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Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
Limited Liability Partnership (Private)
Industry Law Firm
Founded 1887
Products Legal advice
Website http://www.gowlings.com

Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP (Gowlings) was a leading Canadian and international law firm, with over 700 legal professionals in 10 offices across Canada and in London, Moscow and Beijing. The firm offered full-service legal support in all major aspects of business law, advocacy/litigation and intellectual property law, with expertise in dozens of practice areas and industries.

On July 8, 2015, Gowlings announced that they would amalgamate with UK firm Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co to create a new international law firm called Gowling WLG.[1] The new firm launched in February 2016.[2]


Gowlings traces its origins to the firm Henderson & McVeity, which was founded in Ottawa in 1887.[3][4] As the firm grew over the next century, its name passed through numerous permutations, but three figures remained dominant: Gordon Gowling, George and Gordon Henderson.[5] In the 1980s, the firm expanded beyond its traditional Ottawa base, establishing offices in Toronto, Kitchener, and Moscow.

Starting in the mid-1990s, Gowlings methodically solidified a national platform through a succession of mergers with other law firms in Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Montréal and Toronto.[6] The firm eventually adopted the simple brand name "Gowlings" (which had long been in informal use).[7]


1970 - The firm assumes the name Gowling and Henderson (after founders Gordon Gowling and Gordon F. Henderson) in Ottawa
1980 - Gowling and Henderson opens a Toronto office
1986 - Gowlings merges with Simmers, Harper and Jenkins in Waterloo
1987 - Gowlings celebrates 100 years as a law firm
1989 - Gowlings merges with the Toronto firm Strathy, Archibald & Seagram to form Gowling, Strathy & Henderson
1992 - Gowlings opens an office in Moscow serving Russia, the CIS and the Baltic states
1994 - Gowlings opens an office in Vancouver
1995 - Gowlings opens an office in Hamilton
2000 - Gowlings opens an office in Calgary through a merger with Code Hunter
2000 - Gowlings merges with Lafleur Brown of Montréal, and Montpellier McKeen Varabioff Talbot and Giuffre of Vancouver, to become Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
2001 - Gowlings merges with Calgary-based Ballem MacInnes LLP
2001 - Gowlings merges with Smith Lyons LLP, enhancing the firm's IP and business law capabilities, and positioning Gowlings as the second-largest law firm in Canada
2008 - Gowlings establishes new corporate governance model with an Executive Committee and Board of Trustees
2008 - Gowlings opens an office in London, U.K.
2011 - Gowlings opens a representative office in Beijing, China through Gowlings International Inc.
2015 - Gowlings announces that it is joining forces with Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co to create a new international law firm, Gowling WLG, set to launch in 2016

Notable (past and present) firm members[edit]


  1. ^ "Gowlings joins forces with Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co to launch new international law firm: Gowling WLG." http://www.gowlings.com/News/news.asp?newsID=983&lang=0
  2. ^ "New International Law Firm Gowling WLG Launches Today". Gowling WLG. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Establishing a Business in Canada. Backgrounder". Gowlings bulletin. Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP. 2004. Archived from the original on 2006-10-30. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  4. ^ The predecessor firm of Henderson & McVeity was MacTavish and MacCracken, founded in 1877. George F. Henderson and MacCracken became partners in 1889.[citation needed]
  5. ^ Melnitzer, Julius (May 2001). "Can He Pull It Off? The Gowlings Gamble". Lexpert Magazine (May 2001): 72. 
  6. ^ Pitts, Gordon. "Gowlings cements giant merger". The Globe and Mail (July 5, 2001): Canadian Business. 
  7. ^ Macaulay, Ann. "By Any Other Name". Canadian Lawyer (November/ December 2000): 12. 
  8. ^ Brockington, Leonard (1954). "St. George and Merrie England". The Empire Club of Canada Speeches 1953-1954. The Empire Club Foundation. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  9. ^ "CBA Past Presidents". Canadian Bar Association. 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  10. ^ "Past Chancellors of the University". Administration & Governance. University of Ottawa. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  11. ^ McNish, Jacquie (2007-06-05). "McMurtry's pro bono crusade". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2007-06-08. 
  12. ^ "Hnatyshyn named Chancellor". Carleton University. 2002. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  13. ^ Horgan, Mary Ann; Sine MacKinnon (1997-05-30). "Justice deCarteret Cory, Ian Scott, and Mel Lastman to receive honorary degrees from York University". Media Release Archive. York University. p. 1. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  14. ^ "Rt. Hon Donald F. Mazankowski". Forbes.com. Forbes. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  15. ^ Bernstein, Hannah (2004-08-17). "Martin Cauchon receives CBA SOGIC Ally Award". Canadian Bar Association. cba.org. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  16. ^ http://www.international.gc.ca/ministers-ministres/Lawrence_Cannon.aspx?view=d
  17. ^ Gray, Jeff (2011-10-04)"Lawrence Cannon Lands at Gowlings" globeandmail.com Retrieved 2011-11-14