History | Swanwick Murray Roche 

Swanwick Murray Roche | Rockhampton & Central Queensland & Queensland Lawyers & Solicitors

Our History

Swanwick Murray Roche was founded in 1892.

The firm name continues to acknowledge three early principals of the practice and reflects the continuity of our involvement in the development of Central Queensland.

In 1892 a young solicitor, Fredrick Howard Swanwick, moved from Brisbane to Rockhampton to assume the files of the late solicitor Robert Lyons. Swanwick expanded the practice with a second office based in the Clermont Goldfields. His areas of work included general commercial, personal estate and workers’ compensation matters.

Meanwhile, in 1899, James Darling Murray established a legal practice in the booming gold town of Mount Morgan. Through the period of growth and consolidation of the original Mount Morgan mine, Murray successfully acted for local government and mining companies. He also represented individuals in family law and personal estate matters.

The gold boom at Mt Morgan in the late 1880’s to the early 1930’s saw extraordinary wealth pass through Mt Morgan and Rockhampton. William Knox Darcy was solicitor with the firm for a time before he moved on to found the company that eventually became British Petroleum (BP).

In 1924, with 32 and 26 years local experience respectively and improved transportation opportunities, Swanwick and Murray merged to create a robust firm maintaining offices in Rockhampton and Mount Morgan.

Vivian Charles Roche purchased the practice in 1948, adding his name to that of the business. To protect the legacy of the name in Central Queensland, the future practitioners agreed to keep the name of the original three driving partners of the firm. 

Swanwick, Murray and Roche were much more than just recognised legal practitioners. They were also heavily involved in community service and development. For example, Murray was an Alderman of Mount Morgan for five years (including a period as Mayor) and later was a local pastoralist of some note with the Stanwell Power Station situated on land formerly held within his family.

The continuity of the firm name symbolises our historical connection with the development of Central Queensland, our support for its people and communities in the region, as well as our commitment to the ongoing success of our clients in our chosen service areas of insurance, agricultural, commercial, mining and personal services.

In about 1970, Mr John Shaw joined the practice and continued with the firm as the compensation injury lawyer partner and managing partner until 2009 when he retired. During those years, many colourful and well respected lawyers and partners passed through the firm including Denise Flanagan, Mick Hart, Greg Cahill and Charles Ware.

From 1987 to 2018, Scott Beaumont was a solicitor and partner of the firm in the area of commercial property and business law advising on some of the biggest property developments of the day in Central Queensland including Red Hill Homemaker Centre, Edge Apartments, Empire Apartments, Salt Apartments and Echelon Apartments. 

The current partnership of the firm comprises David Lipke, Terry Tummon and Robert Rooney. They head up an experienced and enthusiastic team committed to delivering exceptional results.