Our History

Crease Harman LLP (“Crease Harman”) traces its roots to 1858 when Henry Crease became the first barrister qualified to practice as a Barrister of Her Majesty’s Court of Civil Justice for Vancouver Island. The firm’s history extends back to 1866, making it the oldest law firm in British Columbia. Since its establishment, the firm has played a remarkable role in the evolution of the law in British Columbia and Canada. Based on its long and distinguished tradition of providing insightful and valuable legal advice Crease Harman continues to offer outstanding legal services to a diverse and expanding client base.

At Crease Harman we honour our heritage, embrace the future and continue to focus on our primary goal – providing practical legal solutions to our clients in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Filing The First Recorded Refugee Case in BC

In September, 1860, Sir Henry Crease filed a writ in the first recorded immigration and refugee case in British Columbia. Due to his actions, an American slave named Charles Mitchell was freed from an American ship in Victoria Harbour, and granted the opportunity to live as a free man on the Colony of Vancouver Island.

Today, Crease Harman LLP continues to support immigrants and their dreams for a life in British Columbia.

Providing Legal Guidance for Asian Immigrants since 1866

In 1866, the Dunsmuir coal mines were having trouble attracting reliable workers. Ernest Bodwell helped solve the problem by processing hundreds of immigration documents for workers who came from many parts of the world. Some of the first Asian immigrants to Canada came with Ernest’s legal guidance. Bodwell was a founding member and President of the Victoria Board of Trade, and his firm merged with the firm that would later become Crease Harman.

Today, Crease Harman LLP continues to serve Canada’s economy by helping employers and new immigrants.

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Crease Harman LLP, Barristers & Solicitors