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Highly-respected lawyer Lewis Isaacs is to formally retire after 50 years with Cambridge law firm Hewitsons, where his notable achievements include playing a fundamental role in establishing LawExchange International (LEI), a global network of independent law firms which last year celebrated its 25th
Lewis also co-founded Chariots of Fire, the annual Cambridge charity race which has so far raised over £1.45million for various local good causes.
Lewis has latterly worked as a consultant with the firm, with his main area of responsibility being secretary of LEI. He was for many years a member of the firm’s corporate team where he dealt in particular with early stage and emerging high-tech and biotech companies and substantial companies in the retail sector.
He read law at Oxford and trained as a solicitor in London, qualifying in 1967. He joined Hewitsons in 1970 and became a partner with the firm in 1971. In addition to his consultancy with the firm, Lewis is a trustee of the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and of Press Relief.
LEI was founded in 1994. Since then, the group has grown to comprise 34 member firms, together employing some 1,700 lawyers in 30 jurisdictions around the world
The group’s purpose is to enable member firms to connect clients with trusted solicitors in other jurisdictions. This way, clients who are seeking to do business abroad can quickly receive expert advice from a reputable and familiar firm that understands the relevant jurisdiction’s laws, procedures, politics, economic environment and cultural practices.
Lewis commented: “Hewitsons has been a significant factor throughout a large part of my life, having been involved with the firm over five decades, and I have many fond memories of the business and of my colleagues there, several of whom have become firm personal friends.
“I am confident that I leave the firm in great shape and ideally poised to continue take on the challenges of the forthcoming years, decades and beyond, with excellent staff and commitment to absolute client focus.
“While I shall miss the business, I won’t be a stranger to Hewitsons and wish my colleagues all the very best as they continue to deliver the very best legal advice and services.”
Managing partner Colin Jones added: “Lewis is a well-known and highly respected tour de force both in the legal profession and in the city of Cambridge. He has been a mentor to many, and his influence has made an indelible impact on generations of professionals at the firm. We have valued his input into the business, throughout his career and latterly, as he has taken more of a backseat role in legal practice, but has still had significant input into other parts of the business and charity work.
“I, my fellow partners and everyone at Hewitsons send our very warmest wishes and kind regards to Lewis and wish him a long and happy retirement.”
Lewis departs Hewitsons, leaving behind a strong corporate team. Head of the team James Lawrence has worked at Hewitsons for over 23 years and is a leading lawyer in his field. He leads the team’s public markets practice, and in particular listings on the Alternative Investment Market, and has expertise in venture and development capital and debt finance and restructuring. He is also a specialist in employee share plans acting for both public and private companies.
Partner Laurence Evans has worked within the team for 12 years, advising private and public sector clients on a full range of corporate matters. In addition, senior solicitor Charlotte Bull has been with the firm for five years and deals with a variety of corporate work.
Hewitsons' corporate services team can advise on acquisitions, disposals, reorganisations, business formation and funding. Their business lawyers also specialise in complex issues surrounding employment, contracts, pensions, regulation and civil disputes. Technology impacts on every business sector, and relevant law and regulation is ever changing.
Hewitsons is currently open for ‘business as usual’, its recent investment in IT meaning that lawyers are able to work from home and stay in touch with clients and colleagues via Skype, email and phone during the global pandemic.
This article first appeared in Business Weekly on 24th March 2020.