14 Partners and over 60 staff
Glaister Ennor now has 14 partners and over 60 staff, and occupies all four floors above ground of Norfolk House. We’re a heritage firm: many of our original families continue as clients today. Some of them are second, third, and even fourth generation. Also, our staff turnover is unusually low – six have been with the firm for more than 20 years, and 12 have been with us for over 10 years.
Now the buildings are a bit different
Our property expertise is still a key part of what we offer clients – WDM Glaister (in 1907) could never have envisioned buildings like the Deloitte Centre (100m tall with 23 stories!) at 80 Queen Street. Actually, we advised on the purchase of that building, and to date, it is the largest office tower acquisition in New Zealand.
The speed of doing business
Clients can access their own documents by logging into the Glaister Ennor website, and property transactions are facilitated by e-dealing through LINZ. Hard copy versions of documents are becoming rare. The speed of doing business may have changed, but the need for accuracy remains. It is just a whole lot easier to make corrections!
1907 - Growing with Auckland
In 1907, WDM (Murray) Glaister, aged 29, set up his sole practice as a solicitor in the McKenzies building, just a stone's throw from Glaister Ennor's current offices. Small, dimly lit by gas lamps, the office would have been warmed throughout the day by only a coal fire burning in the grate. In summer and despite the heat, WDM Glaister and his clients were still dressing for “mother England” with layers and layers of clothes. And, fountain pen manufacturers were still trying to get the kinks out of refilling technology. Auckland was a boom town: shaking off its “frontier” image and aiming for respectability.
1912 - Queen Street
Legal work in Glaister Ennor’s early years revolved around conveyancing. Edwardian Auckland was a fast growing port thronging with immigrants needing to be housed. Land developers subdivided the close-packed suburbs of Ponsonby and Grey Lynn (now chic inner city areas) for workers’ housing. And, substantial villas were built in Parnell, Epsom, and Remuera for the city’s social and commercial leaders.
Telephones consisted of two separate pieces: a stand with a mouthpiece and an earphone. When they were introduced in Auckland in 1880, there were only 10 subscribers! Go-getters at Glaister Ennor soon got the hang of using them, but some older staff just never got the knack. Typists had to be meticulously accurate (Twink was half a century away, and Control Z was a science fiction daydream) or re-do entire documents. Each document had to be finished with a series of dots at the end to show that nothing was missing or had been added. Wills had to be written on a single sheet of paper or with inserted pages sewn in with green tape.