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When I watched the TV coverage of the march and demonstration in the battle for Bi-Fab last Thursday and when I saw the many photographs on social media I was proud to see the Thompsons Solicitors banner among the sea of Trade Union banners.

Bi-Fab demoThompsons were the only law firm to have demonstrators present, standing shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues and comrades in Unite, the GMB and affiliated STUC trade unions who stood up for the Bi-Fab workers, their families and the whole community demanding that the Scottish Government find a solution to a problem that was not their making.  

We will also be there tomorrow showing solidarity at the Fire Brigade Unions No More Cuts lobby at the Scottish Parliament.

We do this because we believe fundamentally in the principles of strength and solidarity at the heart of the trade union movement.  We believe that collectivism can be a power for real change in work places, industries and across the entire country.  These are not ideological views that are forced down upon our staff from the partners. The simple fact is that Thompsons Solicitors are an entirely different kind of law firm and we therefore attract an entirely different kind of lawyer.  Our principles are shared across the whole firm. That is why we had 8 of our lawyers volunteer to be part of last week’s Bi-Fab demonstration and why we will have more volunteers at the No More Cuts Lobby tomorrow.

Our lawyers know that when they join Thompsons Solicitors they become part of more than a law firm.  They become part of a movement for change.  They know that they will not be expected to maximise legal fees in every case and to focus on only lining the pockets of the partners.  There are other personal injury firms that lawyers can join if that is their only ambition.

Our solicitors know the type of law firm that they are joining because it is a proud part of our history.  Protests and politics is in our DNA.  It is what we have always done going back to one of the first cases  that was taken forward by our antecedent law firm WH Thompson.  The founder of the firm to which we trace back our roots, Harry Thompson was a radical in every sense of the word.  He founded the firm in 1921 and in that same year he acted for the 30 labour councillors of Poplar District Council who were imprisoned because of the principled stand that they took in the rent strikes of that year because of the unfair rates system that disproportionately penalised the poor.  Harry deployed his great legal skills but also knew that it would take more than that to win the day.  He lobbied, he engaged in political discourse, campaigning and demonstrating before the councillors were free.  

Since then over the decades Thompsons have continued to look beyond the four corners of the law and to engage in campaigning, demonstrations and political discourse to help achieve right and fair results for workers.  

Of course, you will see our lawyers in court, fighting test cases, pushing the boundaries of the law and winning fair financial redress for victims of accident, injury, disease. Discrimination and all forms of employment mistreatment.  But you are just as likely to find our lawyers at Parliament, on the picket line, at rallies and demonstrations.

It is what we have always done and it is what we will always do.  And I don’t think any other law firm can say that.  

Blog by Patrick McGuire, Partner


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