Hill Dickinson

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Hill Dickinson LLP
Hill Dickinson logo.jpg
Headquarters Liverpool
No. of offices 8
No. of employees 1015
Major practice areas General practice
Key people Peter Jackson (Chief Executive), David Wareing (Chairman)
Revenue £110.1 million turnover (2012) [1]
Date founded 1810 (Liverpool)
Company type Limited liability partnership
Website hilldickinson.com

Hill Dickinson is a British international commercial law firm headquartered in Liverpool, UK.[2] With more than 175 partners and 840 staff, the firm operates from five UK offices and four overseas offices.[3] Hill Dickinson offers a range of legal services to organisations and individuals on a national and international basis.


Hill Dickinson's origins can be traced back to 1810, with the establishment of a Liverpool legal practice by the firm’s founder, Edward Morrall. The firm’s identity as ‘Hill Dickinson’ began to emerge when John Edward Gray Hill joined the firm in 1865. John Dickinson (1847-1907) became a partner in 1872, with the firm named 'Duncan, Hill & Dickinson'. The firm established itself as a leading maritime law firm, and went on to represent the White Star Line in connection with the sinking of the RMS Titanic [4] and Cunard Line in respect of the sinking of RMS Lusitania [5] which was torpedoed by a German U-boat on 7 May 1915.

In 1927 Miss Edith Berthen joined the firm as one of the first women in England and Wales to qualify as a solicitor.[6] In the Black Solicitors Network’s Diversity League Table 2009 Hill Dickinson was ranked 30th within the top 100 UK law firms.[7] In January 20[8]10, the firm was ranked as the sixth most female friendly firm (among the top 50 UK firms by turnover) with 27 per cent of its partnership made up of women.[9] In 1931 one of the firm's solicitors, Hector Munro, represented William Herbert Wallace in connection with his trial and subsequent appeal against his conviction for the murder of his wife Julia in their home in Wolverton Street in Liverpool's Anfield district. His conviction was later overturned by the Court Of Criminal Appeal, the first instance in British legal history where an appeal had been allowed after re-examination of evidence (see R v Wallace).

Partner William Goffey (known as WG) started his career in 1901 at Hill Dickinson's 10 Water Street office. He became senior partner in 1950 and continued to practice until shortly before his death in 1979 at the age of 94. As the son of a ship owning family who operated sailing barques from Liverpool under the name Goffey & Co, much of his practice was Admiralty and related work.

Goffey acted for Cunard Steam Ship Co. Limited in relation to the 1942 collision between the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary and HMS Curacoa (D41), which resulted in the sinking of the latter with great loss of life. on 2 October 1942 both ships were following evasive zigzagging courses about 60 km north of the coast of Ireland when the Queen Mary cut across the path of HMS Curacoa with insufficient clearance, striking her amidships at a speed of 28 knots and cutting her in two. The Curacoa sank immediately, about 100 yards from the Queen Mary. The loss was not reported until after the war ended, whereupon the navy immediately pressed charges against the Queen Mary's owners, Cunard. The High Court of Justice subsequently ruled mostly in favour of the latter, giving two-thirds of the blame to the Admiralty and one third to Cunard. This ruling would become important in the civil lawsuits subsequently filed against Cunard by relatives of the HMS Curacoa deceased. It also prompted significant revisions in navy policy, including the suspension of escorts for passenger liners.

Hill Dickinson celebrated 200 years in business in 2010.[10] Expanding their international offices in 2010 in Hong Kong. Hill Dickinson sold their Chester office to Knights in 2013, a year which also saw the company make wide spread redundancies.

In 2013, Hill Dickinson became the first law firm to be accredited under the prestigious 'Investors in Diversity' scheme for its commitment to supporting diversity in the workplace.[11]

Mergers and acquisitions[edit]

  • DLA Manchester and Sheffield insurance practice (2013)
  • Halliwells LLP, Liverpool and Sheffield offices (2010)
  • Middleton Potts (2009)
  • Gamon Arden & Co. (2007)
  • Hill Taylor Dickinson, remerger following demerger in 1989 (2006)
  • Bullivant Jones & Co. (2004)
  • Gorna & Co (2001)
  • Davis Campbell (1997)
  • Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP - On 31 January 2016, Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP ceased to operate as a law firm. Partners and key staff have joined other firms including Hill Dickinson (2016)


Hill Dickinson operates from five UK offices and four overseas offices. The firm’s headquarters are in Liverpool at No. 1 St Paul's Square.[12] Other UK locations are Manchester,[13] a new Leeds office (opened in 2017[14]) and two offices in London; The Broadgate Tower[15] and on Jermyn Street.[16] Overseas locations are Singapore, Greece, Monaco and Hong Kong.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hill Dicks posts 10% revenue hike in first full year since Halliwells deal". Legalweek. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  2. ^ "Hill Dickinson profile". The Legal 500. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "About Hill Dickinson". Hill Dickinson. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "TIP | British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry | List of Counsel Present". Titanicinquiry.org. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  5. ^ "Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry - Counsel Present". Titanicinquiry.org. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  6. ^ "Liverpool-based law firm Hill Dickinson has revealed how it plans to celebrate its 200th year in business - Liverpool News - News". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  7. ^ McLeod, Luke. "Thompsons Solicitors crowned most diverse in BSN's latest league table | News". The Lawyer. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  8. ^ "Hill Dickinson announces new Leeds office for growing national health practice". Hill Dickinson. 2017-08-24. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  9. ^ McLeod, Luke. "BLM is most female friendly firm in UK top 50 | News". The Lawyer. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  10. ^ "2010 marks bicentenary for law firm Hill Dickinson". Hill Dickinson. 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2017-02-01. 
  11. ^ "Law firm diversity | Diversity and inclusion | Investors in diversity". www.hilldickinson.com. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 
  12. ^ "The Legal 500 > Hill Dickinson LLP > Liverpool, ENGLAND > What the firm says". www.legal500.com. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 
  13. ^ "The Legal 500 > Hill Dickinson LLP > Manchester, ENGLAND > What we say". www.legal500.com. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 
  14. ^ "Hill Dickinson announces new Leeds office for growing national health practice". Hill Dickinson. 2017-08-24. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  15. ^ "The Legal 500 > Hill Dickinson LLP > London EC2A, ENGLAND > What we say". www.legal500.com. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 
  16. ^ "The Legal 500 > Hill Dickinson LLP > London SW1Y, ENGLAND > What we say". www.legal500.com. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 
  17. ^ "The Legal 500 > Hill Dickinson Hong Kong LLP in association with Laracy & Co. > Hong Kong, > What we say". www.legal500.com. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 

External links[edit]