In the burgeoning industrial city of Newcastle, just before the turn of the 20th century, the history of Rankin Ellison began. In 1899, Archibald Aloysius Rankin established offices to provide legal services in Newcastle, principally for mining, shipping and manufacturing companies, and subsequently the steel industry.

Rankin was active in community, industrial and political advocacy towards the development of Newcastle as an industrial city. A highly respected Solicitor, Rankin was a man noted for his great services to health, particularly as Chairman of Royal Newcastle Hospital. For these and other services he was awarded the C.B.E.

AO Ellison & Co was founded by Alfred Owen Ellison in Sydney in 1926. From its foundations, the firm assisted NSW manufacturers in relation to their rights and liabilities, including those under industrial relations and occupational health and safety legislation. The firm's defendants' litigation practice began when defending employers being prosecuted for breaches of industrial safety legislation. Its insurance litigation practice commenced in 1933.

Donald Neil Rankin, admitted as a Solicitor in 1939, joined his father and Alfred Shirlow Nathan in the Newcastle partnership, then known as Rankin & Nathan. Donald Rankin and Alfred Nathan were well known identities and participants in business and community circles in the Newcastle and Hunter Regions.

Tillyard & Callanan was founded in 1987 and provided a wide range of legal services to clients in the corporate and private sectors, but especially in corporate and commercial matters, including commercial and general litigation and employment and industrial law, and property matters. AO Ellison & Co and Tillyard & Callanan merged on 1 November 2005, to form Ellison Tillyard Callanan.

From 1975 to 2006 the principal office of Rankin & Nathan in Newcastle was located at Newcomen House, an historic building constructed in the 1850’s and purchased in 1912 from Sir Samuel Cohen by Archibald Rankin. Newcomen House was occupied from 1912 to 1974 by the Rankin family, as their home.

With an increasing involvement in insurance defence litigation in the late 1980’s, Rankin Ellison (formally Rankin Nathan) was very active in the Sydney legal market, so that by 1995 a Sydney office for Rankin & Nathan was established. In 2013 the two firms merged to form Rankin Ellison, a highly qualified team of lawyers offering legal services to individuals, corporations and insurers in all areas of the law.

Rankin Ellison presently has about 30 Solicitors, 8 Paralegal and 25 secretarial and administration staff spread across offices in Sydney and Newcastle. Its aim is to provide quality advice and personalised service to its many insurance, corporate and personal clients, with an emphasis on Senior Lawyer accessibility at all times.

Sydney: 02 8297 5900 Newcastle: 02 4929 9333  

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