The 16th January 1946 is an auspicious day for us. It was the day that Cliff Amies set up legal practice on his own account in Papakura under the Firm name of "C H Amies – Barrister & Solicitor". It was the day our firm was founded. Cliff recalled, at the time of our 50th anniversary, that he was at the Papakura Military Camp at the beginning of World War Two. Although Papakura "was a sparsely populated rural town, I had a feeling that it might develop because of its position astride the Great South Road and the railway line." At the time, there was only one other lawyer practising in Papakura. Cliff's first office was shared with a real estate agent at the southern end of town opposite what was then Lees Bros Garage.
By 1948, the firm was thriving and changes were in the wind. Cliff decided that another solicitor was needed. He put the word about and it reached Norman Inder, who was then working for a legal firm in Auckland but who had married the daughter of an old Papakura family. Cliff invited Norm to join him, which he did in August 1948. Later that year the firm moved to slightly larger premises at Broadway Papakura (where the ASB Bank is now situated). On 1st October 1949, Norm Inder joined Cliff in the partnership and the firm's name changed to "Amies & Inder".
As a result of ill health, in 1951 Cliff retired from legal practice and subsequently bought the business known as Papakura Stationers. The firm name remained as "Amies & Inder" until 1955. After the sale of Cliff's retail business in 1967, he returned to the law and worked with the firm on a part time basis, ultimately retiring in 1982 but continuing as a consultant until 1988.
Papakura - First Broadway Office 1956
The 1950s were a time of significant decisions that would have a long lasting effect on the firm. In 1952, Norm employed Marjorie Phillips (nee Hill) as a legal secretary. With the exception of a period of time when Marj was raising her family, she has been with us throughout the intervening years. She now has the title of Assistant Practice Manager but that title does not do justice to the wealth of knowledge she has regarding our clients, the law and the best way to make our office operate efficiently. In January 1953, Norm Inder employed Brian Lynch as a staff solicitor. Norm Inder took Brian Lynch into partnership on 1 April 1955 and the Firm name was changed to "Inder & Lynch". In 1956, the firm moved along Broadway to new premises. The office was subsequently extended to the adjoining building as well. The firm remained in those premises until 2002.
First Office at Birkenhead - 1987
Recollections of Papakura
In an article written by Norm Inder in 1990 for the Papakura Rotary, he recalled that " in those early days the practice was very much a country practice. The Papakura Borough as it then was had a population of only some 4000/5000 and was surrounded by the high quality farming districts of Karaka, Paparimu, Ararimu, Hunua and Clevedon. A substantial part of the legal work was oriented towards the farming community." Norm recounted that "residential conveyancing and commercial work gradually assumed a more important place in the practice" as South Auckland grew. The Papakura Magistrates Court sat once each week on Friday and the partners, as true general practitioners, mixed their conveyancing and general practice with a weekly visit to the Court to defend errant drivers and contest matters like fencing disputes, domestic proceedings and civil claims in general."
In 1960 the firm opened a branch office at Station Road, Manurewa. Initially, attendance at this office were by appointment only, but later in the decade and after a shift to larger premises on the Great South Road, Cliff Amies became the resident solicitor. Norm and Brian were joined in partnership by Keith Reid in 1964. The practice was called "Inder Lynch & Reid" until Keith retired in 1968. 1967 was the year when Kay Rule (nee Colman) joined us as an office junior. Kay is still with us today, apart from two short breaks. During those intervening years, Kay has been secretary to Norm Inder, Phil Saunders, Dave Conway and now Greg Stringer. The Firm became "Inder Lynch & Devoy", when Paddy Devoy joined the partnership in 1971, until Paddy's retirement as a result of ill health in 1973.
David Conway joined the firm as a partner in 1973 (with a change of name to "Inder Lynch Conway & Co") to take over the litigation work. Dave specialised in Criminal Law and what was then known as Matrimonial Law. Philip Saunders joined the Firm in 1974 as a staff solicitor and became a partner in 1975. Phil, who is based at our Papakura office, is now our senior partner leading our Commercial Law team. Nicholas Fisher, who was employed as a staff solicitor in 1973, became our first Manurewa based partner in 1976. Nick subsequently retired from the firm in 1987.
Papakura - Second Broadway Office with new logo-1988
Paul Maskell joined the firm in 1979. He was initially based at Papakura but moved to our Manurewa office in 1981. He became a partner in 1983. Paul continues with the Firm as our Managing Partner based at our new Manukau City office. Paul is the leader of our Estate Administration Team. In 1985 Dave Conway left the Firm to travel overseas. At that time, we changed our name to " Inder Lynch & Partners". Three years later, the name was changed again to reflect what, by then, everyone called us – "Inder Lynch".
In 1987 we opened a further office at Birkenhead. More changes came in 1988 when we moved into newly built premises at Manurewa (on the same site as our earlier offices). The team were so grateful for the extended space and new facilities after having to operate out of temporary premises for eight months whilst construction proceeded.
Partners in 1990 - from left to right: Paul Maskell, Phil Saunders, Grant Litchfield, Norman Inder, Brett Norris and Brian Lynch
By 1990 the firm had grown to the extent that two of our staff solicitors (Grant Litchfield and Brett Norris) came into partnership. Grant retired in 1998 and Brett retired in 2001 (at which time we relinquished our office at Birkenhead). Norm Inder retired from the partnership in 1992 and continued with the Firm as a Consultant until his untimely death in 2000.
