The Chadwicks of Guelph and Toronto and their cousins


Edward Marion Chadwick's History.


25/1/2013

Edward Marion Chadwick was a lawyer in Toronto and compiled a history of his Canadian Chadwick family and produced 2 known editions, one in 1892, and the other in 1914.

Edward Chadwick produced a revised and expanded edition, which was privately printed in 1914. It contains the results of his research into the Chadwicks both in Ontario and in Ireland, and includes many branches, and details of some of the female lines. A number of photographs of family members are included. Many of the family coats of arms are embedded in the text. It is a major work on this family and contains much interesting, if not always directly relevant, information. The style in which it is written is in itself an insight into the Victorian way of speech.

The printed edition has been scanned and converted to document and web file formats.

The 1914 edition is available here. It is about 215kb including 19 images (coats of arms, which appear in the text - without the images it is still about 180 kb). The Word Document version is not on line - it consists of 56 pages and, with the images, it is a 3.8Mb file - I can email it if anyone really wants it!

The 1892 edition was hand-written by him and extensively decorated with family coats of arms. Copies must have been given to family members. One was held by Maurice Chadwick of Victoria, BC: it was photocopied and transcribed onto electronic media in 1997 by A Maitland. Unfortunately, the original was destroyed in a house fire in 2000. It contained some interesting photograph prints of family members.

The Chadwicks of Guelph and Toronto and their cousins 1

Corrections & Comments received: 1

The Transformation of an Establishment Firm: 3

From Beatty Blackstock to Faskens - 1902-1915 3

The Early Years 5

The Gooderham & Worts Connection 5

The Beatty Blackstock Lawyers in 1902 8

The Beatty’s:  Father, Son and Son-in-law 8

Edward Marion Chadwick 9

The Blackstock Brothers 10

Lawyers from Other Prominent Families 11

The Fasken Brothers 12

Other Non-Establishment Lawyers 13

The Fasken Firm in 1915 13

The Transformation of Beatty Blackstock 13

Cobalt and the Mining Industry 14

Gooderham's Death and Beatty's Departure in 1905 16

The 1913 “House Cleaning” 19

The Faskens 20

Conclusion 22



Corrections & Comments received:


Relating to individuals in EMC's work.


Maria Suffolk


From: Maria Suffolk[1]

Priscilla Wakefield (nee Bell) and Edward Wakefield had children, one of whom was named Edward Wakefield again.  This Edward married Susannah Crash, and it was they who sired Edward Gibbon Wakefield & siblings, one of whom was John Howard Wakefield, my own gr.gr.grandfather.  I'm only mentioning it for clarity's sake.  So, Priscilla Wakefield was the grandmother of Edward Gibbon Wakefield and of Arthur, of John Howard, and others.

Priscilla's sister Katherine Gurney and she were very close.  I've borrowed from the NZ Turnbull Library the microfilms of copied diaries of Priscilla Wakefield, quite famous herself for work among deprived women in east end of London.

I myself live in a tiny village in Australia, so most of my research is done via the internet and libraries, and the help of a very good friend in UK who has beavered in the India Office, London.

What I found absolutely fascinating was to read the account of the visit of the King of Prussia, with a Mr Bunsen present.  The Bunsens were in the diplomatic service for Prussia.

Elizabeth Fry was a cousin to Edward Wakefield and his wife Susannah Crash.  The daughter of Elizabeth Fry, Katherine who looked after the house, would have been a second cousin to JHW, my gr.gr.grandfather.

You see, the daughter of John Howard Wakefield, born in India to him and an Indian aristocrat who took the name of Maria Suffolk on baptism, was called Lucy Catherine Wakefield. 

Lucy Catherine Wakefield married Count Hugo Radolinski, Prussian, in 1863.  He later became Prince Radolin, working as Private Secretary to the Kaiser.  I have read somewhere that she married from a Gurney household in London, her father having died the year before in London (her mother in India in 1852).

I've always wondered why Lucy connected with a Prussian - your website does offer an explanation.   I would welcome hearing from you. My own line of research at present concentrates on finding the background to John Howard's wife, who unusually took Suffolk as part of her name. Descendants of theirs Germany have a photocopy of a portrait, showing clearly Maria Suffolk Wakefield as a full name, and this is also given on her burial certificate (obtained from India Office in London).

It has been Hugh Casement who put me in touch with these relatives, who descend from Lucy Catherine (nee Wakefield) and Hugo Radolin.

You might also be interested to know that a son of :

    Rebecca, married to Abel Chapman (c).

given in your website was called Henry Chapman. He became an Assistant Surgeon to the East India Company and, further, married in 1836 (in India) the sister of John Howard Wakefield above, one Priscilla Susannah Wakefield who had gone to India to teach.

Well, I do hope you don't mind my approaching you on this matter and very much look forward to hearing any ideas you may have regarding my "quest".  With kind regards,

Jean Casper[2]

Anthony,
I realize that I should have sent you the obit so that you could see why I believe we are concerned with the same family.

Toronto Daily News
Thursday, Oct. 13, 1960
Page 9

C. Macdonald

Funeral services will be held tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in St. James the Less chapel for Claude Macdonald, 60, of Bernard Ave., chieftain of a Scottish Highland clan, who died Monday.  Mr. Macdonald worked for Dominion Securities Corp. Ltd. here for 40 years.
Born in Flushing, N.Y., he was educated at St. Andrew’s College here. His title was chieftain of the House of Macdonald of Sanda, an island off the west coast of Scotland.  He was recognized in 1957 as 16th in succession to the title.
Mr. Macdoanld was a member of the Royal Canadian Yacht club and an ardent bowler.  He is survived by two sisters, Carolyn Macdonald and Mrs. Edward Steinbrugge.

Toronto Daily Star  12 Oct 1960

Donald Claude 16th Chieftan of Sanda d Tuesday Oct 11, 1960.  93 Bernard Ave.  Son of late Donald and Florence Macdonald, brother of Carolyn and Margorie.  Interment at St. James Cemetery.  Died at Wellesley Hospital, Toronto.

Globe has the same as above.

As I said, I have been working on this family (Macdonald of Sanda) and would like to fit Donald Claude into the family tree.  Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Jean Casper

I am a senior partner in the law firm that EM Chadwick and William Henry Beatty founded in February 1963.  It is now known as Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP.  For how it came to have that name see my attached brief history which was published in vol. VII of Essays in the History of Canadian Law by the Osgoode Society.  I would greatly appreciate the Word version of his 1914 book The Chadwicks of Guelph and Toronto.

C. Ian Kyer <<Transformation Article.doc>>
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
Patent & Trade Mark Agents
Toronto, Ontario
http://www.fasken.com
Tel: 416 865-4396
Fax: 416 364 7813


The Transformation of an Establishment Firm:

From Beatty Blackstock to Faskens - 1902-1915

by C. Ian Kyer[3]

The “Remarkable Entertainment”
      On March 13th, 1913 Edward Marion Chadwick, a 73 year old conveyancing lawyer, wrote to a relative in Ireland about a "remarkable entertainment" that had recently been held at his house to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatty Blackstock firm.  He noted that had William Henry Beatty lived just three months longer, he and Chadwick would have been partners in the firm for fifty years, something that Chadwick believed was "without parallel in this province".   Chadwick explained:

      The fiftieth anniversary was celebrated by the gathering at my house of all of the members of the firm and their wives, and the students, numbering all together about 30, to which we added ourselves and immediate relations to the number of about 20.  At the same time the firm entertained the women clerks of the office at McConkey's which you may remember as a swell downtown establishment,  where they sat down 18.  All of which was quite an expansion from the original two partners and one clerk.  

Although this “remarkable entertainment” was a celebration of fifty years of practice, it could not have been lost on some of the attendees that it was also a wake, marking the passing of one of the great law firms of its time.  Chadwick and others noticed that the only former partner of Beatty Blackstock who attended was Mr. Justice William Renwick Riddell.  This was not surprising to some. They knew that the Beatty Blackstock firm that Chadwick had help found fifty years before was in the process of being completely transformed by two dynamic, entrepreneurial lawyers from Elora – David and Alex Fasken.  They also knew that the Fasken transformation of the firm was not without its casualties and tensions.

      It is difficult for us to appreciate the significance of this event.  Few people today would even recognize the Beatty Blackstock name.  There would have been no such problem in 1913.  On W.H. Beatty’s death, just months before the Chadwick party, Beatty Blackstock had been said to have done “more business than any [law firm] in all Canada”.   Later it would be referred to as "Canada's largest law business"  and "the famous Beatty Blackstock firm".  

      In looking at the history of any firm, one must look at the key individuals in the firm that give it its character.  A partnership, unlike a corporation, is not a legal entity with separate legal existence from its partners.  As anyone who has worked in a law partnership knows this is not a legal fiction.  While a law partnership may look to the outside like a single entity with a common name, office, and perhaps even a distinct character and philosophy, in many respects the firm is a collection of individuals, each with his or her own practice.  Each practice to a greater or lesser degree overlaps and compliments the practices of others in the firm.  The firm is effectively the aggregation of these individuals and it draws its character from these individuals and particularly from certain dominant partners – in this case William Henry Beatty and David Fasken.

      Under W. H. Beatty, the firm was extremely large for its day, having 15 lawyers in 1902.  It was in many ways, however, a close knit group.  Most of its members shared a common place in the society of late 19th Century Toronto.  They were principally members of the congregation of St. James Anglican Cathedral.  Politically they were Conservatives.  Most were from prominent Toronto families.  It was, in short, an establishment firm.  Beatty himself was a pew holder at St. James, a personal friend of Sir John A. Macdonald, the son-in-law of the late James Gooderham Worts and the confidant and chief adviser of George Gooderham. 

      Under Beatty, the firm was in many respects the Gooderham family firm, serving the legal needs of the Gooderham & Worts businesses and providing employment for the sons and sons-in-law of George Gooderham and their relatives.   The Gooderham and the Worts families invested the profits they made from their very lucrative distillery business in financial institutions like the Bank of Toronto, Manufacturers Life Insurance and Canada Permanent Mortgage.  The Beatty Blackstock firm, which acted for these “family businesses”, became pre-eminent among those law firms serving the needs of Canada’s burgeoning financial sector.  

