The firm began in 1863 and is amongst the oldest in New South Wales (according to the Law Society Journal).
Albert Whitby Simpson started practice in Armidale on Monday 23rd November, 1863, aged 23. He practised in Armidale for 47 years until his death on 14th July 1910, aged 71. Although he did not marry until he was 32, he and his wife, Emily Susannah Simpson had 11 children: six sons and five daughters.
His eldest son, Arthur Wakefield Simpson (known as Jack), was admitted as a Solicitor on 12th March, 1910, just before his father died, and he was a partner in the firm. He died on 7th August, 1952, aged 79 after 42 years as a Solicitor.
A.W. Simpson’s seventh child, Eustace Simpson, was admitted as a Solicitor on 2nd September, 1912 and he was a partner in the firm until he died on 9th November 1953, aged 69, after 41 years as a Solicitor. Amongst other things, Eustace Simpson was active in founding The University of New England and there is a conference room in his memory at the Dixson Library at the University. Neither Jack nor Eustace Simpson married.
John Lorimer Gibson Johnstone was admitted as a Solicitor on 21st November, 1919 after service in World War I as a Captain. He later became a Brigadier and was known as “JLG”. He was a school friend of Eustace Simpson at The Armidale School and became a partner in the firm. He retired on 16th November 1962, after 43 years as a Solicitor. He died on 27th July 1968, aged 87. He was the seventh and second youngest child of the Rev Dr Thomas Johnstone, who was the Presbyterian Minister in Armidale for 46 years from 1857 to 1903. The Johnstone Memorial Hall was dedicated to the memory of Rev Thomas Johnstone in 1912.
Frederick Thomas Johnstone (Tom), son of William Herbert Johnstone, who was the eldest of Rev Thomas Johnstone’s children, was a clerk in the firm from April, 1925 and was admitted as a Solicitor on 15th November, 1946, after service in World War II. He was a partner in the firm and retired from practice in December 1981, after 35 years as a solicitor.
Paul Lorimer Johnstone, son of JLG Johnstone, joined the firm in December, 1939 and was admitted as a Solicitor on 28th May, 1948 after service in World War II. In 1982, he was recognised officially for his contribution to the community and to education when he was awarded an MBE. He retired as a partner in 1988, after 49 years service in the law.
Ian McLeod Johnstone, second son of Tom Johnstone, was admitted as a solicitor on 8th March, 1963. He joined the firm on 26th September, 1963. He wrote the ‘Legal Guide for the Primary Producer’ first published by the Law Society of New South Wales in 1987. He retired from the firm in 2003 after 40 years service as a solicitor.
David Roger Edwards was a partner of the firm from 1st July, 1981 and left the practice in 1990. He was admitted to the bar in Brisbane.
Judith Mary Gerard Housego was a partner of the firm for a year from 1st September, 1985. She was admitted to the bar in Sydney.
David Andrew Barry White was admitted as a solicitor on 11th May, 1979. He joined the firm on 24th August, 1987 and became a partner in the firm on 1st July, 1988, and is the current principal.
Austin Harold Rummery was a partner of the firm from 23rd October, 1990 for four years. He is now retired. Danny Wayne Bricknell was a partner of the firm from 23rd October, 1990 for a few years. He practises as a solicitor in Ryde.
Elizabeth Jacqueline Rusiti was a partner of the firm from 1st February, 2003 until 24th November, 2003. She returned to practise as a solicitor in Sydney. Anthony David Bradfield Fox was a partner of the firm from 1st February, 2003 until 30th June, 2004. He continues to practise as a solicitor in Armidale