History of Manchester Law Society

Just before Christmas in 1838, sixteen solicitors met in the Manchester Law Library to establish what was to become one of Britain’s most respected legal groups. Originally entitled the Manchester Law Association, with a life membership fee of ten guineas, its raison d etre was to support the respectability of the legal profession, promote fair and liberal practise, maintain the interest of the profession in relation to changes of law or practise, promote the information of members settle disputed points of practise, decide questions of usage and prevent abuses?. These tenets hold good today. By 1845 the Law Society’s Rooms at 4 Norfolk Street were established as the meeting place of solicitors – daily at 3pm to transact business. (They also took advantage of the kitchen which supplied members with chops, steak and coffee!).

More significantly, in the same year, Manchester was chosen to host the first annual meeting of the provincial Law Association, formed to resist attempts at centralisation by London. Even Manchester was selected by the other Societies, because of its ease of access and the efficiency of the Manchester Law Association.

It was not until 1910, however that the Association formally adopted its present title, at which time several neighbouring but smaller Societies were affiliated.

Should you have any questions or require any further information please do not hesitate to contact the Society by clicking here or call 0161 831 7337.


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