Serving the Manawatu since 1908. Over a century of expertise.

B.J Jacobs

Partner 1908 – 1964

Larry Florentine

 Partner 1958 – 1997

Hector Y. Gilliand

Partner 1950 – 1968

William Albert Maloney

 Partner 1965 – 1987

Paul Whitehead

J.A. Grant

 Partner 1920 – 1956

The origins of our firm go back to 1908 when Mr Charles A Loughnan commenced practice on his own account.  He was appointed Crown Prosecutor in Palmerston North in 1908, at a time when the town had only 11,000-12,000 people.  Some two or three years later he was joined in partnership by Bertram Joseph Jacobs “Bert”.

Bert Jacobs was born in Napier in 1885, attended Wellington College, and on leaving school he joined Bell Gully & Co in Wellington as a Law Clerk. A year or two after completing his legal qualifications in 1910, he joined Loughnan in partnership and that partnership was interrupted only two or three years later on the outbreak of the First World War late in 1914.  Bert joined up and was sent to France in 1916 with the NZ Rifle Brigade and did not return until 1919.  Loughnan kept the firm going until Bert returned but within a year or so the partnership ended when Loughnan moved to Wellington where he spent the rest of his time in practice.

For the next 40 years Bert Jacobs practised law most successfully, and upon his return from the war he took an immediate and powerful interest in the welfare of ex-servicemen.  He played a leading role in the Palmerston North RSA and was for 10 years Vice-President of the New Zealand RSA and then for 4 years was President.  Such was the extent and value of his services he was awarded the rare RSA Honour of the Gold Star and he was also awarded the OBE in 1946.

John Alexander Grant “Jack” took a job as a Law Clerk with Loughnan and Jacobs only a year or two before the outbreak of war and at the same time undertook law studies.  He also joined up and served overseas and it is recorded that he had the unusual distinction of having completed his legal qualifications while on active service.  On being demobilised he re-joined the firm and in 1920 became Bert’s partner under the firm name of Jacobs & Grant.  They were truly brothers-in-law as within a short space of time both had married sisters.  They remained partners for 36 years until Jack’s untimely death in 1957.

These two men, Jacobs & Grant, who so solidly established our firm, each put back into their community a large part of what each had earned from it as practising lawyers.  Their record is a worthy challenge to succeeding partners to continue that vision of service in its widest sense to our community.

 Hector Gilliand also joined the firm from Palmerston North Boys High School as a Law Clerk in the mid-1940s and by the early 1950’s had qualified and become a partner.  He had a special aptitude for Court work and was most successful.

Mr Lawrence Florentine “Larry” joined the firm in 1956 and became a partner in 1958. It was at this time that the firms name was changed to Jacobs Florentine. Mr Florentine was a partner of Jacobs Florentine for 39 years before then becoming a Consultant for a further 17 years.  A very private man, Mr Florentine served the firm and the Manawatu right up until his death in 2014.

There have been a number of other partners admitted over the years and three have been appointed to Judicial Office. In August 2008 our firm celebrated its 100th year anniversary. Throughout the years, Jacobs Florentine has continued to serve the Manawatu and beyond, offering a full range of legal services. The current partners are committed to carrying on the great tradition of service to our clients and strive to uphold the values set by our previous partners of loyalty, respect, knowledge and understanding.