Paul Sheerin, one of the partners at Hawkins Ryan at the King’s Lynn office. Picture: Paul Tibbs

A West Norfolk solicitors firm is celebrating its centenary anniversary.

Since opening in King’s Lynn a century ago, Hawkins Ryan Solicitors has offered legal services and advice to scores of individual and commercial clients.

Firm partner Paul Sheerin, who joined in 1986, said the business, which employs 29 members of staff, was proud to be one of the smaller firms in the community.

He said: “In the 1980s we had around 12 or 13 partners and now we have three and we like to keep it that way.

“We just want to be present with our King’s Lynn and Dersingham offices. We don’t want to be a big firm with offices on every street corner, but to provide the local community quality service and quality advice.”

After qualifying as a solicitor in 1905, Alan Hawkins, son of land agent Charles Hawkins, opened Hawkins in Lynn High Street in 1919.

In 1924 the business moved to its current base at 19 Tuesday Market Place, a former merchants house dating from around 1780.

In the 1950s, Hawkins merged with PT Ryan and Co which was then located in Portland Street, Lynn.

As part of reaching the milestone, Hawkins Ryan has asked Lynn historian Dr Paul Richards to carry out further research into the firm’s past.

In April, Hawkins Ryan will be holding a celebration party at Lynn Town Hall which will see staff and clients from the past and present attend.

And at the event, solicitors will be presenting a cheque to staff from North Lynn-based charity Little Discoverers. 

The charity supports parents of pre-school aged children with motor learning development delays or difficulties.

Mr Sheerin explained: “Some time ago we gave up legal aid which was very sad for me, to do less for the less lucky people in our society. 

“So we wanted to raise money for charity and we chose Little Discoverers – the work they do is absolutely fantastic and we want to raise awareness of what they do.”

Going forward into the next 100 years, Mr Sheerin said he wanted Hawkins Ryan to still have a community feel and for clients to not feel nervous about seeing a solicitor.

“From our perspective we don’t want to be like a factory, we want to make people feel relaxed.”