THE Leeds legal sector is this week poised to bid farewell to its longest-practising solicitor.

Christopher Lewis is retiring from his role as a legal consultant at Milners on Friday (June 30), marking the end of a successful career that has spanned more than half a century in the city.

When he first qualified in 1965, the average Yorkshire house price was around £3,000; Asda had just launched its very first supermarket in Castleford; and the Pennine Way was being opened.

Now, 52 years later, retirement beckons for the solicitor that the Law Society confirmed is Leeds’ longest-serving lawyer still practising.

Between 1969 and 2011, he ran his own law firm, CT Lewis & Company, covering a wide range of work, including wills, probate, trusts and conveyancing.

He transferred his expertise to the city centre lawyers Milners six years ago and has remained an active part of that team since then.

Chris, who lives in Ilkley, will now be spending more time pursuing his hobbies of films, books, music and sports, and acting as an unskilled garden labourer!

“I’m lucky to have had a life in law. It’s been an engaging job that has given me such a privileged insight into the day-to-day life of interesting people,” he said.

“It has been a remarkable journey which has brought me into contact with so many clients who have become friends, and who go back to my very first years as a lawyer.”

Managing partner of Milners, Simon Bass, led the tributes: “I am sure I echo the thoughts of many in Leeds and beyond by saying that Chris’s retirement signals the end of an era. His length of service will be rarely seen again in Leeds.

“He is a hugely-respected colleague and he has added an important dimension to Milners since he joined us, making a real contribution to our future success.”

He added: “His insight has been a real inspiration to the lawyers of tomorrow who have benefited from his varied cases. His experience has also been a stand-out asset to the Milners team – none of us were even born when Chris started practising.”