Praise from a peer

A member of the Law Society praises Granada’s series Family Solicitor

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From the TVTimes for week commencing 27 August 1961

I ENJOY the Family Solicitor series very much and think it is fairly authentic. It shows the many and varied sides of a solicitor’s busy practice and the help the public can receive.

The episodes in Family Solicitor illustrate that the solicitor’s main concern is to render service rather than, as is so frequently thought to be the case, to increase his own charges.

Incidentally, I cannot resist saying that the office of “Naylor Freeman and Co” is certainly more opulent than most solicitors can afford.

James Milner
Lord Milner, a member of the Law Society and a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons with a long record of public service

A solicitor’s life is a hard but pleasant one. I noted that one of the partners in the firm apparently planned to take the afternoon off at short notice, but this is rare in these busy days in most offices in my experience.

The series also gives some idea of the friendly relations existing between colleagues within the same profession and that that in most offices of any size there is nowadays a good deal of specialisation such as in property, commercial or tax work and in court cases, depending on the nature of the practice.

It also demonstrates the care that solicitors lake in working up their cases and looking after their clients’ interests.

I have no doubt that viewers of this programme will learn something useful about the working of the laws of England.

One strong point already made clear to the public who saw these excellent stories was to indicate the danger of signing documents, or taking over businesses or buying houses without first seeking legal advice.

Seeing a solicitor in time often results in considerable financial saving, and it is much easier for a solicitor to keep a client out of trouble than, once in, to get him out of it.

The law affects us all in so many ways in everyday life, but when one thinks about it, one’s first thought is often of a court scene. Trials are a familiar and favourite subject on the television screen, but in real life this is only a small part of a solicitor’s practice. About 90 per cent of the work that lawyers undertake has nothing to do with the courts at all. Litigation is often the last resort.

It is the realisation of this fundamental truth on the part of the producer, director and scriptwriters of Family Solicitor tliat makes the series so fresh and true to life.

The programme tells viewers something of what the 20,000 solicitors — who form nine-tenths of the legal profession of the country and who alone come into direct contact with the public — do and how they help the ordinary man and woman, not only in trouble, but in dealing with the problems and questions of our complex, everyday life.

5 people by the sign for the solicitor's practice
Partners of Naylor Freeman and Co. in Family Solicitor. From left, Anthony Freeman (Robert Flemyng), Francis Naylor (Bernard Horsfall), Ann Harvey (Mary Kenton), William Naylor (A. J. Brown) and Hugh Cowley (Geoffrey Palmer)

Family Solicitor is splendidly cast. A. J. Brown, Robert Flemyng, Bernard Horsfall, Geoffrey Palmer and Philip Grout perform difficult roles with understanding, and I am particularly pleased to see a prominent part well played by Mary Kenton as Ann Harvey, the woman partner, for the number of women in the law shows a steady and welcome increase.

The supporting staff combines to create the right atmosphere and to emphasise the personal touch so essential in helping clients.

This is a series which has something good for everybody and Granada are to be congratulated on staging such an entertaining and informative legal feature.

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