The firm was founded by the late Gilbert Bowling, who in the summer of 1957 set his sights on his own sole practice in Stratford. He located some rooms above the Burtons menswear shop and moved in by late June 1957. However with no working telephone at first and decorators still in refurbishing the offices he did not actually start practising as “Bowling & Co” until 17th July 1957.
The premises above Burtons comprised of just a few rooms – numbers 1, 2, 3 and 3a on the first floor at 2 – 8 Broadway, Stratford.
The entrance was actually in Martin Street (no longer in existence) with the offices for 2-8 Broadway being located approximately opposite Chant Street (still with us!) and probably above where the Yates wine bar is situated in the paved area of the Broadway shops.
It appears that Mr Bowling was a shrewd negotiator – he was able to get the rent for the first two years reduced from £200 per annum to £175 per annum – see extract below from a letter to his prospective landlords, Messrs Montague Burton Ltd of Leeds:
“…I would like to put you in possession of the circumstances under which I am now proposing to commence practice in London; I am a northerner and for some time have been with a firm of solicitors practising in the area of The Broadway, and as you will appreciate I am not too anxious to enter into a Lease of so long as 7 years because the future is an unknown quantity. While I anticipate that all will go right, I feel it would be better to have a shorter lease…”
Clearly Mr Bowling should have had more faith in “the future” as we celebrate 60 years in the legal profession as Bowling & Co in 2017.
By May 1970 a Compulsory Purchase Order was served by the old East Ham Council and the premises were eventually acquired under a CPO, with the firm moving to offices at 20 South Mall, Stratford on 10 December 1973.
Another and final move on 26 April 1982 saw the firm arrive at its current Head Office at 62 Broadway.
Following Mr Bowling’s death on 1 October 1964, the firm grew to become the largest Legal Aid practice in the UK.
A major change occurred on 1 April 1989 when the firm became a formal “partnership”, and the Raja brothers, Mani and Dinesh, started to shape the future of the firm. From that moment on in 1989, the Raja brothers developed the firm along a different path, away from Legal Aid into a more commercially focused practice.
Today Bowling & Co is firmly established in the Legal 500 with its core business encompassing Commercial Property, Real Estate Finance, Residential Conveyancing, Property Litigation, Dispute Resolution and Private client services, such as Employment law and Family law.
From 1989 Mani Raja became Managing Partner, a role he held continuously until his untimely death in March 2005.
The current Managing Partner, Dinesh Raja joined the firm in 1987 and now heads the firm jointly with Mr Huseyin Enver Huseyin, senior partner who joined the firm in 2004.
Firm founded by Mr Gilbert Bowling.
Mr Gilbert Bowling passes away.
Firm moves to 20 South Mall
Firm moves to present Head Office at 62 Broadway
Mr Dinesh Raja joins the firm
Firm becomes partnership in April
Mr Mani Raja passed away and Mr Dinesh Raja became Managing Partner
Firm Celebrated 50 years in July
The Olympics were held in Stratford!
The firm underwent a major refurbishment project which saw every part of the office updated and refreshed, from technology-driven client areas through to a brand new collaboration space for employees
Bowling & Co Solicitors was awarded the international quality mark ISO 9001 Accreditation in April
Check out: Stratford 1957 – 2017 to see the Bowling & Co building.
We wish to take this opportunity to thank all our contacts, clients and supporters over the years for entrusting your legal affairs to Bowling & Co and in helping us to achieve our continuing success.