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The making of a national firm: Blake Dawson

The making of a national firm: Blake Dawson

The firm known today as Blake Dawson has held many different titles since its 1841 inception in Melbourne. Founded by Scottish expat James Hunter Ross, the Victorian firm existed under the name…

The firm known today as Blake Dawson has held many different titles since its 1841 inception in Melbourne. Founded by Scottish expat James Hunter Ross, the Victorian firm existed under the name of Blake & Riggall for 114 years after Arthur Palmer Blake joined the partnership with lawyers Robert William Nutt and William Riggall in 1866.

Maintaining its Melbourne presence for many years, it was the opening of George Charles King Waldron's Sydney practice in 1881 that would eventually lead to Blake Dawson's New South Wales expansion.

Setting up shop on Sydney's Pitt Street, Waldron went on to become the Sydney City Solicitor - a position which was held by partners of the firm for over a century. His practice then became Waldron & Dawson after Percy Sydney Dawson joined the practice in 1891. Following the 1898 death of Waldron, the Sydney practice then became Dawson, Waldron & Glover with the addition of Waldron's younger brother Thomas Walter King Waldron.

After a few more name changes for both the Melbourne and Sydney practices, the firm finally became known as Blake Dawson Waldron after the two - Blake & Riggall and Dawson Waldron - merged in 1988.

Finally, in 2007 the firm underwent a major re-branding exercise and dropped its Waldron tag to become Blake Dawson.

The top-tier firm now has 170 partners and over 500 lawyers with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. And, with recent international expansions including the opening of its Singapore office in 2009 and Tokyo office in 2010, the firm plans to continue its development abroad.

"The Asian region continues to have the most dynamic growth potential of any area in the world," says Blakes managing partner John Carrington. "Our priority will be continuing to support our clients' business interests in the region and further abroad."

Total staff: 170 partners, over 500: lawyers

Offices: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth

Click on the covers to explore the story of each of these now national firms expanded across the continent:

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