Michael Bugden was born in 1945 and grew up in Hastings, where his family had lived since the early 1930s. He attended St Mary in the Castle Infants School in Hastings, and then West St Leonards Junior School, before moving on to Hastings Grammar School, to which he acknowledges a substantial debt for the education and encouragement he received.
He did however have to leave school at 15 in order to earn a living, and started work as the office junior at Lloyds Bank in Hastings. He remained at the bank for eight years and passed his banking associateship exams, before entering what he felt was his true calling. He was taken on by a Hastings law firm and undertook five years’ articles of clerkship under Paul Dyer, one of the firm’s partners.
After qualifying as a solicitor and working briefly at a Maidstone firm, in 1976 he learnt of a vacancy for a probate lawyer at Bexhill-based solicitors Yearwood & Griffiths. He applied for and got the job, subsequently dealing with the full range of private client work.
In 1977 he was made a partner in Yearwood & Griffiths, joining Tim Yearwood, Jack Griffiths, John Raeburn and John Gregory. A few years later Patrick Donaldson joined the partnership and in the 1980s Tim Yearwood and Jack Griffiths retired.
In 1995, with the approaching retirement of John Raeburn, negotiations took place with Gaby Hardwicke, which led to a merger with Yearwood & Griffiths. Michael notes that the two firms had always shared the same values and outlook, and so were a good match.
In 2007 Michael moved to a part-time role and he formally retired as a partner in 2011. He is now a consultant to the firm and deals exclusively with quality assurance issues, bringing to bear his decades of experience and common sense.
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Key partners (pre-1945)
Key partners (post-1945)
- George Herbert
- Jethro Arscott
- John Midgley
- Peter Taylor
- Malcolm Walker
- Geoffrey Baker
- Michael Bugden
- John Gregory
- John Raeburn
- Bryan Sagar