Senior partner retires from Oglethorpe, Sturton & Gillibrand

David Gillibrand is set to retire from his full-time role at Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand, marking the end of an era at the Lancaster-based law firm.

David, who joined the company in 1982, left the partnership in May 31 and will now act as a consultant one day a week.

His retirement marks the first time that there isn’t an Oglethorpe, a Sturton or a Gillibrand in the partnership. He will be succeeded as senior partner by David Park, who started as his trainee.

Mr Gillibrand, 67, has specialised in litigation in all areas, including commercial disputes, property, personal estates, employment and personal injury.

His interest in law blossomed early, working at Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand’s Lancaster office during his school and university breaks whilst his father, John, was a partner.

He took a degree in Law and Economics at the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth, did his law finals at the College of Law in Chester and qualified as a solicitor in 1979 with Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy.

David returned home to Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand in 1982 as an associate solicitor, developing his training in property, agricultural and commercial law as well expanding on his litigation experience from his time at Allen & Overy.

He has been known throughout his career for taking a pragmatic and economic approach to dispute resolution, always aiming to avoid the use of the courts as far as possible. “Going to court is an uncertain and expensive business where you leave your fate to a third party who might not agree with your case,” he explains. “You are better trying to find your own resolution and finding a way of settling rather than risk going to court.”

Some of the cases he has dealt with had millions of pounds at stake but at the other end of the scale was a hotly fought dispute about a pen which cost just £12. “That client became one for life."

Looking to the future, he said: "The firm has grown organically over all these years. Many of our staff have trained and qualified with us and that leads to loyalty and long-standing attachment to the firm. It’s a nice place to work.

“I have no doubt that David Park will preside over the future success and prosperity of Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand.”

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