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Our History

In the latter part of the 19th Century, Joseph Hands and Henry John Deane were in partnership at 42 Town Hall Passage, Loughborough, as Deane and Hands. The earliest record available of that practice is in 1882 although we suspect that it dates much earlier than this.

In 1897 Deane and Hands separated and, on the 25th September 1897, Joseph Hands commenced on his own account at 63 and 64 Mill Street (now Market Street), Loughborough, taking a lease from 24th June 1897 for 21 years at a yearly rent of £35.00, from the owner, a Mr Jacob Smith. On 1st August 1919 a new Lease of the premises was granted to Edward Hands who was Joseph’s son. The new Lease was for 7 years from 1st August 1919 at a rent of £60.00 per annum. It appears that Arthur Ernest Armstrong had acquired the property on 27th September 1918 and that the property had originally belonged to a John Clarke grocer whose second wife was Sarah Kate Clarke above and the person who sold to Arthur Ernest Armstrong.

On 1st December 1924, Edward Hands bought 62 and 64 Mill Street at the price of £1,100.00 and on 27th July 1925, he bought 8 and 8 ninths square yards forming the site of two wc’s adjoining for £10.00. Then on 21st September 1925, he bought a strip of land at the back by Angel Yard for £5.00. The site of the wc’s was bought from Armstrong and the strip of land from Hepworths.

On 8th June 1933, Edward Hands died suddenly. Claude Lewis who had come up to Loughborough from Carmarthen as his assistant solicitor in or about 1930 bought the premises from the Estate on 29th September 1936 for £1,600.00

Claude Lewis, Joseph Hands and his son Edward Hands apparently lived in grand style and were best known for their exploits on the hunting field. Edward Hands is reputed to have frequently galloped off the hunting field down Market Street to his offices, tying up his horse in the double door entrance at the side, scraping his boots on the boot scraper in the wall outside the door of the offices and then getting down to a bit of conveyancing. He lived in Burton Walks, Loughborough, in a house which -it is said- still has his initials in the lintel over the front door. According to an old man who used to work in Archie Moss’ Garage as a petrol pump attendant, Edward Hands used to walk to the office from his home each morning and when the old man was a young boy would give him a half penny or a penny to carry his umbrella in front of him.

Claude Lewis used to recount how Edward Hands’ maid called upon him when he was gardening at his house in Outwoods Road or Outwoods Drive, Loughborough, to tell him of Edward Hands’ death and how he then had to arrange for someone to sit with the body and take charge of all funeral arrangements.

Claude then continued the business for the following three years until the outbreak of World War II. During the War, Claude was called up into the RAF. He was too old to fly but acted in an administrative capacity. Like most lawyers, he ended up as an adjutant. Throughout the War, the Practice of Edward Hands & Lewis was largely carried on by Claude Lewis’ clerk, Miss Stubbs, a redoubtable character who effectively ran everything. Claude was occasionally allowed home at weekends to sign cheques etc.

Claude Lewis had a great deal of Welsh charm and built up a successful practice after the War. As the large- Estates which had been occupied by the military forces during the War were sold off, there was plenty of conveyancing and he also had a reputation in relation to probate matters besides acting for various developers, a local building society, the Convent and numerous Roman Catholic organisations and Roman Catholic individuals, together with various companies.

On 5th April, 1984 aged 79 years, and after more than 50 years in practice, Claude Lewis retired.

In the late 1980s, it became apparent that 63 Market Street could not be developed further because of planning restrictions but that its value exceeded its value for current user because various institutions wanted to buy it. Eventually it was sold to Alliance and Leicester plc who demolished the old building and built a new one on the same site.

Edward Hands & Lewis moved in February 1990 to 3 Rectory Place, Loughborough. These premises consisted of some old cottages which were derelict but which were a listed building. The Partners purchased the premises, restored them and extended them. The offices won a design award.

At various times in its history, Edward Hands & Lewis had other offices. From at least as early as 1930 to 2005, it had an office in Shepshed which was manned one day per week. For some years in the 1980s and 1990s, it had an office in Sileby.

In August 2007 Jason Hathaway our Managing Director joined Edward Hands & Lewis. The practice grew in 2007 through to 2010 opening a second office in Loughborough at Market Street. In 2011 the firm opened a third office in Market Harborough. In 2012 the firm opened an office in Leicester at The Old School Rooms and continued to grow. In 2013 the firm opened an office in Stoney Stanton and acquired the practice H Pipes & Co in Melbourne. In 2014 the firm acquired the practices of R .A. Wilkinson in Birkenhead and Marsh Brown & Co in Lewisham. In May 2014 the firm opened a further office in Harrow and later that year acquired the practice Pricketts with two offices in Buxton and Stockport.

The firm has received a number of awards in 2009 recognised as the Leicestershire Law Society Law Firm of the Year and again in 2011. In 2012 the firm received the Business of the year Award for Loughborough and in 2013 was awarded the Services Award for Leicestershire. Our own Managing Director was named Boss of the Year for Leicestershire in 2014 and the Fastest 40 Professional of the Year.

The firm has grown substantially over the years and now forms part of the EHL Group along with its sister companies Cash Protection Agency and CoLaw.

Why should you use us?

Edward Hands and Lewis have been in business for well over 100 years and we understand our client's needs. Here are a few reasons why you should use us.
  • Map and Double Pin Icon National Locations

    Edward Hands and Lewis is now a nationally-acclaimed body. For over a hundred years Edward Hands and Lewis has been an established solicitors in the Leicestershire area, but now we have branched out across the UK.

  • Stopwatch Icon Quick Response

    At Edward Hands and Lewis we pride ourselves on our quick response time and there are several ways you can get in touch, whatever the method, we will make sure we get back to you as soon as we can and get to work on your case.

  • Coffee Cup Icon Free Initial Assessment

    We offer a free initial assessment so you know that you have found the right people for the job. Contact us and no matter what your enquiry is about, we will find the right person to deal with your case.

  • Magnifying Glass Icon Transparent Pricing

    We make our prices fully transparent so our clients know exactly what they’re paying for throughout the process. We also offer fixed-fee services so you know the full costs from the outset.

  • Wrapped Present with Bow Icon Personal Approach

    Our solicitors are approachable and helpful and understand that legal undertakings can be incredibly stressful. We pride ourselves on excellent client service which has been recognised year on year by our Lexcel accreditation.

  • Clock Face Icon Out of Hours

    We know you may not be available within standard working hours, which is why we make ourselves available for out of hours appointments.

  • Magnifying Glass Icon Languages we speak

    At Edward Hands and Lewis several of our specialists are multi-lingual in the following languages: Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Serbo-Croation, French, Italian, German, Swedish. For any other languages, the services of translators may be appropriate.

  • Wrapped Present with Bow Icon Award winning team

    At Edward Hands and Lewis we have an award winning team to deliver legal services to you. Our solicitors and support teams have won awards for their expertise and business acumen and continue to deliver excellence in the profession.

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