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Pride Versus PrejudiceJewish Doctors and Lawyers in England, 1890-1990$
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John Cooper

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774877

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774877.001.0001

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Jewish Solicitors 1890‒1939

Jewish Solicitors 1890‒1939

(p.151) Seven Jewish Solicitors 1890‒1939
Pride Versus Prejudice

John Cooper

Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes Jewish solicitors from 1890 to 1939. In a London directory of 1883, there were forty-seven Jewish solicitors out of a total of 4,920; that is, slightly less than 1 per cent of solicitors were Jewish, a proportion smaller than the Jewish proportion of the population of London, where the vast majority of these Jewish practitioners would have been located. At that time, Jewish solicitors had been practising in England for a hundred years or more. Apart from the staple fare of solicitors' practices—conveyancing, probate, and litigation—Jewish firms, which were closely connected by family and communal ties with the merchant and shopkeeping classes, specialized in commercial work, and, if need be, in guiding clients through the bankruptcy courts. The chapter then shows how the first Sir George Lewis was a role model for later Jewish solicitors, both as a society lawyer and in his involvement with the arts world. It also examines the structure of Jewish law firms between the wars. Most were concentrated in the City, and were small; there were also a few firms connected with the Anglo-Jewish elite which represented banks and big business, certain others which acted for moneylenders or those in the world of the arts, and a few others associated with leading communal figures.

Keywords:   Jewish solicitors, Jewish practitioners, England, Jewish law firms, bankruptcy courts, Sir George Lewis, society lawyer, Anglo-Jewish elite, moneylenders, big business

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