Tribute paid to popular Lancaster mum and lawyer who passed away at age of 54

A mother, wife and passionate family lawyer who lived life to the full and made everyone smile has passed away after a short illness.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 12:30 pm
Andie Blewitt.

Andrea Blewitt (nee Brown) - known as Andie - was a family lawyer and partner at BSG Solicitors, Lancaster, a firm she helped create through a series of mergers after joining in 1989 and becoming a partner in 1996.

She was diagnosed with bowel cancer on September 10, and passed away just three months later on December 12.

Andie was born on March 1 1967 in Salford to proud Glaswegians, Alastair and Janette. After Andie had started primary school her father’s work took the family to South Africa.

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Andie Blewitt.

As the school starting age was higher in South Africa, it was only after much persuasion that Andie was allowed to continue at school, allowing her mother, a doctor, to continue to practise to the benefit of local women.

On returning to the UK, studies continued at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls. Andie made friends for life in Nikki, Claire and Paula. When they holidayed at Club la Santa in Lanzarote they would enter Paula into every sporting event going in a bid to win a prized bottle of wine.

Lancaster University followed reading law. On the first day at Lancaster, soon-to-be friend Amy found herself ‘cloud watching’ with Andie. At that moment, within minutes of arriving, she knew she had chosen the right place to study.

Next came York Law School before qualifying to practise law and a return to Lancaster to join the firm Swainson Son and Reynolds in October 1989.

Throughout studies and training Andie would take bar work. On one occasion working at the Waggon and Horses, a quayside public house prone to the flooding, the water inside was calf deep and the place without power. The doors remained open while the beer flowed, hand-pulled by Andie wading in wellies with drinkers supping by candlelight.

Andie would make partner at Swainson Son and Reynolds in 1996, an early female partner in a firm dominated by men.

Andie played a pivotal role in successive mergers before the firm transformed into BSG Solicitors as it is today. By 2019, 100 years after the Sex Disqualification Act paved the way for women to be admitted into the legal profession, BSG Solicitors was an all-female partnership.

Andie was secretary of the Lancaster Law Society and on the committee of the Lancaster and District Women’s Aid, regularly supporting women fleeing domestic violence.

Known professionally as Andie Brown, Andie is highly regarded by her clients and professionals including solicitors, barristers and judges. Many staff joined BSG Solicitors over the years just so they could work alongside her and clients would switch after being on the other side.

In 2000 Andie met future husband Mark Blewitt, who was visiting Lancaster for an old boys’ rugby game. Andie and Mark were contemporaries at Lancaster University, both graduating in 1988.

Early dates included supporting Mark on open water swims but soon Andie, a useful breaststroke swimmer herself, was entering and winning races.

Marriage followed in 2002 with a ceremony on the shores of Windermere, a favourite swimming haunt. Next came motherhood - first with Ellie Mae and then Daisy (named respectively after television characters from ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ and ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’).

A dedicated mother, Andie encouraged her children in their academic and sporting pursuits including swimming, water polo, hockey, dance, piano and singing.

As both mother and partner in a law firm, Andie would find out first-hand what maternity leave provisions were like, then fight her then partners to improve them.

Outside of work Andie enjoyed a busy social life; she was a keen cook, had a soft spot for dogs, loved holidays, walking and festivals.

An avid crossword solver, completing the puzzle was part of her Saturday morning ritual. A social card player, Andie enjoyed card, board and party games - when playing Mario Kart she would always chose Luigi.

When Parkrun started Andie got the whole family ‘Park-running’. Latterly Andie had taken up singing lessons and golf, both passions shared with her daughters.

As an escape Andie enjoyed driving ‘Fred’ her Mini which ‘made her smile’. Making people smile was something Andie did.

Andie is survived by her daughters, parents and husband.