Level 6, 586 Victoria Street, Hamilton, New Zealand

07 838 2079


We are a modern law firm that builds on a strong history.  The foundations of the firm stretch back over 100 years and we are very proud of this heritage.

McCaw Smith & Arcus

McCaw Smith & Arcus commenced in 1919 when W J (Wally) King set up practice in Victoria Street, Hamilton. Mr King became known as a highly competent and rather colourful member of the Hamilton Bar.

King McCaw & Smith

In 1923 he was joined in practice by Ronald (Punch) McCaw. R McCaw became a partner in 1927 and the firm was then known as King & McCaw. Mr N I (Noel) Smith and Mr D W (Don) Arcus and Mr F D (Dewar) Robertshaw joined the firm just prior to World War II. All three were admitted to the partnership in 1945 and the firm changed its name to King McCaw & Smith.

There were a number of retirements and additions to the firm over the years, including a young Don Shirley in 1977.

Lewis Jecks & Co

Lewis Jecks & Co emerged from the practice of Samuel Lewis, who commenced practice in Cambridge in 1906. Henry Dickens Dallimore, an English solicitor, joined him in partnership in 1915 and the practice was renamed Lewis & Dallimore. After some partnership changes, the firm came to be known as Lewis Jecks & Co.

McCaw Lewis Jecks

Lewis Jecks & Co amalgamated with McCaw Smith & Arcus in 1982, and the firm came to be known as McCaw Lewis Jecks.

Chapman Cartwright Gendall & Earl commenced as the practice of Arthur Chapman in 1929, who was joined by his son, Hilton Chapman in 1947. Again, the firm grew over the years and included a number of prominent Hamilton lawyers.

On 1 April 1984, Chapman Cartwright Gendall & Earl amalgamated with McCaw Lewis Jecks, and the firm became known as McCaw Lewis Chapman.

McCaw Lewis Chapman

Of the partners as at March 2011:

  • Don Shirley joined the partnership in 1977
  • Phil Harris joined the partnership in 1984
  • Brendan Cullen joined the partnership in 1991
  • Gerard Rennie joined the partnership in 2003
  • John Neverman joined the partnership in 2007
  • Aidan Warren and Thomas Gibbons joined the partnership in 2008

A number of former partners have held office as judges, including on the District Court, High Court, Environment Court, and Māori Land Court. Others have been Members of Parliament or held other public office, such as Mayor of Hamilton.

McCaw Lewis Limited

Since 1 April 2011, the business of McCaw Lewis has been carried out through McCaw Lewis Limited – the beginning of a new period in our history.