Crane & Staples Solicitors: 2022 Wrapped
As we come to the end of another busy year at Crane & Staples Solicitors, it is a good time to reflect on all the exciting things that we have been part of in 2022.
In our own version of '2022 Wrapped', we have also asked staff to reflect on their highlights of the year. These can be found below.
Christmas Opening hours
Please note that Crane & Staples Solicitors will be closed from 5.00pm on Friday 23rd December 2022, reopening at 9.00am on Tuesday 3rd January 2023.
Instead of sending Christmas cards this year, Crane & Staples has made a donation to the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline.
We wish all our clients and professional colleagues a Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.
New Staff at Crane & Staples Solicitors
Our team has expanded this year and we were delighted to welcome the following new members of staff:
- Debbie Woodman and Susan Smith – Front of House Team
- Natasha Khakhar – Senior Associate, Family Law
- David Hughes – Consultant, Company Commercial
- Adrian Boulter – Dispute Resolution Executive
- Lisa Bourke – Legal Secretary, Private Client
- Kiera O’Connor – Conveyancing Assistant
- Karen Halliday – Accounts Assistant
- Alex Baxter – Paralegal, Family Law
- Kerry Reynolds – Solicitor, Family Law
They are all excellent additions to the firm!
This year, we had two significant promotions at Crane & Staples Solicitors.
Many congratulations to Manish Patel, who joined the partnership in April 2022 and became Training Principal, and Sian Churchill, who was promoted to Senior Associate and head of the public law care team in April 2022.
It has been another hugely successful year for awards at Crane & Staples Solicitors!
Katie Smits won the Hertfordshire Junior Lawyer of the Year Award at the Herts Law Society dinner in June 2022. She was described as “a shining example of a junior lawyer”. Not only did Katie win this award this year, but also, Georgina Donnellan won the same award in 2019. This keeps up the tradition of Crane & Staples having an excellent reputation for training and development of junior lawyers.
In July 2022, we won the award for Best Legal Services Provider at the biz4Biz Awards. TV's Nikki Chapman presented the award at a glitzy ceremony at Tewin Bury Farm.
Sian Churchill’s case went to the Supreme Court in June 2022 and won the appeal. Subsequently, this case won the highly prestigious ‘Family Law Case of the Year’ Award at the Family Law Awards in November 2022.
Crane & Staples also had great success in this year's legal directories.
For the first time, the Private Client team was ranked in the Chambers & Partners High Net Worth Guide for 2022. David Bird was a ranked individual and Tahir Nisar and Georgina Donnellan were both Associates to Watch.
In addition, we ranked in the Legal 500 for the fifth consecutive year for Property, and fourth consecutive year for Family and Private Client. Samantha Webb maintained her Next Generation Partner ranking, and Tahir Nisar was ranked as a rising star for the first time. David Bird, Danielle Peters, Sharon Montgomery, Bonnie Twiggs, Chris Brewis, Manish Patel and Georgina Donnellan all remained recommended lawyers.
Crane & Staples Solicitors in the Community
As local solicitors in Welwyn Garden City, we are very proud to take part in community events in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire and beyond. Specifically, it is important for us to support local businesses, schools, community groups and the local legal profession.
We were the headline sponsors of the Welwyn Festival Fun Day in July 2022. Sam, Sharon, Sheryl, Emma (and her lovely daughter Amber) ran the stall, with visits from Gaby, Natasha, Janet and Alistair. The fantastic PaintParty by Rachel joined us on our stand and lots of children had their faces painted. This made our stall very popular!
We would also like to thank Rachel for decorating our office windows this year. Everyone loved our Spring and Christmas designs and how they brightened up the street! Our team really enjoyed being part of the local window trails on the Welwyn Garden City Loyal Free App.
Furthermore, we sponsored the dance show: "Diamond A Life of Dance", performed in loving memory of Carol Allen, at Campus West Theatre in Welwyn Garden City.
