Inspired by Springsteen and I, we begin a new series where we ask members of the legal profession 10 questions about their life and career. The brave opener is Best Practice Lawyers solicitor Adam Kaveney-Gibb.
My name is Adam Kaveney-Gibb, I graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in 2016 with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Te Reo Māori and History. I was admitted to the bar in May 2018. I live on the Kāpiti Coast and work at Best Practice Lawyers in Waikanae.
Why did you choose law and the area(s) of law you practise?
I grew up with a passion for words and writing (and also arguing, as my Mum would attest to), so the law seemed like the perfect choice for me.I am working in a general practice firm, so I am lucky to be exposed to a variety of areas of law, although my main areas of practice are in trust matters, commercial transactions and residential conveyancing. I like practising in these areas because they are often interesting transactions and, in most cases, I create positive outcomes for clients.
If you were not working in law, what would be your alternative career be and why?
My alternative career would either be in fisheries management because I am passionate about protecting our oceans or in construction because my father is a builder and I have always been involved with DIY.
What case or proceeding sticks most in your mind?
Proprietors of Wakatu v Attorney-General  NZSC 17 is a case close to my heart and one that I had the privilege to work on briefly when it was at the High Court stage. The Supreme Court upheld a historical land claim bought by several hapū from the Tasman region under common law principles, and in the regular courts rather than the Waitangi Tribunal. It is a momentous decision for Māori people. If you haven’t read about it yet, I recommend checking it out!
What do you love about your job and why?
I love the variety of matters I get to work on at my job, ranging from drafting wills to fencing disputes to negotiating leases. I love working with words on a daily basis, drafting documents, constructing arguments and advising clients. Most of all I love working in my hometown providing services to people I know and having a great work/life balance.
Is there anything you dislike about your work and why?
Being inside all day.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing New Zealand lawyers?
Legal technology - apparently robots are going to replace us.
What is the biggest challenge you've faced as a lawyer?
I’m only six months into my career and it has been a steep learning curve. It was difficult starting out not knowing procedures, having to double check things constantly and requiring lots of supervision.
What's the best advice you've ever been given in relation to practising law?
Understanding people is the most important tool in your kete.
Lawyers are often described as workaholics. Is that you? How do you switch off?
I don’t consider myself a workaholic although I work hard. To switch off I like to go fishing, play cards with my family and watch sports on telly.
Where is the most exotic place you have been to for a holiday? Tell us about it.
Belize. I went on a 3 day cruise through the Belize Barrier Reef, fishing, diving and searching for manatees. We stayed on tiny ‘quays’ made of coral sand, some with a single palm tree growing - exactly how you would picture a deserted island. An absolutely spectacular country and a vibrant local culture.