22nd Jun 2022

Why York?

It’s one of the most exciting things we’ve ever done at Berwins – we’ve come to York.  But then, when we say we’ve come to York; really, we’ve been in York all along.

For myself, the core of my education was in York, at Bootham School; this was where I learnt the values of a Quaker institution; benefited from my inspirational history teacher Peter Braggins; and got very muddy on the Clifton playing fields. And it was just around the corner to get to Bootham Crescent, where City at one point ascended to the heights of the Second Division (now the Championship) and lost 0-1 to Manchester United in a League match - I was there. The finest fishcakes I’ve ever had could be had at the chippy close by.

Everyone loves the buildings in York, and at least twice a week we’d pass the Mansion House, hiding the Guildhall, as we went along Coney Street to Clifford Street Friends Meeting House.

Berwins has always been a Yorkshire law firm, with its base in Harrogate, and then growth into Leeds and more recently Sheffield. We were always told that business didn’t cross the A1 from York to Harrogate, or the other way. Then we realised – the time was right for Berwins to cross the A1. Sometimes things come together. We had gathered, in Berwins, a core of top lawyers strongly linked with York – who lived in the city, who had practised law in York for many years, and who know people and businesses in York.

Then we learnt about the development of the Guildhall. We knew, of course, about the York Science Park, and the role of the University of York in that; we had clients there, we had held and attended events there, especially in the technology sector. We found that the university would be managing the redeveloped Guildhall, and about the plans for that historic building. For a history geek, the opportunity to open an office within the Guildhall, which was hosting startup and scaleup businesses, was an extraordinary occurrence. We have been waiting for months for the delayed opening, keeping our secret (not very well) and restraining the enthusiasm of our York-based team of lawyers.

So it is with huge excitement that we bring our York-enthusiastic lawyers and firm to the heart of York, with our special brand of expert, accessible legal service. Maybe not with the same excitement as my greeting of Paul Aimson’s injury time equaliser in the FA Cup against Mick Channon’s Southampton, but it’s right up there.

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