Lawson Lundell’s history spans over 100 years.
The roots of the modern day firm lie in the resource development that fuelled the opening of western Canada in the First World War era. From that base, the firm has diversified into a regional business law firm that, while still very active in resource development, financing and operations, covers a full range of services to both domestic and international businesses. Today, Lawson Lundell is recognized as one of the leading law firms in western Canada.
The firm of Lawson Lundell (formerly known as Lawson, Lundell, Lawson & McIntosh) had its beginnings in Victoria when Victoria was not only the political, but also the commercial, capital of British Columbia. The firm stems directly from the practice of E.V. Bodwell, who was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1886. In the 1890s, E.V. Bodwell was joined by two Lawson brothers, Jimmy and Harry. Jimmy was born in 1875 and called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1896. Harry was called to the Bar in 1899. In 1923 it was decided to establish a branch of the Bodwell and Lawson firm in Vancouver, which had succeeded Victoria as the commercial capital of the Province. Jimmy was sent over to open the office and he remained in Vancouver for the rest of his life.
In the 1920s, several of Jimmy Lawson's important Vancouver clients included the Powell River Company and the Vancouver Province. During the 1930s, the firm acted for the only two pulp and paper mills in British Columbia which were responsible for approximately 75% of all the logging business and about 40% of the lumber business in B.C. In 1936 we acted for John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who sold a large block of timber on Vancouver Island to H.R. MacMillan, who was going into the lumber business. The decades since the Second World War have seen a continuous growth of the firm in terms of size, client development and diversification.
Lawson Lundell opened its Calgary office in 1997. The office maintains the original focus on Aboriginal, Environmental and Regulatory law, with the more recent addition of commercial lawyers. In 2002, the Yellowknife firm of Gullberg, Weist, MacPherson & Kay merged with Lawson Lundell. Its predecessors had an established presence in the Northwest Territories since 1976.