With over 40 partners during its 175-year history, Jackson Russell has a record of strong continuity based on enduring values. Many partners have served at Jackson Russell for over 30 years - and some for over 50! Here is a list of the prominent names in Jackson Russell's history:
Fredrick Merriman landed in Auckland and set up practice as a solicitor. When he arrived, the settlement of Auckland was a collection of wooden huts.
Merriman becomes a member of parliament and later the Provincial Law Officer and Crown Solicitor. He was also a prominent member of the Masonic Lodge.
Samuel Jackson joins Merriman and shortly after becomes a partner. The firm is now known as Merriman & Jackson.
James Russell joins the partnership after Merriman dies from illness at just 47 years old, and the firm becomes Jackson Russell. James was one of four brothers who successfully practiced law in New Zealand's early years, focusing on land speculation and gold mining. James was also a founder of the Parnell Cricket Club and represented Auckland in interprovincial cricket.
Samuel Jackson was a highly regarded lawyer who represented many prominent Auckland families. He was called to prepare a death bed will for one of Auckland's first benefactors, Edward Costley. This will helped build some of Auckland's most well established institutions including the Auckland Public Library, the Auckland Hospital and the Auckland Museum.
One of Samuel Jackson's prominent clients, James Dilworth, dies leaving a large legacy in his will that created an institution known as the Dilworth Trust (Dilworth School) in Auckland. Jackson Russell's relationship with the Dilworth Trust is one of the longest continuous client/solicitor relationships in Auckland.
James Russell retires and returns to England to take up the Chairman role at the Waihi Mining Company. His daughters marry into English aristocracy and one of his granddaughters and the wife of one of his grandsons were Maids of Honour at Queen Elizabeth's coronation.
C.J. Tunks is appointed as a partner and grows Jackson Russell's commercial practice. He was closely connected with many charitable organisations including the Anglican Church, Diocesan School and the Kindergarten Association. He was a Knight of Grace of the Order of St John.
Thornton Jackson, the son of Samuel Jackson, joins the firm to continue the Jackson legacy for another 52 years.
Hubert Ostler joins the firm to grow the litigation practice. The firm becomes known as Jackson Russell Tunks Ostler.
Jackson Russell builds its own office building on the corner of Shortland Street and O'Connell Street - the bottom floor of this building is now home to well-known restaurant, O'Connell Street Bistro.
Hubert Ostler is appointed as a Supreme Court Judge and Francis West joins the firm to replace him. West, affectionately referred to as 'Colonel', served in both World Wars and was once Auckland's Regional Commander of Civil Defence. The firm becomes known as Jackson Russell Tunks West.
Tom Jackson, grandson of Samuel Jackson, joins the partnership and continues the Jackson legacy for another 35 years. At the time the firm had a policy where only one son of each partner could join the firm. Tom only received his opportunity after his older brother had a disagreement with Francis West and choose instead to practice law overseas in Samoa.
Jim Rose and Charles Jenkins become partners. Rose joined in 1919 and served for over 65 years. He was awarded a QSO for services to the National Park Board. His daughter married Sir Edmund Hilary, who became a long-standing client of the firm. Charles became a leasehold property specialist acting for the Dilworth Trust. He was instrumental in the merger of a number of client charities to form the Anglican Trust for Women and Children, becoming Chairman of this organisation. He was awarded a QSM for these services.
Richard (Rick) Norris joins the partnership in the litigation department (his father Reginald, having joined the partnership a few years earlier) and serves as a partner for 46 years.
Richard Wilson joins to take over from Tom Jackson. Richard became responsible for many prominent legacy clients including Babich Wines Ltd, and charitable organisations the Auckland Sailor's Home and the Elam Trust for Design and Fine Arts.
Chris Hubbert and Richard Hawk become partners of the firm and serve for 41 years and 40 years respectively. Hawk worked in litigation and brought many new clients into the firm. Hubbert acted for the Dilworth Trust for much of his career and continued that strong relationship.
John Jackson joins the partnership and continues the Jackson legacy for another 30 years. Notably, John Jackson acted for the Dingwall Trust, another legacy client of Jackson Russell, that provides residential care and education to children in need.
Darryl Gregory joins the firm. He was a managing partner of the firm and provided business and personal advice to a number of Jackson Russell's prominent clients. He is known for supporting one of New Zealand's early business success stories - assisting the client from a small start up to a billion-dollar global venture.
Partners from another long-standing firm, Dignan Armstrong & Jordan, which dates back to the 1860s, join Jackson Russell.
Richard Wilson celebrates 50 years as partner. He continues to serve Jackson Russell to the present day as a consultant, having been a partner for 51 years.