Glasgow funeral directors secures continuation of 130-year legacy by joining Funeral Partners

A funeral directors with nearly 130 years of history has joined the Funeral Partners network of high-quality funeral businesses to continue flourishing in the 21st century.

J & D Lawson Funeral Directors, Glasgow, began as a side-line to a transport company in the 1890s and was one of many Lawson Brothers businesses in the 19th century before becoming the family’s priority in the early 1960s.

John and David Lawson, the grandfather and father of Business Principal Alastair Lawson, decided to focus all their energy into the funeral business. David built bespoke premises in Kirkintilloch in the late 70s, laying the foundations for the business’ rapid modernisation.

Alastair left an engineering career to join the family business in the early 80s and took over as Managing Director in the mid-90s, overseeing some of the funeral home’s biggest changes with new mortuaries, embalming facilities and staff.

He met now-Finance Manager Alison Lawson in 1990 after conducting her grandfather’s funeral. She left her job as a financial manager for a food production and distribution company in 2003 and used her experience to bolster J & D Lawson’s administration processes. The couple married in 1997.

Alastair and Alison began considering the future of their business and, with no family members intending to take the reins, they approached Funeral Partners.

They spoke with fellow funeral director Steven Sim of Sim & Son Funeral Directors in Glasgow, who became part of the Funeral Partners family of businesses in January 2021 and provided reassurance and encouragement that they were the right choice.

Alastair said: “There had to be a point where we take a step back or retire from our business and, after meeting with Steven and the Funeral Partners team, there was only one clear choice; choosing to sell while it’s at peak performance and letting it prosper.

“Funeral Partners have the right ethics, and at no point during our discussions did we doubt their ability to preserve and enhance the reputation J & D Lawson has built over the many years.”

Alison added: “The Mergers & Acquisitions Director Steve Wilkinson and Business Development Manager Steve Wilton came to our house for an informal chat over some tea and we really warmed to them. We then met David McCarthy, Head of Acquisition Integration, who we also connected with. David guided us smoothly through the integration process.

“Already we have seen positive investment in the business and Alastair and I are excited to see the positive changes that Funeral Partners is bringing to J & D Lawson. But to us, seeing our staff content with the changes is the most important and rewarding aspect.”

Tara Cameron, Regional Development Director, said: “J & D Lawson is a well-established funeral home that has experienced continuous progression and innovation throughout its rich history, which we’re honoured to now be a part of at Funeral Partners.

“We look forward to working with Alastair and Alison to continue their family legacy and serve East Dunbartonshire under the trusted J & D Lawson name.”

CEO Sam Kershaw said: “I give the warmest of welcomes to J & D Lawson, a funeral home that has already proven to be a perfect fit for the Funeral Partners family with matched values and a dedicated, focussed approach to the funeral requirements of local families. A complementary addition to our other thriving Scottish brands.”