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Brighouse solicitor bids farewell after forty years

Published 7th Dec 2015 by Rebecca Walker

One of Brighouse’s most established and well known legal experts is bidding farewell to colleagues after four decades of service to the local community.

Richard Smithies, who has been a familiar face at member company Wilkinson Woodward Bearders Solicitors in King Street, is retiring after 42 years.

Richard, who was born in Holywell Green and attended Brooksbank Secondary School in Elland, began his legal career as a trainee solicitor in 1971, before qualifying and joining Bearders Halifax office in 1973.

In 1976 Richard became a partner at Bearders and, one year later, he opened the King Street practice. Richard went on to open further offices in Hebden Bridge, Elland and Horton Street, Halifax in the 1980s and played a key role when Bearders merged with Halifax based law firm Wilkinson Woodward in 2013.

During his 42 year career in the legal profession, Richard has developed a reputation for expertise in a wide range of legal matters including wills, probate, conveyancing, civil, criminal and matrimonial matters.

Richard is also well known throughout Calderdale for his work as a trustee of the Bearder charity, which was established in 1992 by local philanthropist and solicitor John Alfred Bearder.

The Bearder Charity awards grants totaling £190,000 each year to a wide range of local projects, including the largest annual Poetry Festival for primary schools in the UK. Over the past two decades, the charity has supported thousands of individual and community projects across the Calder Valley. The charity is based at Wilkinson Woodward Bearder’s premises in King Street, from where it will continue to operate.

Speaking of his long legal career, Richard said, “It has been a privilege to serve the people and businesses of Brighouse and beyond. I consider myself very fortunate to have worked with two of the area’s most established and respected legal practices”.

Director of Wilkinson Woodward Bearders Maureen Cawthorn said, “Richard has devoted over four decades to serving the communities of Calderdale. Over the years his legal expertise has been greatly valued by hundreds of local people and businesses. We wish Richard a long and happy retirement.”

Richard, 66, and his wife, Anne, live in Ripponden. The couple have three children and two grandchildren. Richard plans to spend his retirement indulging his passions for dancing, cooking, travel and photography.

Richard’s caseload will be taken over by his colleagues at the Brighouse office; Liza Pickles will handle matrimonial cases, wills and probate will be passed to Bev Mottram and conveyancing matters will be jointly looked after by Lisa Simpson and Christine Hardisty.

For more information visit www.wilkinsonwoodward.co.uk


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