Mai Chen moves to Auckland

Last updated 05:00 26/06/2012

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Lawyer Mai Chen has put the Wellington house on the market and will up-sticks to Auckland, but she says that's not because business is bad in the capital – in fact it is booming.

The 18 lawyers in Chen Palmer public law and employment law firm are busier than ever, but Chen is spearheading an expansion into Auckland and will move there. She will recruit a new team for Auckland, not shift staff from Wellington.

"I think it is unlikely [any would move] because the business here is fantastic." Chen Palmer had its best year ever in 2011 and this year would be another record-breaker, she said.

"The great thing is that the government keeps me in business," she said, with more regulation being introduced regardless of who was in power.

Asked if she would give up the top job in the Wellington practice, she said: "No, but I have a succession plan in and I'm keen to action it".

The firm turns 20 years old in 2014, "so watch this space ... you will see some transition".

She already spends two days a week in Auckland seeing clients and about 70 per cent of them were already based there.

Chen's Wellington home was already on the market and the family was set to move to Auckland.

"I will miss the people and our wonderful house ... I will be sad about that after spending a fortune to get it just right."

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