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Chesterton House Group Acquires 6th Oldest UK Legal Practice

We are delighted to announce that as from 1st January 2017, Woolley, Beardsleys & Bosworth Solicitors (WBB) will become part of the Chesterton House Group.

In 1732 the Royal Opera House opened for the first time in Covent Garden, the world’s first lightship was moored in the Thames Estuary, and George Washington was born, later to become the first US President. It was the same year that John Davys put up his plate to practice as an Attorney in offices in Sparrow Hill, Loughborough, on the site later occupied as the main Post Office.

Over the next 284 years the firm continued to practice, becoming Woolley, Beardsleys and Bosworth in 1881 having moved to its present offices in Rectory Place in 1863. At the time of its 250th Anniversary in 1982, research by the Law Society indicated that the firm was the 6th oldest in the country.

Keith Darby started work at Woolley Beardsleys 52 years ago, when he was 15 years old, rising to become Senior Partner and owner of the firm. When Keith took the decision to retire, it was important to him that the new owner should continue the long tradition of personal service which had been its hallmark over centuries.

He said, “Over the last 25 years I have watched the growth of Chesterton House Group with interest from across Rectory Place where they occupy the buildings opposite. The Group offers a combination of Legal, Accounting and Financial services with a strong emphasis on personal service and expertise, just like ourselves.

The owners, Andy Jervis and Richard Urwin, understand and respect the long and successful history of Woolley, Beardsleys and Bosworth, and are keen to continue to build on it. I am confident that the future of the practice will be secure in their hands.”

The location of the business will not change and the practice will continue to trade as Woolley Beardsleys and Bosworth as part of Chesterton House Legal Services LLP, forming one larger business. Keith will remain in place for a period to ensure a smooth transition of work, and to help in the process of merging the two firms. There will be no other changes to existing WBB staff, and their phone numbers, email addresses and other contact details will all remain unaltered.

Diane Weston, who deals with Wills, LPAs, trusts and estates at Woolley Beardsleys, will still be there looking after the many clients and friends whom she has served for a number of years at WBB, as will the rest of their team.

In December CHLS took on Chris Leafe, an experienced conveyancer, to handle Keith’s workload after he retires.

Chris worked at Woolley Beardsleys & Bosworth for a number of years so we can vouch for his abilities and be sure your property transactions will be in safe hands with him on board.

As part of this arrangement Chesterton House Legal Services has gained accreditation under the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), which provides a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices.

Membership establishes a level of credibility for firms with stakeholders such as regulators, lenders and insurers as well as residential homebuyers and sellers.

CQS accreditation also means that the combined firm will be able to provide advice and complete transactions across the full range of property work, the mark being recognised by lenders and insurers as evidence that their required conveyancing standards have been met.

In a message to existing Woolley Beardsleys & Bosworth clients, Andy Jervis, Chairman of the Chesterton House Group, said, “Woolley Beardsleys & Bosworth is a practice that shares our values. They have a strong record of delivering great service over a very long time. There aren’t many firms that can claim to have existed for 284 years. We are very proud to acquire their excellent name and reputation, and will do our best to keep up the standards their clients have come to expect from them.

Woolley Beardsleys & Bosworth has a tradition that we value, and we want to build on it. We look forward to telling you more in the New Year. In the meantime, if you have any questions about our firm and how we work, just let us know. You can call us on 01509 610473 or write to me at and I’ll make sure your question is answered.”


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