Six lawyers founded Legal & General in June 1836 to provide financial services in Britain. Over the years, it has focused on providing high-quality products and services to its customers, giving back to society through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and creating value for its shareholders. Following this reorganization, Legal & General ventured into the U.S. market in 1981 by acquiring Government Employees Life Insurance Company for $140 million. The following year, she changed the name of the Washington, DC-based company to Banner Life. In 1984, it acquired Unilife Netherlands, the Dutch subsidiary of Unilife Assurance Group, and added Legal & General Netherlands. At the same time, however, not all of Legal & General`s foreign projects have worked. In 1981, the company decided to stop its non-life insurance activities in France and Australia. In 1987, Legal & General sold its 45% stake in Aegis Insurance, joining the trend of UK companies divesting their South African stakes due to declining profitability, shareholder pressure and concerns about political instability in that country. In the 1990s, Legal & General continued to tinker with its various activities and left the reinsurance sector at the beginning of the decade by selling Victory to Nederlandes Reassurantie Group Holding N.V.
In 1995, Legal & General entered into a joint venture with the Woolwich Building Society to offer Woolwich clients a variety of general insurance policies, including home insurance. In the same year, Legal & General`s Australian subsidiary partnered with Australian insurer SGIO Insurance to acquire SGIC, the South Australian government`s insurance business, for A$170 million (£80 million). Through this transaction, Legal & General acquired SGIC`s life insurance business as well as an investment management contract for the South Australian Government`s liability insurance pool. The company sold its commercial non-life insurance business to Guardian Insurance in 1996 and began providing banking services in the UK the following year after obtaining a banking licence in June. The first service offered by this new company was an instant deposit account service, which was introduced in July 1997. After a management reorganization in 1970, the company`s growing international expansion marked the decade for Legal & General. In 1972, it concluded cooperation agreements with three European insurance companies: Colonia of West Germany, La Paix of France and Reale Mutuale of Italy. In 1973, it merged with the West German Cologne Reinsurance Company to acquire Victory Insurance, Britain`s second largest reinsurance company. Legal & General took over the majority and then bought the Cologne-based minority stake. That same year, it sold Gresham Life Assurance, but retained most of its operations overseas. Between 1974 and 1976, it signed cooperation agreements with AGO Holding (later part of AEGON in the Netherlands), Assubel of Belgium, Life of Eire of Ireland, Vadoise Vie of Switzerland and Nippon Life. In 1976, Legal & General merged its South African general insurance business with Norwich Union under the name Aegis Insurance Company.
The company also took national action in the 1970s. In 1971, she established a pension management subsidiary and founded the Tyndall Fund-Unit Assurance Company to gain a foothold in the mutual fund industry. In 1973, Legal & General acquired real estate developer Cavendish Land. Legal & General has expanded overseas and acquired other companies. In 1931, she opened a life insurance office in Johannesburg. In 1933, it stepped up its annuity business when it acquired the London office of New York-based Metropolitan Life Insurance after restrictions on American insurance companies following the stock market crash of 1929 made it unprofitable for Met Life to continue its UK operations. The following year, Legal & General strengthened its position nationally and internationally with the acquisition of Gresham Life Insurance and Gresham Fire and Accident. Gresham mergers have been particularly important for their long history of doing business overseas. Gresham`s fire insurance business in Australia provided a foundation from which Legal & General began to enter the Australian market in 1948. The Legal & General Life Assurance Society was founded in 1836 when British life insurance was just beginning to flourish. At that time, rapid population growth in the United Kingdom and rising real personal income created favourable conditions for the life insurance industry. Between 1834 and 1836, 310 stock life insurance companies were established, of which Legal & General proved to be one of the most durable.
The founders were six London lawyers – Sergeant John Adams, Basil Montagu, W. C. L. Keene, Kenyon S. Parker, J. H. R. Chichester and George L.
Baker – who called their first board meeting in June 1836 in a law firm at 18 Lincoln`s Inn Fields. At this meeting Adams was elected president and the company`s initial capitalization was set at £1 million, a goal achieved by selling shares in 1839. The first board of directors was set at 24 members, which was increased to 30 at the next meeting, and actions were limited to members of the legal profession. From shortly after World War II until the late 1960s, Legal & General ranked behind Prudential as the second largest life insurance company in the UK in terms of total amounts insured, holding around ten percent of the market. It grew significantly at the beginning of the decade and total assets reached the £1 billion mark in 1970. However, the 1960s were not without controversy for the company: in 1966, angry shareholders complained that Legal & General did not increase its dividend and the company`s directors did not sufficiently explain why. The following year, rumors circulated in the financial press that Legal & General would “act on each other,” selling shareholders to policyholders, but at its 1967 annual meeting, the company declared that the company would not change hands. Legal & General was founded in June 1836 by Sergeant John Adams and five other lawyers in a café in Chancery Lane.  Originally called the New Law Life Assurance Society, the Society was limited to lawyers.
The name was changed to Legal & General Life Assurance Society to reflect the fact that the policies were available to the general public, but ownership of the shares was limited to lawyers. The group expanded into Britain and soon began acquiring foreign life insurance companies, buying a retirement business from the Metropolitan Life Assurance Company of New York in the 1930s.  Legal & General also expanded in another direction when it entered into a cooperation agreement with Kyoei Mutual Fire and Marine Insurance Company of Tokyo in 1989.