About Us

History

History

MACTODD is one of the South Island's leading law firms and had its beginnings in Queenstown in 1975. Today the firm has expanded dramatically and now has an office in Wanaka.

Christmas picture for mac ToddFounder Alan Macalister arrived in Queenstown in 1975 opening a branch office as a partner of Invercargill firm, Macalister Bros., in a rented two bedroom cottage in central Queenstown. A year later he purchased the practice and operated under his own name.

Alan became highly respected locally, nationally and internationally and later became a Notary Public and the Queenstown Coroner, a position he held for over 30 years. Alan also acted for the Queenstown Borough and Lake County Councils (subsequently the Queenstown Lakes District Council). Although now retired from the partnership, he still provides continuity and valuable support to the partnership in his role as a Consultant.

Mac Todd christmas Photo

Graeme Todd, whose family holidayed in Central Otago for many years, arrived fresh from Otago University as a graduate in 1981, to join Alan as sole staff solicitor, becoming a partner in 1983. At that time Macalister Todd operated from premises in the original Stage Coach building in Shotover Street. Later the firm shifted offices across the road to the O'Connells Centre.

MAc Todd Christmas photoMacalister Todd looked to expand and in 1985 Kevin Phillips, who had been practicing in his own right in Queenstown, joined the firm with a solid reputation as a court room barrister. He was an adviser to the Queenstown Lakes District Council for many years, through the firm's role as council solicitor, and was a leading litigation lawyer appearing before diverse courts, tribunals and the Court of Appeal. In 1999 Kevin successfully represented clients before the International Court of Arbitration in London, winning a significant settlement and an award of costs. Kevin retired from the partnership in 2006 to take up an appointment as a District Court Judge.

Macalister Todd Phillips continued to grow and in 1987 John Troon, who had previously practiced for some years in London then in Southland, joined the firm focusing on commercial and corporate law, general conveyancing and trusts. He became a partner in 1993 and continues to head the firm's commercial team.

The partnership has subsequently grown and commercial lawyer Bryce Jack, previously practicing in partnership in England, joined in 2001 bringing a range of skills particularly in the property and business areas. He is highly regarded by his local government, corporate and private clients as a very experienced conveyancer and commercial law practitioner.

In 2002 resource management expert Jayne Macdonald became the first female partner of the firm, bringing a wealth of resource management experience gained from her previous work with a local land development and surveying company. Jayne leads the firm's resource management team and provides advice on all facets of environmental and local government law to local authority and private clients.

Clark Pirie who was originally from a farming family in the deep south returned to Queenstown after completing his overseas experience in London where his general practise skills had been put to use as a locum manager in London firms. He joined the partnership in 2004 and has developed a strong commercial practice with an extensive national and overseas client base. Clark's wide general practice continues to grow in the Southern Lakes region.

Richard Cunliffe who heads the firm's litigation team, joined the partnership in 2007, from one of New Zealand's leading legal firms where he was a senior litigation partner. He has a varied background in civil litigation focusing on professional indemnity insurance claims, employment and alternative dispute resolution and appears in all courts ranging from the Employment to the Supreme Court.

Macalister Todd Phillips finally adopted the practice name MACTODD, which the firm has been known as for many years.

With its diverse team of 16 legal practitioners and highly qualified group of support personnel, May 2010 Mactodd expanded it's Queenstown office by moving into state of the art modern premises. This launched the next chapter in the history of a partnership committed to retaining its reputation as a leading South Island law firm.