New bar appointments showcase Nelson’s top legal talent

by Miklos Bolza21 Oct 2015
Three young lawyers, Tamara Ford, Rory Hennessy and Kirsty Thompson, were admitted to the bar on Thursday (8 October) at Nelson High Court. The ceremony was led by Justice Joseph Williams with Judge Stephen O’Driscoll also on the bench.
“They both gave a wee speech,” Ford told NZLawyer. “They reminded us about the reputation that comes along with being a lawyer. It was all about how you need to be prudent, careful and do your best.”
Ford is presently working in property law with Gillespie Young Watson in Lower Hutt. She worked at the Dunedin Community Law Centre for seven months prior to taking up the role.
“One day I’d like to move back to Nelson but probably not any time soon,” Ford said. “I’m pretty happy where I am right now. Obviously, I want to build up my career, focus on that for a while. I’m enjoying what I’m doing at the moment.”
Thompson was in a year above Ford at Nelson College for Girls with both studying law at Otago University.
Currently in Nelson, Thompson is now working for the family property business. While at Otago, she was part of the university’s women’s rowing eight which reached success on the international stage.
While she wishes to push her sports career further, Thompson still has her eye on the legal profession with plans to attend a sports law conference held later in Melbourne.
Hennessy studied at Nayland College but dropped out at 15. He then went into law at Canterbury and Victoria Universities, taking on a tough subject for the sheer challenge.
He is presently working as a business support analyst in Wellington and wishes to practice company law in 2016.
His application was supported by his father, Kelly Hennessy, who owns a local law firm in Nelson.
“He achieved like I did against the odds, in spite of the education system sort of failing us really,” Hennessy’s father told
Rob Somerville, president of the New Zealand Law Society’s Nelson branch, welcomed the three young lawyers by throwing a function after the ceremony in honour of the new admissions.
“The Law Society were great especially Cathy Knight who organised it all,” Ford said. “It was a really nice way to finish things off. We could go congratulate the others and I actually spoke with Judge O’Driscoll. Judges are pretty busy people and it’s good that he can make the time.”