A boss at a 100-year-old Aylesbury solicitors firm is celebrating 50 years in the job.
Managing partner John Leggett, 68, began working at Bourbon Street-based Parrot and Coales in 1962, since when there have been a variety of changes, he says.
Mr Leggett, of Whitchurch, said: “The main changes in the business are as a result of improved technology.
“When I first started, we had coal fires in the office, and loos so inadequate they certainly wouldn’t do today. We also had a liquid system for photocopying, and had to hang the negatives out on a washing line.
“People aren’t in awe of professionals as they used to be either, which is a good thing.
“Clients speak to their lawyers or doctors on a more equal basis, as people know a lot more about things these days. This also means we have to tell people what we genuinely think, rather than just telling them what they want to hear.”
Mr Leggett added that the company’s ‘productivity’ has also increased, meaning people have to do more work in less time. This is a result of the technology, he said, but also to ensure the firm can compete effectively with others.
When Mr Legget joined Parrot and Coales at the age of 18, he started out as an ‘articled clerk’, now referred to as a trainee solicitor. He then spent five years gaining his qualifications, trained by former partner at the firm Owen Jones.
He added that changes in his job have also come simply from personal experience.
The grandfather-of-one said: “The basic principles of the job have really remained the same, but you never stop developing experience, however long you work there.
“I’ve always loved the life and the people of Buckinghamshire, and providing legal services in the county. Days in this work are always varied and interesting. Our work used to be a lot broader than nowadays, as most now specialise, but I still cover a variety of topics – property, commercial, residential and agricultural law.
“It’s very important to be a people person in this job, and to be able to relate. It’s good to be able to help others.”