In Lawyers, Families, and Businesses: The Shaping of a Bay Street Law Firm, Faskens 1863–1963, noted lawyer and historian, Ian Kyer, provides a superbly researched and fascinating study of the origins and development of the law firm now known as Fasken Martineau DuMoulin. Beginning in colonial Toronto in 1863 where two young lawyers, William Henry Beatty and Edward Marion Chadwick, established their partnership in “one room, half furnished,” Kyer follows the first 100 years of mergers, redirections, challenges, and advances that today have resulted in an international firm of over 700 lawyers practising on three continents. In the process of giving readers a view of the evolution of the practice of law in Canada as seen from the perspective of one particular firm, Kyer also provides in-depth and original accounts of the interrelationships among law firms, family connections, business development, and political influence in Canadian history.
This is neither a dry academic work nor a self-congratulatory firm history. It is an insightful, compelling, social history of one of Canada’s most important law firms.