New Zealand Law Society - Dibbly-dobbly bowler attracted to academic lifestyle

Dibbly-dobbly bowler attracted to academic lifestyle

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An alternative life in academia, complete with pipe, tweed jacket and thick spectacles, might lure Richard Flinn away from law - but not just yet for the father of six.

Recently made principal in DAC Beachcroft New Zealand’s Wellington office after the untimely death of Andrew McIntyre, Richard – who has a BA in History - likes the idea of doing further philosophy studies.

Richard Matthew (Richard) Flinn
Entry to law
Graduated BA, LLB from Auckland University in 2006. Admitted in 2006. 
Principal at DAC Beachcroft New Zealand, Wellington branch. 
Speciality area
Insurance litigation.
Richard Flinn
Richard Flinn

“Life in academia would interest me… You get to sit around and smoke pipes all day, having speculative conversations wearing tweed jackets… I would look forward to getting my pass to the secret shop where they get their tweed jackets from…”

But with six years at DAC Beachcroft under his belt since the firm opened its Wellington office, Richard is pretty settled.

"Life in academia would interest me..." 

Married ten happy years and with six children (two boys and four girls) aged from eight years to six months, Richard says his wife Marit “has her hands full fulltime” running a “female dominated household.”

Marit completed an MA in English Literature before she had her first child, writing her thesis on New Zealand poet the late Ursula Bethel, and is thinking of doing a PhD “once the nest is empty…”

With brother Nathaniel a lawyer in Hobart and cousin Daniel a lawyer in Palmerston North, Richard describes himself as “one of those sad cases whose mother said – after facing too many arguments over the years – you better pursue a career in law because you make argument something of a speciality…”

“That probably dampened my enthusiasm because I loathe to take my mother’s advice about anything…

“I was always going to do an arts degree because of my enthusiasm for language and the humanities…

“But while enrolling for university at the end of the seventh form, I needed to have something that was profession and career orientated in with the mix to prevent myself from having the indignity of graduating to flip burgers at McDonalds…So I thought I would add LLB on the end and the rest is history…”

An enthusiastic “pedestrian” cricketer, left arm “dibbly-dobbly bowler or pie chucker” and a Chris Martin type who likes to get out and have a crack with a bat, he describes his cricket as “a triumph of confidence over ability…”

“I gave rugby away when everyone started to outgrow me… but remain an enthusiastic spectator of cricket, rugby and follow the NBA…

“I am not well travelled, the furthest afield is to Australia so we are looking forward to doing more travel in later life once the kids have grown up…

“We have just come back from 10 days in central Otago, with kiddie winkles, staying on the shores of Lake Dunstan… We really enjoyed it, especially the highlight of driving back over the Lindis Pass and around Lake Pukaki… It was our first time having a good look around and we’ll definitely do it again…

“Our champagne coloured, eight seater 2003 Toyota Estima is great for carting the brood and I also have a very thirsty 2.8lt Golf VR6…

“I’m an avid reader when I can get away with it, mainly the classics… Dostoyevsky’s, The Brothers Karamazov is one of my top novels, Tolstoy is in the top five along with Tolkein…

“I’m also a bit of a fantasy nerd – a kind of guilty pleasure of mine I don’t usually confess to people… I like Patrick Rothfuss’ rollicking tale The Name of the Wind… And I gave Lee Child’s Jack Reacher stuff away because it is so formulaic…

“Like many baritones I’m a wannabe tenor [Richard sang in the New Zealand Youth Choir in his day], a hack musician and a chorister who sings whenever I can. I sing in the Wellington lawyers' choir Counsel in Concert and we'll be performing a celebration of Shakespeare in music on 13 December at St Andrews on the Terrace.

“I like alternative country and folk music and play little bit of acoustic steel string guitar – mainly folk songs – and the girls always ask me to play Let It Go, from Disney’s 2013 animated film Frozen… apparently it’s regarded as a modern classic…

“There’s not too much time for TV but we binge watch the odd series - Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, and we are working through The Wire slowly… It takes a while to fill in all the pieces…”

“There was a fantastic movie recently – Whiplash - about the relationship between an ambitious young jazz drummer and his abusive teacher, which I highly recommend…

“Trump and Clinton would be entertaining dinner guests, along with US entertainer Andy Kaufman, Churchill and Hitler… And a literary person – the Apostle Paul…”

Timaru-based Jock Anderson has been writing and commenting on New Zealand lawyers and New Zealand's courts for most of his career in journalism. Read more of his law-related news with a touch of humour on Jock’s website and on his Facebook page. Contact Jock at

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