Knowledge, Skill, Judgement and Experience: the cornerstones of our legal practice for over 100 years
Pancake Race, Woking, 2013
As in previous years, W Davies fielded a crack team of athletes to represent the firm in Woking's Shopmobility Pancake Race, on Tuesday, 12th February, 2013. The event, held in the town's new Jubilee Square, was seen by a host of enthusiastic spectators.
Though facing stiff opposition, our team proved equal to the job. First off the line was Andrew Cohen - setting the pace, the man became a veritable blur! Newcomer to the team, petite Helen Cohen, performed bravely and well, showing a turn of speed like a whippet. Wendy Petrie, elegant and swift as always, displayed the neatest pan hand-over in the game. Another fast newcomer, Graeme ('the Impala') Black used his muscular frame to cement an honourable showing for Team W. Davies.
We reached the semi-finals - but the Fidessa team beat us at that point and went on to take the competition, as worthy winners. The enthusiasm of participants and spectators alike made the whole event enjoyable, as well as worthwhile.
See also the 'Gallery' section of our website for photos of the event.
Pancake Race, Woking, 2012
The firm fielded a team of 4 highly-tuned thoroughbreds for the 2012 Pancake Day Race Woking, in support of Shopmobility Woking. Andrew Cohen supplied a surprising but impressive turn of speed, strategically unsettling his opponents. Freddie Lawson’s years of squash playing paid off in terms of the stamina he displayed. Wendy Petrie impressed with her accustomed Saluki-like grace and speed. Trudi Fletcher embodied a West Highland terrier – small, speedy and manoeuvrable.
Being the Diamond Jubilee year, our team members wore appropriate headgear: crowns for the gents and tiaras for the ladies. Andrew Cohen could not resist the opportunity to embellish his crown with an even more exotic item – as can be seen in our photos of the event in this website’s ‘Gallery’ section. Wendy Petrie’s normally- immaculate coiffure was given an interesting (but still fetching) perspective by her tiara – the resultant peak of hair not being a regular feature of her appearance.
The team made it through to the semi-finals, with honour and dignity. Training has already begun for an elevated position for next year.Hide item
Golf Day 2011
The W. Davies Golf Day at Guildford Golf Club, on Merrow Downs, Guildford on 2nd September 2011, was played over two rounds of golf: a Singles Competition in the morning and a Texas Scramble in the afternoon.
A blisteringly-hot day saw excellent performances from our guests, all of whom seemed to enjoy the workout involved in traversing the Merrow Downs.
Most guests play for the best part of 9 hours, interrupted by a substantial lunch and stops for drinks. They emerge, exhausted but happy, for an evening meal and the awarding of prizes. Non-golfing guests are invited for the evening meal.
Guildford Golf Course was in exceptional condition and the food and service provided achieved the usual excellent standard.
Good form was not limited to the low handicappers. Particular praise was due to our oldest member and for the winning Texas Scramble Team, whose victory was the culmination of many years of attempts on the prize. The Simon Oxley Prize was won with a record number of points in that category.
It is W.Davies’ very great pleasure to entertain its clients, business partners and old friends at Guildford Golf Club. We are grateful for their generosity in enabling us to raise sums for our chosen charities: the NSPCC and Woking Hospice.
Click here to see the score card
W. DAVIES, Solicitors, Woking
In the 1960s, Harold Wilson looked out over a Britain ruled by the Trade Unions and bankrupted by wars (two ‘hot’ and one ‘cold’) and declared that the white-hot heat of the technological revolution was coming...
He may have been blinded by pipe smoke, because some might say that the revolution never really arrived. While as a race we may look down upon the mañana culture, in fact as a nation we often embrace it, especially for inessential items or activities. Now, a centenary celebration is hardly essential … or is it? We took the view that it did qualify.
When and how would we celebrate our firm’s first 100 years? For the Partners of W. Davies incorporating Tilbrook Turner Foster, these questions seldom had top priority during the harsh, financial climate of recent times. After some deliberation, however, the Partners decided to take the safest course - and put Marion Willand in charge of the matter. Marion visited a number of Surrey’s over-priced and mediocre establishments, as well as some good ones. At the end of her researches, she recommended that we have our centenary celebrations at Wentworth Golf Club - and the Partners concurred.
The venue having been established, an astonishing amount of work and preparation followed, with Marion and Barbara, plus Stephen, doing the donkey-work. Invitations were sent out and we were gratified when most recipients confirmed that they would be happy to join us in our celebrations. Our guest list included those who presently work in the firm, those who had previously served the firm, professional colleagues and clients.
The stage was set. Our gathering would take place on 17th November 2010. Commencing at 7.00 pm, it would last until almost midnight. Marion and Barbara had selected a “black and white” theme for the evening; everyone would dress accordingly.
On the Big Day, the firm closed at lunchtime. The ladies disappeared to get their hair and make-up done and to slide into the outfits they had so carefully selected. For the men, thankfully, the task of preparation appeared much easier. But could they really still fit into their dinner jacket trousers? Did they possess a clean, white, ironed shirt? Would they look counter-intuitively smart in their DJs? Where was that tasteful claret and blue striped cummerbund with matching bow tie?
