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Proud of our heritage. Passionate about our future. In September Higgs & Sons held two commemorative events to celebrate its 140th anniversary. The venues chosen for each event represented the firm’s proud Black Country roots, whilst celebrating its strong presence across an entire region that is looking to the future with a growing sense of anticipation. Over 500 colleagues, partners, clients and friends attended these events in order to help Higgs & Sons mark this milestone. This Yearbook continues that sense of celebration as it not only looks back on another tremendously successful year, but looks ahead to a future in which Higgs & Sons and the many individuals and organisations with which it works, aim to continue to go from strength to strength.


...Yesterday When his eldest son was born in 1876, little could Joseph have realised that it would be the beginning of an era that would trace a family connection well into the twenty-first century. In 1910 when second son Albert joined the firm, the name Higgs & Sons was established for the first time and an institution was founded. It is not an institution stuck in the past however, but one that is constantly evolving. No longer a family owned business, today Higgs & Sons is a vibrant and collaborative partnership. A thread of continuity remains with David Higgs, still a consultant at the firm - a tangible reminder of the firm’s commitment to combining cutting edge practice with traditional family values.


...Yesterday The region which Higgs & Sons serves has long been renowned for its industrial heritage, and its association with manufacturing and engineering is well known throughout the world. In 1875 there were 17 iron and steel making foundries in Brierley Hill and its surrounding areas alone. As the region continued to expand, more and more companies began to seek legal advice from trusted local advisers and so the firm's relationship with the region's manufacturing sector began. Owner managed manufacturing businesses remain a key focus for the firm, whilst partnerships with organisations representing the region's business communities continue to be developed.

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...Yesterday The young Joseph Higgs recognised the value of seeking out and exploiting new business opportunities from an early age. His father often expanded his business interests by hosting property auctions. In 1858 Joseph senior was also reported as being a partner in a brickmaking business, another venture that wouldn’t have gone unnoticed by his 10 year old son. As a young solicitor, Joseph drew on that experience to develop his own business. His commercial acumen was acute, building a thriving practice based on a reputation for client care and innovation. A century on, that sense of business development remains embedded in Higgs’ DNA.


...Yesterday When Higgs & Sons moved into its first permanent home in Brierley Hill, it was a real statement of intent from the emerging firm. Though it has always retained a strong presence in Birmingham, moving back to the Black Country reflected the growing confldence in a region which had expanded rapidly on the back of the industrial revolution. Higgs' move to its current Waterfront headquarters similarly reinforced the firm's profile as an ambitious and innovative practice. Its state of the art location is equipped with all the amenities one would expect from a twenty-first century office complex. But even here we "find a link to the past as the Dudley Canal that meanders through the business park reflects the heritage of the location, a heritage that still finds echoes in Higgs & Sons today.


... Yesterday Joseph Higgs was significantly involved in his community. The Black Country suffered greatly from poverty, and Joseph Higgs worked hard to alleviate the plight of the region's poor. In his negotiations with the Earl of Dudley over the land subsidence that was affecting the residents of Brierley Hill, Joseph Higgs helped to persuade the Earl to stop mining under densely populated areas, and the affected mines were purchased for the town. This sense of civic duty continued throughout his life and his innate sense of philanthropy was passed on to future generations. Joseph Thomas Higgs was driven by the need to help those less fortunate; Joseph's second son, Albert similarly served his community throughout his life as did his son Michael, whose life of public service was ultimately rewarded with a knighthood in 1969.


...Yesterday One of Joseph Higgs' strengths was his ability to adapt to the needs of his clients. As a sole practitioner Joseph was proactive in appointing other solicitors to act on his behalf on cases where their particular skills were required. Today Higgs & Sons has its own growing collaborative team and is able to draw upon a broad spectrum of specialists from within the firm in order to meet the diverse needs of its clients.


...Yesterday Long regarded as a hub of local knowledge and advice, public benefit has always been at the core of the firm's business philosophy. It was also reflected in the activities of the Higgs family members, who between them served their region through many different channels from local committees right up to the seat of government where Michael Higgs served as MP for Bromsgrove for five years. At Higgs & Sons, such a desire to inform and serve the community has always gone hand in hand with its business objectives. Today a dedicated programme of community and business focussed events upholds this legacy and reinforces Higgs & Sons' position as a local and regional hub.


...Yesterday Partnership is a word often used to describe the relationship between an organisation and its clients. But for Higgs, partnership is more than just a word. Joseph Higgs was renowned for taking the time to get to know his clients, and for going that extra mile to help secure the right outcome. His son Joseph Thomas Higgs similarly saw the value in building long-term relationships. Today, Higgs’ staff similarly operate a solutions based approach, underpinned by the simple philosophy of ‘taking our clients’ problems from their shoulders on to ours’. It is a ‘one team’ approach that resonates with all its clients.


...Yesterday Skilled and motivated staff are the lifeblood of any organisation; Joseph saw that as he brought sons Joseph Thomas and Albert into the business. Their expertise maintained the legacy set down by their father. From such humble beginnings, the firm has grown to one which employs over 220, underlying its strength in depth across a range of disciplines. With such a growing team it is important that the firm continues to develop its people to meet the changing needs of its clients.


... Yesterday In 1898 Joseph's "first son, Joseph Thomas was awarded the Birmingham Law Society's Medal and Horton prize, an accolade bestowed on young solic�ors showing only the highest potential. Joseph Thomas certainly went on to repay the faith in those who recognised his promise as he built on the foundations his father had begun by leading the firm as it established itself as a renowned legal practice. The ripples of the past continue to resonate today: current Managing Partner, Paul Hunt was also recognised by being awarded the Birmingham Law Society's Gold Medal as a young practitioner, which was presented to him by the then President of Birmingham Law Society, David Higgs.


...Yesterday Higgs & Sons’ continued development over the years has been reflected in its expansion to bigger and better premises. In 1898 the firm finally moved out of Birmingham entirely to a single base in Joseph’s home town of Brierley Hill, remaining there to the present day. But that is not to say the firm has remained static during this time. A move to bigger premises in 1920 was repeated in 1965 as the firm sought to house its workforce of 40 staff. Another 45 years on and with a workforce in excess of 200 having outgrown the four offices it had been occupying throughout the Black Country, the firm moved to its current bespoke headquarters at the prestigious Waterfront development.


Higgs & Sons 2015 Yearbook  
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