About the Firm
Crawford Lockhart Black has been created by the merger of the long-established Belfast firms of Crawford & Lockhart, Martin H. Turnbull & Co. and C&J Black incorporating Culbert & Martin.
The practice is deeply rooted in heritage and proud to represent families over the generations within our client-base, providing a personal service so often lacking in modern society.
A deep respect for the traditions and legacy of our predecessor firms is held by our legal practitioners, who combine these values with an astute commercial awareness.
Crawford & Lockhart
Crawford & Lockhart can trace its origins back to Thomas Garrett, Attorney Exchequer, who was listed on the Attorney Roll in Hilary Term 1796.
In 1818 William Crawford was apprenticed to Thomas Garrett and by 1824 he had qualified as an Attorney and was practising with Thomas Garrett at Gloucester Street, Dublin and York Street, Belfast.
By 1835 William Crawford was practising at 67 Dame Street, Dublin. Henry Russell was also practising from the same address. They both moved to 46/47 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin in approximately 1838 and were also practising at 20 Arthur Street, Belfast by 1843.
The last mention of William Crawford in the List of Attorneys is in 1846, while Henry Russell continued to practise at Gardiner Street. However Henry Crawford (son of James Crawford of Belfast) was apprenticed to Henry Russell in 1851 and by 1857 was in practice with Henry Russell there and subsequently at 46 Lower Gardiner Street.
By 1859 Crawford & Russell had moved to 39 North Great George’s Street and in 1862 Alexander Lockhart is first mentioned as sharing that address with Henry Crawford and Henry Russell. After the retirement or death of Henry Russell the practice became known as Crawford & Lockhart.
Settling in Belfast
In 1868 Crawford & Lockhart are listed as having premises at 6 Queen’s Square, Belfast whilst in 1880 the firm’s address was 4 Queen’s Square. The practice remained there until the late 1950s when we moved to our current premises at 7-11 Linenhall Street.
C & J Black traces its origins back to Sir Samuel Black who commenced practice in Belfast in the 1850s.
Sir Samuel later became Town Clerk of Belfast City Council and played a major part in the planning and commissioning of the current City Hall in Donegall Square.
In 1881 his practice was taken over by his sons, Charles and James. From the outset the firm had a strong commercial and private law practice which has been sustained and developed by subsequent partners.
Martin H. Turnbull & Co.
Martin Turnbull commenced practice in the 1880s, based at 7 Chichester Street.
By 1918 he was in partnership with Dawson Cotton, who carried on in practice after Mr Turnbull retired. After the death or retirement of Alexander A Lockhart, Dawson Cotton acquired the business of Crawford & Lockhart and for many years the two firms continued to operate as two independent practices in Belfast.
Dawson Cotton’s sons, Lennox and Bertrand, joined their father after the Second World War (having both served with distinction); Bertrand Cotton worked in Martin H Turnbull & Co whilst Lennox Cotton was in Crawford & Lockhart.
It was in the late 1950s that the firms finally merged, when they moved to 7-11 Linenhall Street.
In the 1960s Martin Turnbull’s grandson, also Martin H Turnbull, joined the firm and remained there until his retirement in 2008.