About us

Mr Lawrence, meet Mr Hanson

In 1885 Alfred Lawrence, as an adventurous junior clerk, became Australian representative for the giant British General Electric Company and was soon to found the electrical company which would bear his name for a century and more. Lawrence had been asked to go to Australia soon after joining the company. The British General Electric Company had asked for a volunteer from among the company’s staff but it seems no-one was keen to travel Down Under. Alfred Lawrence was not exactly press-ganged into taking the post but was told that such an opportunity might only be presented to a man once in a lifetime; he took the job. On arrival, Lawrence tramped the streets of Melbourne taking orders for BGE and relaying them back to London via telegraph but it was arduous work and failed to satisfy his ambition.

In 1886, Lawrence moved to Sydney and opened the doors of ‘Alfred Lawrence, Electrical Merchants, Engineers & Importers’ for trading on 19 November in Wynyard Street. Lawrence had only been in business for little more than a year and was incredulous as the much sought after lighting goods literally came in the back door from the wharves and were carried out the front by willing customers.

Canny Lawrence saw what was about to happen – Sydney was about to run out of lighting. Backing his judgement and using his own capital plus some from close friends, Lawrence cabled a rush order to England for several thousand pounds worth of lighting equipment – lamps, cable and fittings, and by the time it arrived some weeks later, young Alfred virtually held the only substantial stocks of lighting equipment in the city. It was a tremendous windfall and greatly helped establish the business which had struggled.

The year was 1889 and that electric lighting pioneer Sir Henry Parkes was making his first passionate plea for ‘a great national government for all Australia’ during an address at Tenterfield, NSW. A mutual friend, Arthur Cox, introduced Alfred Lawrence to Arthur ‘Jerry’ Hanson, suggesting the two men form a partnership. Both men could immediately see the advantages – Lawrence was both snowed under with work and short of capital to do anything about it. Arthur Hanson brought a much-needed energy and acute accounting and business acumen to complement Lawrence’s practical knowledge of all things electric. That year ‘The Lawrence & Hanson Electrical Company’ went up on the shingle in Wynyard Street for the very first time.

Sonepar Group

Sonepar 2023 Key Figures

Sonepar is an independent family-owned company standing as the world leader in B-to-B distribution of electrical equipment, solutions, and services. In 2023, Sonepar achieved sales of €33.3 billion. Present in 40 countries with a dense network of brands, the Group is leading an ambitious transformation to make its customers’ lives easier providing them with an omnichannel experience and sustainable solutions in the building, industry, and energy markets. Sonepar’s 45 000 associates are committed to accelerating the world’s electrification and driven by a shared Purpose: Powering Progress for Future Generations.


Leading the market:
33.3 billion euros sales
11 billion euros online sales
#1 world leader

With a powerful network:
45,000 associates
40 countries
85% engagement rate
80 brands
2,400 branches
180 distribution centres

For a positive impact:
Green offer live in 6 countries
2 Billion euro sales in Renewable Energy
2030 Climate targets validated by the SBTi


Sonepar is publicly releasing its worldwide Code of Conduct, in keeping with current practice within the Group.

Marie-Christine Coisne-Roquette, Chairman, said: “Integrity has always been a key value and a compelling behavior at Sonepar. Today, in a world where compliance becomes increasingly essential, the Group is launching a substantial pro compliance and anti-corruption program, both to impress upon everyone the importance of combatting those evils and to help everyone avoid, detect and stop any non-compliant action.”

Philippe Delpech, CEO, added: “Compliance is a challenge for everyone at Sonepar, every day and in everything we do. To help everybody understand Sonepar’s expectations, we are issuing our Code of Conduct, which supplements all existing policies and instructions applicable in the Group. We want all our stakeholders—associates, customers, suppliers and third parties—to know and understand Sonepar’s compliance objectives and focus. Our mission is to communicate continuously, making sure our associates feel comfortable about reporting any event they believe is not in line with our Code of Conduct.”

Sonepar encourages every natural person, whether employed by a Group company or not, to report, selflessly and in good faith, any serious and obvious breach of law or regulation, or any threat or severe harm to the business integrity, such as acts of corruption or influence peddling, and any behavior or situation that violates the Group’s code of conduct, which the individual personally gained knowledge of.

Sonepar is, therefore, launching its Sonepar Whistleblower Procedure ensuring the whistleblower’s identity, the information provided and the identity of the person(s) involved in the reported facts remain confidential. The procedure, inclusive of a secured channel, makes it possible to communicate documents in support of the alert. The channel is outsourced, whereas assessment and monitoring of the alert are not.

Click here to access the whistleblowing tool:

For concerns created prior to December 16 2021

For concerns created after December 16 2021
Whistle Blowing Platform

Whistleblower Procedure

Supplier Code Of Conduct

Code Of Conduct

Conflict Minerals Policy

Lawrence & Hanson is Australia’s most recognised electrical wholesaler with a strong heritage and over 150 branches

Since 1886 we’ve been supplying quality products to customers across multiple market sectors, including residential, commercial and industrial.

‘We Know Electrical’ and strive to be the wholesaler of choice for knowledge, customer service, digital business solutions, consistent pricing and stock availability.

Available stock

We know how important it is to have available stock every time you visit one of our branches, so we stock a consistent range of your everyday items from leading industry brands that are certified to Australian Standards.

Digital Innovation

We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of innovations especially when it comes to digitalising the way you run your business. We have a range of digital solutions that can improve your day to day efficiencies and let you focus on the things that really impact your business, servicing customers.

Expert Advice

We know how quickly things change in this industry and we’re here to assist your business to adapt and move into new growth areas. We not only train our own staff but have access to a wide range of training and education solutions that can assist you and your business, ensuring you’re always up to date with latest products and services available.

Convenient Network

Our National coverage means no matter where you are, we are there too! We have branches strategically located across the country to ensure we’re never too far away to service your next job. Finding a local branch is easy, just visit our branch locator on our website.

Your Price

We know you want your price to be the right price every time you shop with us. We’re working hard so that you can trust us to provide you with consistent pricing no matter the size of your business or the market you operate in.

Careers with Lawrence & Hanson

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Our heritage is strong

Lawrence & Hanson opened its doors in 1886. Today, we have over 150 branches nationally and remain the most recognised electrical wholesaler in Australia.

Our future is bright

It’s never been a better time to join our business. Our five-year plan focuses on people development, business growth and investment in technology and systems.


We invest in our people because we know they make the difference. Last year, we supported the career progression of over 25% of our workforce.

A great place to work

Our people are genuine, and our branch teams have a strong work-family ethos. We work hard, have fun and succeed together.

Financial incentives

We know our people work hard to serve our customers’ needs and maintain their loyalty. In turn, we reward them with an attractive profit share scheme in each branch.

Local meets global

We are part of Sonepar, the world leader in B2B distribution of electrical products. Despite our global scale and reach, we remain true to our Australian heritage.

A message from Gavin Street, our Managing Director

It’s an exciting time for Lawrence & Hanson as we continue to grow our business.

Our people are committed to providing our customers with knowledge, expertise and outstanding service experience.

My leadership team and I want to support our people to grow and develop their capability and be proud to be part of a winning team. This approach has seen us become the most recognised electrical wholesaler in Australia.

We work hard to create a workplace where everyone feels welcomed and included. Our business very much has a family-feel and a strong focus on performance and celebrating success together.

I personally hope you will consider taking advantage of the career opportunities that Lawrence & Hanson offers, and I look forward to welcoming you to the team!