New Zealand Law Society - Sport and work inspire 400 km a week wheelman

Sport and work inspire 400 km a week wheelman

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Third generation lawyer Mark Hopkinson describes his decision to follow family tradition as a "spur of the moment thing" – and one he has never regretted.

Both his father and grandfather were lawyers and after his father's tragic death in a car accident when Mark was 11, he says his grandfather – a Canterbury university gold medal winner – pushed a career in law "very hard."

Mark Christian (Mark) Hopkinson
Lower Hutt. 
Entry to law
Graduated LLB from Victoria University in 1989, BA in 1990. Admitted 1990. 
Partner at Glaister Ennor, Auckland. 
Speciality area
Securities, financial services, finance, receiverships, liquidations, mortgagee sales, general business law
Mark Hopkinson
Mark Hopkinson

At school I studied sciences with a view to a career in medicine or engineering – partly a reaction against the family tradition," says Mark, who recently became a partner at Glaister Ennor in Auckland.

"However, I became bored with it by the seventh form and when the time came to choose arrived the family fascination with law set in."

Married to Dominique – who is legal counsel at Plant and Food Research, a member of the Rice legal family and a national level marathon runner – the couple have three teenage girls, all of whom are involved in sport.

Two girls compete at high level, one a cyclist, the other a gymnast. "I spend a lot of time with them and get involved with the running of their sports and coaching."

As a top road and track cyclist, sport plays a big part in Mark's life.

He is chairman of Eastern Suburbs Gymnastics Club, is on the cycling committee at Baradene College and helps out with Auckland and Manukau cycling.

Coming back from an injury, Mark is in training – riding 400 kms a week - to defend his Auckland 10km track scratch title at cycling championships in March, and prepare for the world masters games in New Zealand in 2017.

"I'm very heavily involved in Auckland cycling, competing on both road and track, and was an Auckland representative for a number of years.

"I got on a bike at 7… I have had other interests but cycling is a recurring theme in life and I become heavily involved again in last 10 years.

Mark Hopkinson on bike
Another kilometre completed...

"I love cycling and it has opened up a whole new community for me…I've met a lot of great people and it has taught me a lot about myself…"

Competing in track and road events over distances from 3 kms to 150 kms, Mark spreads himself around and does as many events as possible, including individual and team events.

"I found peak form quite late in life which is one of the attractions of cycling. One guy I train with is a former world champ pushing 70…That's inspirational…

"Dominique's family have a bach on the Coromandel and when I've done some hard road work there I enjoy a bit of relaxing and therapeutic kayaking.

"I travelled incessantly in my 20s and 30s, flying with some of the dodgiest airlines in the world in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia – Laos was the worst.

"But I developed a fear of flying, hate airports and being on planes…I love being in New Zealand and have no desire to go anywhere else – trips to the Coromandel keep me happy.

"I'm an avid reader of mainly history and sci-fi and my kindle is nearly full…I did a degree in history so history has always interested me.

"I've got back into Stephen King and enjoy William Boyd (Any Human Heart and Restless) and Isaac Asimov.

"Musically I am tone deaf, a dead loss and never played an instrument. My brother is a teacher in Greymouth and is an amazing rock guitarist…I'll listen to anything between 1965 and 1995, including US rock band Journey, the Stones, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, and I'm a big fan of Joni Mitchell.

"But music is a challenge I have yet to face up to…

"We recently got Netflix and it is amazing the range of good stuff available…I'm turning into a Netflix binger…My favourites include Vikings, Lost, The Godfather, The Good the Bad and the Ugly – that's an amazing movie…

"Favourite actors would be Paul Newman and Catherine Deneuve.

"I'd like to do more sports…My oldest daughter is doing archery and I would like to get into that but don't have the time…The kids are all incredibly busy, and I'm struggling to do what I do…

"I've piled a lot of money into Alfa Romeos and BMW's in the past but I'm happy now with a Hyundai SantaFe diesel…My wife is the car person with her Mini Cooper, but it always seems to break down…

"In my commercial practice I love being part of clients' business, solving their problems and making their lives and business better…I find that incredibly rewarding, I've been doing it for nearly 25 years and don't expect it to change…

"I'm very lucky to be a member of this profession and can't see myself doing anything else, especially as there aren't any professional cycling contracts for anyone my age…"

Jock Anderson has been writing and commenting on New Zealand lawyers and New Zealand's courts for most of his career in journalism. Contact Jock at

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