Jackson Russell

Traditional values endure, modern practices lead for top law firm

  • Jackson Russell

    Marcus Rudkin (left) and Darryl King, Jackson Russell Business Law Partners.

Take a read of the history section of Jackson Russell’s website and you’ll see that many of the Auckland legal firm’s partners have contributed impressively to New Zealand’s development, legally, politically and culturally over the past 170 years.

As one of this country’s oldest and most respected law firms, Jackson Russell, still located in the same area of Auckland city since its inception in 1844, provides legal services to business and individual and family clients across almost the full spectrum of the law.

Developing enduring relationships of integrity and discretion was the underpinning factor of the firm’s longevity, says partner Marcus Rudkin.  “Many of today’s clients are proud to claim third and fourth generation relationships and commercial connections linked to some of Auckland’s earliest enterprises.  We’ve even got one that has been a client of Jackson Russell since 1894.”

Another contributor to the firm’s continued success was its adoption of modern practices to keep it “sharp and leading edge”, says Janet Lee Martin, Jackson Russell practice manager.  “There’s a belief here that to survive and prosper, it’s imperative that a business must keep abreast of the marketplace and adapt to meet the ever-changing environment.”

To this end, Janet says the information provided through Moore Stephens Markhams Auckland Legal Practitioners’ Financial Performance Survey has been invaluable.  “I’ve religiously completed the survey since joining the firm.  It’s invaluable in the information it supplies; in fact, it’s the most useful of all the surveys we do as the information is grouped so we can compare ourselves with like firms.”

Janet says that the most positive aspect of the anonymous comprehensive report supplied to participants, is information about partner equity and salary information.  As a firm of 32, with 8 partners, 4 associates, 6 lawyers, 12 legal and administration support staff, plus 2 consultants, managing Jackson Russell’s human resource cost effectively, is critical.

“We use the report information extensively.  It provides an aspiration.  It shows us what can be achieved and what we can learn from other firms,” says Janet.

Another challenge for the firm is the ongoing transformation of partners retiring and younger ones joining the partnership.

It was in this area that Jackson Russell’s involvement with Moore Stephens Markhams’ legal specialist Sam Bassett developed.

“We knew of Sam in the marketplace and of his expertise in succession planning within the legal industry.  We were aware that he had advised other partnerships with concepts and that he had a good reputation, which is very important to us,” says Marcus.

“We wanted someone with their finger on the pulse, with good commonsense who understood how to move us from point A to point B.  And someone who valued integrity and discretion as we do.  Sam had a reputation as being very good at all that.”

Janet says she found Sam and his manager Belinda Young “a terrific team to work with.  They understood what we wanted to achieve, they were professional and everything went smoothly with no hassles or delays.

“I’d definitely recommend them to the partners again if we needed an independent advisor.  His knowledge of the legal industry is extensive.”


Published Spring 2013.

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