On 26 January, 1951, our Firm’s founder Michael Montanios was awarded the degree of the Utter Bar (to use the full name) in the historic Great Hall of the Middle Temple. For those who may not be familiar with its history, the Middle Temple is one of the four ancient law schools that make up the Honourable Societies of Gray’s Inn, Inner Temple, Middle Temple and Lincoln’s Inn, situated in the heart of London near The Royal Courts of Justice. For centuries, these four legal societies, known collectively as the Inns of Court, have had the exclusive right of conferring the professional title of Barrister-at-Law.
On returning to what was then the Colony of Cyprus, Michael Montanios enrolled in the Roll of Advocates maintained by the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court on 23 February 1951. He commenced his professional practice as a lawyer on that date in a small office near the Courts, the Land Registry and the Police Station in the port city of Famagusta. To this day, year in, year out, we celebrate that date as marking the genesis of our firm.
In 1966, Eric Montanios, who also studied in London and qualified as a Barrister-at-Law of the Middle Temple, joined his father’s law practice. In 1969 this was registered as a partnership under the name “Montanios & Montanios – Advocates & Legal Consultants”.
In 1972, Acis Montanios, who studied in London and similarly qualified as a Barrister-at-Law of the Middle Temple, joined the family firm.
In 1979 Adam Montanios, the founder’s third son, having studied law at the University of Hull-upon-Tyne and having been awarded an LLB Honours degree, joined the partnership, thereby inaugurating the tradition of non-barrister lawyers in the Firm.
In 1990, Maria Toumazi, a practising solicitor in a City of London law firm, returned to Cyprus and joined Montanios & Montanios. A decade later, in 2000, she was the first non-family member to become a partner, an appointment following that of Zoe Montanios, who had joined the partnership earlier.
In the years that followed, our law practice grew, with the firm now counting nine equity partners among its team of 22 lawyers. In addition to those already mentioned, Petros Iacovides, Avra Arestis-Zachariades, Elvina Montanios and Yiannis Papapetrou were admitted to full partnership.
From 1951 to 15 August, 1974, when the Turkish army of invasion occupied the city of Famagusta, the firm’s chambers were located in Famagusta.
As of 1 September, 1974, the practice relocated to Limassol. In August, 1979, the partners decided to set up the firm’s head chambers in the capital city of Nicosia, while continuing operations at its Limassol office. For all concerned, it is a matter of pride that, additional to the partners, members of our professional family include colleagues who have been working with the firm for more than five decades.
In 2010, following the amendment of the Advocates Law, the M & M partnership was incorporated as an LLC and continues as such to this day.