Imagine if you will, William Davies leaving the soggy, Celtic beauty that is Wales. Having travelled to London, he would have proceeded, via Paddington, down the newly-constructed Bakerloo Underground line, eventually descending from the Waterloo train at Woking. We have all made that trip, or a similar one. Buoyed by the entrepreneurial spirit, he had decided to start his own firm. In those early years of the 20th Century, when William Davies started his firm Britain had just commissioned eight super-dreadnought battleships and had locked itself in an arms’ race with Germany that would eventually lead to the carnage of the First and Second World Wars.
The Woking of those days had been (if one studies the old pictures) a dusty, red-brick railway town on the London and South Western Railway’s route to both Portsmouth and the West Country. This was where William Davies had come to settle. Here, he issued advice to the local Magistrates concerning matters of the law. Doubtless, the daily fare of the Court then involved dealing with the same sort of criminals who were committing the same sort of crimes as they do today. Starched collars and stiff suits would have been the order of the day. Clackety, high-backed typewriters and the electric telephone in the back office comprised the new-fangled technology - but one still needed to dodge horse-droppings when crossing the road. Though some women were employed in the workplace, they may have been regarded with a degree of suspicion. What would the ladies be wanting next? Probably, the vote … possibly, even equal wages!
We know little of the firm’s early days, save for the parts of history which are handed down to us by those who were acquainted with the people who knew the founder. At our centenary celebrations, however, guests included our former senior partner, Keith Browne (who himself had been trained at Woking Borough Council) as well as Michael Evans, Chris Podger and Deglan Rowe - stalwarts of the firm of Davies, Blunden and Evans of Farnborough, Yateley and Lightwater. That firm originally formed part of W. Davies & Son, but de-merged in the 1980s. Another attendee was former Partner Freddie Spicer, who had run the West Byfleet Office of W. Davies & Son for many years and who had employed two bright young things, Marion and Barbara. Other old friends came back to see us: Graham Wilson, Neil McGregor from Romania, Pauline Sylvester and Nick McCormick. Maureen Solomon (now Blunden) could not be with us, but sent a regal telegram from the other side of the world. Jo Foster, the former senior partner of Tilbrook Turner Foster, came to join us, as well. Of course, W. Davies & Son merged with Tilbrook Turner Foster in April 2006 - to become known as W. Davies.
Reaching the venue involved a series of hurdles. The evening was rain-soaked and the A30 had been shut by the Police following an “incident”. However, once at the clean, bright and elegant surroundings of Wentworth Golf Club, we were met by Marion and Barbara - plus a welcome glass of cold champagne. As previously reported, those months of planning and hours of preparation had certainly paid off - because all the ladies at the event looked lovely. The men did their best not to notice whether they had all succeeded in getting into our DJs again without the aid of mechanical girth suppression devices; but they looked fine - no one could “have a go” at them for looking scruffy.
Immediately, one factor became apparent (at least to the writer). Occasionally one goes to other large functions in posh places and might see only a few people one knows. At this function, however, all the cloakrooms, corridors and the open spaces were populated by a host of colleagues and other friendly faces one felt delight at seeing. This was our posh party. Yes, it had cost us a great deal of money - but this was a once-in-a-hundred-year event and we were all determined to enjoy it. Enjoy it, we all did - very much, indeed!
The party was loud, being full of lawyers and their favourite colleagues and clients, all talking enthusiastically. After the all-important group and individual photographs had been taken, we moved through to a glorious dining room, where we sat down to dinner at 8 p.m. We were met with 3 choices of wine, crisp white linen on the tables and in-house-baked bread served with butter.
The menu comprised:
Later, the waiting staff served dark and white chocolate lollipop ice creams, delivered on a plate with billowing and spurting dry ice. Wow!
At tables seating 8, 9 or 10 persons, while enjoying the delightful menu, we all engaged in lively conversation. “Hats off to the organisers” for their great care in organising the seating plan to facilitate such an easy exchange of conversation. During these lively conversations, it emerged that former Partners Dennis Blunden and Tom Hiscoke had been prominent members of and occasional players for Woking Football Club.
Our evening was enhanced by a delightful background of live classical music played by Private Client Partner Fiona Gould and her daughter, Cara, together with three of Cara’s musical friends from London and Oxford. The choice of music proved excellent and of an extremely high standard.
The formal parts of the evening were introduced (well and loudly) by Wendy Petrie’s husband, Alan, an enormous former Scots Guardsman and Paratrooper – attired, as one would expect, in his kilt and full Highland dress.
