Farnham Office Celebrates Firm’s 50th Anniversary with Merger

by Kidd Rapinet on November 21, 2008

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg (2)In November 1958 as Sir Alex Ferguson took his first steps onto a professional football field 2 other young men also took dramatic steps in their careers. John Kidd and Michael Rapinet, both recently qualified solicitors, established their own practice, Kidd Rapinet, in an office provided by their former employers. During the first year the turnover was approximately £3000.00! Kidd Rapinet are now proud to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of such an auspicious year.

The intervening years have seen considerable progress and growth for all concerned. From small beginnings Kidd Rapinet now has 7 offices and 28 partners. The firm first came to Surrey in 1991 following the merger between Kidd Rapinet and local firm Stilgoes. They practised in Haslemere until 2000 when, following another merger with the Farnham firm of Coopers, they moved to their current Farnham offices.

Kidd Rapinet are also very proud to be celebrating the merger in October 2008 with the firm of Aylwins in Farnham enabling them to strengthen and broaden not only their client base but also their expertise and experience by the addition of Jo Aylwin and Adrian Martin to their Farnham office.

Peter Wood is the managing partner of the Farnham office. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1975 and joined Kidd Rapinet on the merger with Wood Bysshe and Co in Maidenhead in 1999, transferring to the firm’s Farnham office in 2004. He undertakes residential and commercial property work as well as private client work and other general commercial and private client matters. He is responsible for the introduction of the new premium lifestyle conveyancing service at the Farnham office which seeks to promote closer communication and liaison between clients and their solicitors through the availability of appointments outside normal office hours including Saturday opening. Modern technology such as emails and mobile phones are used to ensure an efficient contact between solicitor and client.

Sandra Meakins has been a solicitor for 25 years and a partner in Kidd Rapinet since 1991. She specialises in all aspects of family breakdown including divorce, cohabitation and children disputes. She has a particular expertise in dealing with the financial implications of divorce and separation, is a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer, and a member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel and Resolution. She also deals with employment disputes.

Joanne Aylwin has been a solicitor for 26 years and ran her own practice in Farnham from 1997 to 2008, when this merged with Kidd Rapinet. Farnham is her home town although she was articled in London and has worked in other areas. Returning to Farnham gave Jo the opportunity to become involved in the community as well as building her practice. She has been a school governor at the local secondary school attended by her sons, was part of the support team for the junior sailing at Frensham Pond Sailing Club and has been an active member of the Farnham Chamber of Commerce, of which she is currently President.

Adrian Martin was admitted as a solicitor in 1970 and has had a career in private practice and a period teaching law. He joined Kidd Rapinet on the merger with Aylwins. He specialises in wills, probate, trusts, inheritance tax planning and advising the elderly. Adrian is also involved in the local community through mentoring at a local secondary school and through his local church.

The partners of Kidd Rapinet have always been very active in legal and community affairs, many of the partners being involved in their respective local law societies. Three former partners have risen to become members of the judiciary at Circuit Judge level and a number of former partners have served and continue to serve, as District Judges and Stipendiary Magistrates.

The firm is also a very active member of the Commercial Law Group, an organization of European law firms practising commercial law across the Continent.

The Farnham office of Kidd Rapinet is located at Sovereign House, 17 South Street, Farnham, a Victorian building constructed originally as an art school. Farnham’s art school itself has grown in status over the years and what has become a well known and respected art college nationally has risen to the status of an independent university, The University College of Creative Arts. In February 2008 the firm celebrated this by holding an art exhibition of work produced by students from the university. A new exhibition was launched in November 2008 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Kidd Rapinet along with the merger with Aylwins. The firm continues to enjoy a close relationship with the UCCA who have been delighted to ‘come back to their roots’ by exhibiting the work of some of their very best current students.

Kidd Rapinet have also supported local charities in Farnham in its desire as a local business to contribute to Farnham society above and beyond the provision of its legal services. The firm has been involved with Macmillan Cancer, holding a coffee morning and sporting a carnival stall. Kidd Rapinet are currently sponsoring a Christmas charity fair held to raise funds for the local heros fund. Earlier this year staff at Aylwins were involved in a sponsored walk in support of the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.

The desire of local partners of Kidd Rapinet in Farnham is not just to provide legal services to individuals and businesses within the town but to contribute towards the community as a whole. Jo is keen to establish closer links between Farnham businesses and Farnham Town Council.

Above all else, however, Kidd Rapinet seeks to provide the local community with both private client and commercial legal services to the highest standard at a personal, friendly and approachable level. The firm is able to offer expertise in residential and commercial property matters, company and commercial affairs, matrimonial and cohabitation law, and wills, probate and inheritance tax planning from within its Farnham office. The Farnham partners also have available to them the service of highly experienced colleagues in other areas of the law through their other offices.

Kidd Rapinet very proudly celebrates its 50th birthday this year and looks back fondly over a half century that has seen huge changes and challenges in the legal landscape and beyond. The partners of Kidd Rapinet are extremely pleased with the firm’s achievements during its first 50 years and look forward to serving their clients with the same care and passion over the next 50.