Bringing legal services down to earth and making solicitors more approachable is one of the key drivers behind the creation of new community law practice The Legal Team, based in Silverdale.
Founders Richard Worker and fellow directors Jessica O’Dea and Katie Self previously worked together at North Harbour Law in Ōrewa, but decided to pool their local knowledge and form their own small, hands-on practice.
The last thing they wanted was to be bland and faceless, so they gave Richard’s designer partner, Christine Granger, free rein to make The Legal Team into something a little different.
The result is a lawyers’ office like no other, with rusted steel, exposed concrete, dark wood and colourful graffiti decorating the open plan offices. Quirky touches like a wall of plants, a collection of wall-mounted typewriters and a clutch of men’s formal hats as downlight shades combine to create a space that seems more like a hip bar or restaurant than an office.
“We wanted everything to be more relaxed,” Richard said. “We’re all locals, we’re very much connected and we’re just trying to be down to earth and approachable. People are welcome to walk in off the street and say hello.
“We didn’t want it to be clinical, we wanted people feeling comfortable. There’s a great vibe here.”
Richard is well known on the Coast for his work with Age Concern and local surf clubs, and he is on the board of Destination Ōrewa Beach. Experienced city lawyers Jessica and Katie put down local roots with their families six years ago and enjoy combining their professional and regional knowledge to assist Coast clients. They have been joined by a new lawyer, Carol Wang, a local from Millwater and a Mandarin speaker, legal executives Michelle Paul and Sharynn Walmsley and a full support team, covering all areas of commercial and company law, separation and relationship property, residential conveyancing, property sharing, asset and estate planning and access to a notary public.