Thursday, 22 April 2021
A HENLEY law firm has relocated in its 10th anniversary year.
Blanchards, which specialises in family law, is now trading from the former Wine Rack off-licence premises in Market Place.
The firm was based at Newtown House on the Newtown trading estate, off Reading Road, but founding partner Punam Denley wanted to move to the town centre after taking on new staff.
The team are solicitors Helen Habershon and Margaret Furniss and paralegals Lisa McKay, Claudia Gonzalez and Aishling Hageman-Rowe.
The conversion of the 1,800 sq ft premises was completed just before Christmas.
Ms Denley, who lives in Henley, said: “There weren’t many suitable premises out there and I wanted somewhere central with a certain amount of space.
“This was perfect as it allows everyone to have their own room and there are two meetings rooms as well.
“I also wanted a shopfront to make it welcoming and not like a common-or-garden solicitors’ office with files everywhere.
“Family law is potentially very sensitive and I wanted clients to feel comfortable in a ‘home from home’ setting, although there’s also a side entrance for anyone who wants to be discreet.”
Ms Denley, who previously worked for a practice in London, launched the venture in 2011. She said: “The past decade has had its ups and downs but overall it has been a real success.
“I wasn’t sure how things would work with coronavirus but we’re doing well with remote meetings, although we can still physically meet people when we need to.”
Ms Denley is to seek planning permission for new signage above the shopfront, which is required as the unit is in the town centre conservation area.
She said: “Hopefully most people can tell we’re a law firm from the posters in our windows but a few people have been confused.
“One person put their head around the door to ask whether we were selling coffee and another asked if we were a homeware shop.”
17 February 2021
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