H S W Lawson & Co/ Robertson Hyetts a History
Robertson Hyetts continues the legacy of Castlemaine legal founding fathers. Pearson Thompson, George Allen Smyth and Francis Edward Paynter each found their way to Castlemaine hills in 1852, during the goldrush era. They worked together to establish the first legal firm of barristers and solicitors on the Goldfields in 1882.
The firm began with Barkly Hyett joining John Phillip Motteram’s practice on the Bendigo goldfields in 1882. Successive generations of Hyetts continued in the business until Barkly’s grandson John, retired as a consultant in 2002.
The firm flourished, and later incorporations welcomed Harry Sutherland Wightman Lawson in 1908. The law firm became H. S. W. Lawson & Co in 1926. Harry Lawson was both an attorney and a successful politician. He was mayor of Castlemaine from 1905 – 1906 and a member of the Victorian parliament 1900 to 1928, first representing the Castlemaine and Maldon electorate in 1904 as an independent. Later, in 1918 Lawson became Premier of Victoria for six successful years as Nationals leader, then member of the Federal Senate from 1928 to 1935. He received a knighthood in 1933 for his services and passed away in 1952.
In 2003 HSW Lawson & Co merged with McDonald Scott Waters and became known as Lawson McDonald Scott Waters (“LMSW”), dubbed by clients as “Lawsons”.
Robertson Hyetts incorporated Lawson McDonald Scott Waters in February 2011 and is believed to be the oldest continuing law firm in Victoria, and possibly in Australia, It’s Castlemaine premises is still the same offices H.S.W. Lawson & Co occupied in 1923. LMSW Lawyers has its history firmly grounded in the Castlemaine district.
Since its inception the law firm has maintained a keen interest in the culture and community of the region, which Robertson Hyetts continues today in Bendigo, Castlemaine and the surrounding area.
The firm is proudly cemented in Bendigo’s history, not least due to the fact Sir John Quick, who helped draft the Federal Constitution, was once a partner. Robertson Hyetts has consolidated its position as a strong full-service firm offering depth of expertise, value and personalised service.