Andrew Hitchcock never shies away from a challenge and, as the head of AWS Legal’s Disputes Resolution Team, he gets plenty.
“When you’ve got people, it’s inevitable that there will be disputes,” he says. “We’re here to provide excellent legal support and get a result for our clients.”
Battling it out in Court is a last resort.
“I’m committed to settling at least 90 percent of the disputes I tackle. I like to think of our service as keeping our clients out of Court, not pushing them into it”.
For those cases where Court is inevitable, Andrew is in his element. He has appeared at all levels of the New Zealand justice system and even the Supreme Court of England and Wales. He is also an experienced advocate in most tribunals, including the Employment and Environment Courts.
“Appearing in Court is like an exam – you have to be on your toes. It’s challenging and you get to test your assessment of the facts in relation to the law,” he says.
Born and raised in Southland, Andrew was the only one of his high school scholarship class to choose a legal career.
“As a rebel I decided I wasn’t going to do medicine like everyone else; I was going to do law” he says.
After leaving Otago University in 1984, Andrew worked in Wellington for two and a-half years before joining AWS Legal. He then spent 14 months practising in London before returning to the firm as Partner in 1989.
“You would be hard pressed to find a better lifestyle than Southland” he says.
Away from work and the office, the father of two enjoys, skiing, boating, car restoration and home renovating.