Founder and chair of REAL, Martin Strong, died unexpectedly on 18 November 2000 aged 61 – ironically the day after the Minister of Justice announced the long-awaited reforms to conveyancing, real estate selling and the Law Practitioners Act.
Martin Strong studied law at Victorial University of Wellington and worked for law firms in Wellington and Paraparaumu before joining Kendall Wilson & Co in their Papatoetoe office. That office later became Kendall Strong & Co.
Speaking at his funeral, his partner Brett Abraham described Martin Strong as being passionate about all areas of his life.
“When he picked up an idea and ran with it, there was no stopping him,” Mr Abraham said.
When it became apparent that the legal profession was going to face competition from licensed conveyancers and other non-lawyers, he travelled to Britain to study the involvement of solicitors with selling real estate, before returning to New Zealand and establishing REAL.
Warwick Brown, REAL’s project consultant, said the loss of Mr Strong was a very serious and unexpected blow but REAL would survive and succeed.
This obituary was first published in LawTalk 554, 29 January 2001, page 17.