Senior Partner Simon Oxley amused and informed his audience with a witty, entertaining speech in which he welcomed our guests to the dinner (many of them, by name) told us something of the history of the firm and gave us anecdotes about some of the personalities he could recall. He spoke of moments of terror when, as a youthful Articled Clerk, he had transgressed by smashing glass - be it with a pellet gun, or by accidentally falling through the skylight over the stationary cupboard. The law can be full of terror – but, for much of the time, is also filled with companionship and laughter. Simon paid tribute to the long career of a stalwart of the Woking profession: John Risbridger, our great friend and colleague, who said grace for us before dinner. John qualified as a solicitor in 1957, so he has been practising law for 53 years. Simon did not mention his own father, Geoffrey (who one of the legal executives used to call “Daddy Oxley”) who still worked in the firm when the writer joined it. Geoffrey always came across as a very nice man and was great fun.
Then, briskly but comprehensively, tribute was paid to Simon by Andrew Cohen. To acquire stories about Simon in his early days in the firm, Andrew had sought help from Alison Mouser, Heather McLaurin, Wendy Blondell, and Graham Wilson. Mention was also made of Simon’s wife, Maggie, who has regularly and graciously hosted events for the firm in their home.
Rhod Lofting thanked the Partners of the firm, on behalf of the guests. We greatly appreciated Rhod’s kind remarks.
The evening ended with Fiona playing traditional and popular songs on the piano, while the audience joined in as and when they could.
An appreciative guest, writing his thank-you letter said: “Thank you to everyone for making the celebration last night such an enjoyable event. All the guests that passed me in the corridors looked very happy and relaxed”. From a host of similar reactions, it appears that we all had a lovely time, whatever our relationship with the firm.
Andrew Cohen, Partner, W. Davies
Golf Day 2010
W. Davies is 100 years old and the participants in our annual golf day know how that feels after a lovely but exhausting day on the downs at Merrow.
The W. Davies Golf Day is played over 36 holes on a summer day at Guildford Golf Club, the oldest and, some may feel, the most mountainous in Surrey.
The Singles competition was played in the morning in groups of three and the Texas Scramble four ball competition was played in the afternoon. The photographs of those taking part appear below.
The weather was very kind to us, the warmth of the day being ameliorated by a merciful heavy cloud cover, especially in the afternoon.
A well-attended dinner saw a cheque being handed over to Trustees of Woking Hospice for money raised by the participants on the day. We thank our clients, professional colleagues and friends for contributing so generously to a good cause and an essential service.
W. Davies thank all their guests for attending and hope that they all had an agreeable time.
Click here to see the score card
Golf Day 2009
Our annual golf competition, played over 36 holes of Stableford Singles play and Team Texas Scramble on July 3rd at Guildford Golf Club was enjoyed by all.
The Golf Day, now in its 20th year, is a way of saying thank you to our clients and professional colleagues for all that they do with us throughout the year.
Of particular pleasure to the firm is the involvement of family members of clients and the firm.
After the heatwave of late June and early July, the morning competition was pleasingly overcast, and temperatures were pleasant throughout.
Scores at the golf day continue to improve year on year.
The morning singles were won by Andrew Pendlebury, with a stunning gross 69 and 45 Stableford points. David Stallwood came second with an excellent 42 points, and John Gaskin third with 40 points.
The Texas Scramble was won by a team of Laurence O’ Donnell, John Gaskin, John Reekie and Andrew Cohen. A score of 11 under par gross 58 and 62 Stableford points, including 11 birdies and no dropped shots to par, is a golf day record. It seems likely to remain so.
Strong performances came also from the second placed Old Square Chambers Team of Toby Kempster, Nigel Cooksley, Paul Rose, and Laurence Willicombe with 59 points and Third Placed Richard Shuker, Ray Maltby, Paddy Dowzer and George Cohen with 57.
The Old Square Chambers Club Snapper Cup was won by Laurence Willicombe with 39 points.
Nearest the pin talent was exhibited by Ian Farminer, John Reekie and Bob McKendrick, and Longest Drive monstrousness by Clive Kunkler and Laurence O’Donnell.
Summer, 2009 Woking "fun" cycle race.
In the summer of 2009, Woking organised a day of cycle racing.
For the "fun race" section, W. Davies fielded a team from the Private Client Department, comprising Alex Milton (Head of Department) Sam Mohieddin, Ayesha Mistry and trainee, Emma Charlton. The cyclists upheld the honour of W. Davies and their distinctive, orange T-shirts which carried the logo of the firm received much positive comment.
Click here to see the Gallery
An Audience with Max Clifford
A charity event was held in the autumn of 2009, in aid of the Sam Beare Hospice.
The evening helped to raise funds for the Hospice through a raffle and an auction. W. Davies acts as solicitors to Sam Beare and to its sister entity, Woking Hospice. Here, two solicitors in W. Davies' Private Client Department - Alex Milton (Head of Department) and Sam Mohieddin - are seen with 'Dragon', Theo Paphitis.
Click on the picture for a larger view
Our Social Events
Past EventsPancake Race, Woking, 2013
Pancake Race, Woking, 2012
Golf Day 2011
Centenary Dinner at Wentworth
Golf Day 2010
Golf Day 2009
Fun Cycle 2009
An Evening with
Click here to see the Galleries
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