A long-running legal advice company in Highbridge town centre has been taken over by new owners.
Ligeia Girard and her business partner Anjam Arif have begun trading as Arif & Co Solicitors Ltd, taking over Caseys Legal Services Ltd, which has been providing local legal advice for over 30 years.
The team, pictured, have taken over Caseys’ former premises at 21 Market Street in Highbridge.
Ligeia says: “We represent the essence of diversity. I was born in the UK but lived in France between ages 2-26, and therefore I am imbued with French culture, having studied law to postgraduate Masters level in France.”
“My business partner, Anjam, was born to Pakistani parents who settled in the UK prior to his birth. Although born and bred in Bridgwater, he is strongly affiliated to Asian culture. Our team also represent diversity with regards to age, sex and cultural background.”
She says that American TV legal dramas have distorted views of her profession, adding: “This has led people to believe it is glamourous. The truth is that the public do not wish to fund the defence of criminals, and therefore our profession has always been at the front line of political spending cuts.”
“This makes our work unattractive to newly qualified solicitors who are keen to prefer the better pay and smoother family/work balance of our civil counterparts.”
“Defending those accused of being involved in criminal offences is far from glamourous. The rate of pay is pitiful, we work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.”
“Our clients present all types of vulnerabilities which need to be brought to the attention of the Court. We may not be present in first response, but we are there all the way when it comes to facing the consequences of one’s actions.”
Pictured: The team includes Ligeia Girard, front right, with her business partner Anjam behind her and behind him Will. On the left side are Siobhan at the front, Angela and Suzie