New Zealand Law Society - Stewart Underwood, 1970-2013

Stewart Underwood, 1970-2013

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By Peter Cato

Stewart Underwood, 30 March 1970 - 4 December 2013. 

After attending the funeral of my learned friend Stewart Underwood, I have been moved to acknowledge the passing of this courageous, caring and noble colleague. As a sole practitioner, conveyancer and property lawyer Stewart was a valued member of our legal community and we will miss him.

To Stewart's wife Lara and their young family, we acknowledge your loss. You will remain part of the Rotorua legal community and we extend to you the collegial support of our profession now and into the future. In his legal practice, PropertEase, Stewart reflected a side of our profession that is often overlooked: the caring and hardworking sole practitioner who diligently toils away, under the radar in the provinces, offering excellent legal services to their clients. Success is often measured in transactional matters completed within budget and one time, with no one ever seeing the lengths to which that solicitor has gone to achieve the desired outcome for their client.

The modern world of increasing demands, decreasing timeframes, emails and electronic banking have an effect on the collegial nature of our profession. Stewart's passing is a reminder to us all that achieving great outcomes for our clients should not be at the cost of our families or ourselves. When the deal is complete we should also take a little time to thank the solicitor on the other side of the transaction for their efforts, for without those efforts the transaction would not have been possible.

- Peter Cato on behalf of my fellow Rotorua property lawyers, the wider Rotorua bar and our profession generally.

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