A PARTNER at a town centre law firm is retiring after nearly 40 years of service to the business.

Christopher Hanratty first joined Bold Street-based Watson Solicitors in 1984 and was appointed to his current role of managing partner in 2002.

The specialist in personal injury claims, employment law and commercial property is now set to retire after 37 years – although he will continue to act as a consultant to the company.

He said: “Now is the right time to retire from the partnership.

“Over the past 30 years, we have seen monumental changes in the way that legal services are provided and delivered.

“In this time, we have succeeded in creating a strong firm with good local presence and I feel that following the best part of 20 years as managing partner it is time now to hand the reigns over to some fresh ideas and implementation.”

Latham Parry, who has been a partner at Watsons for six years, has been appointed as Mr Hanratty’s successor.

He added: “The wealth of experience that Chris gave to the firm, as well as the years of service, have been invaluable.

“We thank him for everything he has done to take us this far – we now move forward with a great management team, good financials and excellent staff.

“Watsons is in a strong position to move forward.”