Gisborne’s two historic law partnerships, Burnard Bull and Woodward Chrisp – are to combine to be “the largest legal practioners in Tairawhiti and Hawkes Bay”, but not without a degree of resentment over legal work that ‘leaves the district’.
Burnard Bull closes its doors on September 30 after a history of 135 years and the new firm will grow to 40 — 22 solicitors, five legal executives and 13 support staff.
Burnard Bull partner Joe Martin said he had long been concerned larger Gisborne companies and “even the local authority’’ did not support local law firms.
“Maybe it is their view that no one in Gisborne has had the capacity to take on their work, he told the Gisborne Herald.
“It is disappointing to see this legal work leaving the district.
“Woodward Chrisp will have the expertise and capacity, and it is hoped that these larger organisations will recognise this.”
Past Burnard Bull partners had moved on to other successes in the law, including Ashley McHugh, as former Maori Land Court Deputy Chief judge, Wilson Issac, as the current Maori Land Court Chief Jjudge and David Sharp, as a current district court judge.