hlw Keeble Hawson senior partner, Ron Whitlam, is stepping down after almost a quarter of a century at the firm.
Mr Whitlam became the third partner of hlw, then called Hartley Linfoot and Whitlam – heading it alongside Andrew Hartley and John Linfoot – when he joined in 1992.
A licensed insolvency practitioner whose cases include the administration of a number of Football League clubs, Mr Whitlam was managing partner of hlw from 1995.
When the practice merged with Keeble Hawson in 2011, he played an instrumental role in the milestone which brought together two of Yorkshire’s best-respected legal names.
The senior partner has headed the Litigation and Dispute Resolution department of hlw Keeble Hawson – one of Yorkshire’s biggest law firms with offices in Sheffield, Leeds and Doncaster – for 5 years.
Graduating with a First in Law from Cambridge University and joining what is now DLA Piper, where he qualified in 1979, Mr Whitlam has witnessed the legal sector undergo a series of seismic changes over the past 37 years.
He said: “The shifts in the legal landscape have been phenomenal in almost four decades. For the first eight years of my career, solicitors were banned from advertising their services until the law changed in 1987. Unprecedented technological developments have also dramatically changed the pace and delivery of legal services with more recent milestones including the introduction of alternative business structures, which opened our profession to non-lawyers.”
Said hlw Keeble Hawson’s managing partner, Paul Trudgill: “Ron’s retirement marks the end of an era for the firm. Over the last 24 years he has made a major contribution to its growth and establishment as one of the leading law practices in the area.
“Ron is hugely respected – not only by his professional colleagues within hlw Keeble Hawson – but also by his clients for his practical and commercial approach to finding workable solutions to problems.
“One of his principal legacies is the way in which he has helped others in his team to develop their experience and expertise to ensure that the firm can continue to provide a similar level of service to its clients after his retirement, as they have previously enjoyed from Ron. We wish him a long and relaxing retirement after all his hard work for the firm.”
Mr Whitlam added: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the firm, and am delighted to see all the positive developments that have followed the merger. I leave behind a highly skilled team and am confident they will continue to go from strength to strength.”
Highly regarded and with more than 200 years of history, Legal 500 continues to rank hlw Keeble Hawson – which employs 250 staff – as a leading player. The 2015 edition recommends 17 practice areas and names 19 lawyers as leading individuals across all areas of the practice