Henderson Reeves recognised as one of NZ’s most innovative law firms

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An established Whangarei firm with a history dating back four decades, Henderson Reeves may be long-lived, but is anything but traditional. And now the company’s forward-thinking policies have seen it recognised in the NZ Lawyer Magazine 2019 Innovative Firms list.

Director Ian Reeves said: “We are really pleased to have been named in this year’s Innovative Firms list, and looking at the list of names it seems like we are in great company. It is very pleasing to see a Northland firm like Henderson Reeves can be recognised for innovation alongside much larger nationwide firms.”

Kim Wilkinson, HR and Marketing Manager for Henderson Reeves, says the firm’s innovations are driven by a desire to stay relevant to the needs of today’s clients and staff. She cites the example of the firm’s highly successful Smart Move Conveyancing brand, which was created to meet the needs of younger first home buyers.

“First home buyers want a quality service at an affordable price, and most of the time that’s achievable because these property transactions can be processed efficiently,” says Kim. “So we spent time creating a structure for Smart Move which means we can offer first home buyers what they want. Then they come back to the firm for other services, so it’s been a great way of introducing a valuable younger client base to the firm.”

More recently, Henderson Reeves has adopted innovative flexible working arrangements to retain top talent and break into the competitive Auckland market.

“There is limited potential for further growth in Northland, but Auckland is another obvious choice for expansion, and we are able to offer something very different in that marketplace,” says Kim. “So when we were approached by two experienced female lawyers who wanted to stay in Auckland, and work flexible hours around their young children, we knew we had a great opportunity to succeed through innovation.”

Henderson Reeves developed a mobile legal service, using branded hybrid vehicles to promote the service to a target market of young, professional and environmentally conscious Aucklanders. Using virtual offices, with remote support provided by the Whangarei office, the firm created an efficient and flexible business model that proved ideal for both clients and staff.

“The Auckland team has grown so quickly we have created a new shared office space in the city,” says Kim. “It gives our Auckland staff somewhere central to meet clients, and it’s really helpful for our Whangarei staff when they are appearing in Auckland courts.”

The virtual office model has been so successful that Henderson Reeves has adopted it across the entire firm. This has been particularly beneficial to new mothers in the process of returning to work, and means the firm can retain talented personnel who might otherwise leave to focus on family.

“We now have two female lawyers with children who have been appointed as Directors,” says Kim. “The flexible working arrangements mean they don’t have to choose between family and work, which is a win for everyone.”

The announcement of NZ Lawyer’s 2019 Innovative Firms list can be found here.

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