Open since 1901.
The Dargaville law firm, Hammonds Law, can trace its origins back to a time when Dargaville was just a collection of buildings.
In 1901, Auckland law firm Nicholson and Gribbin sent an agent North to establish a branch. In 1906, Te Kopuru farm boy Sir Clifton Webb began to work in that Dargaville branch. Eventually he became a soldier, noted rugby player and advanced to the positions of Attorney General, Minister of Justice, Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Island Territories and High Commissioner in London.
By 1940, the firm was known as Astley and Worsley and, at this time, partner Malcolm Cort Astley enlisted as a Lieutenant in the 2nd NZEF, leaving Bill Worsley at the firm. Astley survived the war, and in 1949 left Dargaville to serve as Magistrate in the Auckland Magistrate’s Court.
In 1950 W.G. (Thos) Hammond bought Malcolm Astley’s practice and the firm became known as Worsley and Hammond. He was appointed Dargaville’s first Notary Public and served as District Coroner for 14 years. He had also served in the 2nd NZEF and was awarded an OBE for his community work. Still practicing as Worsley and Hammond after Bill Worsley died, Thos Hammond was joined by Graeme Jackson. When former Mayor, Raymond Gibson, retired from his law firm, his partner Douglas Buchan suggested amalgamation and so the firm became Worsley, Hammond, Buchan and Jackson.
Howard Hammond, son of Thos, trained at Bamford, Brown and Wheaton and returned to Dargaville to purchase Buchan’s interest when he eventually retired to Auckland. Graeme Jackson left to concentrate on his farming operations and son Clive Jackson joined the firm, by then known as Hammond, Jackson and Hammond. Ron Warne began work as a law clerk with the firm in 1981. Ian Bloore purchased Clive Jackson’s interest in the firm when Clive moved to Auckland in 1982. Dave Dennis took over Thos Hammond’s share in the firm in 1986, after working in Nicholson and Gribbin’s Auckland office.
The firm became known as Hammonds. Howard Hammond retired in 2000 and Ian Bloore retired in 2008 when Alistair Hammond, grandson of Thos and son of Howard, joined the firm after working with two Whangarei law firms.
As for the future, it is proposed that the firm will continue to advance and evolve as an independent Kaipara based law firm by growing its skills, experience and expertise, for the benefit of its clients and the district generally.