Our founder, Thomas Lessels Dallas OBE, was an enterprising Scotsman who – after working with Christian Salvesen and Scottish Life – founded the eponymously-named TL Dallas in Bradford in 1919.

At the time of its establishment, there were over 300 textile mills operating in the town, and it was these traders who formed the backbone of our early portfolio. In the years which followed, our client-base grew steadily, thanks to the acquisition – and retention – of many commercial customers, across a range of industries.

Fast-forward to the present day, and the TL Dallas Group has evolved into a modern insurance broking company, owned by our staff and management. Their dedication – spanning numerous sectors – enables us to provide a plethora of industry insight and advice.

While our business has expanded and adapted considerably during its 100-year history, this fourth-generation family company remains true to its roots. We are continually striving to provide optimum performance in all aspects of our operations – from servicing clients, to rewarding those who invest in us.


Thomas (Tom) Lessells Dallas left his home in Scotland and moved to Yorkshire, having secured a job at Roberts Insurance Brokers. He would later go on to marry the owner’s daughter Alice Eleanor Roberts (or Nell, as she was better-known). When his father-in-law died, Tom set up his own firm – likely utilising several contacts he’d made through his work at Roberts.


Tom and Nell Dallas welcome their first child, Ian Dallas.


Ian Dallas leaves school aged 18 and moves to London, to pursue an apprenticeship at Lloyd’s of London – the oldest insurance institute in the world.


War broke out and Ian was called up to the Yorkshire Regiment. Ian’s sister, Babbie, also worked at TL Dallas prior to the war and during the Second World War she continued to work with Thomas to keep the business going in Bradford.


Following the end of the Second World War, Ian and Barbra Dallas were married.


Ian’s work as a soldier is over and he returns to Yorkshire to begin a full-time position at TL Dallas and take over the running of the company.


Colin Dallas is born to Ian and Barbra Dallas.


Colin Dallas – eldest son of Ian – joins the business following the completion of his MA in Economics and Philosophy at Dundee University.


Bowring purchase a 70% stake in TL Dallas.


Bowring buy the remaining 30% of TL Dallas and assume full-ownership, renaming the firm ‘Bowring TL Dallas Ltd’. Later that year, the company is acquired by US brokerage, Marsh McLennan.


John Butterworth and Colin Dallas lead a successful management buyout to reclaim ownership of the organisation. They subsequently rename it ‘TL Dallas & Co Ltd’.


TL Dallas (City) Ltd is established as a retail brokerage in London.


TL Dallas (IFS) Ltd is formed in Bradford, the team specialised in offering pensions, investments and wealth management.


A new branch office opens in Shetland.


The firm acquires two other brokers on Shetland, making TL Dallas the only insurance broker on the island.


Polly Staveley – great-granddaughter of the founder – joins as a trainee credit insurance broker.


A specialist credit insurance division opens in Falkirk, strengthening the existing credit insurance division in Bradford.


Mackenzie Dallas – great-grandson of the founder – joins the business.


TL Dallas (Scotland) Ltd is formed in Glasgow, offering commercial and private client insurance.


The Edinburgh branch of TL Dallas (Scotland) Ltd opens. Specialisms include High Net Worth Individuals and bespoke, commercial insurance.


TL Dallas (NI) Ltd is established in Belfast as a full-service, independent insurance broker.


Polly Staveley, takes over as the Group managing director and John Butterworth becomes executive chairman.


TL Dallas celebrates 100 years of trading, by setting a fundraising goal of £100,000.

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