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Matthews & Goodman Partner Retires

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hugh Kemsley OBE, one of Matthews & Goodman’s most senior partners, retired today after over 20 years with the firm. Based at the City office, Kemsley played a major role in helping to build the firm’s capability and its reputation.

Drawing on over 40 years’ experience as a Chartered Surveyor, he introduced a number of high profile companies to the firm, including:

  • Wiggins, Teape and Co the paper merchant (which was rebranded Antalis in 1999)
  • ExCeL London, one of Europe’s leading conference and events venues
  • City and Islington College, for whom he provided strategic advice, as well as acted on a 150,000 sq ft college development
  • The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC)
  • And a whole host of companies for whom he provided strategic advice, as well as acquisition and disposal services.

Outside work, Kemsley has been a passionate champion for people with disabilities. His first involvement with The Winged Fellowship Trust (now known as Revitalise), a national charity which provides short breaks and holidays (respite care) for disabled people and their carers, was when he was appointed trustee in 1982. His passion, enthusiasm and energy led to his eventual appointment as Chairman of Trustees in 1989 (a position he held until 2006). Under his stewardship the charity has extended its capability extensively – including the opening of the Sandpipers Centre at Southport in 1988, by HRH The Prince of Wales.

Kemsley was awarded the OBE in 1999 for his services to the third sector.

“Hugh has played a major role in our recent history” commented James Routledge, Partner, Matthews & Goodman. “His contribution has been very significant, not just in terms of clients he introduced to the firm, but also in terms of helping establish our culture and ensuring that we have always been at the forefront of the sector’s drive towards professional excellence.”

A major industry figure, Kemsley has held a number of senior position in the RICS, including Chair of the City Branch (1989), a member of the Management Board (1992-1996), Honorary Treasurer (1996-2000) and he has also chaired Disciplinary Panels for over 20 years, as well as the RICS Staff Pension Fund and the Judges for the RICS Awards in London.

Surveying is embedded deep in Kemsley’s DNA: he is the great grandson of a former Essex farmer who established a firm of surveyors in the late 19th Century. Having gained a Land Economy degree at the University of Cambridge, the young Kemsley joined the family practice (Kemsley, Whiteley & Ferris) in 1967. He then spent three years with Debenham Tewson & Chinnocks before re-joining Kemsley, Whiteley & Ferris in 1971 – where, with others, he grew the business significantly. In 1997 the London part of the practice merged with Matthews & Goodman.

Kemsley is looking forward to improving his golf, travelling to far flung places and, of course, spending more time with his wife.