If the axiom that ‘the future builds on the foundation of the past’ holds true, then the palpable temperament of innovative law established by over a century of business certainly explains why the law firm Adams & Adams commands such a leading position in the southern hemisphere.
Established in 1908 by Harry Adams, the firm’s Partners have never been satisfied with practicing law ‘by the book’ – rather they have demanded and inspired an ethos that ‘writes the book’ – a way of securing the firm’s future by preparing and blueprinting it in the present.
In 108 years Adams & Adams has gained an affluence of 68 active and experienced partners, each one inspired by the spirit and energy of brothers Harry and EV Adams.
1875 – 1900
The law firm owes its name to two sons of the Reverend Harry Adams, who came to the Transvaal in 1875 to advance the cause of the Church of England. Henry (Harry) Walter Adams born in Lydenberg, Transvaal, in 1882, while brother, Eustace Victor (EV) was born in Barberton in 1888.
In 1897, Jemima Adams returns to England with family. The younger son, Eustace Victor, later wrote: “My mother conducted a boarding house so well that she was able to take us five children to England for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (in 1897) and placed Harry and Melville at school there, and sent my sisters to a finishing school in Brussels.” This is one of the first recorded notes in the archives of the firm.
Two of the sons, Harry and Eustace (later known affectionately as EV), were sent to public school in England and then went up to Cambridge University. He was then articled as an engineer with the South Eastern and Chatham Railway Company.