NICK Gross, chairman and corporate partner at law firm Coffin Mew, is to retire in April after 34 years at the helm.

He said: “Since I joined Coffin Mew 34 years ago the legal landscape has changed due to relentless regulation, increasing client demands and stiff competition.

“Despite this, Coffin Mew has come a long way, recently merging with Charles Lucas and Marshall to create a £15 million legal business across eight locations with more than 220 employees.

“This makes it one of the largest law firms in the region.

“However, some things have stayed the same – the friendship and loyalty of people in the firm, their commitment to succeed and our pride in the service we provide.

“Coffin Mew is in my DNA and I leave behind a thriving, ambitious team, one that will build on the merger and continue to attract high quality clients.”

After he retires Nick plans to take holidays, as well as enter marathons and triathlons. However, he will aid and assist with the firm’s future merger plans.

“You haven’t seen the last of me yet,” he said.

Coffin Mew CEO Miles Brown said: “I feel privileged and proud to have worked with Nick who has been the best chairman in my working career.

“Without him this firm wouldn’t be where it is today.

“We are sorry to see him go but have a great team in place to drive this firm forward.”

A Coffin Mew legacy event and fundraising initiative called The Gross Challenge, which will take place in 2018, will mark Nick’s retirement and honour his love of fitness.

Employees who participate will run or cycle in relay 130 miles between the firm’s offices to commemorate its 130th anniversary.

Coffin Mew has eight offices across the south in Portsmouth, Southampton, London, Gosport, Brighton, Newbury, Swindon and Wantage.