      In the thirteen years from 1902 to 1915, the firm took a sharp turn away from these roots in the Toronto establishment to take on a decidedly different character.  David Fasken and his brother Alex placed more emphasis on legal skills than family connections, at least beyond their own strong family bond.  The Fasken brothers recruited skilled and experienced lawyers from outside Toronto for their firm.   Unlike Beatty, the Faskens were “self made” men, Methodists and Liberals, who made immense personal fortunes in insurance and in Ontario’s newly developed mining enterprises and who used the law firm to serve the needs of the companies that they themselves directed. 

      To some extent the changes in the firm reflected changes in the Ontario economy as Ontario opened its northern lands and as dynamic, hard working Methodists like Timothy Eaton and Joseph Flavelle came to the fore in Canadian business.   But David and Alex Fasken’s transformation of the Beatty Blackstock was so complete as to be almost unique.  They gave the firm a new name and a new office.  They brought in new members from outside Toronto who tended, like themselves, to be Methodists and Liberals.  Although they retained key Beatty Blackstock clients, like the Bank of Toronto and Toronto General Trusts, they acquired many new clients and a new area of expertise. 

      While much changed, there were some striking similarities between the two firms, principally in their approach to law and business.  Both were dominated by a strong managing partner who used the law and the law firm as a stepping stone into business.  In many ways each was a businessman as much as or even more than he was a business lawyer.  Each shaped the firm that he managed in his own image to service his own business interests. 

The Early Years


      The Beatty Blackstock firm, although the largest law firm in the country  and one of the largest in North America  in 1902, seemingly arose from humble circumstances.  As Chadwick recalled in 1913:

      We commenced to practise in one room about half furnished, and when we got along so well so that we were able to have a student we considered we were doing very well, and when we got on so as to be able to take another room and a few more chairs we thought our success was assured.

Chadwick’s characterization, however, is somewhat disceiving.  The fact is that the firm’s success was, if not assured from the beginning, certainly enhanced because of the background of the two partners.  Both men were from well-to-do Irish families.  Beatty’s father, James, had settled in York (as Toronto was then known) in 1830 where he was a prominent merchant, operating the British Woollen and Cotton Warehouse, and a Colonel in the militia.   The Beatty family lived in a two story brick house at 29 William Street,  just south of the substantial property owned by the Honourable William Pearce Howland, a prosperous grain merchant, member of the Legislative Assembly and a future “Father of Confederation”.   Farther up the street was the home of Mr Justice John Hagarty, a Supreme Court Judge.

      Chadwick’s family had formed part of the Irish landed gentry.   John Craven Chadwick, Edward Marion's father, had come to Canada in about 1837, settling at Ancaster in Wentworth County, where Edward Marion, his third son, was born in 1840.  When Edward Marion was 11 years old, his family moved to Guelph, where his father served as Justice of the Peace and was very active in the Anglican church, serving on the Diocesan Synod of Toronto and the Corporation of Trinity College.  The Chadwick family were large land holders and very prominent in the Guelph area.   Edward Marion’s uncle was a member of the Guelph Board of Trade and would serve as Mayor of Guelph.  Edward Marion's younger brother, Austin Cooper Chadwick, also went into law, being called to the Bar in 1864.  Austin was later made a County Court Judge for Wellington County in 1873, serving in that capacity until he retired in 1914.

      At the time that Beatty and Chadwick studied law, legal education was primarily a matter of apprenticeship to an established practitioner.  The period of articles was three years to be admitted as a solicitor (or attorney as they were then called) and a further one year to be called as a barrister.  As the introduction to the 1862 Law List stated, “the professions of Barrister and Attorney may be and usually are followed together.”  Students could enter legal studies at age 16.  Chadwick could not have been much older than this minimum age when he began his studies.  Beatty articled with John Leys, a barrister and solicitor who had his office on Church Street in the City Building, just south of King Street and within a very short walk of St. James Cathedral.   We do not know where Chadwick articled.  The hours spent in a law office likely involved assisting in drafting or engrossing legal documents (i.e., writing documents out in long hand), serving and filing materials, doing legal research and searching land titles.  This on the job training was supplemented by readings that students were expected to do on their own as well as, to some extent, by lectures given at Osgoode Hall, the seat of the Law Society of Upper Canada.  In 1858 the Law Society had appointed two permanent lecturers, S.H. Strong for equity and J.T. Anderson in law,  and it can be assumed that Beatty and Chadwick each attended these lectures.  It was likely these lectures that brought Chadwick to Toronto.  In 1862, just before Beatty's graduation the school was expanded further but it is doubtful that either Beatty or Chadwick benefitted from this.

The Gooderham & Worts Connection


      In mid-February 1863, Beatty, who had been admitted as a solicitor on February 5, entered into  partnership with Chadwick, who had been admitted almost a year earlier on May 20, 1862.    From the very beginning the firm was linked to  the milling and distillery partnership of Gooderham & Worts.   Beatty and Chadwick’s first office in The Toronto Exchange building,  was between two Gooderham & Worts offices.  Beatty was then likely already engaged to marry the daughter of James Gooderham Worts. 

      In a firm where family relations played a prominent role, it is not surprising that marriages helped cement business relationships for both partners.  In 1864 Chadwick married Beatty's sister, Ellen Byrne.   Regrettably in February of the following year Ellen, only 21 years old, died in child birth.    In April, 1865 at a time when the newspapers were full of the news of President Lincoln’s recent assassination in Washington, Beatty married Charlotte Louisa Worts at Little Trinity Church.   The newly-weds made their home at 290 King Street East,  not far from the family homes of William Gooderham and James Gooderham Worts on Front Street. 

      Chadwick's short-lived marriage to his partner's sister helped bring the two partners together, but the success of the firm was intimately connected with Beatty's marriage.  His father-in-law, James Gooderham Worts, was not only one of the two partners in the Gooderham & Worts distillery and milling business but he was also an important figure in a number of other businesses.

     

      James Gooderham Worts had left England in 1831 at the age of 13.  Accompanying his father, James Worts, he had come to York to establish a milling business and to make the way easier for other members of his family and the Gooderhams, to whom James was related by marriage, who were to come shortly with William Gooderham, James’ brother-in-law.  The father and son began to construct a windmill at the mouth of the Don River, to the southeast of the town.  The next year William Gooderham arrived with 54 people including members of both families as well as servants and 11 children whose parents had died on the journey.  William also brought the combined family fortune, £3,000, to invest in the business.  The two brothers-in-law went into partnership as Worts and Gooderham, carrying on a flour milling business.

 

      Unfortunately, James Gooderham Worts found himself an orphan in 1834 when, following his mother’s death in childbirth, his father committed suicide by throwing himself down the family well.  William Gooderham assumed control of the milling operation and began to groom his nephew for a role in the family business, which in 1837 was expanded to include a distillery to use surplus grain.  The family also operated a cattle business to use by-products of the distillery.  In 1845, William Gooderham made his nephew James a full partner and renamed the partnership Gooderham & Worts.

 

      The business proved extremely successful.  While William dedicated his energies to the milling and distillery operations, James came to play a prominent role in a number of businesses into which the families invested their profits, including the Bank of Toronto and the Canada Permanent Building and Savings Society.

 

      The families lived on a large estate on Front Street just north of the distillery and just south of Little Trinity Church.  They were devout members of the Anglican congregation of Little Trinity.  Both William Gooderham and James Gooderham Worts served as wardens of the church for over thirty years.  In his history of Little Trinity, Alan Hayes states that in this period, "the parish functioned rather like a proprietary chapel, with Gooderham, his nephew and partner James Gooderham Worts, and some other captains of industry and commerce of St. Lawrence ward as the benevolent proprietors".   In 1850 the Gooderham and Worts families had a gallery of the church constructed and reserved for their use.

 

      This then was the family, or more properly, families that Beatty married into, because although Beatty married a Worts he became a member of the Gooderham extended family as well.  There were few families in the Toronto of 1865 that could offer a young lawyer so much and there were few families that were so close-knit.

 

      It is important to note how much the fortunes of the two families were directed by William Gooderham initially and then later by his son George.  Each of these individuals, in turn, played the role of “pater familias”, directing the investments of the family firm and its many enterprises.  Through trusts, they owned most of the homes of the various family members.  James Gooderham Worts acted as the right hand man of William Gooderham, his uncle.  His son-in-law William Beatty would later assume the same role with George Gooderham.

 

      Although the early success of the Beatty & Chadwick firm was at least partly attributable to Beatty's connections with the Gooderham and the Worts families,  Beatty and his law firm had to earn the families' business.  This was a pattern that one notes in the Gooderham family.  The young men were given small roles in the businesses initially and expected to work their way to the top.  Thus, even though Beatty's father-in-law was on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Toronto and was its Vice-President and second largest shareholder,  it was not until 1877 that the firm became the Bank's solicitors.  

 

      The role that Beatty and his firm were coming to play as company lawyers reflects one of the cardinal principals of William Gooderham and his son George in running the Gooderham and Worts businesses of the day – work was to be kept in the family or given to relatives of family members to the extent possible.   These families, in fact, played a key role in all aspects of Beatty’s life.   In 1875 Beatty’s father-in-law, James Gooderham Worts and his nephew, George Gooderham, helped Beatty build a large brick and stone home on Queen’s Park Crescent.   At about the same time Joseph Walker Beatty, William’s younger brother, is found working as the accountant for Gooderham & Worts.

 

      The relationship between the firm and the bank was cemented when, in 1879 Beatty moved his firm into the Bank of Toronto building at the north-west corner of Church and Wellington Street.   This location was across from the site on which the Gooderham building would be built a decade later.  The Bank of Toronto building, which had been built by the Bank in 1863, was an "impressive home rivalled by few of the other banks that crowded Toronto.  Three storeys high, 64 feet wide on the Wellington Street facade and 100 feet on the Church Street facade, it was impressive in the streetscape for its sheer bulk alone.  It was designed in the Italian Renaissance style, faced with Ohio sandstone".

