Our History

British Columbia’s trusted legal advisors since 1866

Crease Harman LLP (“Crease Harman”) traces its roots to 1858 when Henry Crease became the first barrister qualified to practice as a Barrister of Her Majesty’s Court of Civil Justice for Vancouver Island. The firm’s history extends back to 1866, making it the oldest law firm in British Columbia. Since its establishment, the firm has played a remarkable role in the evolution of the law in British Columbia and Canada. Based on its long and distinguished tradition of providing insightful and valuable legal advice Crease Harman continues to offer outstanding legal services to a diverse and expanding client base.

In Western Canada we are unique in being a law firm generations old. The benefit of this is that we offer services from lawyers with as much as 40 years experience at the bar as well as from newly called lawyers and articled students. Such variety permits the dynamics of the firm to be vital with youth and wise with experience. Crease Harman is proud of its lawyers and the powerful and effective interplay created by their divergent backgrounds, interests and experience. Our lawyers stay current with the fast-changing legal environment by attending and contributing to educational seminars and conferences. Crease Harman lawyers participate in the community by donating time and energy to many local charitable, political and sporting organizations.

At Crease Harman we honour our heritage, embrace the future and continue to focus on our primary goal – providing practical legal solutions to our clients in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

oldest law firm in BC

the early years at Crease Harman

Crease Harman's 1948 holiday party at our former offices in the Law Courts Building in Bastion Square featuring our lawyers and their legal assistants

Firm History

Crease Harman is the oldest law firm in British Columbia – extending back to 1866. The firm’s legacy is founded in a number of partnership lineages, including the Crease line (1891), the Davey and Pooley line (1879), and the Davie and Bodwell line (1866). The firm has a long and distinguished tradition of providing valuable and insightful legal services.


The Early Crease Years

In 1858 Henry Crease became the first barrister qualified to practice as a Barrister of Her Majesty’s Court of Civil Justice for Vancouver Island. His son, Lindley Crease, followed in his father’s footsteps and founded his own firm in 1891. Frederick Fowkes was the managing clerk. Five years later Lindley’s younger brother, Arthur Crease, was called to the Bar and joined the firm – which then became known as Crease & Crease. Frederick Fowkes was called to the Bar in 1909 and became a partner in the firm the following year.


In 1940 Crease & Crease amalgamated with the firm of Davey & Baker. Five years later there was another amalgamation with Lawson & Davis (which in turn was a prior amalgamation of Davey and Pooley with Davie and Bodwell). In 1949 the firm moved from the Central Building, where it had been for thirty-seven years, to 530 Bastion Street. The firm adopted the name Crease & Company in 1957.

Crease & Company moved from the Bastion Street offices to the Bentall Building in 1964 where it occupied the top floor. In later years the firm expanded into the 7th floor and an inside stairway was built between the two floors. Crease & Company amalgamated with Harman & Company in 1992 and became Crease Harman & Company.

Present Day

Effective December 17, 2009, Crease Harman & Company became Crease Harman LLP. Crease Harman continues to occupy the 7th and 8th floors of the Bentall Building, or the TD Bank Building as it is now called, and continues the tradition of excellence and trust.

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