Noel Kenion and John Lowe Woods were interned in Changi Prison.
While in Changi, A.N. Kenion and J,L. Woods entered into
partnership and agreed that the survivor of the two should take
over the other's firm. A.N. Kenion was gravely ill when the war
ended, he was admitted into hospital and he died soon after.
Thus the burden of incorporating the two firms of Maxwell and
Kenion, Cowdy and Jones fell on the shoulders of J.L. Woods.
Instead of leaving for Ireland and the United Kingdom as most
other expatriates did for recuperation, John Woods returned to
Before leaving for Ireland, John Lowe Woods arranged for his
former partner Mr. Jones to take charge for six months and
another lawyer to assist in the firm. But his illness was far
more serious, it was 1 year and six months before he was able to
resume his work in Ipoh.
To this day in the library of Maxwell, Kenion, Cowdy & Jones,
the pre-war law reports bear the respective names of the
separate firms of Maxwell & Kenion and Cowdy & Jones.
Two of the pre-war office safes are still in use, the looters
found it too heavy to cart away; needles to say, the contents
John Lowe Woods amalgamated the firm of Maxwell & Kenion, and
Cowdy & Jones on 11/11/1945, and occupied the premises of
Maxwell and Kenion, Mercantile Bank Building, 1 st Floor,
Station Road. The annual auditing for the financial year of
Maxwell, Kenion, Cowdy
& Jones closes on the 31st of October of each year, a practice
established by John Lowe Woods.
As a matter of interest soon after the war the first floor of
the Mercantile Bank Building on Station Road was for a short
while occupied by the office of the Custodian of Enemy Property.
A Ceylonese gentleman by the name of A. Sinnaduray was appointed
by the said office to process the claims, The gentleman was none
other than the late father of S. Jeya Palan who is a present
Richard Weston Peters and Colin Wilfred Shuttleworth were
members of the British Military Administration (BMA) following
the Japanese surrender. Both were pre-war solicitors practising
in the United Kingdom. While in Malaya at that time, they were
members of the
Legal Affairs Department of the BMA. Colin Shuttleworth
qualified with a B. C. L. and L. L. M.
They were both serving in Perak at that time and were approached
by John Lowe Woods to join the firm, to which they agreed. As a
consequence, they both took their release from the army in
Malaya and started as assistants in Maxwell, Kenion, Cowdy &
On March 28th 1956, John Lowe Woods fell ill suddenly and was
admitted to the Batu Gajah Hospital, which then was reserved
exclusively for Europeans. He died the next morning at 8.30 a.m.
March 29th1956 and was buried at 'Gods Little Acre' in Batu
Gajah. A simple granite headstone marks his grave. His staff
remember him as a kind hearted and generous man. A man given to
charitable deeds, John Lowe Woods in 1948 made arrangements for
a Staff Provident Fund.
108 years have passed since Maxwell, Kenion was founded and 68
years since it was amalgamated with Cowdy & Jones; it has stood
the test of time and its own tribulations. The dusty ledgers and
dickensian appearance are a thing of the past as a result of
The office is centrally air-conditioned which was once the
privilege of partners. Currently there are altogether 1
consultant, 10 partners, 5 associates and support staff of 45.
The nature of work has changed; the firm always had a general
practice. There used to be more criminal litigation but it has
gradually declined and the emphasis is on civil litigation,
corporate work and conveyancing. Hence, for all intents and
purposes, this firm has been in existence for a period in Excess
of 100 years.