This year, M.W Keller & Son Solicitors LLP is celebrating a significant milestone – eight decades of operations.
As we celebrate this milestone in our practice, we look back at our humble beginnings, talk about our present success and look towards the future.
1941: Where It All Began 80 Years Ago
MW Keller & Son Solicitors LLP was established by Waterford man Maurice Keller who was born in 1915. Maurice was educated in Waterpark College before progressing to University College Dublin where he earned his qualifications as a solicitor.
After a brief stint at Kanturk followed by nine years at Kevin O’Shaughnessy’s Waterford practice, Maurice decided to begin his own venture and in 1941, established MW Keller & Son at its previous Barronstrand Street office location.
The practice achieved great renown for its involvement with a high profile case whereby MW Keller & Son Solicitors defended Paddy O’Sullivan of M. O’Sullivan & Son after he was found in possession of a significant amount of sugar – something which was in breach of rationing laws during the times of World War II.
The firm was also notably appointed as the local solicitor for the Irish Permanent Building Society, a very impressive feat at a time when income was inconsistent for small firms. This appointment ensured that MW Keller & Son received a steady number of regular clients.
Maurice was not only a highly qualified solicitor, but also a skilled orator – something which translated very well into the growth of his practice.
In 1976, Maurice’s son Mark joined the practice to follow in his father’s footsteps. Mark’s brother Niall began to work there also in 1982.
MW Keller & Son Solicitors had, in its first forty years of operation, cemented itself as a leading solicitors’ practice in Waterford City. The next forty years saw the practice grow even further.
1981: New Beginnings
Having moved to Gladstone Street in 1967, the firm acquired the adjacent number 8 Gladstone Street (formerly Quann’s Pub) in 1981 and this acquisition provided the facility to modernise and expand the office facilities.
Around this time, local competition was beginning to increase in Waterford City, and Mark was aware that the firm needed to be more independent and less reliant on referral business from the Irish Permanent Building Society.
To do this, a shift occurred which saw MW Keller & Son position itself as providing a competitive, cost-efficient and personal service with a greater focus on the commercial sphere, particularly on property-related transactions and the provision of commercial advice.
This marked the beginning of the new iteration of the MW Keller & Son brand. Throughout the years that followed, MW Keller & Son Solicitors continued to evolve, growing its lineup of expert solicitors and diversifying its service offering to appeal to a wider client base.
2021: 80 Years in Business
Today, MW Keller & Son Solicitors LLP continues to play a prominent role in providing leading advice to businesses and individuals throughout the country, and also works with a range of multinational companies across Ireland and further afield.
The firm specialises in business advice, adding value to business transactions with its expert knowledge of property transactions, business structures, contracts of employment, employee issues, all with a view to letting businesses focus on day-to-day operations.
With direction from its partners, Thomas Norris (Managing Partner), Michael O’Grady (Partner) and Margaret Fortune (Partner), with Consultant Solicitor; Mark Keller, Associate Solicitors Ian Cunningham and Thomas Carroll, and supported by legal executives and support staff, MW Keller & Son has grown from strength to strength.
Speaking of this huge milestone, Thomas Norris, Managing Partner, says: “The firm has stood the test of time having been in practice for 80 years. What started as a fresh venture by Maurice Keller in 1941 is today, a leading solicitors practice within the South East region.
“We have grown substantially in the past 80 years, with many more staff and clientele. We now also provide a broader range of services including medical negligence, personal injury and family law.”
A Ruby Anniversary in the Age of COVID-19
Commenting on the current COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected the business, Thomas says: “We acted fast to ensure service remained uninterrupted for clients. For many months we operated under appointment-only, however, we are now seeing a return to normality.
“Interestingly, this past year has many parallels with the year MW Keller & Son was founded. In 1941, we were in the middle of The Emergency during World War II. A threat, albeit very different, posed a great risk to the people of Ireland and indeed the world, affecting many of the things in our daily lives which we typically take for granted,” he added.
The Road to Centenary
Moving forward, and looking ahead, the managing partner of the eight decades-strong solicitors firm is confident for the future ahead.
“Undoubtedly, our firm has evolved. We are a very well-regarded solicitors practice in Ireland with a consistently expanding service offering and a highly skilled team.
“Times have changed and so have we, but what will always remain the same with MW Keller & Son is our commitment to providing reliable, straightforward advice for all circumstances.”
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