With origins dating back to 1854, Rudall & Rudall is one of the oldest legal firms in South Australia. The historic legal practice that helped to shape Gawler continues to serve the community to this day.
John Rudall was born in Exeter, England in 1820, was educated in Paris and later qualified as a lawyer in London. As a young man he travelled to the goldfields in Victoria before he commenced a partnership with Thomas Powell as Powell, Rudall & Co in Adelaide and Gawler in 1854. John Rudall was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court in 1857 and was appointed the first Town Clerk of the Town of Gawler that year. In 1881 he was appointed as the resident Magistrate to coincide with the opening of the Cowan Street Courthouse.
John Rudall's son, Samuel Bruce Rudall, took over both the legal firm and the position of Town Clerk (1881-1914) and was a State MP for the local area from 1905-1915.
Samuel's son Reginald (RJ) became a Rhodes Scholar in 1908 later joining the legal firm and becoming State MP from 1933-1955 including seven years as Minister for Education and nine years as Attorney-General in Playford Governments.
The Rudall Family connection was tragically affected by the loss of both children of RJ and Kathleen Rudall, John and Peter, in action in the Second World War. Peter went down with the HMAS Sydney in unexplained circumstances, while John (or Jake) was killed leading his platoon in New Guinea.
The Rudall family connection to the legal practice ended in 1955 when RJ died and Lawrence Bills then took over the practice. Lawrence served the community of Gawler until his death in 1974 when his son Tony Bills continued the Bills tradition. Tony was the firm’s senior lawyer until he passed away in 2010. He was also the firm's handyman, carpenter, story teller, motoring enthusiast and a gentleman. Tony was never too busy to offer our team the benefit of his experience and wisdom learnt over many years in the legal profession.
The firm helped to set up the Hutchinson Hospital, which is now the Gawler Health Service. Throughout its history Rudall & Rudall has always had members in prominent positions on the board of the Hutch and then the Gawler Health Service, and also on the Gawler Community Retirement Homes board since its inception.
Now led by Peter Ryan and Nick Pullman, Rudall & Rudall continues its long tradition providing general law services to clients throughout South Australia—in particular Gawler, Adelaide Plains, Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, Yorke Peninsula, mid North, Adelaide and the suburbs.
In 2014 the firm celebrated its 160th year of providing legal services.
In 2015 the firm opened a branch office in the Adelaide CBD to meet the growing demand for its services and providing a number of advantages to its lawyers and clients.