarily prevent a settlement from being reached. My approach is to try and reach a settlement without going to court.”
Away from work he has run in the London Marathon and several Two Castles runs – an event sponsored by Blythe Liggins for almost 20 years.
He is also a member of Stratford upon Avon Boat Club and is a keen sailor of dinghies and small boats.
He added: “I will be finishing where I began – travelling. I still have the wanderlust and will be setting off this autumn in a motorhome travelling around France, Spain, Morocco and the southern Sahara.
Joint senior partner David Lester, who will become overall senior partner, said both men had played an immense part in creating the ethos of the firm and building it into one of the highest regarded legal practices in the region.