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The retirement of former long time AJ Parks managing partner Andrew Collins brings something of an era to an end. Andrew ran the firm for 15 years, having been hired by Tom Gault, late of the Court of Appeal and former captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, who said at his Auckland farewell that his former colleague had transformed the firm from a national patent attorney practice to an IP law firm with an outstanding international reputation. Andrew’s taken an early retirement to indulge his love of travel, having built a “hometel” (‘Isaan Hometel’, for surfers seeking peace) in northern Thailand with his Thai wife and two young sons.
It’s a grand adventure for Collins, who is certainly not retiring in any conventional sense, but whose love of food and travel is now to be fully realized. He set up Wellington’s first Thai restaurant, Sala Thai, acted previously for Canterbury Clothing, when they were pushing the AllBlack branding, the Whittakers Chocolate company, when they were facing trouble with deregulation and international competition (“they told me they were scared of me”) and a little known golfer named Michael Campbell. (“I gave him some advice on his fade and he said, ‘Look Andrew, I’ve got a caddie, I’ve got a coach and I’ve got a lawyer. You’re the lawyer, not the coach.”) “It’s been a lot of fun,” he said.