Partners Alun Thomas and Richard John first met as solicitors in the long-established Aberystwyth firm of W A Bowen & Griffiths. Alun had returned to his home town of Aberystwyth from Cardiff in 1974 with a view to leading the litigation conducted by that firm and over the course of the next 11 years, he built up a sizeable litigation and private non-contentious practice.
Richard completed his training in the Medway towns of Kent and returned to Aberystwyth in April 1985 with a view to assisting Alun with the litigation work of WA Bowen & Griffiths. Both lawyers undertook a considerable amount of civil and criminal litigation. During this period, Alun was appointed as a Deputy District Judge and both Alun and Richard were founder members of the local Duty Solicitor Scheme.
For some time, Alun had been considering setting up his own practice and in November 1985 he did so under the style of Alun P. Thomas. In May 1986, W A Bowen & Griffiths were incorporated by one of the other firms in the town, Morris Bates & Godwin and from then until December 1987, Richard undertook litigation work within that firm in conjunction with Harold Godwin, now a full time District Judge.
In December 1987, Richard joined Alun’s firm and this coincided with the firm’s move to its office at 5 Union Street Aberystwyth. For the next 7 years, the firm built up a sizeable private client base and established strong links with other organizations in the town. The firm began to attract many corporate clients particularly from the residential development and the tourist areas.
As natives of Aberystwyth, Alun and Richard have both been strongly committed to the community and this in itself led to an increase in the firm’s client base. Alun’s ability to speak Welsh (and indeed, to conduct hearings through the medium of Welsh) led to a sizeable number of Welsh speakers appointing the firm as their solicitors and the firm is strongly committed to the Welsh-speaking community.
In 1995, the firm moved to their present, far larger offices at Crynfryn, Eastgate, Aberystwyth and in 2001 the firm was joined by Helen Clow, a Legal Executive of over 20 years’ standing. Helen specializes in family law and is a member of Resolution and the Law Society’s Family Law panel.
Alun Thomas & John were the first firm in Aberystwyth to obtain a Legal Aid Franchise which they held until 2012 when Legal Aid was removed from all but a small number areas of civil law. Alun Thomas & John are also one of the few firms in West Wales who have qualified to be members of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. As a result of these changes in legal practice, Alun and Richard have recently spent most of their time focusing on the firm’s conveyancing and commercial work. The firm has been involved with many of the major developments in Aberystwyth including the development of the University student accommodation, the reclamation and redevelopment of the harbour at Aberystwyth and numerous new housing estates in the area.