Wilkin Chapman started life in 1900 when two sole practitioners, James Whiteley Wilkin and Ernest Benjamin Chapman established a partnership on Victoria Street in Grimsby.
The work of a provincial solicitors’ office at the start of the 20th century was very different from that now undertaken. Family law was virtually non-existent, divorce a rarity and the custody of children seldom an issue of official dispute. Commercial matters commonly involved little more than straightforward contracts and businesses - a far cry from the complex ownership structures of today - were generally family affairs, passing from father to son as a matter of course. Messrs Wilkin and Chapman concentrated on conveyancing, probate and trusts, with services to local businesses and a small amount of litigation thrown in for good measure.
As the client base grew, so too did our expertise. During the 1960s, the firm’s commercial department began a period of significant growth in response to the needs of one large client, the Ross Group. This process continued unabated as economic activity mushroomed in the region - particularly on the Humber Bank - and the improvement in transport and other communication facilities have enabled us to extend our client base to include businesses throughout the UK.
This level of expertise was considered unusual in a provincial practice but formed the basis for our future growth and success.
The last twenty years has seen further mergers with numerous firms across Lincolnshire, East and South Yorkshire as we have continued to strengthen our presence in our heartland and build Wilkin Chapman into the firm that is recognised today.
James Whiteley Wilkin and Ernest Benjamin Chapman enter into a partnership together based on Victoria Street in Grimsby.
This remained the firm's headquarters until a move in 2017.
In 1981, the firm moved into the agriculture heartlands of Lincolnshire with the opening of the Louth office. The merger with Falkners, a well established firm, meant that Wilkin Chapman had premises on Cornmarket.
The firm acquired the Horncastle office of Thimbleby & Co, which had been in the town for 20 years. It was first located at Midlands Chambers in Market Square, but later moved to our previous premises on the Bull Ring.
By the 1990’s Wilkin Chapman was to become a legal force in Lincoln and in 1998, merged with law firm Gilbert Blades, and in doing so, the firm joined forces with one of the best known experts within the field of military justice.
In 1999, the firm further cemented its position in Lincoln when it merged with Epton & Co. The firm became known in Lincoln as Wilkin Chapman Epton Blades.
The firm’s move into Beverley saw it take charge of one of the most historic law firms in the town with a history stretching back 137 years.
2010 saw the significant merger with Grange Wintringham. The initial coming together of the two firms saw a meeting held at the Grimsby Minster.
The Lincoln office moved to The Maltings on the Brayford and the firm became a limited liability partnership.
Carrick Read, specialists in debt recovery and insolvency, based in Hull became part of the firm's office in Beverley. The merger complimented the firm's already strong debt recovery and insolvency team and brought with it additional expertise and kudos in insolvency.
The firm moved to new development on Cartergate in Grimsby.
Merged to form Wilkin Chapman Business Solutions, specialising in providing solutions to businesses that have ﬁnancial pressures.