The ownership of Western Canada’s oldest law firm changed hands in June 2018 following a purchase by Raymond P. Oakes, associated with the law firm of Booth Dennehy LLP.

The law firm of Tupper and Adams began 136 years ago and has continued with distinction through a series of partnerships. In 1882, two lawyers, Hugh John Macdonald and J. Stewart Tupper, joined their law practices in Manitoba to form a partnership known as Macdonald and Tupper. In succeeding years, a Tupper practised with the law firm until 1960. In 1916, Alexander Adams joined the firm and in succeeding years, an Adams practised with the law firm until 2008.

In June of 1882, Hugh John Macdonald (the son of Sir John A. Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada) established a law practice in Winnipeg. Two months later, J. Stewart Tupper (the eldest son of Dr. Charles Tupper, Premier of Nova Scotia, and later Prime Minister of Canada) arrived in the City of Winnipeg to practice law. These two lawyers formed a partnership known as Macdonald & Tupper and had their offices near the intersection of Portage (then known as Queen) and Main.

In succeeding years, the firm was joined by Stewart Tupper's youngest brother, William Johnston Tupper, who later became Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba; Sir Charles Stewart Tupper (son of J. Stewart Tupper); and Charles William Tupper (1821-1915; son of William Johnston Tupper). There was a Tupper practising with the firm from its inception in 1882 until the death of Sir Charles Stewart Tupper (1894-1960; called to the Manitoba Bar in 1908).

In 1916, Alexander Adams joined the firm and practised continuously with the firm until his retirement. He died in 1981. In 1946, his son, Raymond K. Adams, and in 1948, his son, Alan A. Adams, Q.C., joined the firm of Tupper & Adams. Raymond K. Adams died in 1991 and Alan A. Adams Q.C. practised law until 2008.

According to the successor of the firm, Raymond P. Oakes, the challenge is to keep this distinguished history alive and appreciated, while serving the current clients of Tupper and Adams and integrating them into his practise at Booth Dennehy LLP.

One of the most challenging issues is the retention of thousands of Wills safeguarded by the law firm for decades. Many of these Will clients have a lawyer named as an Executor, and in many cases, it is a lawyer who is deceased, such as the notable lawyer Allan Adams, who passed away in January 2018. Mr. Oakes will be seeking to contact these clients to have them select a new Executor.

Legal artifacts of the historic firm have been preserved by Mr. Oakes. 

Contact the office of Booth Dennehy LLP for more information or to schedule a consultation.

387 Broadway, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3C 0V5 | 204-957-1717