Two Marlborough lawyers who worked with Greg King have described him as a "powerhouse" of the legal profession and a person who got on with everyone.
Mr King, 43, was well known as defence lawyer in many high profile cases, including that of Kevin King, accused of the manslaughter of Matt Heagney in Blenheim in 2009, and Scott Watson for the murder of Olivia Hope and Ben Smart in the Marlborough Sounds in 1998.
He was found dead beside his car in Wellington on Saturday.
Lawyer Rennie Gould, who moved to Blenheim from Wellington this year, said she had known Mr King for about 20 years, as long as he had been practising in Wellington. She also knew his wife Catherine Milnes-King.
Mrs Gould, who had worked alongside Mr King on a committee and in court, said he was a "powerhouse" of the profession who was hard working, well liked and respected.
"If you asked him about something, he would always get back to you. You might have to wait a bit, but, considering how busy he was, he was very generous with his time."
Mrs Gould and fellow Blenheim lawyer Bryony Millar are planning to attend Mr King's funeral on Friday.
Mrs Millar worked with Mr King on the Kevin King manslaughter trial in Wellington last month. She said he was an exceptional lawyer and a genuine man.
"He had a great rapport with his clients. He was someone who was able to talk to everyone on a really personal, genuine level whether they were a client, a lawyer, a friend."
His death had come as a huge shock, she said.
Mrs Gould said Mr King had not been looking well for a while and she thought his death would prompt lawyers to take a good look at their profession.
- The Marlborough Express