JWK Solicitors are the recently merged firms of Jobling & Knape, established in 1934, and Whiteside and Knowles Limited, established in 1888.
The partnership of Jobling & Knape started over 75 years ago in the East Lancashire town of Burnley. In 1934, George Jobling, his brother and John Knape decided that it was time to branch out and in 1934 took the historic step of founding what was to become the head office of the firm in Northumberland Street, Morecambe.
The firm has a history of its solicitors starting with it as articled clerks (apprentices) and progressing through the firm to partnership level. This applied to several local luminaries including Charles Altham, Frank McHugh, Ronald Hampson, Michael Woods, Colin Wright, Michael Easthope, John and Stuart Knape.
The firm also witnessed the start of several other careers in the law, including Mike Winkley who having served his articles with Jobling & Knape went on to co-found the Kendal firm Hayton Winkley, and perhaps even more notably, the eminent retired Judge, Sir Christopher Rose, former Vice-President of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal and current Chief Surveillance Commissioner, was also articled at the firm.
The ultimate partners, David Harrison, Peter Bujakowski, Ian Gee and Craig Hollingdrake all served their articles at Jobling & Knape rising through the firm in this same way. David Harrison and David Hardy are now Ambassadors for JWK Solicitors, having respectively retired from practising in June 2013 and September 2017.
In the early 1980’s the firm opened a branch office in Great Eccleston and then acquired the practice which Stuart Knape had founded, instantly acquiring three other branches in Lancaster, Carnforth and Heysham.
The firm has steadily expanded over the years and now occupies, as JWK Legal Group Limited, large prestigious bespoke offices at Aalborg Square, Lancaster.
In line with trends within the legal profession, the individuals in the firm have developed their own areas of work resulting in the overall expansion of the firm.
The partners of Jobling & Knape were delighted to merge in 2012 with the well-known firm of Whiteside & Knowles, a practice even older than Jobling & Knape and with whom Jobling & Knape has enjoyed a long and friendly relationship.
The strengths and qualities of both firms dovetail perfectly to bring the highest level of service both to the local community and on a national basis, serving from their offices in Lancaster and Morecambe not only the residents of those two towns but clients nationwide.
Cyril, Kenneth and Geoffrey were all partners in the firm as was a childhood friend Lees Fearn. The practice carried out predominantly property and probate law but litigation work featured increasingly as time passed.
The 70s and 80s witnessed a changing of the guard with older partners retiring and new partners joining. Tony Collinson was admitted to the partnership in 1975 and Charles Wilson in 1982. At that time the firm started to build on its solid foundations. Tony Collinson had a number of large commercial clients, as well as building up a niche practice relating to agriculture and rural issues for which he is now recommended in the Legal 500, and Wills, Trusts and Property issues for high net worth clients. Tony was also a long standing Secretary of Lancaster Morecambe and District Law Society, which experience led him in due course to sit on the Executive Committee of the Private Client Section of The Law Society.
Charles Wilson expanded the firm’s litigation base with his expertise in Family Law so that the firm held a Legal Aid Franchise for family work for a number of years. He trained as a Mediator and a Collaborative Lawyer and is a member of The Law Society Family Panel. As well as Family Law, Charles has also practised in Property, Wills, Trusts and Probate Work.
The firm incorporated from 1st January 2005 in recognition of the changes that were starting to take place in the legal sector. Zebra Financial Services Limited was also formed to enable clients to receive advice in relation to financial issues.
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May I take this opportunity to thank you all for not only acting on my behalf for the purchase of ** C** Road, but also for the sale of my previous home earlier in the year. You all provide an excellent service and I would highly recommend you.
It's nearly 3 weeks since we moved in (around the corner) and we are absolutely delighted with our new home and with Southport. Our bungalow is delightful, and the garden is so attractive it's beyond belief.
Just a word of thanks to you and your team for all your help in the sale of my home, it is really appreciated. For me it is now the start of a new life which I am looking forward to. I realise how difficult it must be for you with pressure from both sides, but your professionalism shone through. I would recommend you and your company to anyone who needs a Solicitor. So thank you all again.
Thanks very much for your help and support in this matter. It has been made more difficult than necessary at times but I have always found you to be professional and helpful. It’s much appreciated.
We wish to thank you very much for all the assistance and help we have received from you and your staff.
Myself (and the dogs of course) would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at JWK who worked on my divorce and subsequent house purchase. I was really impressed with everyone's efficiency, helpfulness and friendly manner. Wishing you all every success in the future.
I wish to thank you and your team, for all the good work everyone has done on my behalf since my accident. Thank you for the prompt attention you gave to my case. If my wife or I should need any legal help in the future we will certainly call on your services.
Your accurate assessment of many aspects of the Company's structure provided valuable insight into the true worth of the Company and the many pitfalls along the way, which enabled us to make a decision armed with all the relevant facts.