Towards 200

Shaping the future with our clients, people and communities

This year, Allens will turn 200

As Australia's oldest law firm, we've been there for the nation-building projects, major transactions and reforms that have changed the face of Australia and the region. We've worked alongside industry pioneers, innovators, and champions of justice and reform who have shaped the course of our economy and society, sometimes in ways you might not expect.

A lot has changed in 200 years, including us. One thing that's endured is our commitment to evolving and shaping the future with our clients, our people and our communities. Here's just a taste of our story, as we look towards our 200th anniversary, and beyond.

A glimpse into our history

Hidden treasures

Research for the Allens history book has turned up a variety of interesting items, among them a hand-drawn map of Brisbane from 1849 and a mallet used by founder George Allen in 1859 to lay the foundation stone for a new chapel in Newtown, Sydney.

Lawyers draft wills better than authors

When legal practices were first established in Australia, a significant portion of their work involved the management of complex wills and estates. However, over time, the founding firms of Allens shifted their focus from managing family estates and trusts to become predominantly commercial practices. This is the story of the firm's involvement in celebrated author Nevil Shute's will.

It all started in 1822

Allens was founded on 22 July 1822, the day 21-year-old George Allen was admitted as an attorney and solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and became the first person to complete their full legal training in Australia. When he began his small legal practice in a cottage on Elizabeth Street in Sydney, he could not have foreseen the story that would follow.

Helping Bush Heritage preserve precious land

Since 1995, Allens has committed thousands of hours of expertise to helping Bush Heritage with its vision of healthy Country, protected forever. This includes 14ha of land in the Liffey Valley of Tasmania, which former Australian Senator Bob Brown gifted to the organisation in 2011 with support from Allens.

Supporting critical Australian infrastructure

17 October 1949 marked the official start of what is still considered one of the largest and most ambitious engineering projects ever undertaken in Australia – the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

Seeking justice for the Stolen Generation

Right from the start, almost 200 years ago, Allens has shown support for Australia's Indigenous communities and, in 1996, we helped pave the way towards the National Apology through our involvement in the first Stolen Generation legal trials.

First true civil libel case in Australia

In 1817, 16-year-old George Allen was just a few months into his legal training when he found himself amidst one of the most interesting legal cases in the colony of New South Wales. George had just entered his articles of clerkship with Frederick Garling when Garling was appointed to represent defendant John Thomas Campbell in the first true civil libel case in Australia.


This is Allens

Our people are making history every day.

Allens has grown to become the story of many people. As a team, we have many different stories, but we stand side-by-side in delivering exceptional outcomes and shaping the future with our clients and communities.


After Allens

Our alumni have gone on to fascinating and diverse careers after Allens, and we're proud to recognise their achievements.

From campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights and championing gender equality in Australian business through to ethical investment and supporting access to early childhood education, the ripple effect of great Allens people is felt by many.



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