Gross & Co traces its origins back to 1848 when Woolnough Gross was admitted to the roll of solicitors. In 1886 Woolnough's son, Charles was admitted to the roll, and Woolnough Gross & Son set up in partnership, in Bury St Edmunds. In 1917 Arthur Chamberlayne joined the partnership, and the firm changed its name to Woolnough Gross Son & Chamberlayne. From 1929, the firm had offices at 50 Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds. In 1965, the firm's name was shortened to Gross & Co. In October 1981 Gross & Co moved to its present home, 83-84 Guildhall Street, Bury St Edmunds. The senior partner of Gross & Co at that time was John Knight; twice Mayor of Bury St Edmunds, who was a well known local personality.
Gross & Co in the Local Community
We have been closely associated with the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds for over a decade. We made significant capital contributions to the refurbishment of the Theatre, and are proud to sponsor the Theatre’s lunch time concerts. Partner and head of our Probate Department Gary De’Ath served as a member of the Development Board of the Theatre.
Since 2005 our Probate Department has supported the St Nicholas Hospice Wills Week, preparing a large number of Wills for members of the public, provided entirely free of charge by Gross & Co. The latest 2012 Wills Week generated bequests to the Hospice of some £21,000. In 2013 when West Suffolk Hospital launched their new charity our Probate team tirelessly supported the charity’s first ever Wills Week. Our time was provided free of charge in return for the staff making financial contributions to the hospital.
Our senior partner Graeme Kirk, is a former President of the Suffolk and North Essex Law Society. Graeme Kirk and Elizabeth Hodder are members of Rotary, in Elizabeth’s case Bury Abbey Rotary Club. They both play an active role in the local community, particularly with charitable fundraising. Managing Partner Nick Amor has a special interest in the medieval history of Suffolk and as a result, Gross & Co provides sponsorship to archaeological societies, and the history prize at the County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds. Nick recently gained a doctorate from the University of East Anglia, and his latest publication “Late Medieval Ipswich – Trade and Industry” is available from Amazon. Client Care Partner Elizabeth Hodder has served in a number of roles; Trustee of Bury St Edmunds Citizens' Advice Bureau, Women's Aid and Relate (formerly Marriage Guidance Counselling). Recently she has become a Trustee of Meningioma UK, a charity supporting people with brain tumours.
Partner Gary De'Ath is a Director of Commissions East, which sponsors arts across the East of England. Gary donates his time to this organisation entirely free of charge and is strongly committed to the project. Partner Julie McDonald served as a Governor for a local middle school until its closure in 2012. Julie supports the Cambridge University Outreach scheme and has volunteered at the mature students summer schools. She is also an Ambassador for the Theatre Royal in Norwich.
We have provided additional sponsorship and financial support for a wide range of charities in recent years, including Cancer Research UK, Women's Aid, Bury St Edmunds Contact Centre and AYME (the Association of Young People suffering with ME).
Gross & Co participates in the rota operated by the Bury St Edmunds Citizens' Advice Bureau, under which clients can receive advice on certain areas of their legal affairs, entirely without charge.