Wellington-based Brookers this year celebrates its hundredth year in business. From its provincial origins to its current operation as a multi-sited Thomson Reuters company, the publisher has secured the enviable status of being New Zealand’s legal information provider of choice.
The focus of centennial celebrations has been a capital-hosted, company-wide, event at which a limited edition book on its history, authored by Geoff Adlam, was unveiled: Local to Global – The History of Brookers 1910-2010.
An especially commissioned Brookers Annotating the Law 1910-2010 video, now screening on the company homepage, to celebrate annotations, the core business of the company for many years, also made its debut.
It’s hard to imagine an industry having embraced more change than publishing in the last 100 years. Telecommunications, aviation, and lunar exploration were the stuff of dreams at the turn of the 20th century. But company founder John Friend, of New Zealand’s riverside settlement of Wanganui, was at the time about to pioneer a legal annotations service a service that to this day is just as integral to lawyers’ workaday activity as it was at its inception in 1910.
Hard-bound legislation is updated, or ‘annotated’, to ensure it can be consistently referred to as a reliable source of the country’s ever-evolving laws. Given that New Zealand’s present-day parliamentary decision-makers are in congress for 10 months out of 12, attending to the subsequent legislative annotations is no mean feat.
Until the 1970s, Brookers focused almost exclusively on its successful legislation annotations business, branching into legal commentary and law report publishing during the 1980s. And now, whilst still true to its roots, the company’s commercial focus also embraces tax, accounting, human resources, and workplace health and safety.
Congratulating the company on achieving its centennial milestone, The Hon RA McGechan acknowledged Brookers’ journey so far as a story of hard work coupled with foresight and nimble feet. ‘The history of Brookers is the history of a firm that services [its customers] in the changing ways demanded by a changing world. It is a history which takes us from the rubber stamp and red pencil to the computer, internet, and modern legal text with an intriguing melange of personal, professional, and business insights en route.’
The Brookers of 2010 is one which offers all the multi-media offerings of the modern professional publisher, says Country Manager Haydn Davies. ‘We are extremely proud of our history – where we’ve come from, and where we are now. It’s a genuine New Zealand success story, and we’re delighted to celebrate it as such.’
Find out more about the limited edition Local to Global – The History of Brookers 1910-2010.