We would like to advise our clients and business friends that at the end of November we will farewell our long standing partner Celia Barker. Celia has decided to take the time to “design a second life” and therefore will be retiring as a partner of our firm.
Celia joined Cavell Leitch in 1980, her first work being with the litigation team, before moving to work on subdivisions, property, business and Trust and Estate planning work from 1983. She recalls that at that time her first appearance in court was to obtain a divorce for a client, which stopped needing a court appearance so long ago that most will have forgotten that it used to require one. She worked in the Christchurch offices in Manchester Street, Hereford St in the National Bank building, and then in Clarendon Tower. After some years there she became the first full time solicitor at the Riccarton branch of Cavell Leitch in 1993. She managed the Riccarton office for a number of years until it was ‘red stickered’ by CERA due to risk of collapse from the next door building. She then moved to the Hazeldean premises post-earthquake in 2012.
Being the first female solicitor at Cavell Leitch is something that Celia remains immensely proud of. At the time she graduated with her law degree she was one of only just over 100 women in New Zealand who held a practising certificate. Seeing the Cavell Leitch partnership grow to include so many female partners and in that regard outstrip most other legal firms in New Zealand has been a career highlight for Celia.
Celia has built a reputation for being a caring and diligent professional, always prioritising the needs of her clients. She acknowledges that throughout her career her main interest has always been people "I have appreciated being able to help clients to achieve both their personal and investment projects, to allay their fears and worries and help them make important decisions or obtain peace of mind in respect to their business and family affairs".
Celia has also been a wonderful mentor for young solicitors over the years, investing her time in training them and encouraging them at the outset of their careers.
Time is something that Celia is looking forward to, time for herself and time to plan her next adventure. She is lucky enough to have friends and relatives all over the world and having no work commitments means she will be able to plan a multitude of adventures which will include seeing them, as well as some more tramping and skiing in NZ and also skiing overseas.
We wish Celia all the best with her next stage of life and thank her for her lasting commitment and loyalty to our firm.