ABOUT MURRAY & LYONS SOLICITORS
Solicitors for the Cairns community
Murray & Lyons Solicitors has an established reputation for helping families, businesses and individuals find a solution to their legal problems for well over a hundred years. Whilst located in Cairns, North Queensland, we have assisted clients based all over Australia and internationally.
We provide legal assistance with Conveyancing, Commercial Law, Family Law, Wills, Estates and Personal Injuries matters in a timely and cost–effective manner. With our many years of experience Murray & Lyons Solicitors has the stability and reliability to solve your legal problems.
Although the human faces of Murray & Lyons have changed over the years, the firm and its personnel have been intimately involved with the legal and social life of the Cairns district since before the turn of the 20th Century.
The story of Cairns law firm Murray & Lyons began with the arrival of Charles Bedell Lilley in Cairns in early 1899.
Lilley was the second son of Sir Charles Lilley, who held many prominent positions in Colonial Queensland in the 1890’s, including Premier of Queensland, Member of the Legislative Assembly, Attorney General and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland.
Charles Bedell Lilley was admitted to practice as a solicitor in September, 1883. Before he set up practice in Cairns, Lilley practiced law in Brisbane. The first record of his practice in Cairns is 13 May 1899.
Lilley and Murray acted in several significant cases in the district. In 1909 Abi Murray travelled to Geraldton (Innisfail) to act on behalf of several sugar mill hands who were summonsed for alleged breach of contract.
He was also engaged to act on behalf of the Great Northern Company, a mining company that was accused by E.G. Theodore in the State Parliament of corruption.
In April 1915, the partnership of Lilley and Murray dissolved, and Murray began advertising under his own name. Later that year, he went to serve in the army during World War I.
In March 1927, Joseph Bennett joined Murray to form Murray and Bennett Solicitors.
On 2 March 1934, Hugh Bernard Lyons took over the practice, and acted as a sole practitioner under the firm name, Murray & Lyons.
Lyons had previously worked as an articled clerk under Abijah Murray.
John was followed by Douglas Hector Hodgson, who became a partner on 9 August, 1978.
Doug had worked as Mining Registrar and Clerk of the Court at Herberton and was admitted as a solicitor on 20 June, 1972.
Doug would become one of the firm’s longest serving partners, finally retiring as a Partner on 31 December 2004 and winding down his long and successful career as a Consultant to the firm for another 5 years.
In 1986 Chris Wright joined Murray & Lyons Solicitors, continuing on to become a Partner in 1987. Chris and colleagues then welcomed Martin Treston to the Partnership in 2005. Chris and Martin have since evolved Murray & Lyons through 18 pivotal years.
Charis Lux joined Murray & Lyons in 2011 and became a Senior Associate in 2019.
Matthew Wright started as a new graduate Solicitor at Murray & Lyons in 2021 following in his Father’s footsteps at Murray & Lyons Solicitors.
On 14 May 1906, Abijah Murray joined Lilley as a partner, and the practice became known as Lilley and Murray.
Murray had been admitted as a solicitor in December 1897. Before arriving in Cairns, Murray practiced as a solicitor and notary public at Thursday Island for eight years.
Lilley and Murray were retained as solicitors to the Cairns Harbour Board after the Board was established in 1906. The firm continued to act for the Cairns Harbour Board for nearly 75 years.
1911 – 1913
In March 1911, Abijah Murray lost his wife Minna, four children, and an Aboriginal maid who was assisting his wife, when the ship Yongala sank while sailing from Brisbane to Cairns.
After the loss of his family, Murray went south for some time. He returned to Cairns in August, 1912 and, in December, 1913, married Hilda Mary Sydes
After the war, Murray formed a partnership with H.H. Marsland until Marsland left the firm around 1918.
1932 – 1933
After Abijah Murray died in 1932, Rupert George Young took over the practice in early 1933, and practiced as Murray & Young.
1973 – 1974
Ignazio Sciacca purchased the practice on 1 July, 1973. The firm’s name was then changed to Murray Lyons & Co. John Campbell McCallum was admitted to partnership on 16 July, 1974 and would remain a partner until 30 June 1992.
The early 1980’s was a turbulent time for the practice with a number of new partners entering and exiting.
On 1 October, 1980, Ignazio Sciacca retired as a partner, and Leo Patrick Luton White and Donna Maree McCallum were admitted to the partnership.
Leo White prior to joining the firm was the first practising Barrister in Cairns. He retired as a partner on 23 April, 1982.
Donna McCallum retired on 29 May, 1984 to later become a magistrate at Toowoomba.