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Admired Shropshire lawyer retires as next generation steps up

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A widely respected Shropshire lawyer will retire next month after almost five decades in the legal profession.

Commercial property expert Michael Payne is set to retire as a partner at law firm mfg Solicitors after a successful career which has spanned 48 years – spending nearly 40 years with the law firm and its predecessor.

Michael, a commercial property solicitor who has been trusted by thousands of businesses and individuals across Shropshire and beyond, began his career at Shrewsbury Borough Council in 1973, qualifying as a solicitor in 1983. He then joined historic law firm Gwynne & Sons in the same year and rose rapidly through the ranks to become a partner in 1984.

Gwynne & Sons merged with Morton Fisher in 2005 to become mfg Solicitors, with Michael, who has been based in the Telford Office since 1999, becoming a partner of the new-look firm.

With a growing demand for mfg’s commercial property services locally and nationally, Michael will be succeeded by experienced fellow partner, David Raymont, who will work closely alongside solicitors Andy Ward and Matthew Allen across the firm’s Shropshire offices in Telford and Ludlow.

Michael said: “I have spent nearly 40 years with the firm and enjoyed playing a key role as it has evolved into a truly nationally respected legal practice across all specialisms.

“Our commercial property department is busier than ever but we have built a superb, first-rate team over the past few years. Having such a huge amount of talent has made the decision to retire much easier for me as I know with David and the team, our clients will be in very safe hands.

“After many happy but busy decades in the legal profession, I am looking forward to spending quality time with my wife Wendy, relaxing, and continuing to play an important part in Shifnal Golf Club where I have been a member for the last 40 years. I am the club’s current Vice-Captain, and I am deeply honoured to be proposed as the club’s Men’s Captain from the 1 April 2022.”

Mr Payne is well-known around Shropshire and Herefordshire golf community having been chairman of Shifnal Golf Club for five years between 2016 and 2021. He still holds a handicap of 5 and continues to represent the Shropshire and Herefordshire County Seniors team.

Maynard Burton, partner and chairman at mfg Solicitors added: “Michael has been a key architect in the history and progress of mfg Solicitors and he leaves a huge legacy.

“He will be greatly missed by his colleagues and his clients and I would like to place on record again how thankful we are for his friendship, professionalism and superb advice over so many years. We wish him and his family well for the future.”