Chris Lynch and Craig Inder, sons of Brian Lynch and Norm Inder, joined us as staff solicitors in 1986 and 1987 respectively. They both became partners in 1996. Chris, who is based at our Papakura office, leads our Property Law team. Craig, who was based at Papakura until 2012, leads our Trust Law team. Greg Stringer joined the Firm in 1990. He was initially based at Manurewa, then helped grow the Birkenhead office and since 1998 has been based at Papakura. Greg, who joined the partnership in 1998, leads our Litigation team. 1998 was also a turning point for the firm with the retirement from the partnership of Brian Lynch, after 43 years. Fortunately, Brian agreed to continue with us as a Consultant until his unexpected death in 2012.
The growth of the firm in more recent years required a much more structured management approach than was the case when the firm was founded. Matt Pirie was appointed as Office Manager in 1990. Matt's duties took a lot of the day to day responsibilities off the shoulders of the partners, who could get on with attending to our clients' legal needs. Matt retired from the role in 1998 to be able to relocate to Australia. Peter Vujcich was employed to replace Matt and given even broader responsibilities. In his role as Practice Manager, Peter has the primary role for managing the operation of the firm (the staff, the computers, the buildings, the marketing and just about everything else required to run a modern business).
Norman Inder was a partner in the firm now known as Inder Lynch, Papakura, for some 50 years. He was described by Brian Lynch, his partner for most of that time, as "a natural leader, but a very modest man - a meticulous lawyer whose first consideration was the interests of his client. The fee was always a very secondary consideration."
Norman Inder was the son of Eric Inder, a well known Auckland Lawyer. He attended Auckland Boys' Grammar School where he was head prefect, captain of the first XI and first XV and tennis champion.
During World War II Mr Inder served in the Middle East and Italy and in 1946 was a member of the occupation force in Japan. He studied for his LLB
degree while he was in the army and on his return to New Zealand worked for Jacka and McElroy in Auckland before joining Cliff Amies, who had set up a practice in Papakura in 1946. He became a partner in 1949. Mr Amies left the firm in 1951 and the firm became Inder Lynch in 1955.
Norman Inder was a member of the Papakura Rotary Club for many years and was rewarded for his service by being made a Paul Harris Fellow. He became a consultant to the firm before illness forced his retirement, but he continued to work part-time almost up to the time of his death.
Inder Lynch Partners 2007 - from left to right:
Paul Maskell, Chris Lynch, Julian Airey,
Greg Stringer, Sarah Bush, Craig Inder,
2002 was a momentous year for our Papakura people. After 46 years, the firm had to pack up and move to our new premises at the corner of Wood & East Streets, Papakura (back down at the southern end of town where the firm began).
Kantilal Balu, who had practised in Manurewa/ Papakura for many years, joined the firm as a Consultant in 2003, based at our Manurewa office. The following year was momentous for our Manurewa people with a move from the existing offices up to Manukau City. In 2007 Sarah Bush (who had been with us since 2003) and Julian Airey (who had been with us since 2004) were welcomed into partnership.
Sarah, is the leader of our Family Law Team whilst Julian, is the leader of our Employment Law Team.
It was with much regret that Brian Lynch passed away on 9 September 2012. Both Norm Inder (who passed away in 2000) and Brian Lynch provided legal advice and dedication to the people of Papakura and the wider community for more than 50 years, always maintaining the highest professional standards. Their knowledge of the law was supplemented with common sense and humility, enabling them to relate well with people from all walks of life.
Brian Lynch was highly respected within the legal profession, having held officers as president of the Franklin Law Practitioners Association and of the Auckland District Law Society and Vice President of the New Zealand Law Society. He also served on the New Zealand Law Society Ethics Committee and the NZLS disciplinary tribunal and in 2001 received an award as Distinguished Member of the Auckland District Law Society, a rear and prestigious honour.
Both Norm Inder and Brian Lynch insisted upon the firm and its staff maintaining the highest possible standards in legal advice and services to clients and the current partners strive to continue this tradition. We are proud that their names live on in the name of the firm and remind us of the obligation to continue to provide quality legal services to clients.
In 2011 an opportunity came to us to expand our firm into the Franklin area. On the 1st April 2012 John Lamborn (who had his own legal firm and had practised at Pukekohe for 20 years) joined us as a Consultant. We had located premises in the heart of the shopping/business district of Pukekohe and had the interior refitted to give these offices a similar look to both our Papakura and Manukau offices. Despite many time pressures, we opened on Monday, 2nd April 2012. Craig Inder is now the Resident Partner at Pukekohe.
After over 65 years in business, we believe that the future is bright for our clients and us. South Auckland has changed from a rural outpost to a thriving metropolis of its own. The law has significantly changed over that time, presenting a challenge to us to keep up with those changes. In our first "Law Report" in Spring 1999 Phil Saunders wrote that we are a people oriented law firm with a business focus. It is pleasing to note that we have a large number of loyal clients, with many families having been with us for 3 or 4 generations. The high quality of service has been our benchmark for over 65 years. Our commitment is that the same high quality will prevail for the next 65 years.