Nelson legal family spawns four generations of lawyers

Hamish Fletcher and son Jack celebrate four generations of Fletcher family lawyers, following Jack's graduation from ...

Hamish Fletcher and son Jack celebrate four generations of Fletcher family lawyers, following Jack's graduation from Victoria University's law school on Wednesday.

A Nelson-based family of lawyers has seen yet another member enter the legal profession.

On Wednesday, Jack Fletcher became the fourth generation on his father's side to graduate from Victoria University's law school.

Victoria University spokesperson Claire Peacock  understood it was "unprecedented" for the university to have four generations from one family graduate from its law school.

The Fletcher family has been long established in Nelson, with Jack's great-grandfather "Vern" graduating law school in 1928. He went on to co-found Fletcher and Moore law firm in Nelson in 1950.

Jack's father Hamish began his career in law delivering mail for the family firm, working under both his grandfather and father.

"Vern used to tell me stories about working as the council solicitor and I used to visit Dad's horticultural and farming clients with him, which sparked my own interest in becoming a lawyer. My law firm still does regular work for the Nelson City Council, it's been great to continue that relationship," Hamish said.

"We also continue to act for a lot of my late father's clients, and the odd one of my grandfather's, too."

Hamish set up his own firm in Nelson, Hamish Fletcher Law, in 2003 and is also partner at Oceanlaw. But when it came to his son, Hamish said for a while it didn't look like he'd take up the family business.

"We thought he was going down a sporting route," Hamish said, but was pleased his son had taken to academics so well.

After an injury halted his baseball and softball plans, Jack took a gap year before deciding he needed a challenge.

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"Given my family is full of lawyers I thought the law might be something that would challenge me," Jack said.

Jack said he had been fortunate to have a position at Kahui Legal in Wellington during his studies, and it had sparked an interest in Maori law.

"I definitely want to do something in the Maori legal space just because that's something I'm passionate about," he said.

"Working with iwi and Maori clients, probably more in terms of the Maori commercial space."

For now, Jack is doing a full immersion Maori course at Waikato University before looking for a law job.

As to whether he'd return to Nelson for a job at the family business, Jack laughs.

"Yeah, my dad's sort of slowly trying to pull me in but it would be something I'd look into later down the track, coming back to Nelson and putting down my roots there, but you never know what can happen."

Hamish said he'd love to have his son in Nelson, but wasn't expecting him home anytime soon.

"It would be wonderful if he were to ultimately come back and work in the family business but I suspect that he will want to pursue a career before he ever heads back home."

For now Hamish said they were pleased to have been celebrating Jack's achievements as a family in Wellington this week and to have seen another generation cross the graduation stage to receive an LLB.





 - Stuff


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