News Story

It's Official

14th August 2019
It's Official

Photo: Partners Adam, Ellie, Ross & Jeff, captured by the Gisborne Herald for the press release

Today, we have let the Gisborne Herald know of the following ......                                                          

Joe Martin

Joe Martin

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Two of Gisborne’s oldest law firms will become one on 1 October. Burnard Bull wishes to announce that it will be closing its doors on 30 September 2019. Joe Martin, a partner at Burnard Bull for the last 35 years will become a consultant at Woodward Chrisp. Jacqueline Blake, a partner at Burnard Bull since 2003, will be continuing as a sole practitioner primarily in the area of Family Law.  Joe said he is proud of Burnard Bull’s success and history. The firm can trace its roots back 135 years and has practised under the name Burnard Bull for about 100 years. Past Burnard Bull partners have moved on to other successes in the law, including Ashley McHugh, as former Deputy Maori Land Court Judge, Wilson Issac, as the current Chief Maori Land Court Judge and David Sharp, as a current District Court Judge. Joe said “I am looking forward to starting a new chapter with Woodward Chrisp.”

Practice Manager, Michelle England said “Woodward Chrisp partners, Ross Revington, Adam Simperingham, Jeff Allen and Ellie FitzGerald, are pleased to welcome Joe to the firm along with other Burnard Bull solicitors and support staff.” Ross Revington, a partner at Woodward Chrisp since 1982, said “I am looking forward to working alongside Joe; we have known each other since law school.”
Woodward Chrisp will be expanding its offices at the Emerald hotel building to accommodate the additional staff. Woodward Chrisp partner Ellie FitzGerald said “the transition for Burnard Bull clients will be made as seamless as possible. Burnard Bull files and deeds will be retained at Woodward Chrisp. Burnard Bull phone numbers will be retained, and clients will be able to deal with the people they have dealt with for many years.”
Like Burnard Bull, Woodward Chrisp has a proud history and has been in existence, in various forms, since the 1880’s. Woodward Chrisp offers advice to a wide range of clients across all aspects of the law. Michelle England said “with the addition of 8 people from Burnard Bull the team will grow to 40; 22 solicitors, 5 legal executives and 13 support staff. Woodward Chrisp will be the largest law firm in Tairawhiti by a considerable margin, and larger than any existing Hawkes Bay firm.”
Joe Martin said “for some time I have been concerned that the larger Gisborne companies, and even the local authority do not support local law firms. Maybe it is their view that no one in Gisborne has had the capacity to take on their work. 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.”