Five minutes with… Andrew Hooker

by Hannah Norton20 Apr 2015

What made you decide to become a lawyer?

I left school and started work for an insurance company and used to work with lawyers all the time.  I found it very interesting, and eventually decided it was the job for me.

When did you start North Harbour Legal Chambers?

About four years ago
 
What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?

I acted for a funeral parlour that botched a burial at sea.  They dropped the coffin from too high and it ended up with the deceased coming adrift mid-air and ending up on a beach a few days later.  All in front of the grieving family.  Needless to say it settled. (The case that is)
 
If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?

  1. Eminem.  His social commentary is grossly misunderstood by most people;
  2. Hone Harawira.  Whilst I might not agree with most of his political views I am hugely respectful of anyone who stands up for what he or she believes in;
  3. John Minto.  As a redneck teenager I supported the Springbok Tour and I’d like to thank him for what he stood up for and his part in changing the world.
 
Where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work in Auckland?

Deep Creek in Browns Bay.  Best ribs by far.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?

I was sitting in a swimming pool in Apia with my mentor and colleague Mike Ring QC in the middle of a long and difficult trial.  I discussed with him my plans and concerns about going it alone.  He told me to “just back yourself”.  I did and never regretted it for one second.
 
Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?

Anything that burns fossil fuels.  I have two motorcycles and spend as much time as I can on them.  There is nothing like a ride on the provinces to clear the mind.  Also have spent quite some time in the silly seat in car rallies and once won the Targa.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…

Bored
 
What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in New Zealand in 2015?

The accessibility and cost of the Court system.  The Courts are becoming increasingly user pays and the court and hearing costs mean that the average person has few options.  As a lawyer specialising in acting for the little person, often against large insurers or corporates, it is a constant juggling act trying to find ways to fund these cases.
 
If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?

Pass the Class Actions legislation.
 
What do you love about your job?

Making a difference for my clients most of whom are in a desperate state when they come to see me.
 
What would you change about your job right now if you could?

Nothing
 
 

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