Our Story

Welcome to Ison Harrison. The Yorkshire Law Firm

We’ve all got a story of where we have come from, who we are and what makes us tick. This is ours.

Over the past 45 years the firm has grown from a one man band to what is now a large regional law firm employing over 250 staff across 19 offices throughout Yorkshire. We offer the broadest suite of legal services in the region and are very much embedded in the communities in which we have offices. Whilst some of the growth has been facilitated through acquiring other smaller firms, most has been organic as a consequence of clients recommending us or returning for additional services.

How did we get here?

  • 1978 – S.C.Harrison & Co – founded by Stephen Harrison in Leeds, West Yorkshire
  • 1988 – Merger with Ison Driver & Furness in Garforth West Yorkshire to form Ison Harrison
  • 1993 –Ruth Bundey & Co merged to form Harrison Bundey & Co based in Chapeltown, Leeds
  • 1996 – Opening of Crossgates Branch
  • 1996 – Acquisition of Phillips & Gillis, Crossgates
  • 2010 – Opening of Ilkley Branch
  • 2010 – Acquisition of Susan Cuthbertson & Co, Ilkley
  • 2010 – Acquisition of Bowmans Family Law, Leeds
  • 2011 – Opening of Guiseley Branch
  • 2011 – Acquisition of James Bloomer solicitors, Ilkley
  • 2012 – Opening of Morley Branch
  • 2012 – Acquisition of Shaw Gillis, Morley
  • 2014 – Incorporation: Ison Harrison Ltd
  • 2014 – Opening of Chapel Allerton Branch
  • 2015 – Opening of Castleford Branch
  • 2015 – Opening of Pontefract Branch
  • 2015 – Acquisition of Maurice Smiths solicitors, Castleford and Pontefract
  • 2017 – Opening of Pudsey Branch
  • 2017 – Opening of Huddersfield Branch
  • 2018 – Opening of Otley Branch
  • 2018 – Opening of York Branch
  • 2019 – Opening of Barnsley Branch
  • 2021 – Opening of Bingley Branch
  • 2021 – Opening of Harrogate Branch
  • 2021 – Converted into and Employee Owned Business
  • 2022 – Opening of Wakefield Branch
  • 2022 – Won Law Firm of the Year (Medium) at the Yorkshire Legal Awards
  • 2023 – Opening of Doncaster Branch

As you can see the firm has enjoyed substantial growth over the past decade. We have always taken the view that standing still as a business is not an option for us. We have seen many law firms either go out of business or reduce in size over the years and we were determined not to struggle in the same way. We have therefore constantly looked to improve. We have looked for opportunities to grow our profile, the number of our offices, and the breadth of services that we offer. We have looked for ways to improve our internal processes, employee engagement and how we deal and communicate with clients. All partners and managers recognise the importance of communication and set the tone within the firm employing honest, open and prompt communication with clients and colleagues alike.

Our mantra is “Always Changing : Always Improving”. It has served us and our clients well.

In 2010, after consultation with all of our staff, we decided to adopt the tag-line of “The Leeds law Firm”. It seemed that the one thing that despite our disparate areas of work we all had Leeds in common. Whether we were involved in criminal work, drafting a will, completing a commercial property transaction or advising on a family dispute, we were all acting for people from in or around Leeds. At the time we only had 4 offices. However, despite that, we were big enough, broad enough, local enough, and cheeky enough to call ourselves “The Leeds law Firm”. We didn’t just get away with it but it helped formulate clear business strategies, a strong defined culture, a corporate ambition and general purpose to the firm.

The firm’s turnover has doubled since 2010 and we now have 19 offices throughout the county. We have grown as a business and our tag-line which helped define our purpose for so many years has struggled to keep up. You can’t be The Leeds law Firm in Huddersfield, Barnsley or York. Again, we involved everyone in another consultation at the firm and as a consequence have chosen to adopt a new tag-line – “The Yorkshire Law Firm”. If we felt that we were being cheeky in adopting Leeds in our tag-line you can well imagine how much more so we feel in adopting the whole of Yorkshire! However, we feel that it fits us. The change reflects a continuity as well as growth in size, profile and confidence which more accurately reflects the business.

So where will the story go from here? As The Yorkshire Law Firm we will find ourselves with new opportunities, challenges and energy. We plan to continue to grow and offer the consistent and value for money service that we are known for all across the county. We may well see more offices. We may inevitably add to the variety of services that we provide. We will certainly add to the number of brilliant people who work at the firm.

Becoming an Employee Owned Business throws open the doors to opportunities too. We have already seen greater levels of employee engagement and people clearly enjoy working at the firm. We really like people. Liking people matters. It helps us go the extra mile for our clients, to get the best out of each other, and to allow people to develop their careers within the firm.

So, the story continues. We might not be quite sure exactly what may be involved, where or how. But we do know why. Everyone here does.

Jonathan Wearing
Managing Partner