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Tunbridge Wells law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore celebrates 450th anniversary

Legal firm Thomson Snell & Passmore, recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest law firm still in operation, has marked its 450th anniversary this week.

The company, based in Tunbridge Wells, was originally founded in 1570 by Nicholas Hooper, a curate of Tonbridge Parish Church.

Thomson Snell & Passmore's HQ in Tunbridge Wells
Thomson Snell & Passmore's HQ in Tunbridge Wells

He undertook a range of work including will writing and conveyancing.

Records remain of a will, which he drew up on behalf of Thomas Lamparde, a 'yeoman' of Tonbridge as well as a bond for a property in nearby Hadlow,dated 1593.

Over the centuries, the firm has grown, operating under a progression of names before finally becoming Thomson Snell & Passmore in 1968.

The firm is now one of the largest in the South East and ranks in the The Times’ Best Law Firms 2020 list.

As well as its anniversary, the firm also appointed a new senior partner, Joanna Pratt, in June. Her appointment came as James Partridge, who held the role since 2008, reached the end of his final term as senior partner.

Joanna Pratt was appointed senior partner in June
Joanna Pratt was appointed senior partner in June

Sarah Henwood, CEO at Thomson Snell & Passmore said: “We’re very proud of our long history, and we recognise that we wouldn’t be here today unless we were able to embrace change.

"From leading the way as early adopters of technology in the 1970s and setting up a publishing arm producing the first set of legal precedents, anticipating and responding to change is part of our DNA.

“As we start to navigate a ‘new normal’ with coronavirus continuing to impact on all aspects of life, this ability to predict and adapt to change will be more important than ever. However, while we will continue to evolve, some things will stay the same. We will always place our clients and our people first and will remain committed to the communities we serve.”

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