Skip directly to main content

Johnston Lawrence

Home > Firm profile > Our History

Our History

We've come a long way. From a progressive firm in 1920's Wellington to a leading firm today.

Johnston Lawrence’s impressive history dates back to the early 1920’s.

The firm that became Smyth Johnston & Stevens was then based in Courtenay Place. It had a wide range of clients, including many Chinese market gardeners from the fruit and vegetable markets nearby.  At the other end of town in Lambton Quay, O & R Beere & Riddiford had strong connections to the Wairarapa and to Māori landowning interests.

The two firms merged to form Riddiford Smyth Johnston Stevens in 1970.  John Stevens, former partner and special counsel at Johnston Lawrence, was a partner in Riddiford Smyth Johnston Stevens.

In 1988, Riddiford Smyth Johnston Stevens merged with Ian Lawrence’s firm, Lawrence Elder & Co.  Ian served as Mayor of Wellington, was a long standing member of the Wellington City and Regional Councils, and was Chairman of the Local Government Commission.

In 1990, Roger Chapman joined Johnston Lawrence. Roger was well known for his medico-legal work and was regularly engaged as a mediator until his retirement in 2011.

The firm now has a fresh Board who will lead the firm into its second century of providing excellent legal services.

Our History:

The story of Johnston Lawrence.

Find out more

How to find us:

Contact details and directions to our offices.

Find out more

Working for us:

Job opportunities at Johnston Lawrence.

Find out more

NZ LAW Limited:

An association of independent legal practices, incorporated in 1993.

Find out more

“They are very professional, approachable and have integrity.”