HJA welcomes a visit by its first bank manager, Bert Enright
Bert Enright, Hodge Jones & Allen’s first
bank manager, visited HJA’s office earlier this month. Mr Enright
was manager of the Midland Bank, Camden Town for many years in the
70s and 80s. He granted three young lawyers, Henry Hodge, Peter
Jones and Patrick Allen, a loan in 1977 which enabled them to start
the business which became Hodge Jones & Allen.
visit to the new office earlier this month was a proud moment, to
see how far the practice had come after his initial vote of
confidence, and this was the first contact made in over 20 years.
He and Senior Partner,
Patrick Allen had last been in touch back in 1988, shortly
before he retired, so there was plenty to catch up on.
In October 2009, Patrick was preparing his
speech for the firm’s 32nd anniversary party. He
suddenly thought that it might be possible to track down Bert
Enright in his retirement and invite him to the party. It was
surprisingly easy. A quick search on 192.com found Bert’s address
in Bushy. Another web site produced Bert’s phone number. Patrick
dialled the number and Bert immediately answered, sounding
unchanged, despite his 76 years, from the man who was in charge of
the firm’s account back in the 80s.
After hearing Patrick’s story of Bert’s
involvement in the speech to 350 party guests at the
32nd birthday bash in October, the CNJ editor asked to
be put in touch with Bert and managed to write a clever piece
titled ‘The banker who got it right’*.
Bert had not been able to attend the party
itself and therefore didn’t receive the accolades personally on the
night, however the CNJ author, John Gulliver quickly realised that
it was the same man who had underwritten a loan to enable the
launch of the Camden New Journal itself, in 1982.
Enright, now 76, recalled to Gulliver the
visit of the three lawyers that first day. “One looked incredibly
young, the second had suave air of an actor, casual floppy hair
across his brow with a cut-glass public school accent, while the
third was lofty but trendy with big hair fashionable at the
Any capital? he asked each of them. No. Any
assets? No. Any potential clients? No. But there was an instinct to
want to help them achieve their ambition and he secured them a loan
for £15,000 to get them started.
Today, Hodge Jones & Allen LLP employs 190
staff, practicing in 10 legal disciplines including personal
injury, civil liberties, family, crime and housing law. Since 2007
the firm has been operating out of wholly owned premises on North
Gower Street, close to Euston Station. Thank you, Bert.
*Significant reference is made to John
Gulliver’s article “The
banker who got it right” published in the Camden New Journal,
Oct 15th 2009
Photo: Patrick Allen with Bert Enright,