Welcome to Madras Bar Association
Who We Are
The Madras High Court was established in the year 1862 by a Royal Charter. Barristers who were practicing in the High Court formed an Association in the year 1865. The Association was named as the Bar Association. From the available records, it is noticed that the first meeting of the Association was held on 14th March, 1865.
To start with, only British Barristers were enrolled as members. After a decade or two, Indian Barristers were permitted to become members.
In the initial years, the Advocates-General, who were British, became Presidents of the Association. JOHN BRUCE NORTON, J.D.MAYNES, J.S.CUNNINGHAM, P.O.SULLIVAN, J.H. SPRING BRANSON, ARNOLD WHITE, JOHN ADAMS, J.P.WALLACE, W.BARTON, D.CHAMIER, E.B.POWELL, C.F.NAPIER, JHM CORBET, T.W.BARTON, J.C.ADAM, C.SYDNEY SMITH, NUGENT GRANT British Members of the Bar, were presidents of the Association of which J.B.NORTON, J.S.CUNNINGHAM, P.O. SULLIVAN, SPRING BRONSON and ARNOLD WHITE were Advocates-General. Arnold White became the Chief Justice (1899- 1914). When the High Court was shifted to the present magnificent building in 1892, a hall was given to the Madras Bar Association
In a meeting held on 30th April, 1898, it was resolved to name the Association as the “MADRAS BAR ASSOCIATON’.
During the World War II, Madras High Court was shifted to a school in T.Nagar. This Association was also shifted to 18-A, Rajabathar Mudaliar Street, T.Nagar, on 6th July, 1942.
After Independence, the number of Barristers’ dwindled. In 1951, it was decided to admit advocates who obtained law degrees from Indian Universities as Members.
In 1983, for the first time, Mr.M.R.Narayanaswamy, a Non – Barrister, was elected as the President.