GA Solicitors: Who we are, how we started and what we do
Although an established name in Plymouth and across the South West, not many people know that GA Solicitors has actually been around for more than 200 years. Yes, really!
Our law firm dates all the way back to 1801 and was originally based in Devonport which, at the time, was known as the jewel in Plymouth’s crown due to its extensive and wealthy maritime activity.
The G and A stand for Gill and Akaster. Mr Thomas Husband Gill joined the practice in 1875 and later went into partnership with Mr Albert E. Akaster. We were known as Gill Akaster until our rebrand in 2014 where we simplified our name to GA Solicitors to save any confusion in its pronunciation (this happened a lot!).
Over the last two hundred years the firm has evolved and grown, now employing some 85 members of staff. We also opened a second office in Bath, Somerset, back in 2019.
Our services have changed a lot over this time too. At one time we focussed a lot on fisheries and shipping as that is what so many of our clients needed when living and working in a maritime city. Now our services are varied to meet the needs of businesses and individuals across the region. We have many specialist solicitors working within their respective fields, but our teams are split into eight core departments.
- Business (including commercial property)
- Family law
- Residential conveyancing
- Personal injury
- Wills, trusts and probate
- Dispute resolution
Due to the high quality of legal advice provided, and the experience and expertise of its lawyers, the firm is ranked in prestigious legal directories; Chambers High Net Worth, Chambers UK and The Legal 500.
As a firm of solicitors, we are heavily regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and must adhere to a strict code of practice. We also have a whole host of accreditations and are on a number of panels to ensure we are working at the highest possible level. We are Lexcel accredited and are also part of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, Children Law Panel and Resolution.
We are also pleased to say we are a dementia-friendly organisation and a Mindful Employer. Our staff are a valued asset of the firm and we try to ensure they are supported at every step and have an enjoyable working environment. We have introduced tens of tangible staff benefits from enhanced maternity and paternity pay, through to free events and private healthcare.
You can view all of our lawyers and solicitors here.
Despite the many changes faced by the firm over two centuries, our ethos and values have always remained strong. Our core values are proudly detailed on our website for all to see. Put simply, we wish to RISE.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has always played a prominent part in the running of the business. In recent years this has extended further to CESR (Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility). We are fully committed to reducing our carbon footprint and doing our bit to protect the future of our planet. This has involved signing up to Plymouth Plastic Free Directory, adapting our operations and also, most recently, partnering with Ecologi to support us with an extensive tree planting programme. So far GA has planted in excess of 1000 trees and this figure is growing week on week.
For those that didn’t know much about GA Solicitors before reading this article, I hope you found it helpful. Choosing a law firm is a big and sometimes daunting decision. You need to know the person acting on your behalf has your best interests at heart, is fully capable of doing the job and will also keep you informed at every step.
Rest assured – this is what we do!
Of course, I don’t expect you to take my word for it. If you need some genuine, real-life reviews, then you can check out our Google reviews here.
We are also one of the few solicitors in Plymouth ranked in The Legal 500, Chambers UK and Chambers HIgh Net Worth.