Silver anniversary for ‘Diamond’ lawyer
This month marks 25 years since conveyancer Steve Diamond joined our Gloucestershire law firm.
Steve took a rather unusual career path into law. He originally studied hotel management at GlosCat, then spent a number of years helping his best friend’s family run the fish and chip shop on Bath Road, (now known as ‘The Big Fish) and sold office equipment before starting his legal career with Willans in September 1989.
Steve Diamond recalled his initial experience at the time: “I saw an advert in the Echo for a trainee legal executive at Willans Stannard & Davey and thought that sounded interesting so applied. The firm had 5 partners and had gone through a merger a couple of years before I joined, with the aim of creating specialist departments.”
Despite having no experience Steve was hired both for his enthusiasm to learn on the job and for his ability to get on with people, which matched our ethos.
He has seen the Cheltenham firm grow from one building in Imperial Square with 5 partners running the business, to 4 buildings and 13 partners, employing around 52 additional staff.
He continued: “Technology has radically changed the job. In those days house sales were often completed at face-to-face meetings between each party’s lawyer. There were far fewer electronic payments – very often we would quite literally take a bankers draft round to the seller’s lawyer’s office, drop it off and take away the title deeds for the house that was being bought. We had no email at that time, very little electronic assistance and in fact, the only computer in the firm was in our accounts department!”
When asked why he has worked for one firm for so long, Steve commented: “I found a job that I enjoy, with a firm that has great people to work for and with. And I still love my work! It gives you a real buzz when you know you have helped someone to purchase the house they have always wanted. My clients are lovely and I see a real, positive result from the work I do.”
Bridget Redmond, managing partner of Willans, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating Steve’s 25 years at Willans. The fact that Steve has so many longstanding clients who have returned time after time to entrust him with their house moves is testament to his dedication to them and to the service that he delivers. Steve’s clients often comment that he is a great communicator and he puts them at ease during what can be a stressful process. These are qualities which are core to the culture of our firm.”
Steve is currently the firm’s longest serving member of staff but hot on his heels is Jonathan Mills, one of the firm’s consultants and a former partner and head of commercial property. He joined the firm in November 1989.
Willans was established in Cheltenham in 1947. Today, it employs around 65 people at its Imperial Square offices and provides legal advice to local, national and overseas clients.