90 Year Anniversary Blog

Coleman Greig and Western Sydney's Automotive Industry

Posted by Warrick McLean on 20 Apr 2018

Following on from our previous blog about Ralph Coleman's notable work within the community.  Our previous entry made particular mention of the Parramatta Grand Prix, championed by Ralph Coleman himself in the 1930s, and whilst this particular venture may have been the first notable link between the firm and the Australian automotive industry, it was far from the last.

From the early days of what is now a $37B+ industry, the Western Sydney region has always played a crucial role in the Australian automotive sector.  From Rosehill's Goodyear Tyre and Rubber plant and Clyde Engineering's production of car batteries, to Shell's refinery in Clyde (noted as Australia's oldest oil refinery) and the businesses in Granville's Auto Alley, Coleman Greig has been there to provide support to those seeking the very best legal advocacy that Western Sydney has to offer.

With the Shell Refinery operating from 1925-2012 and the Parramatta Terminal opening in 1964, one can only imagine the level of legal assistance necessary for this type of business to flourish.  Coleman Greig's current Litigation & Dispute Resolution Principal Caroline Hutchinson notes that much of the work carried out by Coleman Greig on behalf of Shell took place during the 1990s - 2000s, with the firm representing the company across a wide range of matters.

Interestingly, October 2014 saw another close Coleman Greig connection, Western Sydney University, host an exhibition through the Whitlam Institute focused on how the men and women who worked at Shell's Clyde Refinery experienced the evolution of working conditions, safety standards, gendered roles and communication relations within an environment of advancing technology.

Another noteworthy relationship that Coleman Greig Lawyers has nurtured over recent decades has been one with Terry Shields Toyota/Lexus of Parramatta.  Whilst those who were involved in the firm's earlier Golf Days, and more recently the Coleman Greig Challenge would recognise these companies as ongoing supporters of the firm's fundraising efforts, the relationship with Terry Shields Toyota has been present in one way or another since the 1970s.  

Coleman Greig history buffs will recognise the name David Andrews & Associates, a firm acquired by Coleman Greig Lawyers in 1987.  This particular acquisition resulted in a number of lawyers, including Employment Law Principal Stephen Booth moving to work with Coleman Greig.  As Terry Shields Toyota had been a long-time client of David Andrews & Associates, Stephen Booth notes that when he himself started with the firm, the first case that he worked on related to land acquisitions being made by Terry Shields Toyota in North Parramatta.

As time went on and the automotive conglomerate continued to work closely with Coleman Greig Lawyers, Stephen also noted that Terry Shields himself became good friends with former Coleman Greig partner Clas Einberg.  Whilst it is always a truly wonderful sight to see a professional bond blossom into something more personal, it is the decades of work that the firm has undertaken for these automotive-focused organisations that we are most proud of.

Whilst it is surely true that on the eve of the 1938 Parramatta Grand Prix, Ralph Coleman may not have envisaged the growth of his firm leading to such notable professional relationships - the fact that Coleman Greig Lawyers has continued to provide support to these notable industry leaders does work to reinforce the firm's position as Western Sydney's leading law firm.