New beginnings for old law firm

Partners at Duffy Elliott Lawyers are Robert Elliott, Stephen Duffy and Robert Duffy. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
Partners at Duffy Elliott Lawyers are Robert Elliott, Stephen Duffy and Robert Duffy. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

REQUESTS from the public to speak with MJ Duffy at a 122-year-old law firm in Dubbo are set to stop.

A change to the name of the firm has ever-so-slightly disconnected it from the man who first established the practice in Cobar in 1894.

Michael Joseph Duffy, an Irish immigrant, created a family and legal dynasty that has taken pride in serving western region communities in good times and bad.

Four generations of the family have made their mark at MJ Duffy and Son that is now called Duffy Elliott Lawyers.

Great grandsons of the founder, solicitors and brothers Robert and Stephen Duffy, have joined forces with third-generation Dubbo resident Robert Elliott to take the practice forward.

"The firm is very proud as are the members of the firm of our heritage but we wanted to ensure that we remained relevant and we adapted to what is a now a very modern regional centre with complex legal needs," Robert Duffy said.

He admitted that the "momentous" decision to change the name of the firm had caused some sadness within the family, on the brink of producing another lawyer.

Robert Duffy said the family would like to retain its connection to the firm into the future but not at all costs.

"I wouldn't like any of the children to feel it was a responsibility or a burden," he said.

"But I would also like our children or Rob's (Elliott) children to feel like there was an opportunity in here."

Hanging in the reception area of the firm are photographs of the Duffy brothers' legal-eagle forebears, including MJ Duffy who the public "constantly asks for".

"We have to say 'sorry, he's not available'," Robert Duffy said.

MJ Duffy passed on the legal baton upon his death in 1935.

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