The year 2013 is a major landmark for our firm, the 190th anniversary of its foundation. It was in 1823, in Montréal, that William Badgley opened the office that was destined to become the firm of McMaster Gervais many years later.
It was also at the end of the 19th century that Peers Davidson founded the second branch of the firm. The two partnerships joined forces, as many of you will remember, in 1998 to become one of the major law firms in Montréal. It was in 2000, following the merger with firms from Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver that we become one of the largest Canadian firms: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.
We are proud of the rich heritage on which we have built our tradition of excellence and our professional skills for the last 190 years! We owe that kind of longevity to our clients who have confided in us and relied on our advice. We are particularly thankful to our partners and employees who, day by day, embody professional excellence and excellence in service.
The Honorable William Badgley, QC, D.C.L.
Born in Montréal in 1801, William Badgley was the grandson of an English merchant who, like so many others, settled in Canada, drawn by the prosperity and opportunities that the fur trade afforded in the second half of the eighteenth century. It was in November 1823 that he was admitted to "the practice and profession of the law as Barrister, Advocate, Attorney, Solicitor and Proctor in all His Majesty's Courts of Justice."
In 1844, Badgley became judge of the Circuit Court for the District of Montréal but resigned in 1847 to return to private practice and enter politics. At that time, it was essential to organize railway companies, since Canada's economic expansion was bound up with the building of railways. It was with a view to serving the interests of his clients that William Badgley sought election to the Legislative Assembly. In June 1847, he was elected member for Missisquoi and then Attorney General of Canada East.
In 1849, he formed a partnership with John Joseph Caldwell Abbott, who would much later become the first Canadian Prime Minister born in this country.
William Badgley was one of the first to be appointed to teach law at the Faculty of Arts of McGill, and would become the first dean of the Faculty of Law in 1853.
History of the Legacy Firms
- 1823: The Honourable William K. Badgley opens his law office in Montréal at the age of 22.
- 1899: Peers Davidson, son of Chief Justice Sir Charles Peers Davidson, founds Mackenzie Gervais in Montréal.
- 1911: Ladner Downs opens its doors in Vancouver.
- 1936: Two friends belonging to the same Phi Kappa Pi Fraternity, Beverley Elliot and Henry Borden, found Borden & Elliot.
- 1952: Cuthbert Scott, Q.C., J.A. (Jack) Aylen, Q.C., and John G. Aylen, Q.C., form a partnership that would evolve into the Ottawa law firm that bore their name, Scott & Aylen.
- 1998: McMaster Gervais is created from a merger of McMaster Meighen and Mackenzie Gervais.
- 1999: Scott & Aylen and Borden & Elliot merge to form Borden Elliot Scott & Aylen.
- 2000: Merger of five law firms – McMaster Gervais (Montréal), Scott & Aylen (Ottawa), Borden & Elliot (Toronto), Howard, Mackie (Calgary) and Ladner Downs (Vancouver) become Borden Ladner Gervais, LLP (BLG).