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Where it all began...

Back in 1863, the firm began as a one-man practice having been established by John Benjamin Russell. He was joined by various partners over the years, including Robert McVeagh in 1904. Our firm has held the 'Russell' and 'McVeagh' names ever since. From these beginnings, Russell McVeagh has grown to become a leading, large national firm with offices in Auckland and Wellington.
Over the years, we have assisted clients with some of the most influential cases and projects in our country's history. From the growth of the Auckland Harbour port in the late 1800s, shipping rights in the early 1900s, the seminal Waitangi Tribunal Lands case in 1987, to the creation and evolution of New Zealand's largest company, Fonterra – our story is intertwined with the history of modern day Aotearoa.
More than 160 years on, we haven't strayed too far from our roots in Tāmaki Makaurau with the current Auckland office just metres from its earliest location on ‘Shortland Crescent’. Our firm’s tradition of providing outstanding legal advice to clients has continued from its foundation up to the present day, and our values – Respect | Manaaki, Curiosity | Māhirahira, Excellence | Whai hiranga and Tenacity | Whakapau kaha – are at the heart of our firm's culture and reflect who we are, what we stand for and how we work together.
It is important to us that we are helping to shape a sustainable and thriving Aotearoa New Zealand into the future – this includes having a respectful and inclusive culture where we ensure our people are supported to develop and succeed, we give back to our communities and are mindful of the footprint we leave on our environment. You can read more about our work programme across these areas here. We know there is more to do, and we will continue to build on the work across these areas.
We want to thank our people, clients, alumni and our other stakeholders for their contributions to the successes of the firm we are proud of today and as we look to a bright future ahead.