 

      The firm’s link with the Bank was solidified in 1881 when, on William Gooderham's death, Beatty's father-in-law became the Bank's President and Beatty its Vice-President.   Then in June 1882, Worts died.  In a very unusual provision, Worts directed in his will that Beatty be elected to succeed him on the Bank's board of directors.   This, of course, would not have been binding on the shareholders of the Bank but it did happen and it does indicate the influence that Worts had and his sense of proprietorship over the Bank. 

 

      In addition to assuming Worts’ seat on the board, Beatty became one of the executors of his father-in-law's estate and as such for many years directed the estate's many investments and business interests.   This position gave him significant influence and the ability to direct much legal work to his firm.  It also  brought him into direct and bitter confrontation with members of the Worts family.  Prior to his father-in-law’s death, Beatty and his firm helped James Gooderham Worts establish a trust for his children.  The trust empowered the trustees, including Beatty, to continue for a year any business in which Worts had been engaged and to then invest the bulk of the estate in such securities as they thought fit and proper.  On August 1, 1882, just a few months after Worts death, Beatty’s firm assisted George Gooderham to incorporate a company known as Gooderham & Worts, Limited.  Beatty and the other trustees invested much of the trust funds in the shares of this company.  The trustees and George Gooderham entered into a shareholders agreement that stipulated that up to one third of the profits of the company were to be retained by the company in a reserve fund and not paid to the shareholders as dividends.  Although the investment paid large annual dividends despite this provision and was sold to George Gooderham in 1889 at a substantial profit, the beneficiaries of the trust brought a series of legal actions against Beatty.  Chancellor Boyd of the Ontario court would later find that Beatty and the other trustees had “technically” breached the terms of the trust, but that no significant harm had been suffered.  

 

      Beatty’s relations with the Worts family became very strained.  In 1882 shortly after his father’s death, James Gooderham Worts Jr. also died.  Beatty and the widow, Mary Worts, were appointed co-executors of the estate.  In 1887, Mary signed over her rights to Beatty.  Then for whatever reason there was a falling out.  Beatty refused to pay her the annuity due her under her husband’s will and he had her evicted from the home on College Avenue that he rented to her.  She brought a legal action, charging him with having procured her agreement in 1887 with fraud and misrepresentation and with having converted the large estate of her husband to his own purposes.  The case was settled but the rift between Beatty and the Worts family persisted.   The rift seems to have been due at least in part to the fact that Beatty developed a very close relationship with George Gooderham.  The Worts family was of the view that Beatty was favouring Gooderham's interests over their own.  There can be no doubt that Beatty became Mr. Gooderham’s principal business and legal adviser and that Beatty used his position to direct much legal work to his firm.

 

The Beatty Blackstock Lawyers in 1902

 

      By 1902, Beatty’s firm  had grown to 15 lawyers, making it the largest in the country.   Beatty was the glue that held the firm together.  He had gathered lawyers for the firm through the Gooderham family connection and especially his special relationship with George Gooderham, as well as through wise recruiting.  It is very instructive to profile the fifteen men  who made up the firm.

 

      For its day Beatty Blackstock was an exceptionally large and in many respects very talented group.  What is striking is that family connections played such a key role in the make-up of the firm.  There was Beatty, his son and his son-in-law.  There were two Blackstock brothers and the two Fasken brothers.  Of the fifteen lawyers, two were sons-in-law of the firm's principal client, George Gooderham, and one was Gooderham’s son (In 1899 another son-in-law, W. H. Brouse, had left the firm).  Almost all were Anglicans and Conservatives and members of prominent Toronto families.

 

      The fact that Anglicans played a key role in the firm was not unusual for Toronto firms at the end of the last century and the beginning of the Twentieth Century.  There can be no more dramatic proof of the dominant role of Anglicans in the law, than to walk through St. James  Cathedral and read the many plaques to the leaders of Toronto’s legal community or to stroll through St. James Cemetery where one finds the remains of many, many "name partners" in the large Toronto firms, like the Blakes, the Oslers, the Beattys and many more.  But it is worthy of note that both Beatty and Chadwick were heavily involved in the affairs of the Anglican Church in Toronto  and that their  firm had a professional involvement in church matters.

 

      Since 1884 Beatty, Chadwick and their firm had been key players in a significant, albeit much troubled, project of the Church – the building of St. Albans Cathedral, a magnificent new Anglican Cathedral being constructed just north of the then city boundaries in the area which came to be known as the Annex.  William Howland, who owned the land, sold it to a syndicate headed by both Beatty and William Howland's son, Oliver, each then managing partner of a different law firm.   St. Albans Cathedral was to be the centre piece of the development to be known as Cathedral Park.  When the project later failed, Chadwick, who did the real estate and conveyancing work for the syndicate while serving on the building committee for the new cathedral,  would be much criticized. 

 

      Let us profile some of the key members of the firm in 1902 and in doing so take special note of the factors that linked them together as a firm – their religion, their social standing, their politics and in many cases their ties to the Gooderham family.

 

 

The Beatty’s:  Father, Son and Son-in-law

 

      William Beatty was the managing partner, overseeing the many details of the firm’s operation.  He practised as a business lawyer, helping his clients establish and manage their businesses.  He oversaw incorporations, help raise and invest funds and negotiated on their behalf.  But Beatty was more than a business lawyer.  He was also a businessman.  As the Bank of Toronto Board noted, "His wide experience in commercial affairs and his far-sighted and well balanced judgement made his counsels of the highest value and his deep sense of responsibilities...made him most scrupulous in the discharge of [his] duties".   

 

      By 1902, Beatty was one of the most prominent members of the developing Canadian financial community.  He served as a director of Gooderham & Worts, Limited, as Vice-President of London and Ontario Investment Company, the Toronto General Trusts Corporation (Canada's first trust company),  the Bank of Toronto and the Canada Permanent Mortgage Corporation.  He was also President of the Confederation Life Association  as well as the Toronto Silver Plate Company, a company in which he and several of the Gooderhams had a substantial shareholding.   He was active in the Toronto Board of Trade, acting as their legal counsel.  He also co-authored with Wallace Nesbitt  a set of arbitration rules for the board and had represented the Board in 1896 at the Congress of the Chambers of Commerce of the Empire in London, England.  He also served as President of the Old Boys Association and as a trustee of Upper Canada College.

 

      Beatty did what he could to direct the legal work from these various enterprises to his law firm.  There were instances, however, when he did not do so.  Beatty was one of the original “promoters” of Confederation Life in 1871.   He served on its board of directors until shortly before his death. He was a member of its Insurance Committee.   He became its Vice President in 1893 and its President in 1902.  Yet notwithstanding this close connection, Beatty’s firm never seems to have provided legal work to Confederation Life.  This was done by James Beatty, Q.C., who was not related.  It may have been thought to have been inappropriate to have the firm represent Confederation Life because they acted for Manufacturers Life, a Gooderham company. 

 

      Ironically, it seems to have been the Gooderham family that got Beatty involved in Confederation Life.   One of the other promoters was William Gooderham junior, the eldest son of William Gooderham, the uncle and partner of Beatty’s father-in-law.  William junior lacked the business acumen of his father  and Beatty was likely asked to assist young William in representing the family interest in Confederation Life.  Beatty did, however, invest some of his own money in the enterprise, becoming a holder of 50 shares and the seventh person to be insured by the company.   Both Beatty and William Gooderham were elected to the board of the new company but William Gooderham dropped off the board the next year.

 

      Although, in Beatty’s words he did not take "any active interest in politics",   he was a "true blue Conservative"  and when he thought it necessary, he used his political connections and his personal friendship with Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Charles Tupper to assist his clients.  In 1879, for example, he had asked Sir John A. to intercede on behalf of the Bank of Toronto which was seeking to collect some money owed by the federal government to one of the Bank's debtors in connection with the building of the Lachine Canal.   In 1888, he had called on Sir John A. to assist the Gooderham & Worts Distillery in preventing the Canadian Pacific Railway from using the former estate of his father-in-law, located just north of the distillery, for a shunting yard.   He made it clear that he and George Gooderham had “a claim not only as citizens” on Sir John, an obvious reference to financial and other help they had provided to the Prime Minister. 

 

      On Sir John A.'s death, Beatty had been chosen by the local Conservatives to chair the Macdonald Memorial Committee of Toronto.   Interestingly he consistently refused appointment as Queen's Counsel and later King's Counsel, when the honour was offered, first by Macdonald and later by Tupper,  perhaps because he thought it an honour properly bestowed on barristers and he had never acted as one.

 

      By 1902 one of Beatty’s sons and one of his sons-in-law were members of the firm.  Wallace Nesbitt, Beatty’s son-in-law, had left McCarthy Osler Hoskin in 1892 where he had juniored for two of Canada's leading barristers, D'Alton McCarthy and Britton Osler, to join the Beatty Blackstock firm.  He was then 33 years old.  As the 1898 Men & Woman of the Times  stated, during his days at McCarthy’s, he had been “connected with many important suits, among them the historic legal fight between the firm of Conmee and McLennan, contractors and the Canadian Pacific Railway and the memorable St George's railway disaster”. When Wallace Nesbitt joined the firm he was a widower but a few years later he married Amy Gertrude Beatty, Beatty's daughter.  

 

      In 1898, three years after being called to the bar, Charles William Beatty, William Henry Beatty’s second son joined the firm.  Significantly C.W. was also George Gooderham’s son-in-law, having married Lillian May Gooderham in 1896. 

 

 

Edward Marion Chadwick

 

      Although E. Marion Chadwick was still with the firm in 1902, by then he was playing a much smaller role.  Chadwick's legal practice focussed on real estate conveyancing.  J.B. Robinson, who would join the firm in 1918 as a conveyancing lawyer, recalled that:

 

He was an expert in conveyancing and he designed most of the forms used in the office, deeds, powers of attorney, mortgages, etc. and we printed our own forms for many years. He was very strong on not using any excess verbiage and his power of attorney took only one page and was very complete. He also ignored any punctuation in a document claiming that if the words did not speak for themselves without punctuation, the deed was not properly drawn. 

