Mr Herbert Taylor, a leading Wellington lawyer for many years, died recently in his 79th year. He had practised law for 53 years, of which 50 were spent in Wellington, and was still active professionally until the day of his death.
Born in Invercargill, Mr Taylor studied law at Victoria University College. He was admitted as a solicitor in February 1925 and practised in Hawera for three years.
In 1928 he returned to Wellington and joined Mr FC Spratt, who had moved from Hawera the previous year. Subsequently they joined the firm of Morison, Smith and Morison. Later the firm became known as Morison, Spratt and Taylor, and in more recent years, when Mr Spratt was appointed to the Supreme Court, as Morison, Taylor and Company.
Colleagues in Wellington and throughout the country came to recognise Mr Taylor as a leading practitioner of commercial law. But he enjoyed all branches of legal work and acted for many Wellington families from one generation to the next. He won a reputation for the expeditious way in which he carried out his work. He worked long hours and was widely known for the exceptional volume of work he accomplished. He was for a number of years a revising barrister for the Justice Department, examining the proposed articles of various incorporations.
A hockey player in his youth, Mr Taylor became an enthusiastic supporter and administrator of rugby football after moving to Wellington, with a particular interest in university rugby. He was a past president of the Onslow Rugby Club and acted for the New Zealand Rugby Football Council for the past 35 years.
He was also a frequent attender at harrier meetings, in which he took a keen interest.
A capable amateur pianist, Mr Taylor was an enthusiast for classical music and gathered a large library of recordings. He was an avid reader over a very wide field.
He actively supported both the Crippled Children Society and the Plunket Society, and also gave his time generously to the work of several other charitable causes.
This obituary was published in the November 1978 issue of Council Brief, the monthly newsletter of the Wellington District Law Society.