Lawyer known for his 'phenomenal work ethic' celebrates 40th anniversary with same firm

Roger Woolley, Chair, Lester Aldridge.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: January 19, 2021 | Updated: 20th January 2021

January 1981.

Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister…

Ronald Reagan was just about to be sworn in as the 40th President of the United States…

And one of Dorset’s best-known lawyers began his legal career as a trainee solicitor.

This month Roger Woolley, one of the longest-standing partners at Bournemouth-based Lester Aldridge, marks his 40th anniversary with the same law firm.

He joined Mooring Aldridge & Haydon, one of the firms which later merged to become LA, in January 1981, as a trainee solicitor.

Roger progressed quickly at the firm, becoming Partner only two and a half years after qualifying, enabling him to have a key role at the firm in helping to shape its future and culture.

Having headed the Real Estate practice, in 2000 Roger was elected as Managing Partner, a role he held until 2006.

During his time as Managing Partner, Roger modernised and grew the firm, overseeing the opening of offices in Southampton and London and a merger with Park Nelson.

Roger was elected Chair of Lester Aldridge in 2011, a position he holds to this day.

The 63-year-old has practised in Real Estate for most of his career, dealing latterly with substantial and complex property transactions and development projects on behalf of a range of clients across the UK.

He has been ranked by independent legal directory Chambers & Partners for Real Estate for many years and is recognised as an eminent practitioner in his field.

The Legal 500 2021 said: “Roger Woolley’s outside the box thinking is like no other.

“His thinking is strategic not just on the deal or problem we are working on but for the company as a whole.”

Paying tribute, Matthew Barrow, Managing Partner, pictured left, said: “I have been privileged to work with Roger.

“He is among the most able lawyers I have met, with a phenomenal work ethic.

“Roger is generous with his knowledge and experience, always striving to help others and the firm to succeed.”

Reflecting on his 40th work anniversary, Roger said the pace of technology had been one of the most dramatic changes over the past four decades.

He said: “In 1980, there were two word processors (that was considered advanced), no photocopiers (only a Xerox machine in the basement at Bournemouth), no fax and no mobile phones.

“Documents had to be produced from scratch.

“We relied on books – there was no internet.

“Now, we have documents and information immediately available on our phones or laptops; documents are generally much better – but longer.

“The pace of work has increased exponentially.

“Nearly all my correspondence now is by email or phone instead of by letter.

“I now edit my own documents and dictate letters and documents via my iPod (and, yes, I know that iPods are now old technology, but it works!).

“When I first became a partner, I used to work through the night before going on holiday to get up to date and would leave my secretaries 15-20 tapes of dictation.

“They had usually just finished them when I got back.

“Now the work follows me on my phone.

“Is that progress….?

“It makes going and coming back less stressful but the bit in between more so.”

  • The full interview with Roger Woolley on the LA website can be found here.

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