By Claire Miller, Partner, Penman Sedgwick LLP
There cannot be many (any?) other firms in Watford that can trace their history back quite as far as we can…
Penman Sedgwick LLP can trace its roots back to 1836 when John Sedgwick founded the firm which was variously known over the years as Sedgwick Turner, Sedgwick Turner & Walker, Sedgwick Turner & Oddie, and then Sedgwick Turner Sworder & Wilson for almost 100 years until 1985 when its name reverted to Sedgwick Turner. In 1996 the firm merged with Kelly Nichols and Blayney – another Watford firm with a long-established presence in the town – to become Sedgwick Kelly. Many will remember that for around 100 years the firm occupied the distinctive listed building in the centre of town – Watford Place, on King Street – originally built as a ‘gentleman’s residence’.
Sedgwick Kelly merged with Penman Johnson 10 years ago in 2013 – a firm which itself had a long-held history of providing legal services in the town (and further afield), having been established over 100 years previously (in 1912) by Frank Penman. While it was originally based in Holborn, the firm moved to Watford in the 1920s and subsequently became known as Penman Johnson & Ewins, until the mid 1980s when the firm shortened its name to Penman Johnson. The firm first took up occupation of offices near the Palace Theatre before relocating over 40 years ago to the offices it still occupies today on George Street.
The firm has acquired a number of smaller local firms over the years, including names that may be familiar to some such as Wallington Fabian & White, Graham White & Co. (Watford), Graham Spittle & Co and Jeffrey Doctors & Marchant.
The current partners of the firm include two who are marking 30 years with the firm this year (Jacqueline Alderton and Caroline Kernanec) and another who has just marked 20 years with the firm (Claire Miller).
We are proud of our long history and our strong reputation for providing legal services to generations of families and businesses in the town, its surrounding areas, and beyond.
We look forward to taking the business into its third century!
We were thrilled to write for Inspire Magazine this month about our long-standing history in Watford. If you visit Page 17, you can see a feature about our company, and at the top of Page 18 you can read our article about the firm’s history in Watford. Click here to see the full publication.
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