Law Firm Tompkins Wake’s ‘Rotorua Lifestyle’ Factors Drives 30 Per Cent Growth

Law Firm Tompkins Wake's 'Rotorua Lifestyle' Factors Drives 30 Per Cent Growth

Hamilton-based Tompkins Wake has seen 30 per cent growth in its Rotorua office in the three years since it expanded into the city, with Catriona Gordon now joining the firm after working at her Lava Law practice for the last seven years.

Chief Executive Jon Calder says the addition of the new lawyers extends the role of Tompkins Wake’s ‘legacy firm’ background when Davys Burton was founded in 1898.

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The additioin of Catriona Gordon sees two senior lawyers join the firm, which sees continued growth in the region with both lifestyle attractions and more affordable housing being two of the main driving forces behind the growth.

Jon Calder says the firm now has 30 staff in Rotorua and it plans for continued growth.

“Over the past three years, the transactions and business generated by people migrating for the first time or returning to Rotorua, in addition to our existing client base, have seen our business in the region grow by more than 30 per cent, and there is no sign of it slowing down.

“We’ve seen a trend in people making a lifestyle choice to move to Rotorua because they perceive it as being a great place to live, raise a family and work, even remotely. It’s also a community with strong ties, to which people return, particularly young Māori professionals, because of its sense of family and strong intergenerational history.

“Pre-Covid, we’ve seen many set up small to medium sized businesses in the town, which has created opportunities for us to support them. Housing in Rotorua is also relatively affordable compared to other areas, which is a big drawcard.”

A recent study commissioned by the Rotorua Lakes Council supports this thinking. Rotorua is expected to continue to benefit from having housing that is relatively affordable compared to other nearby urban centres such as Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga, which will encourage further inter-regional migration to Rotorua in the near-term. Growth in Rotorua’s employment demand is also expected to draw working migrants into the region.

Tompkins Wake ‘Legacy’ Firm

“In fact, both Catriona and one of her senior solicitors worked for our legacy firm Davys Burton many years ago. It’s that history and local knowledge that is invaluable when it comes to understanding our clients’ needs, particularly as we look to support the local community in the wake of the pandemic.”

Catriona  has worked as a property, trust and commercial lawyer in Rotorua since 1994. Her practice, Lava Law, is strongly focused on the legal needs of private clients, their families, and small to medium-sized business owners.

She says she was drawn to Tompkins Wake by its culture of strong leadership, forward thinking and its holistic approach to looking after its clients.

“Tompkins Wake is very focussed on the wellness of its people and giving them what they need to provide great service to its clients as well as ensuring they have great lives outside of work. With 80 solicitors and 25 partners across the country, the firm also has an incredible depth of knowledge and breadth of expertise, which is not only great for our clients, but also for my team’s learning and growth.

“As lawyers, we work in the service industry, so my philosophy has always been to look after my clients, care for them and make them feel that we understand their needs. I’m excited to have joined a firm that lives and breathes these same values.”

Tompkins Wake’s history in Rotorua dates back to 1898 when its legacy law firm Davys Burton was founded.

Earlier this year, the firm committed to investing $100,000 for four years as naming sponsor of the Rotorua Business Excellence Awards, as well as providing pro-bono legal services to the Rotorua Business Chamber and its members. It also provides financial support and pro-bono services to the Te Aka Mauri the Rotorua Children’s Health Hub and Rotorua Hospice.

Tompkins Wake has offices in Hamilton (HQ), Auckland, Rotorua and Tauranga.

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