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James Halward (Hal) Nash, 1935-2013

By Tony Wilson 

One of the Hawke's Bay District Law Society's longest-serving members, Hal Nash died on 18 June 2013.

Hal had been a member of the Law Society from 1963 until 2002 when he retired and became an Honorary Member. He was a member of the Council of the Society from 1984 to 1986 and also served on the Hawke's Bay Law Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

Hal obtained an LLB at Victoria University of Wellington in 1957 and was employed by Treadwells in Wellington and later by the Prudential Assurance Company in London. He joined his grandfather Sir Walter Nash on a Prime Ministerial visit to Europe and Russia before returning to New Zealand. One of the highlights of that trip was sitting in on a rigorous discussion between Nikita Kruschev and Sir Walter on the subjects of socialism and communism.

On his return to New Zealand in 1961 Hal commenced working for the firm of Carlile McLean Wood Sorrell & Dobson, becoming a partner in that firm in 1963 until its merger with Dowling & Co in 1987. In 2002 Hal retired from the merged firm of Carlile Dowling.

Hal had an active involvement with many organisations during his professional career. Having lost his own father at a young age, he took a particular interest in the Birthright organisation and in families who had lost a parent at a young age.

In later years he was instrumental in arranging the recording of recollections of older people in the district, including several legal practitioners, and the archiving of that material for future generations.

Hal will be remembered by his numerous friends and acquaintances as one of life's great characters, a very able lawyer and a great credit to his profession.

He is survived by his wife Jennifer, his four children, and his three grandchildren. 

This obituary was first published in the October 2013 Newsletter of the Hawke's Bay branch of the New Zealand Law Society. 

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Last updated on the 23rd October 2013