In 1898, Michael Gibson Lavan, a barrister at the Irish Bar, migrated to Western Australia where he was admitted to practice. He commenced practice that year in Barrack Street, Perth. The practice later became Smith & Lavan, with Villeneuve Francis Smith.
John Francis Walsh, another migrant from Ireland, completed his articles with Smith & Lavan and was admitted to practice.
In February, Michael Gibson Lavan and John Francis Walsh commenced practice in partnership, forming Lavan & Walsh.
Michael Gibson Lavan took silk. Michael was president of the Law Society from 1930 to 1935.
Morris Crawcour opened offices at 8 The Esplanade, Perth. His nephew Howard Austin Solomon was admitted in this year and joined the firm. Howard later became a partner and the firm became Morris Crawcour & Solomon.
Michael Gibson Lavan’s son, John Martin Lavan, joined Lavan & Walsh.
John Martin Lavan ceased practice for five years while on military service during World War Two initially with the 10th Light Horse and later in the Islands with the Australian Army Legal Corps. He attained the rank of Captain.
Lavan & Walsh partner Leonard Douglas Seaton took silk.
Lavan & Walsh amalgamated with Maxwell & Lalor. As part of the merger:
• James Joseph Keneally Lalor joined Lavan & Walsh making a lasting mark on the firm’s commercial and tax practice.
• Barry William Rowland joined the firm and later took silk in 1975. Barry was a founding member and chairman of the Law Reform Committee from 1968 to 1973 and was both chairman of the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia and president of the Law Society of Western Australia from 1973 to 1975. Barry was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia from 1982 to 1996.
John Martin Lavan became president of the Law Society. He remained as president until 1966.
Lavan & Walsh opened offices at Graham House, 12 Howard Street, Perth and remained there until 1972 when the building was demolished to make way for the Griffin Centre.
John Martin Lavan left Lavan & Walsh to join the Bench of the Supreme Court and later became Senior Puisne Judge.
Lavan & Walsh shifted offices to 524 Hay Street, Perth.
Diana Bryant joined the firm and later became the firm’s first female partner in 1979. During her time as partner, Diana developed a significant family law practice before leaving to join the Victorian Bar and being appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1997. Diana was Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia from 2004 to 2017.
Howard Austin Solomon was awarded a CBE.
Kevin James Hammond joined Lavan & Walsh from his own long established Northam practice.
Sir John Martin Lavan was knighted in the New Year’s Honours List.
Kevin James Hammond left the firm to become a District Court Judge and later Chief Judge of that Court.
Lavan & Walsh merged with Morris Crawcour & Solomon, becoming Lavan Solomon. The firm commenced practice at the Griffin Centre, corner of Howard Street and The Esplanade, Perth.
Lavan Solomon became part of the national firm Phillips Fox.
Phillips Fox moved to the firm’s current premises at the Quadrant Building, 1 William Street, Perth.
The boutique firm Majteles & Salmon joined the Perth office of the national firm Phillips Fox.
The insolvency and reconstruction team from the boutique firm Hely Edgar, joined Phillips Fox.
On 3 April, the majority of the Perth partners of the national firm Phillips Fox, together with partners from Bennett & Co, formed the independent firm Lavan Legal.
Lavan Legal launched its first Reconciliation Action Plan.
Lavan Legal re-established its Family Law practice.
After 10 years as Lavan Legal the firm refined its name to Lavan.
Lavan celebrates 120 years of providing legal services in Western Australia.
While retaining its independence, Lavan entered into an association with Gadens to carry out work for specific institutional clients on a national basis.
With many great
things to come!