200 Years in Partnership

In 1791 a young articled clerk, son of a York merchant, was admitted to the roll of solicitors.

JohnBrookHis name was John Brook, pictured right, and he clearly had valuable connections in the County for within a year of qualifying The High Sheriff appointed him County Clerk and Seal Keeper.

Brook's practice flourished so much that he found it necessary to take in a partner and in 1812 George Bulmer joined him at the office in Goodramgate, later moving into larger premises in New Street.

The practice became known as Brook & Bulmer and this is the first known partnership of the firm which is now Ware & Kay. We are proud of the firm's history and longevity and we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the firms' origins throughout 2012.


On Bulmer's retirement in 1833 Brook continued on his own until his godson, Henry John Ware, joined him in partnership in 1845.  And so began the personal Ware connection which continued without a break until the retirement of Innes Ware in 1966.

The Kay line of Ware & Kay traces back to Robert Newbald Kay who qualified as a solicitor in 1893. It remained a family firm over 4 generations of the Kay family until the merger of Ware & Peters and Newbald Kay in 2000. Peter Kay, our senior partner, is the great grandson of Robert Newbald Kay.

Solicitors and their offices have seen many changes over the years.  In the earlier days the waiting rooms had bare wood floors except for a few rugs, charred by spitting coal, and clients sat on a wooden bench and were provided with a few very old professional journals to read.

We hope that our clients now have more comfortable surroundings to relax in although the reading material may still not be to everybody's liking!

Providing high quality client care, professional integrity and expertise is still as important to the firm now as it was when the firm first opened for business in 1812.

How long has your family been a client of the firm?  We would like to know.