Norm Snedden opened a sole practice in February 1960, before forging a partnership with Allan Hall in October. Both formerly worked in the Crown Solicitor’s Office. The firm (then named Snedden & Hall) was established in the same year that Canberra’s population reached 50,000.
Norm and Allan were joined by John Gallop in January 1962 and the firm became known as Snedden Hall & Gallop. They were among only 23 solicitors in private practice in the ACT at that time.
The following year, Prime Minister Robert Menzies unveiled the Law Courts Building in Knowles Place adjacent to City Hill. The ACT Supreme Court commenced sitting in the new building in May 1963. Snedden Hall & Gallop was among the first firms to represent clients in the new courtrooms.
With many government departments relocating to Canberra from Melbourne in the 1960s, the ACT grew rapidly and demand for legal services expanded. By the end of the decade, Snedden Hall & Gallop was a broad practice including business law, property transactions and all types of litigation.
Many of the region’s most prominent legal practitioners have developed careers at Snedden Hall & Gallop. Over the years, some of our lawyers have gone on to hold the presidencies of the ACT Law Society and ACT Bar Association and have become barristers, lecturers, commissioners and judges.
The Founding Partners
Norm Snedden was with the firm until 1977. For some years after that, he practised as a barrister in both Canberra and Sydney before establishing a sole practice at Nelson Bay on the central coast of NSW. Norm retired from the law in 1991 and passed away on 10 August 2011.
Allan Hall left the firm in 1973 to become the inaugural principal lecturer in law at the Canberra College of Advanced Education (now the University of Canberra), where he developed their first legal course. He left the college in 1977 when he was selected as the first full-time senior member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The same year, Allan was appointed a commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission, working alongside Michael Kirby. He was elevated to deputy president of the AAT in 1982 and served until his retirement in 1987. Allan was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1992.
In 1973, John Gallop left SHG to become a successful barrister in Canberra and was made a Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 1976. The following year, John was appointed to the bench of the Federal Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory. John became a judge of the ACT Supreme Court in 1982. He went on to be appointed a presidential member of the AAT, president of the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal and a judge of the Supreme Court of Christmas Island. He served with distinction until July 2000, retiring on his seventieth birthday. John was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1998. He passed away on 25 September 2017 at the age of 87 with Canberra’s legal community paying tribute to one of the ACT Supreme Court’s longest-serving judges.
The firm was originally based at 47 East Row in Civic (part of the Sydney Building). As the business expanded, Snedden Hall & Gallop (SHG) relocated to 39 London Circuit and later to 11 London Circuit.
The firm relocated to 43-49 Geils Court in Deakin in 2007.
In 2016 SHG opened the doors of a second location: at Winyu House, 125 Gungahlin Place in Gungahlin.
The Current Firm
Snedden Hall & Gallop remained a partnership until 1997. On becoming a corporation, it’s first managing director was Richard Faulks, who has now been in this position for over 20 years. There are currently five directors and 30 staff.