Pearce Webster Dugdales is one of Melbourne’s oldest law firms. It has a proud history of providing legal services to the citizens of Melbourne for almost 110 years.
In 1899 Alfred Pearce was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia.
Alfred started his career as an Articled Clerk with Smith and Emmerton where he was articled to Mr Charles Emmerton for £300 a year.
The firm’s long and distinguished history commenced in 1907, when Alfred started his own law practice in Whitehall, Bank Place Melbourne, a building that still stands today. He practised on his own until in 1921 he went into partnership with Clarence Webster- and so the Pearce & Webster partnership began.
Throughout the devastating 1929 – 1930 depression Alfred Pearce and Clarence Webster continued in practice. It was a very difficult time however Alfred and Clarence took great pride in the fact that they did not retrench any of their of staff.
In 1940 Alfred Pearce’s son, Arthur Pearce, was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia. He subsequently joined his father’s firm.
Peter Webster, son of Clarence Webster, joined the firm in 1951 and therefore two generations of Pearce and Webster were practising together.
Alfred Pearce’s grandson, John Pearce, was admitted to practice in 1970 and joined the firm in 1972. In doing so John created the remarkable situation where three generations of the Pearce family had practiced in Pearce & Webster
Andrew Webster, son of Peter Webster and grandson of Clarence Webster started in 1973 creating another remarkable situation where grandfather Clarence, son Peter and grandson Andrew Webster all held practising certificates at the same time.
In 1993 Pearce & Webster merged with Dugdale, Dimmick and Stevens. Ian Giblin a partner with Dugdale, Dimmick and Stevens continued to practice at Pearce Webster Dugdales until his retirement in early 2013. Peter Webster retired in 1990.
In 2011 Pearce Webster Dugdales was acquired by current partners Glenn Harvey and Bradley Cunningham.
John Pearce, grandson of founder Alfred Pearce, although no longer practising, maintains a strong connection to the firm through executor & trusteeships.
In April 2017, the firm of Tolhurst Druce & Emmerson merged with us.
Tolhurst Druce & Emmerson was originally established under the name of Tolhurst & Druce in 1896 and in 1945 the name changed to Tolhurst Druce & Emmerson.