When Fred Hallam was recruited by a local solicitor at a cricket match in Paxton in 1933, he could not have envisioned that his granddaughter, Lisa Littlewood, would be practising law in Cessnock nearly 90 years later.
Fred had just become a qualified solicitor when WWII broke out and he then joined the RAAF.
At the end of the war, Fred returned and started his own legal practice in Vincent Street, Cessnock.
He was often paid in live chickens, vegetables and fruit delivered to his back door in lieu of cash.
Fred established a legacy for his family of service to the community, being Honorary Solicitor for many service and sporting groups in the Cessnock and Kurri areas, including the RSL, Cessnock Hospital, District Ambulance, Pensioners Association, a foundation member of the Cessnock Lions Club, and serving as an Alderman and Mayor of Cessnock.
In 1951, as Mayor of Cessnock, he famously pushed a wheelbarrow of coal from Cessnock to Parliament House in Sydney to draw the State Government's attention to the need for new collieries in the Cessnock District: it had the desired effect.
The coal mines at Ellalong went ahead and the future of the local coal mining industry was assured.
Fred's son Ken Hallam, daughter Kristine and son-in-law Robert Littlewood followed him into legal services, and Kristine and Robert have practised in Cessnock for nearly 40 years.
Ken retired some years ago to continue his service with the Cessnock Lions Club on an international level.
Lisa, after working for a national law firm for several years post-graduation, joined Hallam & Littlewood seven years ago, and has recently taken over as principal.
Robert is now Special Counsel to the firm and Kristine remains as a senior solicitor. Each generation has continued a strong sense of loyalty to the Cessnock community, employing local people, performing voluntary and pro bono work, offering diverse services and maintaining a high standard of legal practice.
It is one of only a handful of businesses in the Cessnock area to span three generations.