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McCaw Lewis tells its story

December 2016

McCaw Lewis has completed a comprehensive review of its brand to better define what it stands for and where the firm is heading.

McCaw Lewis is one of the oldest law firms in Hamilton and will celebrate its centenary in 2019.  As the firm moves towards the impressive age of 100, its Directors felt that it was an opportune time to review the firm’s brand to ensure a clear brand purpose, position and reason for clients to engage and remain loyal.  McCaw Lewis worked to define what makes their brand different and meaningful for clients, staff and the wider community.

Director, Aidan Warren, said, “This exercise wasn’t so much about producing a new brand or the visual elements that comes with that, but was more about being clearer about who we are, what we represent, who cares and why.  We wanted to be able to answer the simple question: so what makes McCaw Lewis different - different in a meaningful way?  Our brand review has made it so much easier to answer this fundamental question".  Aidan says that the comprehensive process of talking to staff, current clients, work referrers, business partners and potential clients, together with related research, was invaluable as strong common themes emerged about the firm’s brand, the brand experience offered and how the firm is perceived.

McCaw Lewis has an illustrious alumni including Sir Ronald Young, Justice David Gendall, Associate Judge Jeremy Doogue, Judge Stephen Clark, Judge Melanie Harland and former Mayor of Hamilton, Julie Hardaker – just to name a few who have all been partners of the firm in the last 30 years or so.

Director, Thomas Gibbons, says, “While we believed we had a unique approach to serving and working with our clients; it was, at times, difficult to define and easily articulate this to others.  This recent exercise, guided by external brand experts, has resulted in a clear brand strategy that is differentiated and powerful”.  Thomas says that initially there was some internal reluctance to the idea of defining the firm’s brand strategy and having clear brand statements. The perception was that it was a little airy-fairy and of no great relevance to a law firm. But having gone through a comprehensive brand process, he would recommend it to all law firms.  “It gave us real clarity and the ability to ensure we have a central unifying brand idea around which all our service and communications can be aligned” says Thomas.

Based on comprehensive research and work conducted by branding experts Bullzeye Best Brands, a number of key themes emerged about the McCaw Lewis brand, the brand values and culture as a firm.  These include:

  • McCaw Lewis genuinely cares about its clients, works to create life-long client relationships and add true value to clients lives;
  • McCaw Lewis clients are good people;
  • McCaw Lewis lawyers are specialists who provide clear and easy to understand legal advice on complex legal matters on a consistent basis; and
  • The firm offers a unique whānau atmosphere, manifested by the way staff engage with clients and in the community.

The firm’s new brand by-line "Good People. Great Lawyers." encapsulates these brand themes and will now be applied to McCaw Lewis branded materials, communications and brand experiences.

The work around defining the McCaw Lewis brand also coincides with the appointment of two women to senior positions in the firm.  Melissa Gibson (Ngāiterangi) has been appointed a Director and will lead the Asset Planning Team and will continue to grow her charities and governance practise on her return to work following the birth of her second child, Blake.  Renika Siciliano (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto) has been appointed the firm’s Managing Associate, a very senior appointment in the firm.  Renika has expertise in Treaty settlement work, workplace law and relationship property.  Renika will lead the firm’s Workplace Law and Relationship Property Teams.

     Melissa Renika 3 
Aidan Warren confirms that the appointments of Melissa and Renika are significant as they are two highly talented female lawyers who are manifestations of what the McCaw Lewis brand represents.  They both consistently provide clear and concise legal advice to clients and treat their clients as if they were family, making them feel part of the McCaw Lewis whānau.