Hazelton Law

A small firm building a big reputation


  • Hazelton Law - Wellington

    Hazelton Law partner Scott Galloway.

Hazelton Law is a niche legal practice based in Wellington that specialises in construction, insurance and environmental law.

The firm was formed in 2000 when Andrew Hazelton set up the practice to respond to a need for a specialised practice in the areas of construction and environmental law.

In 2001, Scott Galloway joined Andrew as a partner.  Scott brought with him an expertise in insurance law, hence the three areas on which the firm bases its reputation today.  For Scott, working in a niche firm has several advantages.

“Our team is big enough to be able to work on the most complex of cases, but small enough to offer a specialised and efficient service at very competitive market rates.

The way we have structured our practice in terms of size and workflow enables us to provide affordable legal services to a diverse client base.  We can be acting for the Government one day and a local subcontractor the next. The firm’s client mix keeps the work interesting and dynamic,” says Scott.

Prior to Andrew establishing Hazelton Law and Scott joining him in 2001, the pair had been working together in a large national firm.  “Our interests and backgrounds were complimentary, and focusing on construction and insurance law appealed,” Scott recalls.

Whilst the firm now has three partners, three solicitors and an administration staffer, the partners have been very conscious of retaining the niche aspect of the business.  “We always planned to grow,” says Scott, “but not to the point of losing our unique niche character.”

The construction litigation work the firm takes on is as varied as its client base. The Hazelton Law team deals with a wide range of cases from residential leaky building work to multi-million dollar specialist construction projects.  Insurance work is also an integral element of the practice.  Scott is the general representative in New Zealand for Lloyd’s, the global insurance market.

As Lloyd’s is a re-insurer for both local insurers and EQC, Scott has been busy in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes, keeping the Lloyd’s underwriters “in the loop”.

Running a thriving legal business has presented its challenges for Scott and Andrew, and Markhams Wellington partner Bruce Stormer was instrumental in getting the pair started on the right track.

“Andrew was referred to Bruce when he set up the business,” says Scott.  “He needed advice on business structures, accounting, planning and taxation.  It was the first time Andrew had dealt with these sorts of issues so Bruce was invaluable.”

When Scott came on board, Bruce handled both his personal and business affairs.  “Andrew and I were getting to grips with the challenges we hadn’t necessarily anticipated when you set up a business.  Cashflow is a good example.  We were doing really well but growth impacts cashflow.  Bruce told us what to expect and how to manage it.

“When we started out there was a lot of guidance from Bruce and reassurance that we were handling financial matters in the right way.  We made the decision very early on to give Markhams all of our financial matters to handle, both business and personal – both Andrew and I agreed our time was more productively spent handling legal work.”

www.hazelton.co.nz

Published Autumn 2012.




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