Gibson Sheat, as we know it today, has a long history in the greater Wellington region. The firm has origins in both the Wairarapa and Hutt Valley dating back to the early 1900's.
The Hutt side of the firm was started in 1927 by Eric Francis Rothwell. He started out as a sole practitioner with his first office in High Street in Lower Hutt.
In the 1930’s Eric was joined by John Stanhope Reid. The early 30’s was a pretty tough period. At the end of the week Rothwell and Reid would tally up what they had taken during the week and flip a coin to see who got to eat meat that week!
In 1945 Keith Gibson joined the partnership (it became Rothwell Reid & Gibson). Reid left the firm to become a diplomat. E F Page, who had a practice in Wellington, joined the team and the firm became Rothwell Gibson & Page, operating from both Wellington and Lower Hutt. In 1950 they were joined by John Marshall, who was eventually to become Prime Minister. The firm was then known as Rothwell Gibson Page & Marshall.
In 1957 Bill Sheat joined the firm which then became Gibson, Page, Marshall and Sheat. John (Jack) Marshall was a silent partner due to his busy political career. Near the end of 1957, with the National Party loss in the election, Jack Marshall decided to return to active practice. On his return the firm was re-named Marshall, Page, Gibson and Sheat.
In 1966 the firm became Gibson Sheat for the first time when Page and Marshall decided to go off in a different direction.
With the addition of Greg Thomas and Peter Mathews in 1982, the firm became Gibson Sheat Thomas & Mathews. Peter Mathews was a driving force behind the growth of the firm in the 1980’s.
In 1983 there was a merger with Macalister Mazengarb Prothero & Co. From this point forward the firm retained the name Gibson Sheat.
1983 also saw Gibson Sheat create history by being the first ever legal office in New Zealand to suffer from a strike. The reason behind the strike was the introduction of a revolutionary idea called “word processing”. The secretaries didn’t want a bar of it – fearing it would jeopardise their jobs.
Subsequent mergers ensued, including in 1985 with Lee & Boyer, and in 1987 with Killalea Hale Robinson & Sarginson. At this stage the firm moved into its current office in Lower Hutt in the old Power Board building.
In 1999 the firm opened a Wellington office in Customhouse Quay, and in 2013 moved to the current offices in Grey Street (just down the road from the site of a former office of the 1940s).
More recent mergers include:
In the Wairarapa the firm can trace its history back for over a century. It was founded by David Kennedy Logan (grandfather of our consultant Bruce Logan).
D K Logan practised with C F Gawith from 1905 until 1927. From 1927, until his death in 1930, Logan practised on his own account.
In 1930 the practice was taken over by Neville Whiteman, who was joined in 1931 by Jack Logan (David K Logan’s eldest son). The firm became known as Logan & Whiteman.
Jack’s son David became a partner in 1962, and in 1967 John Gold joined the firm and it became Logan Whiteman & Gold.
In 1970 a merger with Gerald and Jock Blathwayt’s firm saw the firm become Logan Blathwayt & Gold.
In 1973 John Gold started his own practice. He remained a sole practitioner until 1987 when he was joined in partnership by Phil Walsh, creating Gold Walsh.
In 1976 Bruce Logan (David’s cousin) joined Logan Blathwayt.
At the beginning of 2007 Gold Walsh merged with Logan Blathwayt to become Logan Gold Walsh, and in 2009 the firm incorporated to become Logan Gold Walsh Lawyers Limited, with the first directors being Bruce Logan and Brett Gould. Both John Gold and Phil Walsh had retired due to ill health.
In August 2015 Logan Gold Walsh merged with Gibson Sheat to become the firm we know today.