The History of Beckwith Cleverdon Rees

William Cleverdon commenced legal practice in Victoria in 1869, just eighteen years after the separation of the Colony of Victoria from New South Wales.  As the practice grew William Cleverdon was joined by other partners and over time the firm name evolved to Cleverdon, Eggleston & Derham.   When Franklin Ethelbert Fay joined the firm the name of the practice changed to Cleverdon & Fay, and then further extended to Cleverdon Fay & Hayes.

In the 1940s, George Reid, later to become Attorney General of Victoria, joined the firm and was followed by Donald Finlay with the name changing to Cleverdon Reid & Finlay.

Another strand of the practice commenced in 1934 when Kingsley Percival (Rex) Rees commenced practice as a sole practitioner in Box Hill and Melbourne.   In 1971, John Beckwith joined him in partnership under the name of Rees Beckwith & Co.

In 1981, Cleverdon Reid & Finlay merged with Rees Beckwith & Co and three years later the practice of Frank C. Hulls was added to the firm.    In the 1990s, the name of the firm became Beckwith Cleverdon Rees reflecting the different merged histories that are embodied in our practice.   The present partners are John Beckwith and Ashley Beckwith.

Key Events

1869 William Cleverdon commences legal practice

1934 Kingsley Percival (Rex) Rees commences legal practice

1940 Cleverdon Reid & Finlay established

1970 John Beckwith commences legal practice

1971 Rees Beckwith & Co established

1981 Cleverdon Reid & Finlay merge with Rees Beckwith & Co

2001 Ashley Beckwith commences legal practice