About Us / History
Kidston & Company can trace its history in Vernon back to 1904 when Arthur Ormiston Cochrane started a Firm with Frederic Billings. Since then the firm has evolved, but the commitment to community laid down by Mr. Cochrane remains a strong tradition for Kidston & Company today. Mr. Cochrane’s father had practiced law in Port Perry but due to a recession in 1880 the family moved west in 1887. His father set up law offices in Kamloops and Vernon, but due to the increased practice in Vernon, the family settled here.
Mr. Cochrane articled with his father as a law student preparing him for when he went into practice for himself with Billings. Frederic Billings died in 1915 and subsequently the law firm became Cochrane, Ladner and Reinhart. Shortly after WWI, Cochrane was joined by Mr. Gordon Lindsay, who would later become Judge Lindsay. When Mr. Cochrane died suddenly in 1926 Lindsay continued the firm. He was appointed to Queen’s Counsel in 1957 before being elevated to the bench that same year.
In 1946 the firm became Lindsay & Kidston when Lindsay was joined by our namesake, J. R. Kidston. Mr. Kidston was a model citizen and resident of Vernon. He was president of the local Legion, the local bar association and Vernon Rotary. He was also very supportive of the arts. He was a founding member of the North Okanagan Community Concerts Association and a founding member of the Vernon Community Arts Council. In 1976, he retired from practice with the firm continuing his legacy as Kidston & Company. J. R. Kidston was recognized for his service by receiving Vernon’s most valuable person award in 1990. During the awards ceremony he stated, “I was born in Vernon and raised in this community. [My involvement] was the least I could do to pay my way for all the benefits living in this community gave me.”