Clive Alan Michael Lennon

By Andy Coyle

I first met Clive Alan Michael Lennon, known to all as Alan, in 1986. I was studying law at university, and wrote to all the law firms in the Amersham and Chesham area. I received just two responses. One was a polite “no thanks”. The only positive response was a request from Alan for a meeting. This was typical of Alan. Always on the lookout for young talent, he was rightly proud of the fact that he responded to every young person wanting some experience of the law and looking for a break.

Alan founded Lennon & Co in September 1983, having previously been a partner at a firm in Amersham. When I met him in 1986, the firm had small offices on the second floor of a building. The other occupants were a burger and kebab house and a dental surgery. When Alan welcomed me into his office his height and size made an immediate impression – but it quickly became apparent that his personality was as large as his physical presence.

Alan offered me a summer job as a student in 1986 and invited me back the following year. In 1988 I was applying to London for what was then called an articled clerkship. Out of the blue I received a letter from Alan. It began “It is probably best for your career that you take a job in London, but…”. The “but” was the offer of a package I couldn’t have achieved in London (or indeed anywhere else) as a lowly articled clerk. In particular Alan offered me the chance to be a partner in the firm if I remained with Lennon & Co for at least a year after qualifying as a solicitor. I was hooked. True to his word, Alan appointed me his business partner in 1991 – the beginning of a relationship that lasted until his sad passing.

Alan worked hard and played hard. He had confidence in his ability and loved nothing more than taking on lawyers from the large London firms. He could be unconventional in his approach, and a larger than life character. In those early days he spent almost every morning in the local magistrates or county courts, often with me tagging along carrying his files and papers. He was popular with all the court staff thanks to his personality and humour, and for his clients the results told their own story.

Throughout his working life Alan continued to look for talented young lawyers, and offer them chances. It’s to the credit of the firm that so many of the current directors and solicitors at Lennons trained with the firm – and that others who also trained with us have had the confidence to move on and create their own legal practices.

Alan was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the summer of 2008. I will forever remember his tremendous resolve and courage during his long illness, his refusal to accept any negative prognosis, his constant belief in the possibility of a miracle cure, and his refusal to accept that his cancer would beat him. He fought his illness with the same tenacity as he fought for his clients throughout his working life.

Alan left behind a thriving legal practice of 28 years standing at the time of his passing in 2011. He left the firm with much of his personality and ethos. It’s my mission to continue to build Lennons Solicitors to provide a lasting legacy to Alan, and most importantly to ensure the continuation of this ethos. That means serving our clients with skill, tenacity and good humour, and providing a platform for talented people to flourish.