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Newham solicitors want to give back rather than be ‘leeches’

PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 August 2016

Wiseman Lee staff at their East Ham office

Wiseman Lee staff at their East Ham office

Archant

A law firm embedded in the community has given its backing to the upcoming Newham Business Awards.

Wiseman Lee, founded in East Ham in 1953, is sponsoring the ceremony – which will be held on October 13 at the Old Town Hall, Stratford – in a bid to promote Newham’s companies.

With a particular focus on the Green Business of the Year category, the firm, which employs more than 60 people, hopes to continue its history of involvement in the borough.

“We had a complete environmental audit ourselves in 2011,” Julian Blake, a practice manager at Wiseman Lee, said.

“It affects everything – lightbulbs, paper, use of Fairtrade products.

“But we also want to encourage best practice in Newham and help businesses here.”

Founded by property lawyer Cyril Wiseman – who was later joined by trade union specialist Malcolm Lee – the firm has since expanded to Wanstead and Walthamstow.

“We started in Newham – it’s part of us,” said Mr Blake, who worked in East Ham for 20 years.

“If you look back to the 1960s, Newham was one of the first places in the country to have black immigrants, then later Indians and before that Jews.

“A very special community exists here because this is often the first place in the country immigrants experience and live in.”

Mr Blake said that because of this connection with the borough, Wiseman Lee feels an obligation to “give back”.

“We can’t just be leeches on the area,” he said. “Legal aid work was always something we did, with lots of criminal law – there aren’t many firms left that do that now.”


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