A Short History of Fisher & Fisher Solicitors

Solicitors in Belfast, Newry, Kilkeel, Rathfriland, Donaghadee and Newcastle

In 1898 two brothers, Alec and John Fisher formed a solicitors practice at what is now number 9 John Mitchel Place, a Georgian townhouse built of Newry granite, dating from 1832 and originally occupied as an office by an early Newry solicitor named Brown.

Being an important port on the East coast of Ireland Newry, with its imposing Court House, was always a centre for the legal profession and Fisher and Fisher became an established part of the Newry community. One important case in which Fisher and Fisher were involved, on behalf of the families, was the Inquiry into the sinking of the steamships Connemara and Retriever in November 1916 following a collision at the mouth of Carlingford Lough. Alec’s daughter Margaret recalled being taken in a rowing boat as a child to the scene of the tragedy and seeing the name of the Retriever still clearly visible just underwater as the vessel lay on the seabed.

It was Margaret Reside (nee Fisher) who with her sister Dorothy took over Fisher and Fisher from their father at the beginning of World War II. Margaret had qualified as a solicitor in 1927, and became one of the earliest and longest practicing woman lawyers in Britain and Ireland. Indeed for many years the entire staff of Fisher and Fisher consisted of women. Margaret always acted with total integrity and in the best interests of her many clients. She retired from practice in 1992, her sister Dorothy having earlier set up her own practice.

When Fergus Hanna Bell, John Cavan, Michael Gilfedder, Mark Kinkaid and Brian Iveston joined the practice, Fisher and Fisher expanded its existing network of offices throughout Co. Down and Belfast and developed the firm in many new areas of law. Over the years Fisher and Fisher have merged with and acquired many firms of solicitors throughout the province. In 2016 Fisher and Fisher acquired Newry firm McGuigan Malone solicitors, adding four new solicitors with special expertise in commercial law, family matters and licensing and immigration law. Michael, Mark, Ronan, Jacqueline and Brian are directors of Fisher and Fisher Solicitors Ltd.

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