Tags: Partner, Our Staff, Our Staff
Our senior partner, James Hollis, is celebrating completing 35 years of service with the firm!
Several of our news stories recently have related to new faces joining the firm, this one is to celebrate one of our longer serving colleagues, James Hollis, of our Private Client Department.
James joined what was then Faulkners, in Frome, on 6th May 1980, as a newly qualified solicitor.
James recalls that when he arrived at Argyll House, he was met with a scene that probably had not altered much for decades. The secretaries were working on manual typewriters, repeatedly re-typing work as it passed through stages of approval to final forms for signing, and all records were kept on cards maintained by hand. Everywhere, there were bundles of papers wrapped in red tape. In a tradition retained from the days of paper shortage, envelopes were sliced open to become the next day’s notepads.
Prior to joining the firm, James did his training as an articled clerk in a small office in the heart of the London legal world, a stone’s throw from Chancery Lane. Having qualified, James and his fiancée Jane decided to move out of London to the West Country to pursue their respective careers in law and teaching. Frome seemed ideal. This was confirmed when, on the very first weekend after starting work, James walked around Frome town centre and had the pleasure of bumping into clients he had met during the week – something that had NEVER happened in London. Much has changed in Frome and the surrounding area in the past 35 years, but James confirms that he still enjoys meeting with clients and local colleagues, and feeling that he, and FDC Law, are both part of the local community. James has also been very involved in the firm's sponsorships, and sponsorship of the Frome Carnival, in particular
James initially worked with long serving senior partner, George Creswick. George worked for two more years on a part time basis after James joined the firm, and in that time introduced James to his clients and allowed James to witness first-hand how a solicitor should properly conduct himself or herself, with utmost integrity, always in the best interest of the client, showing care to all staff and gentlemanly respect and good grace to all, including those with whom you may be crossing swords. James hopes that his practice has reflected these qualities, as well as the legal expertise he learned from George.
It is a platitude to say that so much has changed since then. James himself has developed from being a newly qualified solicitor to becoming the firm’s senior partner, and the firm itself has grown and developed, now having three offices in Frome, Midsomer Norton and Keynsham, serving much of North Somerset.
James comments that George might find some parts of today’s legal world surprising, perhaps even disappointing, but the core values and principles that for George were second nature are still a vital part of FDC Law’s daily practice – service to the client, professionalism, care and understanding, courtesy and respect to all.
James treasures the fact that many relationships with clients and other professionals forged early in his career still remain strong and hopes that this can continue for the years in practice still to come.
FDC Law has old fashioned habits of thrift, but given his long service, we did agree that James could celebrate with the acquisition of a new stapler – even though his current one, given on his first day of work, was still trying to do its job!