Firm History

 

Our name has always reflected the composition of the partnership. If we could be said to have a founder,  then that would probably be G. G. McPherson (1849-1943). According to the Beacon Herald (May 21, 1942), upon graduating from the old grammar school on Norman Street in 1866,  McPherson joined the firm of Woods & Scott as an articling student. The Stratford City Directory lists the firm of Woods, Fisher & McPherson with offices at the corner of Albert and Downie Streets from 1876 to 1881. Following the death of Woods and the departure of Fisher, John A. Davidson practiced in partnership with McPherson from offices at 18-20 Market from 1896 to 1906, at which time they relocated to 27-29 Downie Street, where the firm remained until 1963. When Davidson left, the firm became McPherson & Makins. Following Makins’ appointment to the Supreme Court in 1935, E. G. Thompson joined the firm. John R. Anderson joined them in 1937 and McPherson, Thompson & Anderson continued in partnership until G. G. McPherson’s death in 1943 at the age of 94, by his own account, the oldest practicing lawyer in Canada. Anderson left in 1946 to become assistant manager of the McLagan Furniture Company. Wilfrid Gregory joined the firm in 1948, and on Anderson’s return in 1951 and the admission of Warren Eghoetz to the partnership, the firm changed its name to Thompson, Gregory, Anderson & Eghoetz. Thompson was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1955 and Douglas A. Bell was made a partner at the same time. Wilfrid Gregory left and Paul Dilks joined in 1957, followed by Chester C. Misener in 1959 and James C. Neilson in 1961. In 1963, Anderson, Neilson, Ehgoetz, Bell, Dilks & Misener relocated to our present offices at 1 Ontario Street, then the home of British Mortgage & Trust. Warren Eghoetz was appointed a judge of the provincial court in 1966. John Skinner became a partner in 1969. Chester Misener was appointed to the County Court in 1976. By 1981, with the addition of Robert Rogerson and John Anderson’s son, Robert, the firm was known by the somewhat unwieldy name of Anderson, Neilson, Bell, Dilks, Skinner, Anderson & Rogerson. By 1983, following the death of John Anderson and the departure of Robert Anderson and Paul Dilks, the firm became Neilson, Bell, Skinner & Rogerson. Charles G. Dunphy became a partner in 1992. Following the retirement and tragic deaths of Jim Neilson and Doug Bell in 1994, we became Skinner, Rogerson & Dunphy. Janice A. Bantle joined us in 1999. When Robert Rogerson was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2003, we changed our name yet again to Skinner, Dunphy & Bantle LLP. Justin O'Rourke joined us as an associate in 2005. Effective 2012, he became a partner and we became Skinner, Dunphy, Bantle & O'Rourke LLP. Janice Bantle died on September 2, 2012, and we became Skinner, Dunphy & O'Rourke LLP. We invited Gerry Burdett to join us in 2014 and became Skinner, Dunphy, Burdett & O'Rourke LLP. After more than 50 years in practice, John Skinner retired December 31, 2015. Effective November 28, 2016, we welcome Tim Stock-Bateman to the firm as an associate lawyer.

 

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