Celebrating Leadership in Litigation Since 1936
by Alan Farrer, Managing Partner
In 1936, Edson Haines opened his own litigation firm in Toronto. From those humble beginnings, Thomson, Rogers, now the largest personal injury law firm in Canada, was born.
Edson was soon joined in the new law practice by his brother Douglas and, together, they formed a partnership known as Haines & Haines. Initially the firm practiced both plaintiffs’ work, on behalf of injured persons and their families, as well as defence work on behalf of insurers.
When the Second World War ended, the firm expanded. B. J. Thomson, Phil Benson and L. R. Freeman joined the Haines brothers. Kenneth Howie and William Rogers came on board shortly thereafter and soon the firm became known as Haines, Thomson, Rogers, Benson & Howie. Ken Howie, former counsel to the firm, revolutionized the way lawyers practiced personal injury law and trained many of the lawyers still with our firm today.
In 1966, the firm shortened its sometimes cumbersome name to Thomson, Rogers and it has been known by that name ever since.
The firm continued to grow in size throughout the 1960s so that by 1972, 54 lawyers practiced at Thomson, Rogers, which at that time was a full-service law firm and one of the largest firms in the City of Toronto. Then, in the early 1970s, the firm changed its focus away from the full-service concept towards specialization in advocacy.
Accomplished litigators such as Douglas Goudie, Ralph Howie, Keith Gibson and our former senior partner, Lawrence Mandel, honed their skills trying personal injury claims before the Ontario courts.
Our founding partner, Edson Haines, became a Judge with the Ontario Supreme Court. Many of our one-time partners have followed Edson Haines to the bench, as Judges in what is now known as the Ontario Superior Court. We have been honoured by the appointment of, amongst others, James Farley, Lloyd Brennan, Keith Gibson, Tamarin Dunnet and, most recently, Patrick Moore.
Today, we continue the tradition started by Edson Haines in 1936. Our lawyers represent clients before the Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada and, often, before administrative boards and tribunals across the Province. From humble beginnings, the firm has evolved into the largest personal injury law firm in Ontario and a leader, as well, in family law litigation, commercial litigation and land use litigation.
With the assistance of our loyal and supportive staff, we intend to continue this tradition for years to come, with one simple goal: to secure the best interests of our clients, honourably and vigorously.