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Our History

Our Firm has a long and complex history, of which we can justifiably be proud. It can trace its roots back over two centuries, and previous members of the Firm have gone on to become Members of Parliament and Lord Mayors of Sheffield.

Herbert Keeble Hawson was born a little before the end of the nineteenth century. He was articled to a Solicitor before and during the First World War but joined up in 1916.

On his return from active service he set up business in two rooms at 24 Bank Street in Sheffield. He later joined forces with Sorby & Co and took over a firm called Furnell & Co. He was joined in due course by his nephew, Kenneth Arnold. In 1953 Keeble Hawson Furnell & Arnold as they were then known joined forces with J Steele Carr & Co to become known as Keeble Hawson Steele Carr & Co and they set up business in St James' Row, Sheffield.

In 1987 that firm merged with Branson Bramley & Co a long established Sheffield practice and in 1996 with Rodgers & Howe.

Meanwhile R C Moorhouse & Co was formed in the late 1930's in Leeds. Keeble Hawson and R C Moorhouse & Co merged in 1998. A further merger took place in 2000 involving the firm of James Kendall.

In 2007, the Firm merged with Frank Allen Pennington, a progressive law practice based in Doncaster town centre and Mexborough. The firm was founded in 1898 as Frank Allen & Co and in 1993 amalgamated with Penningtons, a well regarded, professional and approachable community law firm.

In October 2011 Keeble Hawson and hlw merged.

Sheffield natives Andrew Hartley, John Linfoot and Ron Whitlam, all of whom came from DLA, launched Hartley Linfoot & Whitlam - now hlw - in 1992 “to deliver big firm expertise in a small firm environment” to the business community of Yorkshire.

In March 2002 hlw became a founder member of The UK 200 Lawyers Group. In 2004 they won Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Firm of the Year. In 2005 they merged with Sheffield's Russell & Creswick, and opened its office in Leeds. In 2007 hlw opened a £6m new landmark building which forms the Sheffield head office on Commercial Street.