NZLawyer chats with Paul Hubbard, partner at Downie Stewart Lawyers in Dunedin.
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
Not sure really. It was a career that I had in mind when entering university and was the one subject at university that I really enjoyed and so carried on with.
How long have you worked at Downie Stewart Lawyers and what brought you to this position?
I’ve only been with Downie Stewart for a relatively short time. I practised previously at Kensington Swan in Wellington – for four years – and Anderson Lloyd here in Dunedin – for almost 15 years. The move to Downie Stewart was motivated by a desire to reconnect with my clients and have a little more control over my own practice. I find now I have more flexibility to manage my time so I can attend things like school sports and the like.
What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
There’s nothing that I’d call strange really. Probably the most interesting and varied case was assisting Allan Hubbard’s statutory managers whilst I was with Anderson Lloyd. It seemed at one point like every day for quite a long time we were looking at a map that was only revealing itself as you encountered new territory.
If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Lee Trevino, the pro golfer, Robin Williams and Dawn French. They are or were all great raconteurs and amusing storytellers so it would make for a fun and lively dinner conversation.
Where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work in Dunedin?
No.7 Balmac in Maori Hill. It’s only a few blocks from my home, has excellent views, wine and food, and has a friendly atmosphere without the hassle of the city.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?
Tell the truth, life is a lot less complicated that way.
Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
I’m a very keen golfer. I also have a golf widow, Diane, and 3 bright kids, Abby, Sarah and William.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
A pro-golfer. The only problem is I am not talented enough! Maybe a golf commentator?
What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in New Zealand in 2015?
How to keep up with the compliance demands being imposed on lawyers let alone our clients! By that I mean not only the new health and safety laws but the additional things that need to be dealt with as part and parcel of operating a law firm such as operating a trustee company under the new trust laws coming into place plus new identity requirements for anti-money laundering and counter terrorism that are meant to help us know our clients better.
If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?
Abandon the flag change and put the money saved into health.
What do you love about your job?
The clients. I am lucky that the people that I generally work for are genuinely lovely people.
What would you change about your job right now if you could?
Can I ask for a Wednesday afternoon off each week? There is a golf game at Balmacewen that afternoon…