 

      Perhaps it is not surprising that as a founder of a firm in which family connections were so important, Chadwick was a noted genealogist.  As time went on, this work consumed more and more of his energy.  In fact, The Dictionary of Canadian Biography prepared by Stewart Wallace lists Chadwick as a "genealogist."  From 1898 to 1901 he edited the Ontario Genealogist and Family Historian.  He also wrote a leading work entitled Ontarian Families, which was published in 2 volumes in 1894-98 and has been republished a number of times since, most recently in 1974.  Other books he wrote include The People of the Long House (1898)  and later The Chadwicks of Guelph and Toronto (1914). 

 

 

The Blackstock Brothers

 

      From 1892 the firm had been known as Beatty Blackstock.   This reflected the key role played by Thomas Gibbs Blackstock and his brother, George Tate Blackstock, as well as the declining importance of Chadwick. 

 

      T. G. Blackstock had joined the law firm in 1879  at a time when he was engaged to Harriet Victoria Gooderham, one of George Gooderham’s daughters.  They were married early in 1880.   Thomas had been called to the bar in 1877 and for a time had practised with Alexander McNabb under the name McNabb & Blackstock.  He was the son of the Reverend William S. Blackstock D.D., a Methodist minister who had married into the Gibbs family, a prominent Ontario family.  Reverend Blackstock was pastor of the Berkeley St. Methodist Church.   Thomas Gibbs Blackstock was named after his grandfather, Senator Thomas Gibbs who had joined William Beatty as one of the promoters of the Confederation Life Association. 

 

      T. G. Blackstock, who was said to be "one of the best known members of the Ontario Bar", had a "corporation law" practice.   He assisted Beatty in advising the Gooderham family businesses.  He acted as solicitor for the Bank of Toronto (Blackstock was a shareholder and acted as scrutineer for the Bank's general meetings from 1888-97 and again in 1901) , Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, Gooderham & Worts, Limited, the Central Ontario Railway and other businesses in which the Gooderhams invested their funds.  The fact that he lived immediately north of George Gooderham's mansion in a house that Gooderham had built for him and his wife underlines the close relationship between the two men.   He assisted George in many projects including the building of the King Edward Hotel, in connection with which Blackstock acted as President of the King Edward Hotel Company.  He was also involved in some mining ventures, serving as Vice President of the War Eagle, Centre Star and St. Eugene Mining Companies.   In 1901 he had successfully petitioned the federal government to encourage the development of lead mining and smelting in British Columbia.  He is said to have "made an urgent plea for a bounty on lead refining, to be limited in amount, duration and as to tonnage, and claimed that much incidental benefit would accrue to other mining interests from such a policy". 

 

      George Tate Blackstock, Thomas Gibbs' brother, was one of Canada's leading trial lawyers.  His joining of the firm was meant to strengthen a serious weakness in the firm.  In 1890, when George Gooderham, the firm's foremost client, launched a legal action against the City of Toronto,  the lead counsel was not a member of the firm.    Obviously this was not a healthy state of affairs for the firm.  Within two years. George Tate Blackstock had joined the firm.  G.T. Blackstock and Wallace Nesbitt would lay the foundation for the firm's reputation as a top litigation firm.  

 

      When G.T. Blackstock died in December 1921, he was referred to as "one of the foremost members of the Canadian Bar, whose name is associated with many a cause celebre."  Like Beatty and Chadwick, he was politically Conservative.  George Tate, however, was much more active politically than his partners.  He often spoke in support of the Conservative Party and he ran for office provincially in 1884 in Lennox and federally in 1887 and 1891 in West Durham.  Each time he was unsuccessful despite his ability as a gifted speaker.  He was an ardent supporter of the British Empire, calling for a union of the English speaking races. 

 

      G.T. Blackstock had been called to the bar in 1879, joining the firm of Rose McDonald Merritt & Blackstock.   The senior partner of that firm was John Rose, whose son, Hugh, would later join the Beatty firm.  Blackstock was then “a dark-haired, good looking fellow, with an easy and friendly gift of conversation and an entire freedom from restraint or nervousness on social occasions”.   In 1882, Blackstock had left to join Wells Gordon & Sampson, but this was short-lived and soon he was practicing as a barrister on his own.  He had an active litigation practice, travelling about the province acting in both civil and criminal actions and as both a defence counsel and as a crown prosecutor.  He acted for the Bank of Toronto on occasion, likely work referred to him by his brother.  He was for a time counsel to the Canadian Pacific Railroad  and was involved in the late 1880’s in the arbitration between the Canadian Pacific and the federal government over the character of the road handed over by the federal government.   Then in 1890 he earned much admiration for his skillful, although unsuccessful, defence of Reginald Birchall in a famous Woodstock murder trial.

 

      By 1892, however, Blackstock was beginning to experience serious personal problems.  It may well be that he was offered a position in the firm to assist him through a difficult time.  He was finding it harder to give his law practice the attention it observed.  His friend, Wyly Grier, a noted portrait painter, would later write in his memoirs that “at times when he was the leading barrister on one or other side of cases of great moment, which called for his undivided absorption in the issues at stake” “domestic worries” “made him distraught and preoccupied”.   His wife would divorce him in 1896, but it is unclear whether his family problems were the source of or the result of his personal difficulties.  Wyly Grier states:

 

A sinister cloud had arisen on the apparently brilliant horizon of this gifted lawyer, nor am I able to say he was entirely blameless when it enveloped him.  Battles in court and minor conflicts at home gradually undermined the nervous system which had evoked my father’s admiration and bereft Osgoode Hall of one of its most brilliant figures.  I remember that a symptom of the approaching breakdown of our friend was confided to me (or more correctly, to my brother, Alex Munro).  Blackstock had stated that when waiting for his turn to address the court the perspiration would drop off his finger-ends.

 

      At the suggestion of T. G. Blackstock, his brother-in-law,  Melville Ross Gooderham, one of George’s sons, joined the firm in 1901.  Ross Gooderham, characterized as "a shy, reserved man, who lived very simply",  was not a force in 1902 but he would be a key figure in the reshaping of the firm.

 

Lawyers from Other Prominent Families

 

      Thomas Percival (“Percy”) Galt, then 27, had joined the firm in 1885.  He was another member of a prominent Anglican family who attended St. James Cathedral,  being the third son of Thomas Galt, who in 1887 became Chief Justice of Ontario.  He was also the nephew of Alexander Tilloch Galt, a Minister of Finance and one of the Fathers of Confederation.  Although Galt would remain with the firm for almost 30 years, he never rose to a position of prominence in the firm or the profession.  He was a competent litigator  but lacked the skill and drive of many of the other litigators in the firm.

 

      When George Tate Blackstock joined the firm, he brought with him his junior, Alexander Munro Grier, the brother of Wyly Grier, the noted portrait painter.   Munro Grier had been born in England where his family had travelled from Australia.  He had spent some time in Toronto in 1876 when he had first met the Blackstock brothers.  He returned with his family to England and was called as a barrister in 1882.  He had then returned to Toronto, where he was called in 1884.  He had assisted Blackstock in the 1880’s in the arbitration between the Canadian Pacific and the federal government and other similar work.  He too was an Anglican.

 

      Hugh Rose, another litigator in the firm, was the son of John Edward Rose, a judge of the Ontario High Court of Justice.   Born in 1869, he had attended the University of Toronto and graduated with a B.A. in 1891 and an LL. B. in 1892.  He had articled with Maclaren Macdonald Merritt & Shepley and been called to the bar in 1894.   He seems to have joined the Beatty firm about 1900. 

 

The Fasken Brothers

 

      David Fasken was in many ways unlike the other members of the firm.  He was not a member of the Toronto establishment.  He was one of nine children of a Scottish farmer from Elora.  He was a dynamic, entrepreneurial Methodist and a Liberal.  Fasken had been born on the family farm on December 31, 1860.  After graduating from Elora High School, he had entered the University of Toronto, graduating  in 1882 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  He had articled with the Beatty firm, been called to the Bar in 1885 and began his practice with the firm, then known as Beatty, Chadwick and Blackstock.  Why this bright young Methodist joined a staid, Conservative firm is not known.  Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the father of Thomas Gibbs and George Tate Blackstock was a Methodist minister.  Perhaps it was related to the fact that William Gooderham, George’s older brother, was a Methodist.  More likely the answer lies in Marion Chadwick’s links to Wellington County, where Chadwick was from and where the Faskens had their family farm.

 

      Whatever the reason that David Fasken came to the firm, the reality was that he had administrative abilities, drive and ambition beyond those of his colleagues at the firm – qualities that undoubtedly endeared him to Beatty.  As one biographer would later say, "His outstanding traits were a capacity for sustained and concentrated effort, close attention to detail, and absolutely unprejudiced weighing of facts."   Fasken's role in the development of Excelsior Life Insurance Company is very revealing.  Shortly after the incorporation of the Excelsior Life Insurance Company (originally called the Protestant Life Insurance Company) in the late 1880's by the Orange Lodge of Toronto, David Fasken became a shareholder.  The company got off to a slow start and Fasken bought up many of the shares of the struggling, young company.  He also encouraged the Gooderhams to invest in it.  Their shares together with his own gave Fasken control of the company.  On February 13, 1900, he was elected President, a position that he was to hold until his death.  Although he directed the company’s operations on a part time basis, he built the insurance company into a very successful and profitable business.

 

      By 1902 David Fasken was already well established.  That year he moved into his newly constructed, stately home designed by E.J. Lennox, the architect for the new Toronto City Hall who had also designed an office building for W.H. Beatty and the Gooderham-funded King Edward Hotel.   Within the firm, Fasken played a key role.  Correspondence from 1896 in the firm's archives casts some light on the nature of Fasken's role in the firm (as well as the economics of practise at the time).  It seems that the Ocean Accident & Guarantee Corporation of London, England had heard of the firm.  In fact, their general manager would say in a letter of July 31, 1896 that they had "been mentioned to [them] in the highest possible terms".  As a result, the local agent of the company, George Bennett, wrote to the firm on June 29 stating:

 

I am instructed by our General Manager to ask if you will act as our Solicitors for Toronto at an annual retainer of $150 from, say, July 1st next.

