Addressing the invited guests Jeanette Wheeler, Partner and Head of the Employment Team at Birketts, reflected on the office’s small beginnings, stating that: “Of the legal entrepreneurs who were the founders of the Birketts’ Norwich office in 2004, four in particular deserve mention by name: Partners Robert Gibbs, Paul Matthews and Neil Sparrow and Associate Francis Berridge. They joined to establish Birketts’ first office outside of Suffolk and were initially based in four rooms over the offices of an estate agent at the corner of Queen Street and Tombland. At the time the firm’s turnover was about £7m. Roll forward 15 years and Birketts is now aiming for a turnover in the coming year of close to £60m and employs nearly 700 staff; 150 of who are based in Kingfisher House in Gilders Way.”
Jeanette continued by thanking valued clients for their support, noting that their confidence and loyalty has enabled Birketts to become one of the most widely recognised law firms in Norwich. A special mention was also made to the clients and supporters who attended the evening for their part in inspiring the firm’s innovative efforts.
The spirit of the occasion was further lifted when a cheque was presented to Priscilla Bacon Lodge for £20,000 on behalf of the Birketts' Fund (a reserve administered by the Norfolk Community Foundation). Through this fund, Birketts contributes to various community groups with the aim of improving the quality of people's lives across Norfolk and also has the same arrangements with the Community Foundations in Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk.
Jonathan Agar, Chief Executive Officer at Birketts, commented: “The Priscilla Bacon Lodge, which is based in Norwich, provides specialist advice, care and support for patients with life limiting illnesses and helps their families to cope at a difficult time. Via the Fund, Birketts is delighted to contribute monies towards this essential service and benefit the community in Norwich and Norfolk.”
Greg Allan, Partner in the Corporate Finance and Banking and Finance Teams, concluded: “The Norwich office has continued to evolve in response to the increase in client demand and development of the vibrant Norfolk business centre. We are proud to have made the progress that we have over the last 15 years. Long may we continue to innovate and forge the meaningful client relationships that will help Birketts to further establish its status as a progressive frontrunner in the legal arena.”