Exeter’s legal community gathered in Southernhay yesterday, for a charity cheque presentation. The legal community has raised over £2,500 for the creation of a permanent cultural tribute to the buildings that perished in last year’s Cathedral Yard fire.

David Charlesworth, partner and head of farms & estates, was featured in the Southernhay Life Painting. The painting depicts a ‘day in the life’ of the Southernhay area and shows lawyers and members of staff from Southernhay’s law firms.

Property Search Group came up with the idea of bringing together Exeter’s law firms to raise money for the Historic Exeter Fire Appeal, by commissioning and auctioning a painting of a day in the life of Southernhay, traditionally the city’s legal hub.  The unique and quirky painting, created by Devon artist and illustrator Sara Nunan, features the city’s solicitors and barristers enjoying their hobbies and interests from surfing to singing and rugby to reading.

The painting was auctioned at the Mercure Exeter Southgate at the end of March, by TV’s Homes under the Hammer auctioneer Scott Gray, and won by 24-year-old Tom Backhouse, of TerraFirma, whose father Inspector Mark Backhouse was involved in the emergency response to the blaze.

The original painting was sold for £310, with an accompanying painting by Sara of Cathedral Yard selling for £320. The funds raised from the auction were combined with donations from the 13 law firms, for involvement in the painting, and the sale of limited edition prints, giving a final total of £2,780.

The Fire Appeal, administrated by Devon Community Foundation, has already raised over £20,000 and given grants to staff and small businesses affected by the fire. With the Fire Fund now coming to a close, the money raised by the Southernhay Life campaign will go towards the creation of a permanent cultural tribute, after a public vote run by the Foundation.


Photo caption: (L-R) Martin Gill (PSG), Catherine Mathews (Stephens Scown), Tony Steiner (Devon and Somerset Law Society), Andy Towers (PSG), David Charlesworth (WBW Solicitors), Jo Pruden (Browne Jacobson) and Scott Walker (Devon Community Foundation).