First female solicitor's office, Conwy

First female solicitor’s office, High Street, Conwy

conwy_agnes_twiston_hughes

Red Lion House, at the top of High Street, was once the office of Agnes Twiston Hughes, Wales’ first female solicitor. It was the Red Lion Inn until October 1903.

John William Hughes bought the building in 1904 for his new legal practice. He was previously an articled clerk for local solicitor James Porter. In 1905 he had the building altered, creating two ground-floor shops and offices on the first floor.

His daughter Agnes was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in June 1923, after gaining a First Class honours degree in economics and receiving several awards, including the Law Society’s John Mackrell Prize and Clements Inn Prize.

She worked in her father’s practice until his death in January 1949, when she succeeded him as Principal. She was also a town councillor, and served as Mayor of Conwy in 1954-55. The portrait of her in mayoral dress hangs in the Guildhall and is shown here courtesy of Conwy Town Council. A portrait of her was also placed on display at the Law Society Hall in Chancery Lane, London.

She was the major mover in the campaign to save Thomas Telford’s Conwy Suspension Bridge from demolition, after it was made redundant by the 1958 bridge. The bridge is now a National Trust property.

Agnes played golf at the Conwy (Caernarfonshire) Golf Club and became the club’s Lady Captain. She was also a talented player of the card game Bridge. She retired in 1961 and died on 20 October 1981.

JW Hughes & Co. continued to thrive after her retirement, moving a short distance in the 1970s to Bank House, at the lower end of Lancaster Square. In 1991 it took over Cooper Cummings of Llandudno, where it now has an office in Augusta Street.

With thanks to Donald C Roberts, of JW Hughes & Co. LLP, and Cathryn Williams, of Aberconwy Historical Society, and Ray Castle

Postcode: LL32 8DE    View Location Map

Website of JW Hughes & Co. LLP