The modern day firm of Walker Laird can trace its origins back to the founding of a legal business in Gilmour Street in Paisley in 1815.
The original firm was founded in that year by Andrew Millar who had practiced under his own name for a number of years. At some point in the mid-nineteenth century he was joined in practice by his son. In the course of the nineteenth century the Millars also operated in business with firstly Thomas Walker and latterly his son William Walker. Records indicate that the firm traded under various combinations of the names, as Millar and Walker; Millar Walker and Millar; Thomas Walker; and Thomas and William Walker.
In the 1890’s William Walker, the son, took on the part time appointment as burgh prosecutor in Paisley and he was known locally as “Fiscal Walker”. He was succeeded in that appointment by later partners of the firm, TD Laird, Alex Waters and Jimmy Jack who held the post until the position disappeared in 1974 on local government reorganisation.
TD Laird was assumed as a partner of the firm on the 1st January 1901, thus originating the business name of T & W Walker and Laird. The firm was to continue trading under that name until the 1980’s. TD Laird remained as a partner in the firm until his death in 1960. His length of service of almost 60 years is one which the present partners do not expect to match!
Local golfers may know that there is a historic connection between Walker Laird and Paisley Golf Club. The ninth hole, ‘Laird’s Victory’ is named after TD Laird who was a Captain and prominent member of the club and played a significant role in the securing of its present course, opened in 1953, following the compulsory purchase by the Town Council of its predecessor.
The firm moved to its present building at 9 Gilmour Street in 1928. The property was built in 1870 and was formerly the premises of McInnes, McKenzie and Lochhead Solicitors. It is this property which remains the principal home and main office of the firm to this date.
In 1954 Jimmy Jack became a partner and is regarded as the most significant force behind the development of what is now the modern firm of Walker Laird. Under his guidance the firm and its premises were greatly modernised. He remained at the helm of the firm as senior partner until 1990 and thereafter continued his association as a consultant. Jimmy was well known throughout Paisley for his social and charitable work, and this was rewarded by the award of an MBE by the Queen in 2010. Photographs commemorating his investiture are on display within our offices.
Walker Laird continued to develop and grow throughout the 1970’s with the acquisition of other local businesses including Herron & Harper and Reids, Campbell & Cook. The acquisition of Herron & Harper brought with it the firm’s Renfrew office above the TSB in Canal Street in Renfrew where we remained until December 2012.
In recent years the firm has taken further steps to improve the practice for the modern age. We have relocated our Renfrew office across Canal Street to much larger ground floor premises where a Legal Office and Estate Agency are located. In 2012 we took the opportunity of expanding our offices at 9 Gilmour Street, Paisley into the ground floor shop premises at 9A to offer a more significant presence at street level and to accommodate our Paisley Law Shop and Estate Agency. Our new Paisley premises were officially opened on 19th October 2012 by Douglas Alexander, MP.
From small beginnings now over 200 years ago Walker Laird has grown through various generations to the present day business now employing over 50 members of staff, several of whom have worked with us for over 20 years and in some cases over 30 years. We are proud of our history and it is the hope and expectation of the present partners that we and our successors will continue to serve our clients, in Renfrewshire and further afield, for at least another 200 years.