Celebrating Leadership In Litigation For 70 Years

Posted June 1, 2006

Thomson Rogers turns 70 this year. As we celebrate this important milestone, I want to briefly share some of our firm history with you.

In 1936, when founding partner Edson Haines started a litigation firm in Toronto, work was just being completed on the Hoover Dam in Nevada and King Edward VIII abdicated his throne in England to marry Mrs. Simpson. The practice of personal injury law was in its infancy. Edson was later joined 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.

The firm expanded again when the Second World War ended. B. J. Thomson, Phil Benson and L. R. Freeman joined the Haines brothers. Shortly thereafter Kenneth Howie and William Rogers came on board and the firm became known as Haines, Thomson Rogers, Benson & Howie. Ken Howie, now counsel to the firm, revolutionized the way lawyers practiced personal injury law and trained many of the lawyers with our firm today.

The firm continued to grow in size throughout the 1950s and 60s. By 1972, 54 lawyers practiced in what was then a full service law firm and one of the largest in Canada.

Accomplished litigators such as Douglas Goudie, Ralph Howie, Keith Gibson and our current senior partner, Lawrence Mandel, honed their skills trying personal injury claims before the courts.

Our founding partner, Edson Haines, took an appointment to the Ontario Supreme Court. Many of our other partners 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 Patrick Moore.

In 1966, the firm shortened its sometimes cumbersome name to Thomson Rogers and it has been known by that name ever since. Then, in the early 1970s, the firm changed its focus away from the full-service concept towards specialization in advocacy.

Today, we continue the tradition started by Edson Haines in 1936. Our lawyers represent injured persons and their families. 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 advocacy.

With the assistance of our loyal and supportive staff, we intend to continue this tradition for the next 70 years and beyond, with one simple goal: to secure the best interests of our clients, honourably and vigorously.

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