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EastEnders Wiki

The Firm (aka Walford Investments) is a gangland organisation that operated in the 1980s, 2003 and Post-2005. They were a very powerful and feared crime organisation.


The Firm was established sometime between 1970 and 1985. Den Watts, a local publican of The Queen Victoria, used to go to school with several of The Firm's members.


Trevor Smith was wanted by the police for the armed robbery of a bank in Walford. Trevor has the protection of the East End criminal organisation known as The Firm. They contact publican, Den Watts, and instruct him to hide Trevor in his pub for several days, in order to escape the police. Den is against this, but he has little choice in the matter. The Firm repay Den the favour by ceasing demanding protection money from Albert Square multi racial tradespeople such as Ali Osman, Naima Jeffery and Tony Carpenter.

In 1988, Den Watts sold the Vic to Frank Butcher. The Firm henchman Brad Williams offered Frank some investment in The Vic but Frank refused. After Den left the Vic, he helped run Strokes Wine Bar in Turpin Road, Walford. He became involved in the Firm, as they owned Strokes. In July 1988, Den torched The Dagmar, Turpin Road, but initially manipulated The Firm member Brad Williams into doing it. The Firm was against this and when the police suspected they were involved in the fire, The Firm demanded Den to take the rap or The Firm would have him killed. Den spent time in Dickens Hill Prison. The Firm still believed the best Den Watts was a dead Den Watts. In February 1989, Den is awaiting trial and is kidnapped and ambushed but later escaped. He met Michelle Fowler again by the canal but was shot by a member of the Firm who had a gun in a bunch of daffodils. Den actually survived and went on the run, living in exile in Spain. Strokes closed down at the same time and The Firm withdrew any dealings they had with Albert Square and moved their dealings to another area. The Albert Square locals could breathe a sigh of relief.

Eventually in 1990, a body is found at the same lake where Den was shot. The body is publicly identified as Den Watts, but in reality the corpse was that of The Firm's co-founder Mr Vinnicombe. It soon transpired that the square's gangland boss Jack Dalton, also The Firm's actual de-facto leader, had arranged for Vinnicombe to be killed after implicating him as a scapegoat in The Firm's faliure to successfully eliminate Den; the circuimstances behind Vinnicombe's death were implied to be quite brutal, as his teeth were bricked before his corpse was dimped in the canal.


By 2003, Jack Dalton had been the boss of The Firm for 14 years since the death of Mr Vinnicombe. He hired Dennis Rickman as an apprentice. Dennis was the secret son of Den Watts by Paula Rickman, but Dalton did not know this at the time. Dalton meets Phil Mitchell through Phil's girlfriend Kate Morton, who Dalton later finds out is an undercover police officer working at his nightclub called The Imperial Rooms. Dalton subsuqently orders his henchman George Peters to kill Kate, but Phil foils the assassination attempt and attempts to convince Dalton to call it off; Dalton ultimately relents, but in doing so tells Phil that he now owes him a favor.

Soon enough, Dalton calls the favor in when he orders Phil to kill Dennis; earlier on Dennis had been blackmailing Dalton for £20,000 as repayment for serving a 18-month prison sentence over GBH within Dalton's gangland activities. That night, Phil initally complies when he goes to confront Dennis at gunpoint and prepares to kill him. However, Dennis talks Phil out of it by offering to kill Dalton himself so that the pair would be free from their common gangland tormentor.

Dennis then goes to confront Dalton at gunpoint, then forces the latter to drive them up to the woods for his own execution. Thereafter Dalton attempts to physologically torment Dennis into not going through with it, but this backfires when Dalton reveals that he masterminded the events behind Den's apparent death; in response to this, Dennis reveals that he is actually Den Watts' secret son. This causes Dalton to start fearing for his life, as Dennis makes it clear that he intents to avenge his father's apparent death as well as wanting Dalton to pay for grooming him into The Firm before trying to have him killed. Dalton then reveals that Den is still alive and that has to make a difference. But as a train roars past the two of them, Dennis says that it doesn't and he proceeds to shoot Dalton, killing him.

Following Dalton's death, his successor Andy Hunter takes over the leadership of The Firm. He allows both Dennis and Phil to live after finding out about their involvement in Dalton's murder. Then when Den Watts returns to the square, Andy allows him to live as well. Andy continues to rule the organization until he ends up clashing with fellow crime boss Johnny Allen, who ultimately kills Andy by shoving him off a motorway bridge in retribution for Andy's attempt to double-cross Johnny in a criminal transaction. Ironically, Andy died on the same night Den Watts was killed for real after being murdered by his wife Chrissie Watts.

Nearly a year later, Johnny finishes what Dalton started by ordering his own henchman Danny Moon to kill Dennis on New Year's Eve 2005. Soon in 2006, Dennis' death is avenged when Danny is killed by his own brother Jake Moon whilst attempting to execute both Phil and the latter's brother Grant Mitchell under Johnny's orders. Then a few months later Andy's death is avenged when Johnny dies of a heart attack whilst attempting to arrange the death of Sean Slater, the boyfriend of Johnny's daughter Ruby Allen.

From post-2005 onwards, it is unknown what has become of The Firm.

Members Of The Firm[]