In August, we sponsored the showing of Spider-Man at the Welwyn Garden City Cinema on the Green. We had lots of fun making our ‘Really Good Lawyer’ advert. Thank you to Sweetlicious by Rachel for preparing Spider-Man themed sweet cones for our goody bags.
Our Christmas tree, “7 Decades of Change: Key Legislation During the Queen’s Reign” was part of the annual Christmas Tree Festival at St Francis Church in Welwyn Garden City. There was a fabulous selection of trees on display, and it was great to have this event back this year.
Best Business Women Awards
We sponsored the Best Business Women Awards for the seventh consecutive year and also acted as judges. The competition was especially tough this year as there were so many deserving applicants. Sharon Montgomery, Samantha Webb, Bonnie Twiggs, Georgina Donnellan and Katie Smits attended the ceremony in London. They presented Pippa Birch of Pipster Solutions with the ‘Best Business Woman in Business Services’ award.
In particular, we wish to thank Debbie Gilbert, for always hosting an extraordinary awards ceremony to celebrate women in business. We look forward to next year!
Crane & Staples Solicitors in the Legal Community
Sharon’s podcast, “Unravelling Relationships: 35 Years as a Divorce Lawyer” was released in February 2022. The podcast has accumulated 500 listeners this year. This was very popular with aspiring lawyers and students at the University of Hertfordshire, who appreciated Sharon’s sage advice about routes into law and training contracts.
Danielle co-hosted hosted another successful Hertfordshire Family Forum: The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and Responding to Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse: The Hertfordshire Partnership Approach in May 2022. 200 delegates linked to Family Law, including lawyers, police and medical professionals, attended the event.
Crane & Staples is well represented in the Herts Junior Lawyer Division. Katie, Mischa, Amy, Juliette and Kiera are all on the committee. They hosted a series of successful events this year and it was great to see so many junior lawyers in attendance.
Megan, Juliette, Emma, Albert, Mischa and Amy ran a stand at the Generation Hertsmere Careers Fair in November, talking to students about careers in law. Our ‘Famous Fictional Lawyers’ quiz was popular with the students.
Charity and Fundraising
At Crane & Staples Solicitors, it is also important for us to support charities. These include local charities and charities that have special significance to our staff.
We supported mental health charities for Mental Health Awareness Week and World Mental Health Day.
Sheryl, Eloise, Kiera, Juliette, Mischa, Emma and her daughter Amber all took part in the Rainbow Run for Lister Hospital in October 2022.
We also took part in a World Cup Sweepstake for Herts Young Homeless.
We had another successful Great Legal Bake organised by Sheryl in November. Winning cakes were Karen, Kiera, Mischa and Janet/Grace and Natasha/Aiden.
We donated 50 toys to the children at Lister Hospital, as part of their Christmas Grotto. Emma and Megan were very excited to deliver the presents and meet the wonderful nurses at the hospital.
Our Christmas Jumper Day raised money for the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline. Surprisingly, we even attempted our first (and probably last) Tik Tok dance.
Our Christmas Raffle raised £500 for the Lister Hospital Maternity Ward. Thank you to all the generous local businesses that donated prizes, especially: Misya Meze and Grill, Cafe Trio, Castaway Cottage, Elley Spa, All About Me Salon, Academy Hair and Beauty, Simmons Bakers, Côte Brasserie, The Ivy St Albans Brasserie, Bedtime Beers, Hatfield House, We R Cakes Vintage Tearoom, Laura Kate Bakery and Perfect Moment Florist.
Staff Milestones at Crane & Staples Solicitors
As a close-knit team, we also love to mark each other’s personal milestones. In 2022, we celebrated some big birthdays, weddings, engagements and a new baby is on the way!
We are certainly looking forward to more celebrations in 2023!
Finally, we would like to wish all our clients and professional colleagues a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Thank you to everyone who has helped make 2022 such an exciting year for Crane & Staples Solicitors!