This year I celebrate my 30th year as a litigation solicitor practising with QS Large & Gibson in Southsea. The firm has been based in Kent Road since 1974 when compulsory purchase of the old office in Bradford Junction meant we had to move to make room for the big new roundabout. So many visitors are complementary about our office building, which is a Grade II listed building designed by the famous local architect Thomas Owen.
How many local people know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as a practising medic once had his surgery right opposite our office? Born and brought up on the coast in Somerset (in Portishead, where the internationally famous Radio Station was located) after graduation from Bristol University I opted to move from one seaside location to another. Hence the trip to Portsmouth in the days before family, when an old Triumph Spitfire was my pride and joy, down the M275 past the de-commissioned Oberon submarine in Pounds yard and the old Tricorn to my digs in Fratton. So I made my home and started my legal career on the south coast.
I have come to love Hampshire and Southsea in particular, for the people, the places of interest and the beauty of the countryside. Portsmouth has recently become a ‘property hotspot’ with homes and flats selling almost instantly for the asking price. On my side of the law, I find that people are more eager than ever to protect their money and their property with Pre-Nuptual Agreements and Declarations of Trust. A very recent survey shows Britain has the highest divorce rate in the EU and the rate of those separating over 65 has doubled over the last decade: the so-called ‘silver separation’.
For a long-established firm like ours with a huge ‘will bank’, it is common now for us to see more and more inheritance disputes where people are looking to an inheritance to help fund their retirement.