We would expect for this all consultations, opinions, the drawing up of documents etc. when required, making collections when necessary and generally all assistance in settling claims as between lawyers.  We would expect you to charge fees only when a case goes into court and then only the taxed costs.

 

      Beatty responded on July 8th, apologizing for the delay by saying that both he and “our Mr. Fasken to whom all matters of this sort are usually referred” had been away from the city.  He was happy to “note a general retainer” for Ocean Accident but went on to negotiate its precise terms.

 

      It seems that Fasken had assumed the role of Beatty's administrative assistant or office manager.  In 1902, Beatty was the President of the Confederation Life Association and, given George Gooderhams’ failing health, he was assuming an increasing role in such Gooderham ventures as the Bank of Toronto and Canada Permanent.  All of this meant that Beatty simply did not have the time necessary for the day to day management of the law firm.  Increasingly this fell to “our Mr. Fasken”.

 

      David seems to have shared some of this responsibility, as well as many client matters) with his younger brother, Alexander Fasken, who had joined the firm in 1899.  Alex (referred to by David as"Dutch")  was the youngest of the Fasken children.  He had been born on June 27, 1871, on the family farm.  After graduating from Elora High School, he had attended the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School.  He had articled with Cassels and Standish and been called to the Bar in 1894.  Initially, he opened a practice in Fergus, Ontario, but after five years he acceded to David’s request and joined him at the firm. 

 

Other Non-Establishment Lawyers

 

      One suspects that it was David Fasken who lured the talented out-of -towner, William Renwick Riddell, to Toronto in 1895.  Like Fasken, Riddell was a supporter of the Liberal Party and was from out of town.     Riddell, who had been the gold medalist on his call to the Bar in 1883, left his practice in Cobourg to come to Toronto.  He had already been a Bencher of the Law Society for four years, an office he continued to hold in 1902. 

 

      Riddell's Liberal connections brought him some interesting briefs.  In 1895 he represented the leaders of the University of Toronto student body before a Royal Commission.  One of the student leaders was William Lyon Mackenzie King, who would later become leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister of Canada.  In 1903, Riddell would be counsel to the Ontario Liberal government in the Gamie Inquiry and the next year he and Wallace Nesbitt would act for the City of Toronto in an investigation into certain election irregularities. 

 

      Another out-of-towner likely brought to the firm by the Faskens was Harper Armstrong, who had joined the firm in 1898.  Harper would work with Alex Fasken on many projects.  It may well be that Alex was his brother-in-law.  In 1896, Alex Fasken had married an Isabelle Armstrong of Fergus.

 

      Thus in 1902, we find the firm loosely divided into two groups.  Beatty led the largest group of Toronto establishment lawyers but his office administrator, David Fasken, had already started to introduce lawyers into the firm who did not fit the Toronto establishment mold.

 

The Fasken Firm in 1915

 

      If we skip ahead to 1915 we note that the firm had only seven lawyers (one of whom was no longer very active) – a dramatic reduction from the fifteen lawyers of just 13 years before.  There were no members of the Beatty, Blackstock or Gooderham families in the 1915 firm.  In addition to the two Fasken brothers, the firm had only four active members:  Harper Armstrong, who assisted Alex Fasken with the solicitors work, and Hugh Rose, George H. Sedgewick and Mahlon K. Cowan who were litigators.   By this time E. M. Chadwick was 75 years old.  Beyond serving as the principal link to the past, he played little role.  J. B. Robinson, who joined the firm in 1918, tells us that Chadwick “did not do any active work but came in nearly every day.  He was not given his own steno and he used to employ a public steno in the building.   Unfortunately he was very deaf and any conversation was difficult."  

 

      What had happened?  It seems that the transformation of the firm can be attributed to several factors.  First, the generation of William Beatty, Thomas Gibbs Blackstock and George Gooderham, their client, had drawn to its close.  Secondly, the management of the firm had been fully assumed by the Fasken brothers, who had re-oriented the firm and taken it into new areas of practise.  Let us look at how the Fasken transformation occurred.

 

 

The Transformation of Beatty Blackstock

 

      The first indication that the shift from Beatty's management to that of David Fasken troubled at least some members of the firm was the departure in 1903 of Beatty’s son-in-law, Wallace Nesbitt.  On May 16, 1903, at the very young age of 45, Nesbitt was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.  As Snell and Vaughan say in their history of the Supreme Court, “Though lacking judicial experience, Nesbitt had an outstanding reputation as counsel, and his nomination to the Supreme Court was widely acclaimed.”   Snell and Vaughan note that the Nesbitt appointment represented a break with the patronage appointments of the day in part because Nesbitt was so young.  It seems clear in retrospect that Nesbitt wanted out of the Fasken managed firm.  Nesbitt did not want to offend his father-in-law by going to another Toronto firm so he accepted an appointment to the Bench.  Within two years, Nesbitt decided that he had made a mistake in seeking his escape through the Supreme Court, which was then riddled with dissension and was not highly regarded.  For "reasons purely private" he resigned from the court.   Significantly he did not return to the Beatty Blackstock firm.  Instead, he rejoined the McCarthy firm and continued his distinguished career, later becoming Treasurer of the Law Society.

 

      In a seemingly unrelated move, Munro Grier also left to take up a position at the Canadian Niagara Power Company, a firm that Beatty would later take over.  It may well be that Beatty was behind this departure, moving one of his lawyers to a business in which he and the Gooderhams had invested.

 

 

Cobalt and the Mining Industry

 

      In 1903 David Fasken began making moves that would in part change the nature of the law practised by the firm.  Under Beatty, the firm's key clients had been financial institutions like the Bank of Toronto, Toronto General Trusts, Canada Permanent and Manufacturers Life.  Although T. G. Blackstock had done some mining work, Fasken was about to direct the firm into mining law in a big way.

 

      At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century the Ontario government saw the possibility of encouraging settlement in the “Clay Belt” west of Lake Temiskaming.  This desire to open the region to farming and the timber industry spurred the development of the mineral resources of Northern Ontario.  The government began to build what is now the Ontario Northland Railway.   By 1903 it had reached the north end of Long Lake where cobalt, nickel and some silver were discovered.  David and Alex Fasken played a key role in the successful development of these finds.  As a later observer said, “David and Alex Fasken, in the late 1890’s, were among the first to see the possibilities of mining development in Northern Ontario.”    When the Cobalt discovery was made,  David acted quickly with Ellis P. Earle and other New York-based investors to form a company, the Nipissing Mining Company Limited, to finance its development.  They secured claims covering over 846 acres.  As the Cobalt Daily Nugget (the local newspaper) said in 1910, “About 5 times as large as the quarter section of a western farm, Nipissing occupies the very centre of the Cobalt Camp.  It is, in fact, the centre.” 

 

      The initial agreement drafted by David Fasken on behalf of the newly created Nipissing Mining Company stated that the owners of the original claims were to be paid 65 cents for each pound of cobalt mined to date.   There was also mention in the agreement of nickel and arsenic.  There was no mention of silver, which seems to have been thought to be incidental to the other minerals.  However, as one writer has said, “By the summer of 1904 high-grade silver ore was being shipped out by the carload, and when this news spread there was a rush of prospectors and mining men from all over the world to the wonderful silver camp at Cobalt.”   By 1908 the Provincial Geologist reported that Cobalt was “not only the world’s largest producer of silver, but it absolutely controls the market for cobalt.” 

 

      At the time, many bemoaned the fact that Americans and not Canadians had come to control the Cobalt mines.  The Monetary Times noted, however, that although Canadians had originally held virtually all of the claims, they had sold out prematurely.   It pointed out:

 

The president of the Nipissing Mines Company is understood to have paid $250,000 for the properties which were chiefly of prospective value.  The sellers thought that they had outwitted a Yankee.  Now, probably, they are assuring themselves that they were foolish to part with so great a property at so small a price.

 

      The truth is that Fasken’s American investors were willing to invest the large amounts of money that the commercial development of the finds required. David and Alex Fasken proved important in securing both the capital and the sources of power and other utilities necessary to mine in what was then a remote and rugged locale.   As E.P. Earle would state on Fasken’s death:

 

      ..from the beginning Mr. Fasken's guidance and cooperation had much to do with the success of the Company.

      In the early days of Cobalt when at times engineers were doubtful of the permanency of the camp, Mr. Fasken never lost faith and he showed his courage by investing large sums of money in the development of Hydro Electric for the Camp.  Subsequently, Mr. Fasken continued his cooperation in the development of power for Porcupine and Kirkland Lake.  Probably no one man did as much toward the development of the North country as did Mr. Fasken.

 

      David served for a substantial time as Nipissing's President and was one of its directors.  He was further involved in Cobalt’s development as a director and substantial shareholder of both La Rose Consolidated Mines Limited (which owned Violet Mining Company, Limited) and Trethewey Silver Cobalt Mine Limited, each of which had its mines at Cobalt.  In addition, by 1909 Alex Fasken was on the board of two other Cobalt mining companies:  the Chambers-Ferland Mining Company, Limited (Harper Armstrong was its Vice-President and George Sedgewick, another firm member, was on the board) and the Temiskaming Mining Company, Limited, for which he also acted as secretary-treasurer.

 

      David Fasken did not restrict his interests to mining in Cobalt.  He acquired the three power plants which supplied much-needed hydro electric power to the Cobalt workings and area and later to discoveries at Porcupine and Kirkland Lake.  In 1911 he merged them to form the Northern Ontario Light and Power Company Limited of which he was President.   He also organized the Northern Canada Power Company Limited.  As Morris Zaslow has said, “Cobalt was the opening victory in the long campaign waged by Canadians to wrest mineral wealth from the Precambrian Shield”   and the Faskens were important in achieving that victory. 

