Our History

Albert Edward Dunn (Member of Parliament) was admitted as a Solicitor in the year 1885 and practised at Castle House, Castle Street, Exeter and took into Partnership Charles Baker, who after a short period of time left the Firm and went to London where he assisted in forming the well known firm of Kenneth Brown, Baker and Baker.

Albert Edward Dunn, a philanthropic gentleman, gave three of his employees namely Michael John McGahey, Albert Martin Alford and Thomas John Wembridge Templeman free articles and in due course they all qualified as Solicitors. Michael John McGahey obtained First Class Honours for which he received an Award from the Devon and Exeter Law Association for his distinguished achievement.

In due course Albert Edward Dunn retired and Messrs M J McGahey, A M Alford and T J W Templeman entered into partnership in the name of Dunn and Baker at the previous premises at Castle House, Castle Street, Exeter.

M J McGahey was a well known advocate in the City and together with T J W Templeman took an active part in the City’s interests. Mr McGahey with his then Managing Clerk, Sidney Herbert Thomas, assisted in the formation of the Exeter City Football and Athletic Club. Mr T J W Templeman was a local Councillor and also Mayor and Alderman of the Exeter City Council. S H Thomas was eventually appointed Life President of the Exeter City Football Club.

In 1932 Dunn and Baker moved from Castle House, Castle Street, Exeter to new premises at Castle House, 26/27 Southernhay West, Exeter which was destroyed by enemy air raids in 1942. After temporary accommodation in the home of M J McGahey in St Leonards, Exeter, new offices were acquired at Number 21 Southernhay East, Exeter.

In the early 1930s two of the Sons of M J McGahey and the Sons of A M Alford and S H Thomas took articles and on their being admitted as qualified Solicitors joined the firm as Assistant Solicitors and eventually became partners of the firm. These were Robert James McGahey, Arthur John McGahey and Ewart Angwin Thomas.

The firm continued to function during the Second World War with a very depleted staff with only Ewart Angwin Thomas and T J W Templeman remaining to carry on. R J McGahey served with the Royal Navy and A J McGahey in the Royal Air Force and also many members of the staff were in the Armed Services.

After the War the firm continued to practice as family Solicitors and with the Sons of A J McGahey and E A Thomas qualifying and joining the firm as Assistant Solicitors with Michael Ewart Thomas, Son of Ewart Angwin Thomas, eventually becoming a partner.

Both R J McGahey and Ewart Angwin Thomas completed more than 50 years’ service with the firm.

On the retirement of R J McGahey in 1973 Gareth Alan Fergus Owens who joined the firm in 1972 became a partner with Michael Ewart Thomas and Patrick C M Nicholls who had completed his articles with the firm and who was admitted in December 1974.

In 1978 due to the retirement of A J McGahey, R J McGahey and E A Thomas and also a number of senior Legal Executives, the firm of Dunn and Baker amalgamated with Roger M L Williams and Co, creating the Firm in its present format.

This firm was approved as a Quality Mark Specialist Provider in October 1999, with all branches being given the franchises in publicly funded work.

In September 2011 Dunn & Baker Solicitors joined the QualitySolicitors Network.


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