Celebrating 200 Years in Business

Was it courageous or foolhardy? Perhaps born of euphoria sweeping the country as recent victors at  Waterloo. Perhaps just the naïve optimism of youth.  Either way, William Gebbie, aged 23, arrives in Strathaven in September 1816 to set up his own law firm.

William has only recently qualified.  He is a promising but inexperienced lawyer, with a good, secure job in Glasgow. And his only connection with Strathaven is that his cousin lives here.  Nevertheless, William quits his job and, travelling on horseback from Glasgow, he sets up business as “William Gebbie, Writer, Strathaven”

Celebrating 200 Years in business

William Gebbie – in later life

Never lacking in confidence, the young Mr Gebbie expected  to succeed.  But it would have surprised even him that, as Gebbie & Wilson, the firm  he founded in 1816 is still  practising, still thriving, still in Strathaven now, 205 years later, in 2021.

As Strathaven’s Solicitors and Estate Agents for all of these 205 years, Gebbie & Wilson’s story is a remarkable one. Not only Strathaven’s longest established business, it is also one of Scotland’s oldest law firms.  Always in Strathaven. Never having amalgamated or been taken over. And with an unbroken lineage spanning only 15 partners from William Gebbie in 1816 to David Murray and Jan Bayley in 2021.

Scotland's Oldest

In 2016,  we were honoured to receive this scroll in recognition our firm attaining its bicentenary.  When presenting the scroll, Margaret Morton, Depute Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire commented:

  “It is most unusual for such an accolade to be bestowed”… “But both the Council and the Lord Lieutenant were keen to mark this significant milestone in the life of the Strathaven community”.