Wilkinson Woodward’s Richard Smithies set to retire

Richard Smithies, a partner at Wilkinson Woodward Solicitors, has announced that he is to retire after 42 years in the legal profession.

He began his legal career as an articled clerk in 1971, before qualifying and joining the Halifax office of Bearders Solicitors in 1973.

In 1976 he became a partner at Bearders and, one year later opened the Brighouse practice. Smithies went on to open further offices in Hebden Bridge, Elland and Halifax in the 1980s and played a key role when Bearders merged with Halifax-based firm Wilkinson Woodward in 2013.

During his career he developed a reputation for expertise in a wide range of legal matters including wills, probate, conveyancing, civil, criminal and matrimonial matters.

He is also well known throughout Calderdale for his work as a trustee of the Bearder charity, which awards grants totalling £190,000 each year to a wide range of individual and community projects across the Calder Valley.

Speaking of his long legal career, Smithies said that it had been a privilege to serve the people and businesses of Brighouse and beyond.

“I consider myself very fortunate to have worked with two of the area’s most established and respected legal practices,” he said.

Director of Wilkinson Woodward Bearders. Maureen Cawthorn said: “Richard has devoted over four decades to serving the communities of Calderdale. Over the years his legal expertise has been greatly valued by hundreds of local people and businesses. We wish Richard a long and happy retirement.”