Tallents Solicitors – legal memories

As we celebrate our 250 Anniversary Year, the Partners and Staff, present and past, have collated some of their memories during their time with Tallents Solicitors

Alistair Miller, Senior Partner at Tallents Solicitors

Alistair Miller, Senior Partner at Tallents Solicitors

Alistair Millar, Senior Partner from May 2022 to present

“When I first arrived at Tallents Solicitors in Southwell, I was terrified. I was to spend the first three months sharing a room with Robin Marshall, whom I had come across whilst working for previous law firms, both in Nottingham and in Lincoln. I knew that he took no prisoners and he had been based at the Southwell office for 43 years, I believe, so there was nothing he didn’t know about local property and local people. I was placed at a small desk in the corner of Robin’s room and worked under his supervision whilst he remained at the big desk that dominated the room (and, in truth, the building).  After just two months, Robin told me that he was going to move to the small desk, and I should replace him at the big one…Phew!  I had passed the test.”

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“Movember in 2010. I was growing a moustache in the fledgling days of Movember, in a team with some Doncaster Rovers players and I was busting a gut to raise more than the Movember team captain, Simon Gillett.  I asked our cashiers at Southwell if they would sponsor me, and Barbara Baldwin said that if I grew a full Freddie Mercury moustache and performed Queen’s ‘I Want to Break Free’, they’d raise £50.  I knew they had no chance of raising so much money, so I agreed to it in the hope of seeing what they could manage to raise.  Low and behold, they raised it in just under five minutes and that’s why I was seen at each of the offices that Autumn in a wig, tight pink sweater, leather mini skirt and high heels clutching with a hoover…and I was also seen on Middlegate in Newark, tottering across Westgate in Southwell and in the public car park in Mansfield! But we raised lots of money for Movember that year!”

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“A few years ago, Countryfile came to film the Laxton Court Leet proceedings, where I am the Steward to the Leet Court. Laxton was chosen for the filming because it is the only place in England which still has the old open fields (strip farming), with a working manor court (a court leet). A specially convened Court Leet was held for the BBC cameras to give an idea of the long history of this venerable institution. All of the farmers turned out, however, I fined Matt Baker £5 for turning up late! He did make a good plea in mitigation, so I rescinded his fine. ”

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Tallents Solicitors accepts the Business Commitment to the Community Award 2012“Winning the Newark Advertiser’s 2012 Commitment to the Community Award at Newark Business Awards was an incredibly proud moment, I especially remember Jeremy shoving me forwards so that he didn’t have to make a speech!”

Mark Hawkins was a partner at Tallents Solicitors in Mansfield specialising in Children Law and Family Law

Mark Hawkins, retired Senior Partner

Mark Hawkins, Senior Partner from May 2020 to May 2022

“I recall arriving on my first day at Tallents Solicitors in Mansfield to be greeted by Jane (Hammerton) who was to become my secretary for almost 30 years. The first day was taken up by the then Partner at the office handing over to me a number of files which were to become my responsibility. Inevitably those files were either tricky and difficult or the clients were difficult. An introduction of new legal blood was always an opportunity to unburden oneself of the problem files!”

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“I worked at the Mansfield office throughout my time at Tallents Solicitors (1989- 2022). The Mansfield office when I arrived consisted of one partner, a secretary and a part-time office junior. It was a small office that evolved over time to consist of three partners and 15 staff, but despite the growth, it always maintained its cosy, friendly atmosphere throughout and was a fun office to work at with the staff often socialising together after work.”

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“I joined Tallents Solicitors in July 1989 from another local law firm. I joined when I was one year qualified and was in the right place at the right time when restructuring of the firm took place a year later which resulted in the Partner at the Mansfield office moving to the Newark office. The gap in the management structure resulted in my joining the Partnership aged 26 in May 1991. I remained the sole Partner in Mansfield for over 25 years, culminating with my role as Senior Partner from May 2020. I loved the ‘team spirit’ of the partnership and marvelled at how people with completely different outlooks on life and business somehow managed to drive a very successful business forward, with each of us acting as checks and balances towards each other. I had the utmost respect for my fellow Partners and what they each brought to the table and I am sure the secret of our continued success as a law firm was based on our diversity. I was especially proud of implementing a proper process for progression to Partnership having recommended a structure to the Partnership for the introduction of new Partners and subsequent progression that remains in place today.”

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“I have had some very capable Partners over my 31 years in Partnership at Tallents Solicitors, but without a doubt the most significant influence on me was my friendship and working relationship that evolved with Jeremy Blatherwick. He had joined the Partnership a year or two before me and we ‘grew up’ together over the years, before he handed over the mantle of Senior Partner to me in 2020. His stewardship of the firm whilst he was Senior Partner was the happiest period of my time at Tallents Solicitors, with the firm moving from strength to strength. I missed his calmness under pressure and support tremendously when he left. I should also mention my long suffering Secretary, Jane Hammerton who, until her retirement at the start of the Covid pandemic, had been a constant source of support. She played a massive part in my development and success over the 30 years we worked together.”

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