A. & L. Goodbody, Solicitors
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A. E. or Alfred Edwin Goodbody was admitted a solicitor in 1881, having secured a silver medal at the final examinations of June 1880. He soon after set up on his own account at 15 Dame Street and later, probably in 1888 or in 1889, went into partnership with Archibald Tisdall who was based in Tullamore. He was joined in the partnership by his brother Lewis in 1891 and after this, Tisdall appears to have worked in Birr and later, after 1900, at the Dublin office. He left the partnership in 1901 and the new firm of A & L Goodbody commenced in 1902.
In 1903, the Wyndham Land Act was passed which allowed a 12 % bonus to landlords who sold entire estates to the Estates Commissioners to administer the sales under the Act. Lewis Goodbody was well placed to secure the business. He was of a Quaker family and all the other solicitors practising in Tullamore were Catholics. In 1905 Alfred sent Lewis a sum of £150, being his share of £500 secured for the sale of the Longworth-Dames estate to the Congested Districts Board. The other £200 he was holding to advance on mortgage to a client whom he was mindful of retaining. He seems to have been getting 1% on such sales but was able to quote to landlords the then Law Society scale of 2.5% and bargain thereafter. In the case of Lord Digby’s 30,000 acre estate in King’s County the firm was probably in for £3,000 fees if the matter proceeded on a total sale value of £300,000. Digby was looking for 0.75% and Lewis 1.25%. Digby had made enquiries from other landlords but so had Alfred suggesting that he would have remained firm on the 1% as is clear from a letter Alfred wrote to his brother in February 1908. With the end of the ‘big money’ estate sales, the war and the downturn thereafter inevitably the Tullamore office would have been less profitable. By this time the Dublin office was expanding and had taken in new solicitors such as G. A. Overend who was a partner in the firm by 1913 and probably commenced practice there on qualifying in 1907.
Kenneth A. Kennedy joined the firm after the death of Alfred in 1924 and was probably a partner in the Tullamore office by 1930. Kennedy was called to the bar in 1917 and qualified as a solicitor in 1924. In 1930 Kenneth Kennedy, Lewis Goodbody and G. A. Overend acquired the fee simple as joint tenants of the office premises at High Street, Tullamore held on lease since 1913. Lewis Goodbody died in 1933 and the ownership of the firm (at least as far as Tullamore was concerned) was shared between G. O. Overend and Kenneth A. Kennedy, but not necessarily in equal shares. In 1947 a new partnership arrangement was entered into between Overend and Kennedy and the following year Kenneth A. Kennedy acquired the entire interest in the building at High Street for £800. The A & L Goodbody partnership in the Tullamore office appears at this time to have comprised of G. A. Overend, Kenneth A. Kennedy and G. G. Overend. The Tullamore building was to serve the Tullamore firm, known since the late 1940s as Goodbody & Kennedy, until 1989 when the business was sold to Dermot Scanlon by Kenneth C. P. Kennedy. Kenneth A. Kennedy had remained a partner in A & L Goodbody, Dublin until his death in December 1974 at the age of 80 but the Dublin office had no involvement in the Tullamore firm probably from the late 1940s.
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ISAAR (CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, 2nd Edition (2011)
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Byrne, M., Legal Offaly: the county courthouse at Tullamore and the legal profession in County Offaly from the 1820s to the present day, Esker Press, 2008
Created by Lisa Shortall