THE ADVOCATE 779
VOL. 80 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2022
By D. Michael Bain,Q.C.
We reprint below a letter—originally found as part of “Bench and Bar”, (1980) 38
Advocate 149—expressing some thoughts from 1916 on the ideal role and degree
of involvement of legal counsel in a business enterprise.
BENCH AND BAR
* Reprinted from (1980) 38 Advocate 149.
In September 1916 H.W.A. Deterding, one of the founding fathers of
the Royal Dutch Shell Company, wrote a letter to a Mr. Luykx, who
was the president of the first Shell Oil Company in the U.S. The letter
deals with Luykx’s retaining Messrs. Rice & Lyons, a firm of U.S.
attorneys mentioned favourably in the Shell history books for their energy
and initiative in acquiring oil leases and putting the company into operation
in a very short time as a major producer.
13th September 1916
Dear Mr. Luykx,
I duly received yours of the 22nd ult. regarding Messrs. Rice & Lyons’
You gave me rather a start with your letter, because I gather from it that
you employ solicitors much oftener than we would ever dream of doing.