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David Lyon hangs up his hat

Written By: Gerard Molloy

One of the true characters of the legal profession has called it a day. David Lyon retired from the firm he helped build, after 54 years practising law.

Way back in January 1957, David joined Reyburn McArthur and Boyes as a law clerk. Once he completed his law degree and was admitted to the bar on 29 March 1962, he joined a partnership that became Reyburn McArthur Boyes and Lyon.

In June 1978, David took a handful of his staff and joined the late Frank and John Haigh QC at the bottom of Queen Street. The firm was renamed Haigh Lyon.

For the next 38 years David arrived at Haigh Lyon every morning at 7am to answer a steady flow of phone calls. Being approachable and kind, he quickly grew one of the largest personal client bases in the city, handling property, estates, trusts and business matters. He was also the go-to for horse racing tips, car buying advice and gardening guidance.

David’s vast knowledge, warmth and positive outlook set the tone for Haigh Lyon. He arrived most mornings with flowers for the receptionist, lamb sausages for staff and garden produce for clients. An avid apiarist, he would cheerily drop off comb honey from the bees on his property in Arney Crescent, Remuera, to his inner-city friends.

Describing himself as a “Queen Street farmer”, his other passion is a large farm block in Henderson Valley, in the foothills of the Waitakere Ranges. From there, he would train staff and clients every Sunday in the ways of mustering, shearing and crutching.

Through his personal and endearing approach, he developed many close friendships with his loyal clients, many of which spanned four generations. David will retain his ties to the firm and his valued clients via his Trusteeships, Powers of Attorney and executorships.

The Partners and staff of Haigh Lyon thank David for his many years of loyalty, guidance and hard work. He has left a lasting imprint on the fabric of the firm, and the legal profession.

He is now spending more time with his family, chasing sheep and cattle around the farm, and teaching his grandchildren to fish, at his bach in Matapouri.

David is also helping to compile a history of Haigh Lyon, which turns 90 next year. Any former staff or colleagues who have recollections or well wishes to pass on, can do so here.