“Law on the Shore” – ADLS’ North Shore Dinner
ADLS kicked off end-of-year celebrations early last month with its second annual North Shore Legal Dinner, at The Wharf in Auckland’s Northcote Point.
The evening was a chance for members of the North Shore legal community to reflect on another busy year, while enjoying the beautiful – though somewhat overcast – outlook over Auckland’s Harbour Bridge.
Around 40 local practitioners were in attendance, including a number of members of the judiciary, and we were privileged to have long-time North Shore resident and Court of Appeal Judge, the Hon Justice Raynor Asher, as guest speaker for the evening.
With the North Shore his Honour’s “homeland” since 1975, Justice Asher’s talk was in essence a “love song to the North Shore” – a place he thinks about “wistfully on cold and windy Wellington nights”.
His Honour spoke of his love of the Shore’s beaches and water activities, his family roots in Devonport, the childhood excitement of catching the ferry to visit his grandparents, and his discovery of the Surfside Ballroom as a teenager.
As an adult, the Shore was the only place he considered living: “I will never live anywhere else,” he said. Aside from the fun of the annual “Pink House regatta” (organised with fellow North Shore lawyer, Bill Spring), the North Shore in the 1970s was “the place to be” job-wise, with all the big city firms opening offices there.
Justice Asher’s own first law job on the Shore was at Kensington, Haynes & White, working under “the famous Don Dugdale”, whom he recalled fondly, and he shared anecdotes about the North Shore’s inaugural judge (and Justice Asher’s one-time neighbour), Judge Murray. His Honour also recounted tales of sorting out the disputes of “Golden Mile” residents, who frequently clashed over alleged interferences with views and rights-of-way.
In contrast with those heady days, Justice Asher noted the decampment of most of the CBD firms from their former Northern outposts in recent times. Yet, his Honour does not view this as a bad thing: “The North Shore has its own unique and special identity as a collection of villages. The lawyers who work there do so because they love it. They understand its geography, its values, and want to serve their community – may that long continue.”