BLS features in Bristol Post oldest thriving companies in Bristol banner

BLS features in Bristol Post oldest thriving companies in Bristol

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Excerpt from the article:

How Bristol's oldest companies are still thriving after more than 100 years in business

They include the city's last-surviving chocolate maker a wine merchant and a tannery.

Why do some companies struggle to survive beyond a year while others flourish for hundreds?

Although more than 90 per cent of small companies in Britain will survive one year of trading, nearly half will fail before five years is out.

Bristol is a thriving entrepreneurial hub and is home to thousands of SMEs, some of which have been in the city for hundreds of years.

But what’s the secret to their success? We spoke to the heads of some of the city’s oldest businesses about how their companies have stood the test of time.

Bristol Law Society, 1770

Bristol Law society was set up by 18 local lawyers on 19 October 1770 with the purpose of sharing the costs of legal books. The initial meeting took place in The Bush Tavern on Corn Street (now The Harbour Hotel).

A century after formation, those involved recognised the necessity of creating a modern association and the Society became a limited company on 24 February 1871.

Today, Bristol Law Society has around 4,500 members across Bristol and Bath and is run by an executive board and council of 25 local lawyers who are all volunteers. It also employs two full-time staff and a part-time executive chair.
Gary Lightwood was elected president of Bristol Law Society in November 2017.

He said: “In 2017, we finally moved into our first owned property, which is fit for the purposes of our modern society and offers conference facilities and a mediation suite for hire. We are also starting to plan for our 250th anniversary in 2020, which is very exciting.

“We are proud of our long history but perhaps even more so that 248 years on we are regarded as a vibrant and relevant membership organisation.

The key to success, says Gary, is continually proving the organisation’s relevance and adapting to change.

He added: “An enthusiastic and dedicated group of local lawyers who form our council are keen to give something back to the wider profession.

“We also form excellent long-standing supporter relationships with service providers and suppliers to the legal sector.”

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