Our History


Birth of Charles Edmund Crane to Revd Edwin Samuel Edwin Crane (first Vicar of Thringstone) and Mary Henrietta Maria Crane


Charles Crane admitted as a Solicitor


Charles Crane starts to practice as a sole practitioner from his mother’s house in Whitwick


Opens an office on the first floor of premises above Hands the chemists in High Street  Coalville


Cyril Thomas Walton joins as clerk


Charles Crane marries Lilian Bartlett daughter of Revd Bartlett retired vicar of Thorpe Acre, Loughborough


Short lived partnership Crane and Moore formed to cover Charles Crane’s possible war service


Cyril Walton admitted as a Solicitor


Charles Crane purchases the Ashby de la Zouch practice of Smith Mammatt and Hale following E A Mammatt’s striking off the roll and imprisonment


Charles Crane appointed Clerk to the Ashby and Coalville Magistrates Court


Charles Crane appointed Clerk to the Ashby Wolds Urban District Council


Charles Crane takes Cyril Walton into partnership and the partnership of Crane and Walton is founded


Charles Crane opens office in Peacock Lane Leicester to look after the affairs of Sir Samuel Faire (Hosiery Magnate)


Ronald Hunt and John Taylor given Articles of Clerkship by Charles Crane – both were sons of local clients of Charles Crane


J W Brooks (son a farmer from Worthington) joins Coalville office as a junior clerk


Ronald Hunt and John Taylor taken to partnership


Charles Crane President of the Leicestershire Law Society


Charles Crane acts for a number of local colliery companies and mineral owners in negotiating settlements leading up to the nationalisation of the coal industry


Edwin Arthur Crane (MA Cantab) (son of Charles Crane) and Michael Forster Smith (MA Oxon) (son in law of Charles Crane) qualify as solicitors after war service


Leicester office moves from Peacock Lane to larger premises on London Road famous for having been built by the Victorian detective “Tanky Smith”


Arthur Crane and Michael Smith taken in as partners practicing at Ashby de la Zouch and Leicester respectively


J W (Bill) Brooks (now at Ashby) and T B (Tom) Drever (Leicester) admitted as solicitors


Death of J W Dunmore aged 90; John Henry Dunmore started as a clerk with Smith Mammatt and Hale in the 1870’s and worked at the Ashby office until shortly before his death


Ashby and Coalville Magistrates Court clerkship absorbed into a government department and Clerkship ends


The case of Baker v Hopkins decided in the Court of Appeal – this case involving the tragic death of an Ashby GP established a new principal in the law of negligence and is probably the most judicially important case handled by the firm


Retirement of Cryil Walton


A decade of mixed fortunes. Charles Crane had suffered a debilitating stroke in 1957 and Cryil Walton had retired. Ronald Hunt, Michael Smith and Arthur Crane took over from the two founders and led the practice effectively from Coalville, Leicester and Ashby. Tragically Michael Smith, who has built up a large commercial practice at Leicester, died at the peak of his powers and left a large gap.


Bill Brooks and Tom Drever join the partnership


C R (Roy) Hunt (son of Ronald Hunt) admitted as a solicitor practicing from Coalville


David Leslie Tams admitted as a solicitor practising from Leicester – David Tams looked after the affairs of a number of important commercial clients


Death of Michael Smith aged 48


Death of Charles Crane


Richard Frederick Adkinson joins firm as an Articled Clerk at Leicester – Richard Adkinson specialised in trust and probate work and with Tom Drever, David Tams and Peter Hunt built on the legacy of Michael Smith


The Leicester firm of J F George taken over


Roy Hunt and David Tams join the partnership


A period of rapid expansion which resulted in Crane and Walton having more partners than any other Leicestershire based practice.


Peter Hunt (son of Ronald Hunt) qualifies working at Leicester


Arthur Crane President of the Leicester Law Society


Geoff Arnold (Ashby) and John Maloney (Coalville) join the firm – both specialising in property law


Richard Adkinson, Peter Hunt, Geoff Arnold and John Maloney admitted as partners


Joyce Kelsey a family practitioner becomes the firm’s first lady partner along with John Davis, also a litigator from Leicester


Bill Brooks and Ronald Hunt retire. As can be seen two of Ronald Hunt’s sons joined the practice, his other son James, was a barrister, who went on to be appointed a High Court Judge. In addition to being a very distinguished lawyer Sir James Hunt QC was a quite brilliant raconteur and after dinner speaker. 


