A Brief History of Holdens Law

A Brief History of Holdens Law

Holdens Law is one of the longest established and most trusted law firms in Lancaster.

With over 170 years of experience and expertise Holdens are a highly respected, modern and progressive law firm that delivers a full range of legal services, from family law to wills and probate, from criminal law to property conveyancing, underpinned by a great reputation.

They are still based in the same grade II listed building beside the historic Lancaster Castle, that was occupied by their predecessors, whose service to the community dates back to 1847. Inside you’ll find a magnificent Edwardian panelled boardroom that underlines the history and heritage of the firm. Yet Holdens is certainly not stuck in the past.

170 years of history

There has been a law firm at 2 Castle Hill, Lancaster since the middle of the nineteenth century. The firm has been known by various different names down the years, becoming Holden & Wilson after the Second World War, then Holdens Solicitors in 2004, before operating as a limited company from 2022 and rebranding as Holdens Law.

The firm began as a small, local solicitors and remained so for many years, and for a number of years provided the coroner for Lancaster.

At the turn of The Millennium the firm began an impressive programme of planned expansion. Since then, they have built the team and extended their range of services, taking on experts in property conveyancing, crime and regulatory law.

Current Managing Director, David Mainwaring, joined the firm in 2000, becoming a partner in 2004, heading up crime, regulatory law and road traffic law. Jennifer Larton became a Partner in 2020, and leads the private client department which includes wills and probate, and Nicola Houton became a Director in 2023, heading the family care department.

Part of the community

It’s not just the firm that goes back over a century and a half; many of their client’s families have been with the firm for many years, as David explains:

“We have clients who are the children and grandchildren of previous clients. Families that have been with the firm for generations,” he says. “Some of these have moved away from the area, down to London, or now live overseas, but they still trust Holdens Law as their life-long legal practitioners.”

Holdens Law are proud of their place in the community and provide lots of opportunities for local young professionals to join the firm. They currently have local solicitors in training in the areas of crime, property conveyancing and probate, with two of the team about to qualify in crime and family law.

Building for the future

Holdens may boast a proud history, but this is no stuffy provincial solicitors, stuck in the past. Their historic building contains the very latest technology for paper-free legal work, with filing cabinets giving way to digital case management systems to enhance their service to clients. Yet the personal touch still prevails, with Holdens Law firmly focused on real people dealing with real people in a friendly, flexible and sympathetic way.

Today, the team extends to 28 staff, with a blend of expert legal experience and the brightest new talent from local schools and colleges, Lancaster University, UCLAN and also the College of Law. Far from being an ‘old boys club’ like some traditional legal firms, Holdens Law has a progressive approach to equal opportunities, with no less than 26 of the 28 team members being women.

That team has grown significantly in the last quarter of a century, and Holdens Law aims to continue that organic growth across property conveyancing, family law and other areas of the business. The firm opened their first offices in Kendal in 2001, expanding their services beyond Lancashire into Cumbria, and is always on the lookout for new and experienced legal practitioners to extend their team of experts and enhance the services offered by the firm.

“Holdens Law is a modern, forward thinking firm, but we never lose sight of our heritage,” says David. “We are constantly building on that long-standing trust and reputation to deliver a full-service legal firm for the future.”


Holdens Team



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