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. He was born in England and came to
Canada in order to begin practicing law and did so opening up an independent practice. When Kelowna was incorporated as a city in 1905, Burne was the first Police Magistrate. Two years later he was made the first judge of the Small Debts Court of Kelowna.
Life was getting very busy for Burne so he eventually joined with Anthony Temple to create the firm name Burne and Temple. Unfortunately, years later Temple was killed in World War 1.
Following the War, Burne went into partnership with a young EC Weddell in 1917 and thus became a charter member of the Law firm now known as FH&P Lawyers, which is the oldest continuously operating law firm in Kelowna.
Burne stopped practicing law and became a Stipendiary Magistrate in 1929 and moved to Salmo.
Weddell however decided to carry on the legal practice as the “City Solicitor” and eventually met Jim Horn in the summer of 1957 who he took on for Horn’s articles. The two worked well together and created a new partnership which resulted in a firm name change to Weddell Horn. Interestingly it was Weddell who introduced the sport of basketball to Kelowna through the Boy Scout Troop he had established.
In the late 1960’s Weddell Horn opened a second office in Kelowna, this time in Rutland.
At the same time as Weddell was practicing in the thirties, Don Fillmore joined TG Norris and William Bredin. On the outbreak of World War 2 both Norris and Bredin left to fight but Fillmore was not accepted because he was under weight. Staying back in Kelowna Fillmore continued to practice alone for the next five years and eventually the firm became known as Fillmore and Company in the 1950s. Fillmore took on a young Howard Berge as an associate and they worked together until 1969 when Fillmore and Company started to breakup. Berge along with Derril Warren and Hugh Ladner stayed under the Fillmore umbrella. Doug Flannigan then joined the firm in 1978.
Eventually a partnership was set up in 1979 and the firm changed its name to Warren Ladner Berge. However in 1982 the firm again divided into two parts as Warren and Ladner went on their own while Flannigan became a partner and he and Berge stayed and changed the name again to Berge (Jim) Bishop (Keith) Purvin-Good & Flannigan. A couple of years after this change Rod Pacholzuk joined as an Associate and would eventually become a partner in 1989. Prior to that, in 1987 brought on yet another name change when Berge hired William Thiessen and John Hannah for which they then practiced under the firm name of Berge, Thiessen and Company. Also in 1987 Jim Herperger became an Associate with the firm.
At the same time Jim Horn continued to build his practice in Kelowna, still under the name of Weddell Horn. In 1987 Don Lewthwaite returned to Kelowna from Alberta to join Horn and has not left.
Throughout the 1990s the Weddell Horn firm and Berge & Company continued to grow in both staff and popularity across the Okanagan. Wes Shields (1990) and Clay Williams (1995) each joined Berge & Company as Associates and are still with the firm today.
In the year 2000 both Lewthwaite and Pacholzuk, who at the time were at two different firms, began discussing a possible merger into one larger firm to able to assist more people seeking legal help throughout the Okanagan.
On July 1, 2001, their discussions became a reality when Weddell Horn and Berge and Company merged to form Berge Horn. The lawyers of this new identity offered a full-service firm practicing in most areas that they do still today.
Finally, in 2014 Berge Horn once again morphed into what we know today as FH&P Lawyers LLP. The initials are the first letters of the last names of the three senior partners that year, Doug Flannigan, James Herperger, and Rod Pacholzuk. The firm decided to use initials to spare the poor receptionist from saying Flannigan Herperger and Pacholzuk many times a day!
Today, FH&P Lawyers is comprised of 23 practicing lawyers, and many skilled paralegals and legal assistants. The firm has offices in Kelowna, Penticton and Salmon Arm helping clients throughout the Interior of British Columbia. Our lawyers offer a full-service law firm practicing in over 25 different areas of law with a combined 375 years of experience.
Over the years FH&P is proud to have some of our lawyers move on to become Masters and Judges. As a matter of fact Barbara M. Young was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 2015.
FH&P Lawyers LLP is proud to have served the Okanagan for over a century and are rooted in community & ready to help.