The Firm addresses the issues of the 21st century against a proud heritage originating in the middle of the 19th Century.
On 1 January 1859, Eyre Goulburn Ellis, who had been admitted as the fourth conveyancer in the colony of New South Wales, opened the doors of the firm which continues in practice as Makinson & d'Apice.
Ellis developed a substantial practice in the relatively young colony and held a number of public offices. One such public appointment was that of a visitor to various Lunatic Asylums in the colony!
In 1865 Ellis admitted Henry Makinson as a partner in the practice which then became known as Ellis & Makinson. The Makinson family have continued to have an association with the firm since that time. In 1866, the partners employed William Plunkett, who was a nephew of John Plunkett, a former Attorney General of New South Wales and Australia's first Queen's Counsel.
William Plunkett became a partner in the practice in 1890 when the practice became known as Ellis, Makinson & Plunkett. Ellis died in 1892 whereupon the firm became known as Makinson & Plunkett.
Following Henry Makinson's death in 1913, A W M d'Apice was admitted as a
partner to the practice. He subsequently held many offices
including being the Honorary Aide de Camp to three State Governors, and was
the principal legal advisor to the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney as well as
many other Church and charitable institutions.
Soon after, William Plunkett ceased active practice but remained a co-signatory to all office cheques. As a result, an office employee often had to row a boat across Sydney Harbour (the Sydney Harbour Bridge had not yet been constructed) to William Plunkett's home in order to have cheques signed.
In recent times, the firm has incorporated the practices of Duggan & Doyle, Gordon Beard & McDonald and Remedios & Martin.
The firm and its partners have a proud tradition of serving the community.
In 1998, the Law Society of New South Wales awarded the firm its Pro Bono Award
in recognition of the voluntary legal services provided to a number of charities
over the years. John, Hugh and Bill d'Apice have
been the recipients of Papal Knighthoods. The firm's current senior partner, Richard
d'Apice, was awarded membership of the Order of Australia for his services
to the community in 1997.
The firm has greatly benefited over the years from the assistance and support
provided by its employees. The firm has had a history of employing capable
persons with integrity. Indeed, a former employee was subsequently appointed
as the Chief Justice of New South Wales whilst another former employee became
a judge of the High Court of Australia.