Stirling Park traces its roots back to 1924 when Jack Lewis, a Lithuanian immigrant with a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit, established a small debt collection enterprise.
Jack Lewis overcame early challenges, including anti-Semitism and the demands of World War II, to persevere and systematically expand the company’s capabilities and client base. Collection work was manual at the time, and Jack’s work was undertaken travelling by tram around Glasgow. Clients included department stores with credit books, such as Goldbergs and John Lewis.
Jack first became a Sheriff Officer and then a Messenger-at-Arms, giving him authority to represent his clients through the civil enforcement process. His dogged determination and commitment to exceptional service and adherence to ethical practices laid the foundation for Stirling Park’s success and longevity today.
The history of Sheriff Officers in Scotland goes back over 500 years, pre-dating King Henry VIII. Known as “serjeants-at-arms,” these officers were responsible for serving summonses, executing warrants, and apprehending criminals. In the 16th century, the role of Sheriff Officers in Scotland was formalised with the passing of the Justices of Peace Act of 1587. They played an important role in maintaining law and order and their duties have evolved to reflect the needs of a changing society
Lawrence (Larry) Lewis, son of Jack Lewis, continued the family tradition in the industry, also becoming a Sheriff Officer and Messenger-at-Arms. His contributions played a significant role in the company’s growth and reputation at time when clients relied heavily on Sheriff Officers for collection of debt.
Ownership transitions marked key milestones in Stirling Park’s evolution. Recognising the importance of succession planning, the Lewis family carefully selected individuals who shared their passion and principles to carry the business forward. This ensured continuity and allowed Stirling Park to adapt to the changing landscape of the industry.
Since the late 1980’s Stirling Park built up an industry-leading debt collection capability when Local Authorities began outsourcing collections to Sheriff Officer firms. Modernisation of civil enforcement including the abolition of Poinding and Warrant Sales in 2002 was promoted by socialist political influence following Sheriff Officers’ involvement in recovering community charge (Poll Tax).
Jack Lewis’ grandsons, Adam and Jonathan Lewis led the company in the next generation of the Lewis Family with longstanding partner, David Wishart. Following a sale to Intrum Justitia in 2002, Adam and Jonathan bought the company back along with three members of the senior management team in 2009 and thereafter sold to Capita PLC in 2014.
This bred a swift phase of innovation and technology investment. In-field communications and client updates in real time were enabled through mobile technology and critical enhancements such as in-car printers. Investment in technology has allowed Stirling Park to adapt to the continuous demands of expedient service requirements throughout Scotland.
Today, under the ownership of Capricorn Capital Partners, Stirling Park continues to be a forerunner in the Sheriff Officer and debt collection industry. Stirling Park’s Sheriff Officer arm represents many Scottish law firms to undertake Citation and Diligence (serving legal documents and enforcement of debt actions) which includes a wide variety of functions under the authority of the court including repossession.
Stirling Park’s story is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit, hard work, and resilience embodied by Jack Lewis and his successors. From those early beginnings, going about business using Glasgow’s tram network, and overcoming challenges such as re-starting the business after World War II, the company’s rich history serves as a foundation for overcoming adversity, resilience and versatility.
As it embraces innovation and cutting-edge technology, Stirling Park remains true to its core values, ensuring its legacy for years to come as we reach our 100-year milestone.