In 1995 two of the oldest law firms in the district Gordon Garling Giugni of Young and Harney and Moffitt of Grenfell merged. The new firm Gordon Garling Moffitt established offices in Young, Grenfell and Sydney. The firm name Gordon Garling Moffitt was chosen to reflect the history of its members.
The combined firm offers the expertise of a large number of lawyers operating at a high level in their areas of special interest.
Origin of Gordon Garling Giugni
Gordon Garling Giugni started operations in September 1869 when the founder James Gordon opened his practice in the gold mining town of Young (then called Lambing Flat).
Mr Gordon was originally associated with Mr E A Scarvell, a Braidwood solicitor, and as a result the firm was known as Scarvell and Gordon in the 1860’s (just after the American Civil War). During the course of the following years James Gordon purchased the interest of Mr Scarvell and traded on his own account. The firm’s founder brought with him his extensive library, which included law books of the famous Victorian Judge, Sir Redmond Barry, who was the man who passed the sentence of death on Ned Kelly.
Gordon Garling Giugni's First Office in Young
James Gordon consolidated his law practice in Young and purchased a premises on Lynch Street, Young on June 24, 1881. During the next 100 years the firm operated from that building.
In 1914 the firm had expanded again and a Sydney solicitor Mr Henry Chester-Master Garling became a partner with James Gordon together with Walter Blackmore. The firm was then known as Gordon Garling Blackmore. During this period the firm maintained offices in both Young and Sydney, which was in those days quite a novel situation.
In 1917 Charles Giugni snr moved from Dubbo to join the firm. His son Gordon and grandsons Charles and Michael also subsequently joined the firm.
In January 1988 the firm re-established its Sydney office and acquired the Phillip Street practice of McKimm and Associates. The former proprietor Graham McKimm became a consultant to the firm.
Origin of Harney and Moffitt
Harney and Moffitt was founded by the late John Nevin Moffitt who began practice in 1897 as a solicitor under his own name. For a short period between 1917 - 1923 Gordon Greneger was a partner with John Moffitt in the firm.
Following John Nevin Moffitt’s sudden death in 1925 the practice, which was situated in the upstairs portion of the building now known as Tammy’s Hair Design, was purchased by James Augustine Harney in July 1925 and it became known as Harney and Moffitt.
Mr Harney who served his articles with Sly and Russell of Sydney was admitted to practice law in 1920. In 1921 Harney was appointed as public solicitor to act for Arthur Bryce Peden who had been convicted for the murder of his wife and a subsequent Royal Commission resulted in Pedan’s release in 1922. The story of Pedan’s release was the subject of a book written by Tom Molomby titles “Who Killed Hannah Jane” and was also the subject of a television series on the ABC.
In 1925, three days after James Harney moved into the late John Nevin Moffitt’s office, the building housing it was burnt to the ground and all documents, files, etc. (except those in the safe) were lost. Mr Harney then moved into the building known as 129 Main Street, Grenfell. This building has been occupied continually by Harney and Moffitt Solicitors of Grenfell since 1925 and no other building in the town has been occupied by the one occupier for such a long period of time.
In 1926 Hugh George Nevin Moffitt (known as Nevin), a son of the late John Moffitt commenced his articles at Grenfell with James Harney and was admitted as a solicitor on March 13, 1931 and following his admission entered into partnership with Mr Harney.
The partnership continued until 1936 when Mr Harney left the practice and returned to Sydney.
Mr Harney went to Oxford in 1936 and gained his masters degree and came back to Sydney to practice at the bar and died at sea near Rome in 1959. Peter Moffitt was articled to his father the late Nevin Moffitt and was admitted as a solicitor in August 1983. Following the death of Nevin in December 1985 Peter continued the firm Harney and Moffitt as a sole practitioner.
Grenfell Court House