Our journey as a social purpose firm began 50 years ago, from humble beginnings in an upstairs room on Cherry Street. Mr Anthony Collins set up the law firm on his own to reflect his personal commitment to serve others.
This service-first ethos was well and truly instilled within the firm and has grown into a much wider and inclusive endeavour now, attracting a diverse range of talented people from across the country who are committed to improving lives, communities and society through their work.
As we pause to celebrate 50 years, our key achievements and the impact we’ve had alongside our clients and partners by creating a stronger more connected society, we also look ahead to the next chapter in our history and our ambitions for the future.
Our ambition is to become a key adviser, informing national social policy and being indispensable to clients, whether we are delivering services to them in a personal capacity or where they are delivering services across the UK. We want to become a magnet for passionate people who are committed to improving society through their work, as well as forging ahead with our ED&I and sustainability agendas to create an even more diverse workforce.
Our purpose-led practices continue to evolve and respond to the needs of society as we aim to deliver our vision.
Anthony Collins Solicitors (AC) opens its doors on 20 August 1973. Mr Collins and a small team work in an upstairs room on Cherry Street, Birmingham.
Mr Anthony Collins opens the doors for AC at 12 Cherry Street premises on 20 August
The first cohort of clients includes Newhaven Housing Association
The first AC articled clerk, Peter Baldwin, becomes a partner
The firm moves to Pearl Assurance House and acts on the first example of a local housing company model, setting the foundations for its nationally leading social housing practice.
AC moves from Cherry Street to Pearl Assurance House
The firm outgrows its premises and moves to Waterloo Street and Mr Collins becomes president of the Birmingham Law Society.
AC moves to Waterloo Street
AC acts on the first and only successful local authority housing stock transfer in Birmingham
The start of the New Deal for Communities programme under the Department for Communities and Local Government; AC spends the next 11 years supporting over half of the 39 partnerships nationally
Joseph Rowntree Foundation publishes two reports: Community governance for mixed tenure neighbourhoods by AC partners Martin Knox and David Alcock; and Achieving community benefits through contracts: law, policy and practice by Richard Macfarlane and AC partner Mark Cook
The firm experiences exponential growth, finding its current home on Edmund Street, Birmingham and achieving awards recognising its success.
Mr Anthony Collins retires from AC on 30 April
Martin Knox becomes senior partner
AC is awarded Law Firm of the Year (fewer than 20 partners) at the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards
Romaine Thompson becomes joint senior partner with Ian McQuay
AC moves into 134 Edmund Street
AC achieves a headcount of 200 staff
AC completes its first academy conversion
AC helps launch Nehemiah Foundation, a regeneration focussed charity
AC partner Alan Bean leads the campaign for the preservation of legal aid on family domestic violence cases
AC completes its first significant piece of work in the co-op movement, for Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society
Peter Hubbard takes on the role of senior partner, AC launches its first Social Impact Report and expands its reach.
AC achieves a headcount of 300 staff
AC issues its first annual Social Impact Report
AC awarded Law Firm of the Year at the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards
AC opens an office in central Manchester
AC wins Law Firm of the Year at the Modern Law Awards
AC named Family Law Firm of the Year: Midlands and Wales at the prestigious Family Law Firm Awards
AC awarded Law Firm of the Year for the third time at the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards
AC is awarded Independent Law Firm of the Year at The Lawyer Awards
AC signs up to the Race Fairness Commitment - an equality commitment for legal firms to ensure fairness at work for people of all ethnic minority backgrounds
AC merges with private client firm Jobling Gowler to grow our private client practice
AC’s Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gap Report finds that 43% of our partners are female, just 2% behind our 2024 target
AC celebrates its 50th anniversary
Setting ambitious goals will ensure we continue to strive to improve lives, communities and society for the next 50 years.
In line with our ED&I targets, we’ve committed to the following: 45% of our partners will be female; 20% of partners will be from ethnic minorities; 71% of employees who are paid in the upper quartile will be female; and 16% of employees paid in the upper quartile will be from ethnic minorities
Extensive refurbishment of our Birmingham office which includes a brand-new client meeting suite, a number of hybrid meeting rooms and a multi-faith room
AC to launch its first BCorp report
AC to become market leaders in its chosen sectors, invest in people to reflect the wider skills needed for modern legal services delivery and improve the business through technology and innovation
AC strives for BCorp reaccreditation
AC targets to become carbon neutral