History of Furley Page

Furley Page established 1725

The origins of Furley Page can be traced to one James Hanson, attorney-at-law and ‘man of affairs’, who practised alone in Burgate, Canterbury around 1725.

A tablet in his memory in St Martin’s Church states that ‘on account of his abilities and integrity in the profession and the practice of the law and other valuable qualities, he died universally esteemed’. It is in this spirit the firm aspires to continue.

1761 to 1920s

In 1761 William Long was granted the freedom of Canterbury and was twice Mayor of the city. Edward Plummer Junior followed in his footsteps and was also twice Mayor of Canterbury. Edward Plummer Junior was Steward of the Whitstable Oyster Company.

Allen Fielding, the great-grandson of Henry Fielding the novelist and grandson of a chaplain to Admiral Lord Nelson. His son, Henry Fielding M.B.E., clerk to the Peace and Town Clerk of Canterbury between 1892-1926, later joined the firm. The latter took into the practice John Pembrook, who was to become Registrar to the Archdeaconries of Canterbury, Maidstone and Croydon and this last partnership formed the firm of Fielding and Pembrook.

Robert Furley, having commenced his legal career in Ashford, joined with his brother George in practice in St Margaret’s Street, Canterbury in 1838. George became the Mayor of Canterbury in 1850 and was Governor of the Simon Langton Schools but retired from the law in favour of his banking activities at Furley’s Bank, now Lloyds Bank in the High Street.

The brother’s nephew, Walter Furley, later came into the partnership followed by his son Frank, who practised alone from 1917 until 1923 when Vaughan Page joined him and Furley and Page came into being. He became a Sergeant, an Inspector and Head Special Constable in the Canterbury force and was Executive Officer of Bridge Rural District Council.

1950s to 1990s

In the 1950’s Furley and Page merged with the Whitstable and Tankerton practice of E.A.Barton, thereby extending the firm’s influence into the coastal towns. In 1967 Furley & Page and Fielding & Pembrook was amalgamated to form the foundation of today’s practice.

Mr. UHB (Sandy) Alexander set up farming co-operatives after World War II for the Government and later became Treasurer of the University of Kent. In 1984 Mr Sandy Alexander became President of Kent County Cricket Club.

In 1987 the name of the firm was rationalised and the style Furley Page, Fielding and Pembrook was adopted by the partners, becoming under Vivian Barton, Furley Page in 2001.

Furley Page and the Miners’ Compensation Scheme

Furley Page represented the very first successful chronic bronchitis and emphysema claimant against British Coal, Jackie Tanner of Aylesham, Kent. That claim was successful in the Court of Appeal in 1991. This was followed by 8 test cases.

Judgment on which was given on 28 January 1998 and led to the Miners’ Compensation Scheme coming into operation in Summer 1999.

The turn of the Century, 2000

In 2001 when Peter Hawkes was elected Senior Partner, the name of the practice changed from Furley Page, Fielding and Barton to Furley Page Solicitors and operated from three offices in East Kent, Canterbury, Whitstable and Tankerton.

In 2006, Furley Page became an LLP, whilst still maintaining our trading name of Furley Page Solicitors.

Furley Page moves into Chatham Maritime area of Medway

The small Tankerton office closed and at the end of 2007 Furley Page opened a new office in the Chatham Maritime area of Medway at Chatham’s Historic Dockyard.  We first moved into the 18th century Bridge Warden’s College within Chatham dockyard in November 2007.

As we expanded our operation in Chatham Maritime, two years later in November 2009, we moved to our present beautiful location within the Chatham’s Historic Dockyard of the Admiral’s Offices, serving the people and businesses of Medway, North Kent and the Thames Gateway region.

Furley Page today

Furley Page employs over 150 people and has three offices based in Canterbury, Whitstable and Chatham. The firm is led by Managing Partner, Jeremy Licence.

Our head office in Canterbury is situated on a deceptively large site spread across several, elegant Georgian buildings in the centre of the historic city, near to Canterbury Cathedral.

In May 2024, after nearly 60 years in Whitstable High Street, our Whitstable legal team moved to a new, modern office, in Estuary View Business Park, Whitstable.   Our Chatham office is based in the Historic Dockyard.

Our legal teams are supported by cutting-edge technology which gives us the flexibility to work from any location and maintain our outstanding client service. As we did throughout the 2020-21 Covid pandemic.

Our full range of services and information about Furley Page can be found by exploring our website.

We are rightly proud of our heritage and Furley Page today is a modern, forward-looking law firm.

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