Editors Note: We would like to give a big thank you to the Okanagan Historial Society Kelowna for helping us gather documentation and assisting with the following article.
FH&P Lawyers LLP can trace its ancestry back in time to before Kelowna was incorporated as a city in 1905.
In 1903 John Ford Burne, became the first Solicitor in Kelowna. Burne was born in England and came to Canada in order to begin practicing law. In 1905, when Kelowna was first incorporated as a municipality, Burne was the first Police Magistrate for the City of Kelowna. Soon after, Burne became the first judge of the Small Debts Court of Kelowna. Burne decided to team up with a young lawyer named E. C. Weddell, and they became Burne & Weddell in 1917.
Burne stopped practicing law and became a Stipendiary Magistrate, while Weddell decided to carry on the legal practice and eventually met Jim Horn. This new partnership resulted in a name change to Weddell Horn. In the early nineteen thirties, Don Fillmore started a legal practice in Kelowna.His firm became Fillmore and Company. In 1979 the firm changed its name to Warden Ladner Berge. This firm went through several name changes as partners came and went, until becoming Berge and Company in the early 1990’s.
On July 1, 2001, Weddell Horn and Berge and Company merged to form Berge Horn.Berge Horn then went on to change its name to FH&P Lawyers, our present name.The initials are the first letters of the last names of the three senior partners at the time, Doug Flannigan, James Herperger, and Rod Pacholzuk.The firm decided to use initials to spare our poor receptionist from saying Flannigan Herperger and Pacholzuk many times a day!
Of our currently practicing lawyers, Doug Flannigan, Rodney Pacholzuk, Wesley Shields and Clay Williams came from the Berge and Company side.Don Lewthwaite is the last practicing lawyer still with us, from the Weddell Horn side.
Today, FH&P Lawyers LLP is comprised of 19 practicing lawyers, and many skilled paralegals and legal assistants. Over the years FH&P is proud to have some of our lawyers move on to become Masters and Judges.Some of our lawyers have received the coveted Queens Counsel designation, and one of our lawyers was even the President of the Law Society of British Columbia.
FH&P Lawyers LLP is proud to have served the Okanagan for over a century.
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