History

If Andrew John Park was with us today, he would find it difficult to comprehend how the firm he established has grown, and how society has advanced on the back of technological development.

Andrew John Park qualified as a barrister and solicitor after practising for some years as a surveyor and mining engineer. While making a career as a barrister, he suddenly became deaf and was forced to withdraw from court work. He moved to Dunedin in 1891 and set up practice as a solicitor advising in patent, mining and company law. At the time, this was a newly organised and intensely competitive area of the legal profession.

Andrew John Park was joined by his son, John Rutherford Park. John became a patent attorney and later a solicitor, and A J Park & Son was formed. John became ill and withdrew from the partnership in about 1913. It was at this point that Andrew John Park moved his business to Wellington with his other son Andrew John Park, junior.

In the 1920s, Andrew John Park 'the younger' (as he appears in the official register of patent agents) took over the firm from his father and set about expanding and promoting the business, particularly overseas.

In 1950, on his retirement, Andrew transferred the business to Tom Ennis who had been with him for the previous 15 years. Tom travelled extensively and further strengthened the international affiliations that make the firm so strong today. He also continued to expand the business by employing young executives already or nearly graduated in a variety of professional fields.

Through 1950-1970, Tom was joined in partnership by numerous attorneys including Bill Howie, Tom Syddall and the late Right Honourable Sir Thomas Gault. The firm is proud to acknowledge that the late Sir Thomas Gault was appointed to the New Zealand Supreme Court in 2003, after a term as the President of the Court of Appeal.

From the 1970s the field of intellectual property has expanded and the firm has experienced massive growth, both in size and in the range of skills it was able to offer. This growth was maintained through the 1980s in both our Wellington and Auckland offices.

During the last 20 years we have continued to employ people from a wide range of disciplines with strong technical and legal academic backgrounds. Our firm has played a leading role in meeting the increased demand for expert litigation and commercial services.

We are committed to maintaining a range of skills that will enable us to meet the challenges of the 21st century.