New Zealand: Cavell Leitch back in the heart of Christchurch
Last Updated: 18 March 2017

Cavell Leitch, one of New Zealand's largest law firms, has now relocated its Christchurch Head Office to new premises in the heart of the city.

Following the February 2011 earthquake the law firm, which was previously located on the top floors of the Clarendon Tower building, relocated to Addington and the return to the city now marks the end of their forced absence from central Christchurch.

Post-earthquake Cavell Leitch was fortunate to obtain one of the only available new buildings in town and quickly established 1,500m2 of new offices at the Hazeldean Business Park.

This has enabled the firm to provide a comfortable home for its team members and to serve its clients through the challenging earthquake years.

However, it has always been the intention of the partnership to relocate back into the central city to support the regeneration of Christchurch.

"The CBD by its very definition is the place where legal, accounting, finance and retail businesses should be located." Said Julian Clarke, Managing Partner, Cavell Leitch "It is the place where professional firms can collaborate with one another to ensure the best levels of service to our clients."

Having secured and rebuilt great premises after the earthquake, Cavell Leitch has been focused on returning to the city at the most ideal time for its clients and staff.

Their focus has also been on finding the very best location as the rebuild of the city continues.

Many options were considered but the BNZ Centre, developed by Lichfield Holdings Limited, was the stand out winner after an extensive selection process.

"We needed to find a location that was going to truly support the rebuild of the heart of our city and putting our people and resources into the very centre of Cashel Mall has got to be it." Commented Janine Ballinger, Property Partner, Cavell Leitch.

The BNZ Centre takes up almost half a city block in the centre of Christchurch where Whitcoulls once stood. It is designed around a network of laneways and arcades which link to existing and future planned pedestrian public passages.

At the heart is a public courtyard above which the car park on the first floor is screened by colourful festive folded metal, as a memory to the container mall previously on the site.

The outside of the building has been designed to allow maximum sunlight into the building whilst protecting from solar gain to provide an incredibly comfortable environment for occupants. The building itself has been designed to be incredibly strong and nearly every modern efficiency system has been incorporated so as to minimise carbon footprint – industry LED lighting throughout, fresh air ventilation measured via occupancy sensors, waste heat recovery from general exhaust air. From the firm's point of view Cavell Leitch is delighted to be able to support the construction of such a landmark, modern facility in the centre of our city

Despite the digital trends of the modern office, connecting with clients face to face remains of prime importance to the firm. The BNZ Centre has allowed their clients to park within the building in dedicated client parking spaces when they need to visit. This was an important consideration in the selection of the firm's ideal office location.

Cavell Leitch, as a law firm operates differently to other Christchurch law firms in that it delivers its client's needs via 9 specialist teams. This provides a unique point of difference in that every client is dealing with a genuine expert in their area at all times.

This specialisation has seen the firm grow significantly during the six year absence from the CBD and nearly 100 staff have returned to the CBD as a part of the shift

In addition to outstanding levels of client service and quality advice, the firm know it is key to provide an amazing environment for team members.

"Whilst our wonderful premises at Addington have served the purpose well, being able to move back in the centre of town and make it easier for our team members to use public transport or cycle to work and for them to be able to enjoy the camaraderie with colleagues in other firms has been an important consideration for us. Then there is also the benefit of shopping which many of our staff are extremely excited about!" Clarke said.

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