Thomas Townend Dibb

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Thomas Townend Dibb was an English lawyer and one of the founders of DLA Piper.

DLA Piper multinational law firm

DLA Piper is a multinational law firm located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. It is regarded as one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the world, in terms of revenue and lawyers. In 2014 it had total revenues of US$2.48 billion and average profit per equity partner of US$1.490 million, and was the third largest law firm in the United States as measured by revenue.


Early life

The son of a physician, Dibb was born in Leeds in 1807. He was educated at Leeds Grammar School and qualified in law in 1829.


He then became a partner of Atkinson Bolland & Atkinson, a well established practice at that time and with record of its existence from 1764. Nearly a century later, the firm was known as Dibb, Lupton & Co.until 1988, when it merged with Broomheads of Sheffield. In 1996, linked with Alsop Wilkinson, the firm was known as Dibb, Lupton, Alsop and shortened to DLA around 2000. DLA became DLA Piper. A Victorian bust of its founder is displayed in the reception foyer of Leeds office.

Sheffield City and Metropolitan borough in England

Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is 577,800 (mid-2017 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third-largest English district by population. The metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000.

Bust (sculpture) Sculpture of a persons head and shoulders

A bust is a sculpted or cast representation of the upper part of the human figure, depicting a person's head and neck, and a variable portion of the chest and shoulders. The piece is normally supported by a plinth. The bust is generally a portrait intended to record the appearance of an individual, but may sometimes represent a type. They may be of any medium used for sculpture, such as marble, bronze, terracotta, wax or wood.

Personal life

Dibb had no children and little is known about his personal life, though the Yorkshire Post obituary of June 1875 hints at a recognisable Yorkshire element in his character. It lists numerous acts of public benevolence, including involvement with the Leeds General Infirmary and a fund for the benefit of widows and orphans of the Crimean War. "As he ripened in years and experience" it continues, "he came to be regarded as one of the most influential in the borough and for a long period the firm, which he in the course of time rose to be chief, has had an influential and extensive practice". But as well as paying tribute to his "ripe knowledge and shrewd judgement", the obituarist somewhat unusually comments that "in his intercourse with others Mr Dibb was not remarkable for his suavity". This suggests a degree of Yorkshire bluntness which colours the rather austere impression which his bust conveys. [1]

Crimean War military conflict fought between October 1853 – March 1856

The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, which was a part of the Ottoman Empire. The French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense. It has widely been noted that the causes, in one case involving an argument over a key, have never revealed a "greater confusion of purpose", yet led to a war noted for its "notoriously incompetent international butchery".

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  1. All information in this page was extracted from the plate on the bust of Thomas Townend Dibb.