Taking a step back from partnership as he becomes a consultant, Rod Hughes reflects on his legal career, achievements over the last ten years with Hughes Solicitors, what the firm means to him and he shares (more than) a few plans for his retirement.
Founding Hughes Solicitors
For some 26 years before setting up this practice, I was a solicitor and partner heading up the commercial property department at a rather larger firm of solicitors with offices at the time in Heathfield and Uckfield.
Eventually there came a time when both Hilary and I wanted to move away from the rather “over corporate” organisation that such firm had become and focus more on delivering a personal service to our long-standing clients. We also hoped that we would have some fun along the way!
Like Hilary, it turns out I was very blessed with my friends, contacts, and clients and notably with Rachel my long-suffering personal assistant of some 25 years.
Our business took off rapidly and within the first year we moved from temporary offices in Hailsham to our first set of offices in Heathfield.
That was the springboard for many of my old clients to get in contact and things moved forward apace.
I have been lucky enough to work with a number of local property developer clients together with those further afield in the south-east of England.
With Hilary having spent the best part of 40 years practicing law in Heathfield I soon found that I was acting on property matters for many of her clients who, in turn, became long term friends.
I have enjoyed dealing with a wide range of property developments, most memorably negotiating diversion of major electricity cables under London as part of the London 2012 Olympics.
Currently I am dealing with the sale of a former RAF base near Bath with reputed connections to the Ministry of Defence’s investigations into extra terrestrial aliens and flying saucers and the subject of a TV programme on Blaze TV.
I also acted for the Church Commissioners about four years ago.
What I have most enjoyed since Hilary and I set up the business is working with such a fantastic bunch of staff and partners, doing things a little bit differently and hopefully having a bit of fun along the way.
With the pace of technology and evermore statutory regulations coming through I realise though that the time has come for me to start hanging my boots up – albeit that I plan to be a nuisance to my partners and everyone else in the office even as a consultant!
My retirement plans include:
- Following my passion for watching cricket.
- Becoming a decent skier for the first time in my life.
- Cruising the English canals (and possibly the French ones in a couple of years) with any friends who I can persuade to come along.
- Becoming involved with our much-loved grand-daughter and sharing grand-parental responsibilities.
- Finding time to undertake a couple of adult learning courses that have been on my radar for many years (beekeeping is one!).
- Covid and our European neighbours permitting; spending more time travelling in Europe and the UK.
Mainly, I will be trying to keep fit and well and doing everything I can to avoid going on a cruise ship…