 

      The success of the Cobalt discovery spurred exploration throughout the region.  In the summer of 1909 the Dome gold discovery was made near Night Hawk Lake, near Timmins.  Again, the Faskens were quick to act to develop the claim.  This time it was Alex Fasken who led the way.  Alex represented the New York syndicate that obtained the option to exploit the claims.  He took an active role in the management of the new company, Dome Mines Limited, which the firm incorporated.  He was one of the original directors of Dome Mines and later became a Vice-President of that company.  When the story of Dome Mines was written, Alex Fasken and Jules Bache, who headed up the investors’ syndicate, were said to have been the “dominant personalities in the company structure”.  

 

      Following their successes at Cobalt and Porcupine, the brothers became active supporters of numerous mining exploration initiatives.  David was a part of the group of Canadian and American millionaires that formed the Canadian Mining Exploration Company, a venture that in 1912 was said to have 400 properties under consideration.  David and Alex were also key members of the syndicate that grubstaked the prospectors in 1914-15 who staked the Flin Flon mine in Northern Manitoba.  In 1915 David and Alex actually visited the site in northern Manitoba, travelling at times by oxen and by canoe .   They later formed part of the Toronto based investors syndicate that optioned these claims.  While the others sold their interest before the Flin Flon mine was developed, David hung on.  W. F. Currie, one of the original grubstakers, noted in 1927:  “We got out and were quite satisfied to do so.  Only David Fasken was left and I hear he’s made a very good thing out of sticking to the end.”  

 

      Through their hydro electric interests in Northern Ontario the Faskens became interested in the pulp and paper industry.  For many years Alex served as a director of Provincial Paper Mills Limited. 

 

      The Faskens directed the legal work for the mining and other companies that they were involved with to the firm helping it become expert in mining law, which in turn attracted other mining clients.  J.B. Robinson recalls in his memoirs that in 1918 when he joined the firm many of the firm’s clients were mining men from the north country.  There were long benches in the office for the use of the clients and at the end of each one was a large brass cuspidor.  The miners smoked big cigars and made frequent use of the cuspidors.

 

      In addition to what one might think of as legal work (such as incorporation, raising capital, negotiating and documenting joint ventures, dealing with disputed claims, tort actions and the like), the firm dealt with many matters that today would seldom be handled by lawyers.  Robinson noted that for many years the firm prepared and mailed the dividend cheques for Dome Mines and also handled the printing and mailing of its Annual Report.  “Often we would keep a group of the staff down at nights to handle the mailing.”  Robinson also recalled that “Considerable correspondence went between our office and the Dome Mines Office at South Porcupine and the Nipissing Mine Office at Cobalt and we were often given urgent letters to be taken not to the Post Office where there might be delay but directly to the Postal Clerk on the Northland train which left the Union Station every night about 6:00 p.m. It was not always easy to work your way through right to the train.”

 

 

Gooderham's Death and Beatty's Departure in 1905

 

      If there was a watershed in the transition from the Beatty firm to the Fasken firm, a point when the firm began to be shaped more by Fasken than by Beatty, it was in 1905.  In that year, George Gooderham, the man who directed the Gooderham businesses, died and W.H. Beatty and his son left.  The one event led to the other.  Gooderham’s death created an even greater need for Beatty to direct the Gooderham family businesses.  Beatty became the president of both the Bank of Toronto and the Canada Permanent.  Although W.H. Beatty’s name continued to appear first on the firm’s letterhead until his death seven years later, he ceased to practise after Gooderham’s death.

 

      With his father no longer active in the firm and David Fasken in charge, Beatty’s son, Charles William, also left.  He would practise for many years on his own before joining his son, named W.H. Beatty after his grandfather, in a firm known as Beatty & Beatty.   C.W. also became one of the founders of the York Club which was established in 1910 and which moved into his father-in-law’s mansion at the corner of Bloor and St. George.

 

      An incident in 1906 demonstrates the changed relationship between Beatty and the firm.  In June, Beatty engineered a take-over of the Canadian Niagara Power Company and became its President.  He arranged to have three former members of the firm appointed to the board:  Wallace Nesbitt, his son-in-law and now a member of the rival McCarthy firm, A. Munro Grier who had left the firm in 1903 and William Henry Brouse, a son-in-law of George Gooderham who had left the firm in 1899.  Grier acted as the secretary and in-house solicitor to the power company.   It is clear that the old family ties were still important to Beatty and that he still commanded loyalty, but these ties and this loyalty were no longer drawing people to the law firm.

 

      One month later, in July 1906 the firm suffered another blow that further accentuated the break with the past – Thomas Gibbs Blackstock died.  He was only 55.  The firm now was without its two principle “name partners”.  Beatty Blackstock now had neither Beatty nor Blackstock.

 

      In September in a written partnership agreement, the remaining partners of the firm gave formal recognition to David Fasken’s new status as managing partner.  The very fact that the partnership agreement was in writing seems to have been a break with the past. 

 

      The agreement dated September 1, 1906 was between William Henry Beatty, Edward Marion Chadwick, David Fasken, William R. Riddell, Thomas P. Galt, Harper Armstrong, Alexander Fasken, Hugh E. Rose and Melville Ross Gooderham.  The parties were to be co-partners for five years in the practice and profession of barristers, solicitors, notaries public under the firm name of Beatty Blackstock Fasken & Riddell. The practice was to be carried on “in the City of Toronto and all parties were to reside there”.

 

      Beatty was not to be required to perform any “actual solicitor work” but was to use “his best endeavours to procure business for the firm”. The agreement went so far as to state that Beatty would not interfere with the operation of the firm. He was to be “entitled to retain for his own use all emoluments coming to him from any directorship, trusteeship or any other business outside of the firm with which he may be connected”.  This is not surprising when one notes that he did not receive any income from the firm.  His “emoluments” and “the use of a room at the north east end of the building without charge” were all that he got.  In return, he agreed to “give all of the influence he [could] towards the promotion of the interests of the firm”.

 

      The agreement provided that David Fasken “shall be manager of the business of the firm and shall determine what line of work shall be done by the various partners”.  It is quite likely that Fasken’s power to determine each partner’s work did not sit well with at least some of his partners.  David Fasken was also to be entitled to maintain his connection with the Excelsior Life Insurance Company and to receive “the emoluments therefrom”.  If, however, he looked after Excelsior Life business during the day he was to arrange “for a proper retainer to cover the time expended by him”. 

 

      The agreement also made special provisions for Ross Gooderham, who, on his father’s death, had been appointed executor of the estate.  He was permitted to retain any commissions to which he was entitled as executor of George Gooderham’s estate as well as any director's fees payable to him for serving an any company's Board in connection with the estate.  He was, however, not to participate in any fees received by the firm from his father’s estate.

 

      Although many lawyers of this period combined law and politics, Fasken did not want his partners doing so.  No partner was to be a candidate for or contest any municipal, parliamentary or any public election.  George Tate Blackstock, who had political aspirations, is not listed as a partner in the agreement. It is unclear whether this provision, which must not have sat well with Blackstock, had anything to do with his changed status.  A similar provision was inserted in partnership agreements for many years thereafter.

 

      The net profits of the practice were to be divided amongst the partners as follows:

 

1.  Of the first $30,000.00 each year, David Fasken and William R. Riddell were to obtain $8,500.00 each, Alexander Fasken $2,500.00 and all others either $2,000.00 or $2,250.00.

 

2.  Profits over $30,000.00 were to be divided in varying percentages depending on the level of profit achieved. For example, if the profits fell between $30,000.00 and $45,000.00, David Fasken and William R. Riddell would get 35-5/6%, but if the profits were over $60,000.00 they received only 22-1/2%.  In this way Fasken and Riddell would be compensated for the base business that they brought to the firm, but there was some incentive to the younger partners to work hard and bring in new business.

 

      Each partner was entitled to one calendar month's holiday during the year.  If absent beyond that, he was to pay to the firm such amount for each day as the majority in interest of the members of the firm should decide upon. Riddell was permitted to take two months without deduction on condition that “if he shall argue any case in England [before the Privy Council] during the said months he shall not claim any extra vacation on that account”.

 

      David Fasken, himself, commented on the changed relationship between the firm and the Gooderham family interests when he appeared before the Royal Commission on Insurance in 1906 .  Fasken, as President of Excelsior Life, was questioned about his involvement with the Gooderhams.  The shares that George Gooderham’s estate had in the company, when combined with Fasken’s shares, represented control.  In light of the close connection that had existed between George Gooderham and the firm and the fact that his son and executor, Ross Gooderham, was one of Fasken’s partners, the Commission was interested in knowing to what extent these parties acted together.  Fasken’s answers are very revealing.

 

Q;    I suppose it is fair to say that the Gooderham Estate shares would vote along with your shares?

A:    I don’t think it is fair.  If it suited them they would vote just the opposite.  They would do just what was in their interest.

...

Q:    You have many interests in common with them do you not?

A:    No.

Q:    You think not?

A:    No.

Q:    You think that it is not a fair statement to make?

A:    No.  I act as their solicitor in a good many matters.

Q:    With emphasis upon the good many.  But outside of your professional work as a solicitor you say that there are not many financial matters that you are interested in together?

A:    No.

Q:    You are referring now to the present time?

A:    Yes.

Q:    Since when?

A:    Well, since Mr. Gooderham’s death.

 

      While the Commission counsel may have doubted Fasken’s replies, his comments seem to have accurately reflected his relationship with the Gooderhams and especially Ross Gooderham. 

 

      At this time Ross Gooderham was in fact using some of the money he inherited from his father to repurchase Manufacturers Life Insurance (which had been founded by the Gooderhams).  His brother-in-law Dr. James Frederick William Ross , who was also a Director of Excelsior Insurance, assisted in the repurchase.  Ross Gooderham assumed the role of Second Vice-President (a position previously held by his father).  Gradually, Gooderham would later say, he "drifted into insurance"  and away from the law.

 

      To add to the woes of the firm on October 10, 1906 Riddell accepted an appointment to the Bench.

 

A Time of Calm and Rebuilding

 

      In just four years, Beatty, his son, his son-in-law, William Riddell, Munro Grier and a young lawyer, R. McKay (who had joined the firm in 1898, likely fresh from his call to the Bar) had left the firm and T. G. Blackstock had died.  The firm obviously needed to be rebuilt.  David Fasken seems to have set out to do so and the next five years proved to be a period of relative stability and rebuilding.