Ashby office car park acquired and office extended – the Ashby office was purpose built as a solicitors’ office by Smith Mammatt and Hale in 1877. It is built to a massive specification and was no doubt state of the art for its time. The old senior partner’s office with its large desk and photographs of Victorian solicitors and their clients on the walls was preserved as a meeting room following the retirement of Arthur Crane in 1991


John Crane (son of Arthur, grandson of Charles) and practicing from Ashby admitted a solicitor


John Crane admitted a partner


Under the guidance of Roy Hunt the Coalville office moves from 19 London Road to refurbished premises at 21 to 25 London Road. The firm had purchased these premises some years earlier but did not fully occupy them until Dr Sheila Lee had vacated. The offices had previously been a doctor’s surgery


Arthur Crane retires. Arthur Crane was a fine lawyer who took on many of his father’s clients, he was proud of his chosen profession and rigorously upheld its finest traditions and set the tone for the practice.


Ian Smalley joins the partnership. Ian was primarily a litigator and practiced from the Coalville office – he had previously been with the Hinckley firm of Thomas Flavell and Son. Martyn Scott-Jones (litigator at Ashby) also admitted at this time


Roy Hunt retires


Matthew Needham admitted a partner


John Crane President of the Leicestershire Law Society making it the third generation of the Crane family to hold the office


Andrew Klimowicz joins the firm to take over from David Tams at Leicester who retired in 2002


As well as David Tams retiring this period saw the retirement/departure of John Maloney, Martyn Scott Jones, John Davis, Peter Hunt, Richard Adkinson and Geoff Arnold. The rapid expansion of the 1970’s resulted a number of partners leaving within a short space of time


Moving forward. The legal world had changed and the remaining in partners, John Crane, Matthew Needham and Andrew Kimowicz changed the business structure from a partnership to Limited Liability Partnership.  The LLP enabled the practice to admit members without the worry of personal liability. Five new members have been appointed and Crane and Walton LLP is proud to inform readers that, as befits a profession that is committed to equality of opportunity and a multicultural society, three are women and three are from ethic minority groups.


The present members Rebecca Taylor (will trusts and probate at Coalville) , Kam Ubhi (the firm’s head of litigation based at Leicester) and Catherine Bee (property law at Ashby) were appointed partners prior to Geoff Arnold’s retirement


Kiran Solanki (head of the firm’s family department and based at Coalville) appointed a partner


Crane and Walton takes over the old llkeston Practice of Chambers and Hind. This practice had been the practice of Matthew Needham’s late father Hedley Needham. The acquisition of this practice extended the firm’s client base into Derbyshire


Philippa Crane admitted as a solicitor – the fourth generation of the Crane family to join the practice


The practice opens a new branch office at Williams Yard in Melbourne. The Needham family have longstanding connections in the Melbourne area and the establishment of a new branch in Melbourne consolidated these connections and provided a more convenient location for the former clients of Chambers and Hind


The conversion to LLP status took place on April 1st – all partners become members of Crane and Walton LLP


Major renovation of the Leicester office. These works which won a civic award restored the façade of the building to its original Victorian spendour


Vijay Singh (head of wills, trusts and probate at Leicester) becomes a member of the LLP


30 South Street
Ashby de la Zouch
LE65 1BT

Telephone: 01530 414111
Fax: 01530 417022
Office Hours: 9:00am to 5.00pm
113 - 117 London Road

Telephone: 0116 2551901
Fax: 0116 2555864
Office Hours: 9:15am to 5.00pm
21 - 25 London Road
LE67 3JB

Telephone: 01530 834466
Fax: 01530 810886
Office Hours: 9:00am to 5.00pm
William's Yard, Derby Road
DE73 8JR

Telephone: 01332 863810

Office Hours: 9:00am to 5.00pm
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