Graves Son and Pilcher is one of the oldest and most respected firms in Brighton and Hove, and has been at the forefront of the property business in the City since it was established more than 115 years ago.

Founded in 1897 by Arthur Francis Graves in an office in Western Road and joined by Sir Denis Pilcher in 1934 the firm moved to its current location in 1947.

From its prominent city centre position overlooking the historic Old Steyne it has been a leading name in commercial, residential, management and professional services since the reign of Queen Victoria.


Last year as the UK economy crept out of recession the firm reopened its residential sales and lettings office.

Andy Lees, Cert REA, FNAEA, rejoined the firm after an absence of 15 years to head up the department previously managed by his father Geoff Lees, a partner with 39 years’ service, prior to his retirement in 1998.

Andy said: “I have always retained the ethics and professionalism originally taught to me at the firm and adhered to the standard expected throughout my career.

“To be offered the opportunity to return as a partner was too good to turn down and gives me the chance and challenge to restore Graves Son and Pilcher as one of the city’s leading estate agents once again.

“I believe there is still a place for old fashioned values in a modern environment, which I feel are sadly lacking in many businesses today.

“Whilst looking to increase sales as a priority we are very keen to extol the virtues of our lettings department which has already completed many transactions under the direction of lettings manager Georgina Read, backed up by an expanding and respected management team.

“Old-fashioned values are based on trust; we don’t tie clients into a contract period unless they request it, preferring to work on a gentleman’s agreement. If they are not happy they are free to walk away.”

Andy believes that treating vendors and buyers with respect is fundamental to any business arrangement.

“It is very rare that I am late for an appointment. I would rather be ten or 15 minutes early than a minute late. I hope that the high quality of service we offer means we will be remembered for all the right reasons and will lead to clients coming back to us for future business. Just this week we have received an instruction from a client on a flat I sold to them in 1986 and that is especially pleasing.

“I have been a member of the Brighton and Hove Estate Agents Association for many years and had the honour of being elected to the office of President, like my father before me. I have a great affinity with the association, but I am concerned that it doesn’t seem to have the same cachet as previously, and hope that membership can be increased to ensure its continuity.

“I prefer to work with a small team; my wife Jan came with me, and Georgina, as previously mentioned, heads up lettings.

“I am happiest being hands-on, I like my clients to know there is continuity, from the valuation to accompanied viewings and then with liasing with solicitors to a successful conclusion.”