The firm was commenced in 1929 by Mr Fred A Newnham. Fred had obtained a bursary to attend Fort Street Boys High School for his secondary school education and on obtaining a Commonwealth Scholarship to attend the University of Sydney, he graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree which in turn led to his admission as a lawyer in 1929. He commenced practice in Newtown where he had grown up during his adolescent years. He became involved in local government as an alderman of the then Newtown Council and was Mayor from 1932 to 1937. Thereafter he was an alderman on Petersham Council after Newtown Council was amalgamated with Petersham. He carried on practice in Newtown and in the City of Sydney as a sole practitioner being involved mainly in work in the Local Magistrates Court in criminal matters and tenancy work until after World War II. He also conducted a general practice involving motor vehicle accident claims, probate and conveyancing. In the majority of cases involving Local Court appearances he appeared as an advocate.
On the admission of Edward Newnham to practice as a solicitor in 1950, both Fred and Edward commenced to practice under the firm name of Fred A and E S Newnham. That practice continued until 1966 with Fred managing the Newtown office and Edward running the major part of the practice from the City. In 1966, Fred and his son John F Newnham commenced practice together under the name Fred A and John F Newnham following John’s graduation from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Laws in 1964 and subsequent admission as a solicitor in November 1965.The firm practiced from that date with Fred as a consultant, where he continued to work and appear in the Local Courts until his passing in 1997 at the age of 93.
In 1983, Glenn Thompson commenced work at the firm, initially as a clerk, and from July 1985 as a solicitor upon his graduation from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Laws. In 1988, Glenn became a partner of the firm. Thereafter, Glenn and John continued to practice in partnership until John Chapple amalgamated his practice and joined the partnership in 1998. After the passing of Fred, the practice changed it’s name to Newnhams Solicitors.
In 1999, John retired as a Partner and became a consultant to the firm with Glenn and John Chapple continuing to practice as Newnhams Solicitors.