A litigation executive is retiring 44 years after first stepping through the doors at a well-known Warwickshire law firm.

Darryl Barnes started working for Blythe, Owen George & Co. Solicitors, now known as Blythe Liggins, in Leamington Spa in January 1980, a time when Margaret Thatcher was still a relatively new Prime Minister and ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ by Pink Floyd was top of the music charts.

However, it could have been a very different story for Darryl’s long-spanning career as he was late for work on his very first day due to car problems. At that time, the offices were in Clarendon Place but moved to Rugby Road in 1993.

Despite this minor mechanical setback, Darryl has progressed within Blythe Liggins into more senior roles which has seen his career mainly focused on litigation, together with an early spell in accounts.

He believes his length of time at what became Blythe Liggins is because it has always kept a warm and welcoming environment for clients, as well as staff, in addition to being a great place to work.

Darryl, whose career highlight was assisting in the firm’s success in winning a substantial case at the Court of Appeal in London in the 1990s, said: “I never dreamt, as I am sure nobody would when starting a new chapter in their career at a rather more spritely 21 years of age, that when I joined Blythe Liggins way back in 1980 that I would still be here 44 years later. It is not something you see much of these days.

“However, the time is right to retire and I will miss the comradery of so very many colleagues and the often good humour of so many clients with whom I’ve enjoyed working with over the years.

“I don’t know how I’ll react to retirement. There is much to do and much to learn. If I have the time, whilst I know my wife will have many other plans and ideas, I expect to be coming back and knocking on the doors at Blythe Liggins to say hello as it has been such a large part of my life!”

Darryl is a keen motorsport spectator and also enjoys the great outdoors, two areas he intends to experience more in retirement.

David Lester, senior partner at Blythe Liggins, said: “Darryl is a credit to the legal profession and a credit to Blythe Liggins.

“We’ve been very fortunate that he’s dedicated the vast majority of his extensive legal career to us and our clients.

“His commitment and loyalty have been second-to-none and we wish him, and his wife, a very enjoyable, and lengthy, retirement together.”

For more information on Blythe Liggins, call 01926 831231.