 

      In 1906, the firm made one addition, George H. Sedgewick, then 28 years old.  He had articled with the firm, reading law with Riddell.    J. B. Robinson remembers him as "one of our Counsel when I joined the firm". He notes that Sedgewick "was a fine gentleman at all times" but that "he found the strain and pressures at the office very hard and it seemed to make him tense.”   He would later, in Robinson’s words, have “some difference with [Alex] Fasken” and would leave the firm in 1925.  He would act as Chairman of the Tariff Board of Canada and then as a Judge of the Ontario Supreme Court.

 

      In 1908, William Gooderham Blackstock, one of the sons of Thomas Gibbs Blackstock joined the firm. It may well be that he joined at the suggestion of his two uncles, George Tate Blackstock and Ross Gooderham, to assist them.  He, however, would only remain with the firm until 1911.

 

      In 1910, the firm added three new members – two juniors, Lionel Davis and G. E. McCann, and one established litigation counsel, Mahlon K. Cowan.  Cowan, like Riddell before him, was an experienced lawyer enticed to the firm by the Faskens.  He was from a farming family in Essex County and had been called to the Bar in 1890.  He had been elected as a Liberal M.P. in 1896 but resigned in 1900 to pursue his legal career.  He served as counsel to the Grand Trunk Railway from 1904-10.  After joining the firm he acted as counsel to the governments of Saskatchewan and Alberta against the railway companies in rate hearings.  Cowan was described "as a brilliant convincing jury lawyer” with “a powerful and vibrant voice which he used to good effect.  At times he was witty.  His tact, courtesy and attractive manner combined to make his presence an exemplar.  To his great natural powers, he added from his earliest days, remarkable powers of application."

 

      The next year the firm added another young lawyer, Austin G. Ross, who had been a medallist at Osgoode Hall Law School in 1907.  Like Fasken and Cowan, he was a "staunch Liberal".

 

      November 1910 brought a sign of things to come.  Because of poor health, W. H. Beatty resigned his various positions.   Significantly, Ross Gooderham ceased at this time to be a partner in the firm.  Although Gooderham continued to have some small role in the firm, he seems to have dedicated much of his time to the administration of his father's estate and to his business interests, especially Manufacturer’s Life Insurance.  Although it had been several years since Beatty was active in the firm, what happened to him still had an effect on the firm.

 

The 1913 “House Cleaning”

 

      The key role that Beatty had played in shaping the old Beatty Blackstock firm was emphasized when he died at his home on November 20, 1912.    David Fasken seems to have decided that the time was now right to clean house, ridding his firm of those hold-overs from the Beatty dominated firm who Fasken thought  were not carrying their weight.  Out of a sense of loyalty to Beatty, his former mentor, and to Chadwick, Fasken waited until after Beatty's death and the Chadwick 50th anniversary celebration to do his house cleaning.  In May, 1913, George Tate Blackstock, who had just returned from a stay in England, Percy Galt and Ross Gooderham, as well as young G.E. McCann, left the firm to form Blackstock Galt and Gooderham .  They packed their possessions and moved across Wellington Street from the Bank of Toronto building to the Gooderham ("Flatiron") Building. 

 

      The move does not seem to have hurt Fasken’s firm.  Certainly Blackstock was not the lawyer he had once been.  Galt had never been a "star" and Ross Gooderham was only practising part-time.  But one would have expected that the Faskens would have wanted to maintain good relations with the Gooderham family, which, although it lacked the drive and leadership of George Gooderham, still had a good deal of money and influence.  Perhaps the Faskens were confident in their own ties to the Gooderhams as well as in their new found mining wealth and their own power and influence in the Toronto and New York business communities.  It is important to note that the Bank of Toronto and some of the other Gooderham family business stayed with the eight remaining lawyers of the old firm. 

 

New Premises & A New Name

 

      The dwindling importance of the Gooderham connection to the firm became apparent in 1915 when the firm left the old Bank of Toronto building and moved into the newly completed Excelsior Life Building at 36 Toronto Street.  For the first time the firm was not located in a Gooderham-related office.   The Excelsior Life building was a tall building with all of the modern conveniences.  Like David Fasken’s own home and the Toronto Western Hospital (of which he was Chairman of the Board), it had been designed by the leading architect E. J. Lennox, working closely with David Fasken . 

 

      In a letter written on September 20, 1915, Chadwick described the new offices as:

 

...quite high toned.  Quite a handsome suite of rooms with stylish new furniture in several of the partners' rooms and oriental rugs and everything else to match.  We are in a handsome new building just completed from which we have grand views over most of our neighbours' heads.  From my room I can see most of the island and bay and have a very good view of the aviators learning to manage their machines.  There are two aviation schools on the island.  I can see the Niagara steamers coming and going for five miles or more.

 

      The move represented a new viewpoint in more ways than one.  It confirmed that the firm was moving further under the control of David Fasken who was effectively putting his firm in his building.  One of the lessons that David seems to have learned from the Gooderhams and W. H. Beatty is that you should always keep your business in the family.

 

      An even more striking indication of Fasken’s ascendency is found in the firm’s new name.  The May 1, 1915 Partnership Agreement between Chadwick, David Fasken, Mahlon Cowan, Alexander Fasken and Hugh Rose provided that the firm name was to be Fasken, Cowan, Chadwick & Rose.   There was to be no trace of the Beatty Blackstock name under which the firm had become a force in the Toronto legal community.  The agreement went further, providing that on the dissolution of the partnership, none of the partners would use the name “Beatty and Blackstock, or either of them as a firm name or part of a firm name.” without the consent of a majority of the partners, thus effectively ensuring that the former name would never again be used. 

 

      David Fasken continued to be “Manager of the business of the firm” and to “determine what line of work shall be done by the various partners”, but increasingly David was delegating these duties to his brother Alex.  The agreement noted that every partner other than David Fasken was “entitled to one calendar month's holiday during the year.  David Fasken, by contrast, was “entitled to such holidays from time to time as he shall desire to take”.

 

      David and through him Alex had tremendous power in the partnership.  The agreement, provided, for example:

 

In case of the death or retirement of any member of the firm or of the dissolution of the said partnership the value of the assets of the firm shall be left to the arbitrament of David Fasken, K.C., and the Accountant of the firm and in the event of the death or inability of either of them to act the same shall be fixed by the other and their or his decision shall be final and binding upon all parties and from which there shall be no appeal...

 

      Despite David’s dominant role, his compensation from the firm was limited.  Net profits up to $18,500.00 per annum were to be divided so that Cowan and Alex Fasken received $4,700.00, Mr. Chadwick $3,600.00, David Fasken $3,000.00 and H. E. Rose $2,500.00.  The profits over $18,500.00 were to be divided with 36% going to each of Cowan and Alex Fasken, 15% to H. E. Rose and only 13% to David Fasken.  This reflects the fact that law firm was no longer David’s principal source of income.

 

      Notwithstanding David’s smaller financial rewards, the agreement gave David Fasken, and to a lesser extent his brother Alex, very special treatment.  All other partners were required to devote all of their time to the partnership, accounting to the partnership for all commissions and revenues which they received in any way connected with the law practice.  David Fasken, however, was entitled to have connections with corporations or other businesses in which he was financially interested and to receive commissions and other fees from them, so long as all moneys that he received by way of retainer or other legal services rendered were the property of the firm.  Alexander Fasken was entitled to retain all commissions and other fees from his directorship in the Excelsior Life Insurance Company so long as the meetings of Directors were held in the evening.

 

      David Fasken indeed had many irons in the fire.  In addition to his work at the law firm, his presidency of Excelsior Life and his mining ventures, he found time to be a governor and president of Toronto Western Hospital (now affiliated with Toronto General) and a member of the Senate of the University of Toronto.  He gave freely of his time and money to many charities, giving more than $500,000 to Toronto Western Hospital alone.

 

      David’s dealings with Toronto Western Hospital, however, were not entirely altruistic.  David created strong links between the hospital, Excelsior Life and the law firm.  The doctors at the hospital provided medical reviews and opinions for the insurance company.  The law firm advised both institutions and even provided legal advice to the patients at the hospital.  J. B. Robinson recalls:

 

As solicitors for Toronto Western Hospital we were often called by the Superintendent to go out there to draw a will for a patient who would not otherwise be known to us. I didn't care much for this because you usually had to do something in long-hand and on one occasion the patient wasn't able to speak and could only make unintelligible sounds. I don't remember any of these wills ever coming into the office to be probated. There certainly was no opportunity for ‘Estate Planning’.

 

The Faskens

 

      By 1915, however, David’s interests lay elsewhere.  He moved to Texas, likely for health reasons.  J.B. Robinson recalled that by 1918 David was spending most of his time at his ranch near Midland, Texas.  He had a large office in the firm's Toronto Street premises, but he only came to Toronto for a few days each year.  The Fasken ranch was enormous – 220,000 acres purchased with the thought that he would subdivide the property for farming.  In 1917 David founded Fasken, Texas in east central Andrew County.  He incorporated the Midland Farm Company and built a railroad, the Midland and Northwest, to the site.  Many lots were sold but few people moved in and Fasken, Texas died in the 1920’s.  Later oil was found on the Fasken property and the family became one of the wealthy oil and ranching families in Texas.

 

      David Fasken died on December 3, 1929 after a lengthy illness.  He left an estate of nearly $2,000,000 (not including the value of the as yet untapped oil reserves on the Texas property).  The Supreme Court of Canada in a judgment dealing with the interpretation of his will would later characterize it as "very substantial".  His funeral was reported on the front page of the Toronto Daily Star, which, ignoring his other interests and achievements, ran the headline “David Fasken, Wealthy Mining Magnate Dies”.   Among the honorary pallbearers were E.P. Earle, the New Yorker who had invested in the Cobalt mines, Mr. Justice Riddell, one of Fasken's former partners, E. J. Lennox, Fasken’s architect, Edward Rogers Wood, the Canadian financier, and most significantly, Colonel Albert Gooderham, one of the sons of George Gooderham.   The presence of Colonel Gooderham was a clear indication that Fasken had not severed all ties with the family that had been so instrumental in the growth of the firm.

