Five minutes with...Jared Ormsby, Wynn Williams

by Mackenzie McCarty21 Feb 2014
Jared Ormsby is the executive chairman of Wynn Williams and a partner in the firm's Litigation & Dispute Resolution team. He talks to us about LA Law, Mormon hot chocolates and the commoditisation of legal services...
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
LA Law…I was nine years old - it was on TV right as I was meant to be going to bed!  I probably shouldn't have been watching it but I loved the courtroom action.  Later on in life it became the anticipated thrill of arguing a case for a client.

How long have you worked with Wynn Williams and what brought you to the firm?
I joined Wynn Williams out of law school just over 11 years ago.  What I love about Wynn Williams is the opportunity to work with great people on great cases.  I think I brought an enthusiasm for getting the best litigation work and helping to maintain the firm's reputation, but also a sense of vision for where Wynn Williams is going in the future.

What’s the most interesting/challenging case you’ve ever worked on?
My most interesting case in recent times has to be the dispute over the Christchurch Cathedral.  It's a highly engaging case over a landmark in the centre of Christchurch.  It has divided opinion in Christchurch, and it has been immensely satisfying to succeed in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
You’re based in Christchurch – where’s your favourite place to eat and what’s the best item on the menu?
For lunch I really enjoy going to 50 Bistro at The George – I usually choose the beef fillet.
How do you take your coffee?
I don't, I'm a Mormon, so I usually go for a hot chocolate.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
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 2014?
In my role as executive chairman of Wynn Williams, I think one of the key issues facing us right now is meeting the increasing demand for legal services in a way that sees us grow sustainably and with the best people in a tightening legal sector employment market.  Beyond 2014 I see commoditisation of certain legal services as an issue that all lawyers are going to have to grapple with.
If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?
Concede on a case I am currently taking against the Crown…I might have a bit of a conflict though.
What do you love about your job?
I love working with the people at Wynn Williams.  I am surrounded by young, smart, intelligent lawyers with great enthusiasm for the work and making a difference.  I also have a great EA, great partners, and a great management team.  All of those things make for a great working environment.

What would you change about your job right now if you could?
I don't think I would change anything!