Tuesday, 17 July 2012 00:00The practice was started by John Chappell Tozer at Newton Bushel (now part of Newton Abbot) in 1785 during the reign of King George III and at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. The firm was transferred to Teignmouth by John Chappell Tozer's son in 1817.
Between 1849 and 1859, Tozers had correspondence with Isambard Kingdom Brunel regarding a house and field he wished purchase in Torquay. Today, the firm often purchases land and properties for our many clients.
John Chappell Tozer's grandson, John Hellyer Tozer, became a partner in 1859 and around this time he became the legal adviser to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Plymouth. Solicitors at Tozers today still work closely with the Plymouth Diocese and Buckfast Abbey on their legal matters and trusts.
John Hellyer Tozer bequeathed his share in the partnership to his son Edward John Francis Tozer (John Chappell Tozer's great grandson) and Edward John Francis Tozer who is pictured below this article was Tozers LLP's most longstanding partner. He was a partner for 50 years between 1888 and 1938. Graham Bond, Tozers' senior partner, retired from the partnership last month after 43 years with the firm – his whole working life – and 41 of those as a partner, specialising in family law work.
Edward Tozer was a keen huntsman and regularly attended meetings of the South Devon Hunt. Tozers has been pleased to sponsor a race and corporately entertain clients at the at the South Devon Hunt's point to point for the last few years so the connection continues.
It was in 1938 when Edward Tozer died that for the first time in some 150 years the practice did not include in it a member of the Tozer family but, in order to perpetuate the name of that family, the firm became known simply as "Tozers" henceforth.
During the second World War all the partners and many members of staff volunteered or were called up for service. A retired solicitor was persuaded to take charge of Tozers' offices at Teignmouth and Dawlish. When raids took place during office hours the staff used the strong room at 2-3 Orchard Gardens as an air raid shelter. It is assumed that Tozers' wills and probate department was called upon a great deal during the war years.
In 1951 Tony Sutton became a partner (he and his twin sister celebrated their 90th birthday last year) and Jeremy Mosley joined the partnership in 1963. Graham Bond was articled to Jeremy and he became a partner at Tozers in 1973.
Today we have 3 offices (Teignmouth, Newton Abbot and Exeter), 22 partners and over 100 staff offering an extensive legal service including: agriculture and landed estates, buying and selling property, wills and probate, equine and family law.