A former convenor of the New Zealand Law Society’s Auckland Standards Committee 4, who recently died will be remembered for her energy, wisdom, intellect and tireless work ethic.
Allison Jane Adams, who was 57 died on 8 September after a short illness. She had given nine years of voluntary service to the committee.
Anna Fitzgibbon was a close friend of Allison Adams. They had been colleagues and business partners for close to 25 years.
She has shared some of her memories of Allison.
In 2000, the pair took the plunge and founded their own law firm called LawWorks which was based in Ponsonby.
She remembers a lawyer and friend who left an impact on everyone she was associated with.
“As a business partner, Allison was a great lawyer who worked hard. She was loyal, generous, supportive and direct! She brought those same qualities to her many friendships. For social occasions at LawWorks, Allison insisted on making sure we had great wine, good food and dancing. I remember Allison at one of LawWorks’ early Christmas parties, top to toe in black leather motor cycle gear, beaming, as we were about to roar off on Harley Davidson motorbikes,” she says.
When it came to legal work, practising family law was the area Allison excelled at.
“She loved the law and was dedicated to her clients. She worked tirelessly and passionately to get the best outcome for them, not her. The legal profession was very important to her and she gave a great deal of time to family law,” she says.
The chair of the Family Law Section, Kirsty Swadling has also paid tribute to Allison Adams.
“She was passionate about family law and had been involved in a range of voluntary work. She was a member of the Family Law Section’s children’s issues standing committee and was the convenor for the section’s policy and law reform committee,” she says.
Over the last few years of her life, Allison and her husband John were living in coastal Rangiputa in Northland.
They had found their slice and touch of paradise.
“Moving to such a beautiful location to live had been on her bucket list for some time and she ticked it off. After a short stint practising law from a caravan on their section, Allison and John set up their own law practice in Kaitaia. She used to talk about how much she loved practising law in Kaitaia where she was able to devote herself and her considerable skills to helping those in read need,” Anna Fitzgibbon says.
Not long before she died, Anna Fitzgibbon and another of Allison’s friends and colleagues, Robyn Glynn made a final visit to see her in hospital.
“She spoke about how much she missed the law and working. We were both moved by her continued interest in what her colleagues at the family law bar were doing. She also wanted to know whether she could cast a postal vote in the general election – she still wanted to change the world,” she said.
Allison Adams will be remembered as dignified, brave and having retained a sense of humour until the end.
“On that final visit we had a good laugh when after reading a letter signed by several Auckland family court judges, Allison turned to us and quipped ‘who’s not there’,” she says.
A celebration of the life of Allison Adams was held 16 September in Rangiputa at the fire station.