Ebborn Law launched a new brand at its new headquarters in the heart of the Christchurch CBD on March 1st. A wide variety of people attended, including members of the legal profession, political figures and a number of Portia’s NGO partners. In typical style the event was catered entirely by Portia staff. Chief Executive Officer Jarrod Coburn opened the event with a whaikōrero (formal speech). He called for changes within the legal profession, questioning the way the profession ran itself; advocated for a more business-focused approach to bring the profession into the modern world. Jarrod emphasised the need to review and revamp the way legal aid is delivered: firms, he said, are too often forced to jump through administrative hoops only to receive a fee that is a risk
a third of what a private client would bring in. These hurdles are the major cause of law firms shunning legal aid work, as it is seen as too much risk for
Portia, by Henry Woods. A female superhero long before Wonder Woman!
risk for not enough return.
The attendees were grateful to two very special guests, the Minister of Justice Andrew Little and Mayor of Christchurch Lianne Dalziel.
Through his speech the Minister showed a genuine interest in the workings of grass-roots law firms and a good grasp of the issues facing the profession today.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel was very gracious in the praise she had for Erin and the team. She reflected on the growth of the firm since she attended the opening in 2012 – in particular the bright new premises.
Erin Ebborn rounded up speeches. She highlighted the progress Ebborn Law/Portia had made and her ambitions for the future.
Erin took the time to explain the meaning of the new brand name. It is an homage to the Shakespearean character Portia from the play Merchant of Venice. Portia was a woman who had to pose as a man to act as a lawyer and defend her fiancé’s best friend from a money lender to whom he owed a pound of flesh. This story reflects how we work; come at a problem from a position of compassion, but always use our brains to best protect our clients’ interests. The event was a huge success. Everyone involved with Portia or Ebborn Law (as we were known what already seems like a lifetime ago) has worked incredibly hard to get to this point. We all look forward to continue providing our excellent service and to grow until everyone in New Zealand enjoys equal access to justice.