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Admission to the Supreme Court of ACT – Thomas Commins

A deep family tradition which runs through the corridors of the Riverina’s largest law firm will add a significant new chapter to Commins Hendriks Solicitors’ history book at a ceremony in Canberra today. (21 August 2020)

Thomas Commins will continue along a century-old family pathway and become the fifth generation Commins lawyer to practice the profession when he is admitted in the ACT Supreme Court.

His father Michael will move Thomas’ admittance to the court, with his grandfather Fred Commins and other family, friends and professional colleagues also attending the ceremony.

Thomas, who works in Commins Hendriks’ Canberra office, said he was proud to be upholding the family’s tradition in law.

“Our family name in this profession goes back almost 120 years to when my great great grandfather Frederick Arnold Commins founded a legal practice in 1902 in Junee,” Thomas said.

“There is an incredible amount of history, passion and knowledge that has been passed through each generation.

“To be given this opportunity, and to have my father and grandfather present with other family members for this occasion, is really something quite special.”

Michael Commins said it was a “proud Dad moment” to see his son admitted as a lawyer and to follow in the footsteps of his forefathers and now work for the law firm which carries the family name.

“To be here alongside Thomas today, and to move his admittance into the Supreme Court, is something I’m sure we’ll both cherish now and in years to come,” Michael said.

“Tradition is a wonderful thing … it is the foundation upon which families form and grow and being able to look back on our own family’s contribution to this profession over many, many years instils a sense of pride in what we have achieved.”

Grandfather Fred Commins said he couldn’t be happier and wished Thomas a long and successful career.

“It is a profession which offers so much diversity and allows you to follow your interests in many areas,” Mr Commins said.

“I was a third generation lawyer, (son) Michael a fourth and now young Thomas is the fifth. That certainly says a lot about the family and the respect we have earned within the communities we serve.

“It takes hard work, dedication and ethics to build that trust over many decades and the result of that can be seen here today.”

Commins Hendriks celebrated 100 years of practice in the region on 17 July 2002. This was the day, a century earlier in 1902, that Frederick Arnold Commins wrote his first letter as a lawyer, from his Junee office.

Then known as FA Commins and Co, the firm has grown in that time and in 1976 merged with Thompson and Morgan to become Commins Thompson. In 1991 Commins Thompson merged with Mortimer Hendriks Griffin and Erratt to become  Commins Hendriks  now based in Wagga Wagga with offices in Canberra, Junee, Coolamon, Ganmain, Tumut, and Henty .

The five generations of Commins lawyers are:

  • Frederick Arnold Commins
  • Jack Commins
  • Fred Commins
  • Michael Commins
  • Tom Commins