 

      On David Fasken's retirement from active practise in 1919, Alex became the Managing Partner of the firm.  As David's right hand man, Alex had assisted in the management of the firm for years.  The partnership agreement makes it clear that Alex, like David before him, was to be free to carry on other pursuits and did not have to dedicate his full time to the law.  Alex became the president of  Nipissing Mining, and the Northern Ontario Power Company (which later became part of the Power Corporation of Canada).  On David's death in 1929, Alex became the President of the Excelsior Life Insurance Company.  He continued David's support for the development of the Toronto Western Hospital. 

 

      Although David was gone, one sees many similarities with the David Fasken years.  Alex continued, for example, David’s practise of recruiting leading lawyers from out of town.  In 1917, Robert Spelman Robertson was lured from Stratford to join the firm, likely to replace Hugh Rose, who had been appointed to the Bench in December 1916 and Mahlon Cowan, K.C., who died in 1917.  To get him to come, Alex Fasken guaranteed him a minimum of $10,000 a year. 

 

      R.S. Robertson, born in Goderich, Ontario in 1870, was one of seven children.  He was called to the Bar in 1894 and practised in Stratford with John Idington, who would later be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada.  As the Globe and Mail would later state, he was "slight of build and genial in manner" and "a family man".  In politics, he was a Liberal.  He belonged to the United Church and was an advocate of Temperance.

 

      Like his brother, Alex was more a businessman than a lawyer.  Bryce Mackenzie noted that Alex “was more interested in business than in the practise of law.  On any legal matter, Mr. Fasken relied upon Mr. Robertson”.   Fasken had chosen his lawyer well.  On his retirement, the Globe stated that he was "recognized as one of the finest lawyers Canada has ever produced."  Robertson was dedicated to the law.  He was elected a Bencher of the Law Society, served as Chairman of the Benchers' Discipline Committee and in 1937 was elected Treasurer.  In December 1938 Robertson was named Chief Justice of Ontario, an office that he would hold for  for thirteen years.  He finally retired in 1952 at the age of 81. 

 

      Alex even more than his brother dominated the firm.  Later partnership agreements would state that Alex had “full authority to engage and discharge employees ... to fix their salary or remuneration and to define their duties”.   In fact, those agreements would go so far as to say that “all office furniture, furnishings, library, typewriters and equipment” were the sole property of Alex Fasken. 

 

      Alex oversaw all aspects of the day to day operations of the firm in a way that one suspects even his brother had not done.  J. B. Robinson recalled that:

 

... Fasken examined all the incoming mail each morning and arranged for its distribution among the partners. All mail was held until his arrival at the office even if he did not appear until noon. He had a good memory for what was going on in the office and would often call in a junior to find out the present status of a particular item...

 

      Both J.B. Robinson and Bryce Mackenzie in their memoirs recall that Alex had a board in his office with buttons that rang bells in every office.  He would ring when he wanted to speak to any member of the firm or with any secretary. Robinson recalled "even R.S. Robertson, the senior counsel, would have to leave his client to respond to a summons."  At times, Mackenzie stated, "He would put his arm across this panel and would ring every bell at once.  It created quite a rapid movement of bodies".  

 

      Alex Fasken died in an automobile accident on the Etobicoke Creek bridge on September 20, 1944, leaving an estate in excess of $1,000,000.  There was no fundamental change in the firm following Alex’s death as there had been thirty years before.  The firm continues to this day to be known as Faskens.  For many years it continued to recruit its lawyers principally from outside Toronto.  It continues to act for many of the clients like Excelsior Life (now Aetna Canada) and Dome Mines (now Placer Dome) that David and his brother help found and operate.  It has never again become the sort of establishment firm that Beatty Blackstock had been. 

 

Conclusion

 

      The way in which the Faskens transformed the Beatty Blackstock firm provides an interesting case study of how firms at the turn of the century were organized and developed and what could motivate fundamental change. 

 

      The Beatty firm prospered and grew as a direct result of its strong connection with the Gooderham and Worts families.  Those families provided both the legal work for the firm and acted as a source of lawyers.  To some extent, the law firm permitted Beatty to consolidate and enhance his social position. 

 

      For the Faskens, the law firm provided an opportunity to meet and learn from Toronto’s business elite, to make their fortune and achieve a social status they would not otherwise have enjoyed.  The Fasken brothers lacked the social connections of Beatty and his partners but they made up for it with their astute recruiting of skilled practitioners and their entrepreneurial drive which literally helped create the firm’s client base.  

 

      Although the Beatty firm had an international clientele, it is clear that it was deeply rooted in the Toronto business community.  The Gooderham companies, their principal clients, were based in Toronto.  Their lawyers were primarily drawn from prominent Toronto families.  Not surprisingly, their principal projects like the Cathedral Park real estate development and the building of the King Edward Hotel were in Toronto.

 

      The Fasken firm was to a much greater extent focussed outside Toronto.  David and Alex Fasken made their fortunes in Northern Ontario.  They drew their financing from the New York business community.  They recruited their lawyers from outside Toronto.  David went so far as to leave the city entirely to live in Texas even before he formally retired.

 

      In the Beatty Blackstock firm W. H. Beatty was not alone in having significant interests, business and otherwise, outside the firm.   Chadwick had his genealogical interests and his church involvement.  Thomas Gibbs Blackstock and Ross Gooderham were active in the management of Gooderham family businesses.  George Tate Blackstock was heavily involved in politics.  One gets the impression that to some extent the law firm was the place where the divergent interests of the partners intersected.

 

      The Faskens, by way of contrast, seem to have wanted the lawyers working in their firm to focus their energies on the law.  In the partnership agreements all partners, other than the Fasken brother themselves, were to dedicate all of their time to the practice of law.  In this sense, they reflected a changing attitude to legal practice.  They seem to have stressed talent and commitment rather than family connections.  They needed and wanted skilled professional lawyers to serve the legal needs of the companies that they created or attracted as clients.  They seem to have put less stock in being the largest firm.  They valued instead efficiency and profitability.

 

      The dramatic transformation of the Beatty Blackstock firm raises questions about the law firm as an institution.  What does it mean when someone says that one firm is the successor of another?  How does one measure continuity in a law practice?  Is it enough to have a continuing name, a continuity of clients, a continuity of lawyers?  For ease of reference, I have talked of the Beatty firm and the Fasken firm but this is obviously not entirely correct.  It is difficult, however, to characterize the firm as it existed during the Beatty Blackstock years and the Fasken firm as the same firm.  In one sense, they clearly were.  One literally could trace its origin to the other and had the legal right to hold itself out as the successor to the practice of the other.  But as we have seen in many ways they were very different and those differences arose from the differences in the two key lawyers in each firm.  

 

      The period of transition, particularly the years 1905 - 1906, was a difficult and troublesome one for the lawyers in the firm.  It helps us appreciate how important personalities are in keeping a firm together and functioning profitably.  Clearly the change in managing partners was not welcomed by all of the partners.  Until the Faskens peopled the firm with lawyers who accepted their leadership and their view of the firm, many lawyers left or were asked to leave.  In the 1890’s 11 lawyers had joined Beatty Blackstock and only one had left.  This contrasts strikingly with the period 1903 to 1913, when 13 lawyers (virtually the entire complement of lawyers in 1902) left and only 6 joined.  This illustrates the dramatic change that the Faskens brought about and reminds us that lawyers can and do move their individual practices from one firm to another when the benefits of partnership no longer compensate for the compromises that partnership brings. 

 

      Although the firm went through this difficult transition it did survive and continued to be quite successful.  Once established, it attracted and kept good lawyers and served significant clients.  Perhaps what it teaches us is that successful firms are ones that can adapt to different times and different personalities.

 

Appendix A

Names By Which the Firm was Known 1863-1995

 

Beatty & Chadwick 1863-1870

Beatty, Chadwick & Lash 1870-1876

Beatty, Chadwick & Lash; Beatty, Millar & Lash  1876-1878

Beatty, Chadwick & Biggar; Beatty, Millar & Biggar    1878-1879

Beatty, Chadwick Biggar & Thomson; Beatty, Millar Biggar

& Blackstock      1879-1882

Beatty, Chadwick, Thomson & Blackstock    1883-1885

Beatty, Chadwick, Blackstock & Galt; Beatty, Chadwick,

Blackstock & Neville    1885-1892

Beatty, Blackstock, Nesbitt & Chadwick    1892-1895

Beatty, Blackstock, Nesbitt, Chadwick & Riddell 1895-1898

Beatty, Blackstock, Nesbitt, Chadwick & Riddell;

Beatty, Blackstock, Galt & Fasken   1898-1903

Beatty, Blackstock, Nesbitt, Fasken & Riddell;

Beatty,Blackstock, Chadwick & Galt  1903-1904

Beatty, Blackstock, Riddell & Chadwick; Blackstock, Fasken

      Galt & Gooderham  1904-1906

Beatty, Blackstock, Fasken & Riddell      1906-1907

Beatty, Blackstock, Fasken & Chadwick     1907-1910

Beatty, Blackstock, Fasken, Cowan & Chadwick    1910-1915

Fasken, Cowan, Chadwick & Rose      1915-1917

Fasken, Robertson, Chadwick & Sedgewick   1917-1920

Fasken, Robertson, Chadwick, Sedgewick & Aitchison    1920

Fasken, Robertson, Sedgewick & Aitchison  1920-1922

Fasken, Robertson, Sedgewick Aitchison & Pickup 1922-1925

Fasken, Robertson, Aitchison, Pickup & Calvin   1925-1961

Fasken, Calvin, MacKenzie, Williston & Swackhamer     1962-1967

Fasken & Calvin   1967-1989

Fasken Campbell Godfrey 1989 - present

 

 



[1] <whitecedars@yahoo.com> 20/1/2002

[2] jacasper@execpc.com

[3] ikyer@tor.fasken.com (2/2005)